Learning & Believing: My Time at Emma House
Next week Emma House sadly says goodbye to a dedicated staff member and inspiring young woman. In order to pursue her Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology, our Outreach Coordinator is parting ways with Emma House. Before she goes, she’s reflected on her journey as a staff member, and shared what she’ll remember most about the women she met through Emma House. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors, and will never forget the impact she had on the lives of women and babies in need.
It was eight o’clock on a Sunday night, and I found myself sitting in a car next to a hysterical, pregnant, fifteen-year-old girl crouched over in the passenger’s seat sobbing uncontrollably. We were stationed outside her father’s house, which had just been raided by the police after the neighbors saw a man dragging a woman across the floor onto the front steps of the house. Inside the residence the police had found a myriad of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. After investigating the situation, the officer on duty stated that the house was not a safe place to live in and suggested that the young girl find a shelter to stay. As I sat in the car, reflecting on the past few months that this girl had spent at Emma House and the definitive decision she had made to go back to her old lifestyle, I began to genuinely question my ability to help and enable a long-lasting impact in her life and the lives of the women I encountered daily. It was stories like this one that opened my eyes to the dangers and obstacles of being homeless and pregnant.
Over the past two years, my time at Emma House has been filled with a range of various emotions. I have had the privilege of embarking on a journey with twenty seven different women from various cultures, families, and circumstances; each with their own life stories. As each of these women entered Emma House with the purpose of finding healing and making a change, I realized I was part of an organization that was focused on equipping women--who were once lost and broken--and leading them into a life of wholeness. In many aspects, Emma House is like a glass mosaic with each woman as a different piece of the puzzle. Each piece essential to the final product; alone, the picture wouldn’t be complete, but together they make up the body, the community, the family that is Emma House. It is difficult to understand how such a vulnerable demographic could be looked down upon for their life choices and circumstances when in reality these women are some of the most persistent, resourceful, and resilient people I have ever met. Though not all of them succeed in making a change, the ones that do have overcome adversities and built a better life for themselves and their children.
As I’ve watched these women become bold, empowered, and independent, I am truly honored to have been a part of such a monumental period in their lives. So, as my time at Emma House comes to a close, I leave learning…knowing…believing that these women are not accidents waiting to happen, but destines being fulfilled.