Today's blog post was written by one of our summer interns, Erin.
My summer internship with Refuge for Women has been the most incredibly rewarding and purposeful two months of my life. Before coming here all I knew was that I was willing to go where God was calling me, but I could never have imagined just how far that would be.
From the beginning, I witnessed how much love was poured into these girls. For most, this program is the first place they experience healthy love. Love that does not need to be earned, love that does not expect anything in return, but rather, love that shows commitment.
About halfway through my internship we experienced a great tragedy. Everything changed in just a few short moments. I was at the house the morning the guests received the news that one of our beautiful ladies did not make it due to a tragic car accident. I experienced grief, anger, and confusion right along with them. But I also witnessed something very precious that day. I watched women who had previously turned to drugs or men to keep from feeling pain cry out to God. I will never forget those moments of pure reliance on Him.
That is what made the past month of my internship so extraordinary- the realization that these women have been transformed through God's grace and mercy.
I witnessed miracles this summer. I watched our girls get released from the hospital weeks and months before their expected release dates. I watched them seek their healing, I helped to answer their questions, and I just experienced life with them.
I had the privilege of helping to care for one of the girls released from the hospital for a couple of weeks. I got to form a lifelong bond with this woman and experience tiny "winks" from heaven with her.
I had been praying for the months leading up to this experience that God would move through me and that these women would be able to see Christ's unconditional love through me. I never could have imagined what God had in store. I never expected that I would see so much love in them also.
This internship stretched me- my faith and my strength. My life changed after my time at Refuge. I know for certain that working with women in the sex industry is God's calling over my life.
This program is not perfect, but it works because God is so imminent in every part of it. Loving broken women is what this ministry does best. No matter the battle- we choose life. No matter the circumstance- we choose love because that is what Christ did for us. That is why I believe in Refuge for Women.
I know that God was leading me to serve this ministry for such a time as this. I feel so very blessed for everything He has allowed me to experience these past two months- the good and the bad. I will forever be grateful for the lasting friendships I have made with the other women who serve this ministry. I will forever be impacted by the love shown to me.
Throughout the summer I have learned over and over again that God has a plan for every one of us. There is nothing that we could ever do to separate us from His love. It does not matter what happened in your past-- you will always be worth it. Your identity does not have to be in the mistakes you made, nor in the mistakes made to you. I fully trust that my identity is in Him. I have hope that I can live for something greater, because I have chosen to live for someOne greater.