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Archive for December, 2009

2010: Overflowing with hope

December 31, 2009 – The last day of the year, often spent in reflecting upon the past as one moves forward.

This year in our shelters, around 30 women made a huge change – they went from a victim of domestic violence to a survivor. These women went from being dependent and hopeless to moving toward self-sufficiency and hope.

As Bethany House reflects on the past year, we rejoice in seeing how God transformed the lives of the women who entered and left our shelters.

The year 2010 holds great potential for the women who have completed our program. Here are a few highlights from women whose 2010 is overflowing with hope:

“Six months ago, I didn’t want to live on this earth and I thought everything was against me, but now the future is bright,” said a former Bethany House client.

“Before I was not safe. My mind was always busy with things and I couldn’t control my kids or myself. Now I can,” said a former Bethany House client.

“When I came [to Bethany House], there were gloomy days everyday. It was like there was a film on them, but now so much weight is off me. I can see the light [through] the trees now. I couldn’t have done it anywhere but here,” said a former Bethany House client.

“I’m very happy because now I change my mind. I say, ‘I can do it myself with my kids’…I say thanks because it’s a big step in my life along with my kids. I repeat, I will have to repeat: I can do it!” said a former Bethany House client.

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 “and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was NO ROOM for them in the inn.”

– Luke 2:7

Christ left heaven to come to earth to reconcile man to God, yet in this grand arrival into the world there was NO ROOM. From day one, Christ did not come as one would expect a King to come, and the families who enter our shelter can identify with this. They understand what it is like to NOT find a place to stay. They understand what it is to be on the outside. Christ did not come as a King and God deserve, but by the way He came and lived His life, He was able to identify with the lowly, all of mankind.

We would all agree no one should be without a safe place to stay, but unfortunately there are many people who do not have a safe place to stay tonight.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.”

– Hebrews 4:15

Christ lived a life many of us cannot grasp. He can identify with anyone in any position because He was rich beyond anyone’s wildest imagination, yet  become poor by coming to earth out love and a desire for His glory.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through your poverty might become rich.”

– 2 Corinthians 8:9

We are all poor without Christ. We need Christ to reconcile us to God through living a life without sin, taking on God’s wrath on the cross, and conquering sin and death through His resurrection. As we reflect upon this Christmas, may we remember we are all poor without Christ.

What is beautiful about having families enter our program, is how God can understand their hurt and pain in a way no one can. God will be with them and will fill them with joy and hope in Him…just as He does with all we put their faith and trust in Him as their Redeemer, God, Priest, and King.

This Christmas, as our shelters are full, we rejoice to see families with a place to stay and who can hope in God. God uses Bethany House to care for the families in our shelter, but once their stay ends, He will be with them…He will go with them and walk alongside them all of their days when we simply cannot. It’s beautiful to see how with God He always has room for those who trust and hope in Him.

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The court can be a scary place for a victim of domestic violence and it is encouraging to see a judge unwilling to let victims fall through the cracks. The fact this judge sees this tendency and is taking steps toward preventing this is one big step forward for victims of domestic violence!

Be sure to check out the story below regarding this new domestic violence division:

Chief judge creating domestic violence division — chicagotribune.com

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