For the past six months I've been working at a domestic violence shelter. I answer the hotline, work with the residents of the shelter to find housing, and various administrative tasks around the safe house. I really like it. It is a refreshing change from the vague job descriptions that I had in Mozambique. I like working with the women, feeling like a listening ear makes a difference as well as working for peace. My hours have fluctuated--first part-time then full time because several co-workers left and now they have returned to part time which is better for me and our family. I work three shifts a week--a day shift, an evening shift and an overnight shift. For someone who has always needed a lot of sleep, I can only say it is by God's grace that I am adjusting to the weird hours and not always taking my exhaustion out on my family. I am learning to be more assertive (something I've always struggled with).
I (thankfully) have never experienced domestic violence. I find myself incredulous of the energies people go into to control another person--taking off shower curtains, removing wheels from cars, isolating them from friends and family, restricting what one can wear and the physical and verbal violence. I initially thought that I have lived a fairy tale life. I am now wondering if the life I have lived, in actuality, is what God wants everyone's reality. To live a life surround by love, enveloped in positive encouragement, supported in grace through failure and heartache. My prayer is that Christ's light shines through me to those whom I encounter and gives them a bit of God's all-encompassing love and grace.