Scars of abuse and bias run deep.  Finishing my senior year of high school, I found myself pregnant with my daughter at 17 years old. Like many of the moms you’ll meet at Hope House, I also faced leaving an abusive boyfriend, judgement and fear.

As the non-familial adults in my life became aware of my condition, the judgement began.  I was presented with the laundry list of things I would “never” do (go to college, be self-sufficient, live on my own) alongside the list of statistics I was now a part of (you’ll be on welfare, your baby will also be a teen parent, you’re a burden on society).

Through fate, I was introduced to a wonderful woman, Nancy, who spent time encouraging me to see myself as more.  She prayed with me and was always in my corner, never overstepping, careful to let me fail where I needed to so I could grow.  Continuously modeling agape love at a time when I felt betrayed by so many.  Her selfless act of investing in me, reminding me daily that I matter, was path changing at a time I had little to hold on to. Nancy changed my trajectory.

Fast forward over 31 years… I am a college graduate, I have a career I love, and I am married to an amazing, supportive husband of 29 years.  I am living the future that so many tried to convince me I’d never have.

I want to be a voice to today’s teen moms who need to hear they have a future, so I volunteer and last year accepted a position on the Hope House Board of Directors.  I want to show these young women – the way Nancy showed me – they are loved, worthy and important. That their community stands with them, not against them.

I want them to know that while the scars of abuse and bias may run deep, I can say without hesitation the healing of agape love and forgiveness run deeper.  Like me, may these moms never forget how hard they worked to overcome their own obstacles, and may they never feel alone.

It is our job, as a Board of Directors, as staff, and as community, to walk alongside these young women and remind them they are loved.  I encourage you to donate your time, dollars and prayers to Hope House where they are changing lives every day. Join us in wrapping our arms around these wonderful young women as they model the true definition of perseverance.