This month, we have some of the best news we can get for one of our residents. Miss C just got a job!
When our residents arrive at Refuge for Women, they know they have a long journey ahead of them. Unpacking the burdens and wounds of the past while maintaining hope for the future can be a grueling process that many of them, at the beginning, might doubt is even possible. The first phase of our program focuses on learning, and unlearning, so much about themselves and about the God who created and loves them. This includes intense, emotional work to break down and rebuild the way these ladies think of themselves and others.
Phase two comes after the foundation has been laid. When the ladies have worked through a
multitude of curriculum, when the staff sees that they have been emotionally and mentally stable, when they have worked with their therapist to build confidence and coping skills for stress and triggers, and when they themselves feel they are ready, it’s time for a big step. This is when we begin to help and facilitate our residents finding a part-time job.
A job at this stage allows for many things. For one, it’s the ladies’ first step toward re-entering
the “real world.” They get to practice the skills they have learned with us while still having a
safe, predictable environment to come home to. They get to see what areas they may still need to work on while they still have the resources to make that work easier. More practically, it gives the residents a chance to build their resumes and gain work experience. Not to mention, it also allows them to save the funds they will need, when they graduate our program, to start living their new lives.
It’s truly amazing to see how, as they heal, the ladies find out not just what they are good at but what they enjoy. A re-learning of who they are and how God made them takes place, and
suddenly new opportunities arise. They were made for so much more than what they have
known, and now they get to find some pieces of what that is, one step at a time.
For C, she knew what position she wanted at her first-choice company. And we were there to
help her create a resume and submit her application. It was a good day in the house when she got the news of her job interview, and we got to celebrate with her as she squealed with excitement and did a “happy dance!”
In the time leading up to the interview, we were able to pray with her, assuring her that whatever God’s plan was, He was with her and knew what was best for her! Our shift lead, Patty, was even able to create a “mock interview” with her, and she practiced the questions with other members of our staff to help build her confidence. We weren’t surprised when she got the offer!
Through God’s provision, and the kindness of our supporters, C received a donation of work
clothes for her new job. She was full of gratitude and even shared, “I feel so confident!” We’ve
gotten to watch C grow in her perception of herself, but seeing her going to work in her new
wardrobe, we can also see how positive and hopeful she is now. As she began her new job, she said, “I am so excited for my future. I know that it is bright.” And we couldn’t agree more!
Nothing about this process is easy, but moments like this show the ladies how worthwhile the
journey is and how worth the effort they are.