The day finally came. Just one short year ago, she never imagined she would be here in her first apartment. The time she spent on the streets was brutal, and the thought of staying there was more than she could take sometimes but she didn’t see a way out.
Severed family relationships, crippling emotional pain from growing up, and anger that paralyzed any positive movement forward. 19-year-old Maddie admits, she is her biggest enemy at times, as she returns to self-sabotage from fear she won’t make it out.
As Maddie recalls some of the hardest days of her life, she cries through her words, expressing the deepest gratitude to God for the little reminders that there was hope and to hold on and try again.
It was move-in day. Maddie’s first apartment! The last of Maddie’s things were moved in, and she sat on the living room floor among her few boxes of belongings. Feeling utterly exhausted and overwhelmed Maddie began to cry. All of a sudden a wave of emotion came over her as the fear hit her again. A million thoughts of self-doubt flooded her mind as the tears flowed. What if I can’t do it? What if I lose this too?
Maddie stayed there in that space for a long time, crying, until her eyes burned from the tears and mascara so bad she couldn’t see. She held her eyes tightly closed as she frantically reached around for something to wipe her eyes. Her hand hit a box and she desperately, and blindly, reached inside a box, finding a peace of clothing she could wipe her eyes with. Any piece of clothing would do!
As Maddie wiped the mixture of mascara and tears from her burning eyes, she could finally see. What she saw in that moment sent her into tears all over again, but this time, it was tears of gratitude and laughter. Maddie held in her hand a mascara covered Braking Cycles tee-shirt. The tee-shirt that was given to her as her first uniform at her first job. The tee-shirt she wore where she was introduced to Jesus, where she prayed and started her journey to hope, the journey that led her to that very moment in her first apartment.
The call I received from Maddie that day to tell me this story, is a call I won’t forget. “Of all the things I could have found to wipe my eyes, God made sure I pulled out the one tee-shirt that reminded me of the day my life began to turn around”.
As apprentices and residents graduate and move on, we don’t always know their journey forward. But this day we got another peek into God’s goodness. Thank you for being a part of Maddie’s journey forward.