By HER Refuge Resident & Human Trafficking Survivor
“2 months ago I was having a conversation with my case manager. I told her it wasn’t fair. This is the 2nd program that has turned me down. She replied by telling me we will figure it out. She asked me what the perfect place looked like to me. I told her somewhere I would feel safe and could grow. Somewhere I could fail and begin to heal. Somewhere near a beach and a garden in the back yard. She laughed and told me that sounded like an amazing place and she would try her best, but I knew that was just a dream.
I went to bed that night feeling hopeless. I had no idea God had the perfect place set apart for me, the perfect team set apart. Three days later she emailed me and asked how I felt about this place called the HER Refuge.
When I stepped into the doors of the HER Refuge, I felt a sense of love, warmth, and hope that wrapped around me, something I hadn’t felt in any other place. Doubt and fear refused to let me accept it. I knew in less than 2-3 weeks I’d be moving on. I’ve never stayed in a place longer than 3 weeks because fear and doubt have always convinced me I wasn’t worthy of stability, love, and a home. Boy, was I right. I did want to leave so many times but Britney and Sammy are the two most stubborn people I’ve ever met. Their drive, their fight, their desire for me to have a better life and their belief, hope, and faith was much stronger than any thought and more stronger than any enemy’s attack.
Sometimes I’d get so lost in my own head, I’d get trapped in my own mind but they’d always bring me back to reality and the reality is they’re here for the long haul. That scares me but it also amazes me. God keeps telling me to trust them. They are leading me to his plan. The journey has not been easy but it’s not anything we can’t tackle when we put God first.
This month I’ll celebrate 2 months of being at the HER Refuge. 2 months of freedom, healing, learning, failing, and growth! Last week I got the opportunity to be baptized and to accept God into my heart. Tonight, I tried to celebrate it but a voice in my head told me I don’t deserve this, that I’m not worthy of their love. It tried to convince me they’re not my real family, they don’t really love me and all the negative stuff, but before I sleep I receive my favorite comment of the day “I love you. Sleep so good.” It holds more power and peace than Britney will ever know.
As I sleep in my bed, safe warm I know that I’m loved even as that voice tells me “Let’s go home, it’s silly being here.” I believe it’s the enemy’s last effort to convince me I’m not safe but a stronger voice, an honest voice, and a more loving voice –God’s voice speaks to me and tells me “You ARE home. You’re safe. You’re loved, my child. Sleep well.