Preparing to Walk Alongside Beautiful Souls
Summer break has commenced, but for many Wake Divinity students the summer is an ideal time to delve into internships that provide significant and meaningful opportunities for their vocational discernment and formation as future religious leaders. From working with single and expectant mothers, ministries supporting the imprisoned, homeless and burdened, writing curriculum for homeless/unaccompanied youth living in long-term residential home community, to being immersed into the fullness of congregational life in a diverse array of churches, Wake Divinity students are dispersing across the country. This summer, the Unfolding blog will feature weekly posts from several students who are participating in an internship. Each story will speak to their expectations and experiences.
As the mother to a precious 4-month old, there is nothing more fitting than for me to spend this summer being present with the single, homeless pregnant women at Room At The Inn in Greensboro, North Carolina.
As they are experiencing one of the most powerful things in our human existence – carrying and birthing a child – these women are also in the midst one of the most vulnerable times that could ever be experienced in a person’s lifetime – homelessness. How is it that these two experiences can co-exist? How is it that a woman who is a walking, living and breathing “home” to an unborn child has no home, no place of shelter or rest? That is, until they stumble across Room At The Inn.
Room At The Inn of the Carolina’s mission is to respond to the call of Christ to nurture life. They operate housing and programs for single, pregnant women and single parents with children suffering from homelessness. They offer mothers an opportunity to have new lives of healthy and hope-filled independence. The organization provides shelter, food, clothing, care management, in-house daycare, transportation, life skills education and counseling. All of their programs are geared towards supporting these mothers as they transition from hopelessness and dependency to a sense of hope and ability to stand on their own to feet with confidence and courage.
My time thus far at Wake Div is one that has been grace and love-filled. Whether in chapel, community lunch or in the classroom these themes are echoed. I too will echo this theme as a partner with Room at the Inn and walk alongside these beautiful souls. My course work in classes such as Urban Ministry, Art of Ministry and Ethics have also given me a unique set of tools that I will use to navigate my experience.
For the next few months and prayerfully beyond these summer months when these women stumble across Room at the Inn, they will also stumble across me. I will be there. I will be present. I will be ready. I will be waiting to share my story and waiting to hear theirs. I will be sorting through plastic bags full of donated baby items. Or maybe they will find me cooking a meal for them in the home’s kitchen or sweeping the floor. Or perhaps when they come knocking on the door they will walk into me facilitating a workshop on dreams and goals or a Bible study that empowers and encourages them. One thing is for sure, regardless of how they find me, I will be there. Present. Ready. Waiting….to be a glimpse of light and a reflection of God’s love and grace in their darkest hour. I am certain they will be that, and more, in my own.
Brittani lives to bring out the very best in people. She is the founder of HerSpace, Inc. – a 501(c)3 non profit organization designed to change the way that young girls see themselves and their future. Most of all, she is the mommy to her greatest gift, 4-month old little miss Harlem Denise.