It was a frigid twelve degrees outside. Our faces were stinging from the cold air. As Donna and I walked through the doors of Shepherd’s Gate, Miracle Hill’s shelter for hurting women, we felt the warmth inside and were relieved to be out of the cold. A golden blonde, gangly boxer dog with deep brown rings around his eyes met us at the door to welcome us and make us feel at home.
We had come to Shepherd’s Gate on this chilly, January day to meet with a small group of women, volunteers serving on the Greenville banquet committee. One by one each member of the committee streamed through the doors eager to begin the process of making the upcoming March fundraising banquet a success.
Donna had come to tell the committee about her experience as a client and recent graduate of Miracle Hill’s addiction recovery program. I wanted her to share her story because I believe it’s important for all of us to remember the why behind our work.
Donna told the committee that Shepherd’s Gate was the first stop on her journey to recovery. After a crushing battle with breast cancer followed by the devastating loss of her husband, Donna found herself addicted to drugs and spiraling out of control. She weighed less than 100 pounds when she first came to Miracle Hill and was broken in body and spirit. She said, “Miracle Hill has a saying that when you can’t find a friend in the world, you can find one here. That was me.”
After a three-month stay at Shepherd’s Gate, Donna eventually moved into the six-month recovery program at Miracle Hill’s Renewal Center for women. For the first time in a long time, she felt loved unconditionally. Through counseling, Bible study, prayer and substance abuse classes, Donna began to experience freedom in Christ and as she says, “learned that Jesus has to be enough for me.”
Donna graduated from the program in October 2013, moved into transitional housing and now works as an intern at Miracle Hill. Her journey was a metamorphosis from fear to freedom, hopeless to hopeful, broken to whole. She said the recent holiday season was especially difficult for her as she struggled with thoughts of being alone and without family, but she said God, in a very special way, reminded her that “Miracle Hill is my family.”
Donna gave each committee member a handmade bookmark she uses to represent her journey. The butterflies, flowers and birds represent her transformation, and scriptures on the back of the bookmark remind her of God’s faithfulness, power and love.
Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”
Romans 12:12 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
Song of Songs 12:2 “The flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turle dove is heard in our land.”
Deuteronomy 11:1 “Love the Lord your God and keep His requirements, His decrees, His laws and His commands always.”
You will hear more stories like Donna’s at the upcoming March 18, 2014 Greenville annual fundraising banquet at the TD Convention Center. We invite you to come be inspired and challenged and to give financially toward the work of Miracle Hill Ministries. Lives are being transformed. Click here for banquet details, registration and underwriting opportunities.
What is your transformation story? How has God shown you that you are “fearfully and wonderfully made?” Let us hear from you.