My story, like a lot of these women’s stories, starts with heart-ache, abandonment, misunderstanding, a broken belief system, and a lot of dysfunction.
You see, I have so many stories from the last 40 years of life, and have experienced so many mountains and valleys. I could share with you specific stories in the different seasons of my life that are full of tragedy, sadness, and trial after trial, but also so much goodness. We all have stories that demonstrate the power of God at work in our lives, stories of redemption, stories of provision and along the way some seriously big miracles.
I have the honor of working along-side the women at Free 2 Fly every day. I get to use my story everyday to encourage them and remind them of God’s faithfulness in our lives. I get to encourage them to remain faithful in the life He’s given us, no matter where we are on the journey or how far down in the valley we feel. I’m not only amazed, but challenged every day by the courage these women display as they start a new journey in their lives. They are not only battling their own pasts, but in the midst of that they are learning a new skill, a new trade. Sewing, gosh it’s hard work. We work so hard each and every day, and to watch them endure that task with me bossing and pushing them is truly inspiring.
I can remember first meeting one of our past graduates, Kati. She was so overwhelmed with learning to sew and honestly I remember thinking, “is she going to make it.” I’m not sure what we talked about that day, but I remember when I saw the shift in her attitude. It was like a switch was flipped and all of a sudden I saw her have this desire to push through the hard days. It was one of those beautiful moments that I will forever remember. We must fight through the hard times and sewing definitely produces the fight, the choice, and the patience that these women can translate into real world difficulties.
I’m amazed and blown away at God's provision in this last 6 years since joining alongside Hailey here at Project Free 2 Fly. As I reflect, I think a lot about the volunteers that give of their time each and every week to serve, love, encourage each one of these women, and so often even myself. They give unconditionally day in and day out: it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen a community of believers displayed, and it’s the gospel!
None of us would have thought 7 years ago, that we would be sitting here in a new big beautiful building, continuing to support, nurture and empower women in our community and through that women’s lives being completely changed all because one person had a crazy dream to make a difference here in Cleveland. Who would have ever thought the skill of sewing could be used as a catalyst to help women create a new and healthy future for themselves and their families. Who would have ever thought God would use each of us in His greater story of redemption.
We as a community of believers, we want to cultivate a place where women find encouragement, a support system, and help to establish a healthy life & future. We want to teach them a new way of life; a life where you don’t have to settle for the pain and hardships that has been a part of your story. You don’t have to accept the brokenness, and the dysfunction to dictate your future. That we as women can all be healthy mothers to our children, healthy wives to our husbands and healthy, active members of our society. We have the ability to pursue our God-given dreams and our passions can be used on this earth for His glory. The truth is, He has created us for more than we can ever dream or imagine.
Our goal is to instill the belief that we can live a life that gives out of the abundance of blessings and grace He has given and shown us. That we can live without judgement. That we would love beyond our own households. I love that I see a beautiful picture of the gospel each and everyday.
We want the women participating in our program to dream big but more than that we want them to create a healthy life and future that God has for them and their families.
We believe God has called us to love and mentor these women with everything that we are and with everything that He’s given us. God is writing beautiful stories in the lives of these women and we are so excited for this next chapter of growth. We are thrilled that we get to provide a place of love, encouragement, and support. We want to thank you for every purchase, for every donation, for your kind words, for your prayers, for cheering us on, for serving alongside us, and for helping us provide a safe place for these women to be feel loved, supported, nurtured, and empowered.
I want to leave you with this last charge:
That we would be awaken to the greatest love you will ever know and commit your life to following Jesus.
Jesus did not suffer and die so that we could build for ourselves havens, but so that we might expand the kingdom of His great love.
There is no soul that God does not long to touch with this message of his love! And He wants to touch those souls through us. So let us make our lives something beautiful that we can offer to God, and give away to others!
Project Free 2 Fly