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Lives made better on the glory side

If you knew me, then you could attest how I am never at a loss for words. You can ask those who do know me and they will tell you. However, recently words failed me.

During a church service at Mills Home Baptist Church in Thomasville, I was sitting on the pew beside a young lady in care. I was holding her while she cried, and I was unable to speak. She had just found out that her mother passed away. Her heart was broken, and she had so many questions, and all I could do was hold her –– I never said a word.

As she leaned into me and her tears dampened my shirt, I realized that I was no longer a staff member at Mills Home. To this girl, I was family –– holding her tightly, quietly

praying that God would comfort her.

Like a mother or an older sister, I felt a need to protect her. I wanted to make it better.

It is moments like this that cement me to this vocation. It’s the place in the puzzle where I fit perfectly, and it is what keeps me doing what I do for hurting children and families –– for 25 years to be exact.

The day a child is admitted into care is exciting to me. However, it’s most likely one of the worst days of the child’s life. I know the life they are leaving and I am thrilled to know what awaits them. This child will no longer have to sleep on a couch moving from one home to another. This child will no longer go to bed hungry, stand at the bus stop with a stomach that is growling, or pocket a bar of candy at the corner convenience store. This child will be able to shower every day, wear fresh clothes, and sleep in a warm bed. This child, like many others who come into care, will need a first dental and eye exam. This child will have loving cottage parents waiting upon her return from school with a kind word and a good snack.

Children come into care carrying only a black plastic bag that holds all the belongings they own and then they are shown to their rooms and told this is your bed. They are given fresh clothes. They are shown where the clean bathroom and the shower they will use is located. It’s not uncommon when children first come to tuck a piece of bread or a piece of fruit in their pockets –– afraid they will be hungry again. But they need not worry. There is now plenty to eat.

This is the life that awaits them.

I’m told by friends and family, “I could never do your job.” I hear it a lot when I explain to people what I do and that I work at Baptist Children’s Homes. My response is always the same: “It can be tough at times, but I get to be on the glory side where things are made better.”

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