If you know me or have read some of my previous posts, then you probably know that I regularly volunteer at Mercy Ministries, a non-profit that provides a residential treatment home for women ages 13-28 who stuggle with a variety of issues such as addictions, self-harm, sexual abuse, eating disorders, etc. I joined this year's community board to help raise awareness and money in the Nashville area. It's such a blessing to be part of something that is teaching young women how to have self-confidence in who God made them to be so that they can live their lives in freedom. One of the coolest things is that it's absolutely free of charge to the girls who come there for the 6-month program. It's completely supported by donations. Amazing.
Today I had the opportunity to attend a graduation. Four young ladies had completed the program and would be heading off to go home and finish school or to start working somewhere. It's hard to really describe the experience. The morning started with a few praise songs, and it was really incredible to hear all these girls singing together. It was beautiful. Each girl told her story about what brought her to Mercy, what God had shown her, and what she planned to do next. I can't imagine dealing with some of the things these girls have dealt with, but I know how difficult this life can be and I respect the journey they have been on to find their confidence and freedom within it.
The graduates' family, friends, and counselors there at Mercy also shared a few words about what they had witnessed with each girl. Nancy, the founder of Mercy, also shared a few words. She offered a reminder that I think we all need to be reminded of at times... 2 Timothy 1:7 says that God has not given us a spirit of fear (or "timidity" in some versions), but instead he gives us one of power, of love, and of sound mind (or "discipline" in some versions). We are going to feel fear sometimes. There is no promise that we won't be afraid at times, but the thing to remember is that fear is not FROM God. He gives us much better things so that we can overcome the fear that life sometimes presents.
I just thought it was a good reminder lesson. I was really glad to be part of this day and experience the emotions that come with a Mercy graduation. If anyone wants to know more about the ministry, please feel free to ask me.
After the graduation, Bob and I went to drop off some cabinet stuff to one of the builder's we work with. They have their office inside one of the condos they intend to sell, so you're required to take your shoes off at the door. It was really funny to me to walk into this office and see all these grown men with socked feet as they worked away at their desks. Then, we headed over to Sylvan Park Restaurant, one of the best meat and three places around. We of course had homemade chocolate meringue pie to top it all off.
It's been a good day. And it's absolutely beautiful outside which is kind of crazy since it was snowing this morning. Hope everyone else is having a terrific Tuesday!