A guest blog from one of Grit Into Grace’s family members, “Em”
I wanted to say thank you to everyone who supports Grit Into Grace through prayer or with a one-time or monthly gift of money. I’ve been going to the Dream House for a month. I can tell you it has already changed my life in so many ways! I finally have a support system like never before. The first time I walked into the Dream House I felt an immediate sense of calmness. This is rare for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if the staff was for real because they seemed to accept me as I was. They met my needs for that moment, in all my anxiety and distrust. I have a lot of anxiety sitting with other people and eating, and I wasn’t able to sit at the table for lunch. I was told that I could go into another room and sit on the couch to eat. I decided to sit in there the whole day. The staff and other ladies would pop in and out and ask me if I needed anything. They also asked if I wanted them to sit in the room and keep me company.
I sat in the room with the couch the next two times I came. One of the ladies told me that if I wanted to come back she would sit in there with me and we could eat lunch together…so we did! 🙂 . I kept coming back because, even in my anxiety, I felt a calmness at the Dream House. I do NOT have that in my apartment or when I work the streets. I don’t even have that with my daddy* anymore.
My second week there I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep coming. It’s hard to explain what it is like to feel seen and heard. I figured out, oh shit!, these folks are the real deal and maybe they really do care for and love me. I wanted to run! Their kindness keeps bringing me back. It’s hard to express what it’s like to maybe realize the man you were sold to as a child, who has been your everything, may not love you. It’s painful to even write this! No one has ever gotten in my face and bashed my daddy*. No one has said he doesn’t love me. No one has said that he is all about the money. They just listen to me. In their listening, I have started to have questions arise within me about my life…from everything I’ve been through from five years old and up.
It’s confusing! I did end up coming back. I now have participated in one bible study they have in the evening. As of this time, I have been to three groups during the day. This is a huge deal for me! I’m starting to feel like I belong…like I’ve found my tribe, my people. I feel like I’m home when I’m there. They don’t preach Jesus like all the other Christian places I’ve been. UGH! They just live it! In them living it out in front of me, I want to learn more about a God I’ve always felt was at war with me and hated me my whole life because I’m a woman, a whore, a bisexual, I’ve had abortions, and I’m everything I think the church hates and is against.
The staff has gathered together and taken me to doctor appointments, therapy appointments, and always pick me up and bring me home from the Dream House. Before I ever came to the Dream House, they brought me food and sat in my apartment with me. They give me hygiene products I so desperately need. My daddy* at this time will not buy me simple things like tampons and water. Just in asking him if he would please get me tampons, I was beat pretty bad. I was out of pocket. The Dream House gave me what I needed. Thank God!
The staff also told me if I never came back they weren’t going anywhere and would still help me. I thought to myself, yeah right? Well, I now know this to be true!
I just had to say a big thank you. Because of your kindness, your donations, prayers, and monthly support, I am maybe going to be able to have a different life. It’s already better now in many ways. My daddy* does not allow me to leave my apartment, so I’m alone a lot. He allows me to come to the Dream House. I now don’t feel so alone. I now feel like I might be able to live another day instead of dying.
I don’t know if you realize that this place is a life saver for some of us. I’ve been on a walker for almost two months. One of the staff came to my apartment on her own time and took out trash, swept, mopped, and organized my closet. They are meeting my needs. They pray for me, but they do more than that. They are now my family and friends and they help me in my every day needs the best they can.
I can’t say enough good things about this place and the team of people who love on all of us. I thank God for Stefanie and the Dream House daily! And I thank God for you as well. If it was not for the Dream House I can promise you I would not be here. I was ready to try again to take my own life. The Dream House is a little bit of hope in my chaotic, dark, dark world.
Thank you so much and I pray God blesses you as you have blessed me with your support.
*Daddy – pimp
For more information on the Dream House and Grit Into Grace, please visit http://www.gritintograce.org