March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day with a worldwide history over a century long!
It means different things to different people, but at Hope Women’s Center, it’s a day to celebrate our women. They have enormous compassion and a keen ability to listen. They create welcoming spaces to grieve or feel weak, to laugh and relax. They strengthen each other by calling out the good they see in each other.
We support the women who come to Hope, but as they continue coming and accept a place in our Hope community, we watch our women support each other in powerful ways. They become family to one another, and for our women who have struggled hard within families of abuse or neglect, the word ‘family’ takes on a new meaning of comfort, grace, acceptance, and love.
Women put love into their cooking, so the theme of the cooking class was ‘love’. M spoke up. “I try to hug my sisters, but they never hug me back. They don’t love me. They never have.” The teacher asked M if she’d heard of the Five Love Languages – she hadn’t. Other clients shared discoveries they’d made after learning the Five Love Languages and how much it had helped their relationships once they understood there were various ways to give and receive love. M started listing the kind things her sisters did for her regularly, and the new perspective about different interpretations of love excited her. That’s when Y, an older client, chimed in. “These women here are my sisters. They’ve loved me in all sorts of ways throughout my medical issues and life issues. I don’t know where I’d be without my Hope sisters.”
Within our Hope centers, God is redeeming what family is supposed to be. We celebrate that, too!