“Most of our moms show up on our doorstep carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. At HTPRC we are so blessed to work alongside God and see so clearly what He is doing.” — Debi
Deseray, a beautiful young woman with two children and another on the way was feeling that weight when she first appeared at HTPRC in April 2014.
“She had a spirit of sadness about her,” Debi recalled. She was not talkative, although she did share that she was raised a Roman Catholic but had not given her life to Jesus.
“We shared the Gospel with her, and she prayed to receive Christ,” Debi said. “I am quite sure she had no idea what she was really getting herself into.”
Deseray left HTPRC with a bag full of what we sometimes call “baby consumables” — diapers, wipes, and formula – and clothing from our boutique. She has returned regularly since then. The consumables are quickly consumed; the intangibles linger. Today’s Deseray is the smiling daughter of Christ and capable mother shown in the photo.
“HTPRC has changed my life in a way that I feel self-confidence and am more positive about myself,” Deseray wrote when we asked for her feedback last year. “[HTPRC client advocates] try to help you and understand you in any way they can, and nobody judges you. They are just the most wonderful and loving people you will ever meet in this world.”
As Deseray continued under our care, we learned more about her. It turns out she grew up without either a mother or a father close by. Other family members raised her.
“She had no role models, and her childhood had not been rosy — far, far from it,” Debi said. “And my heart cried out for her. Her two precious sons always looked very clean and well fed. She was trying to be a good mom. I could tell.”
It was also obvious to Debi that Deseray was lonely. One day she invited her to participate in the Tuesday morning “Chic Chat,” a lively and joyful gathering of moms.
“It is a time for the moms to not only get to know us better but to know one another better,” Debi said.
“It’s a time to talk about the good things happening in our lives and the challenging things, in a safe, non-judgmental, Christ-filled environment. This is truly a sacred time. Chic Chat is a time when the Spirit of God is moving powerfully but quietly, kind of sneaking in under the wire. The moms have no idea all that God is up to.
Deseray agreed to go but advised Debi she would not talk. “Great!” Debi replied. “Just come. We would love to see you there.” She came, and slowly, after a few weeks, she began to open up. Her mother had been in prison, she shared, and she never knew her father.
“Honestly, these kinds of stories are not unusual for our moms at HTPRC,” said Debi.
One day, Debi received a jolt. Deseray sent her a “friend me” request on Facebook. Deb posts regularly both to her personal page and a HTPRC page. Deseray’s posts were revealing. “Funny how God uses Facebook sometimes,” Debi said. “I could tell through her posts that she was not making great decisions.”
She still was not speaking a lot in Chic Chat, but one day she began to bring drinks and snacks. “She was starting to enjoy this relationship building! She was into Chic Chat! God was working!” said Debi.
The tone of Deseray’s posts began to change. Debi saw items like those shown at right on her wall, and she told her she could see how
God was moving in her life.
The icing on the cake? Many of the other Chic Chat moms were “liking” and “Amen”-ing her posts!!! “Wow!!! Gooooo God!!! I was blown away!!!!” Debi exclaimed.
When the Chic Chat group began crafts, it quickly became apparent that God had given Deseray an incredible artistic gift. Debi and the other moms were quick to encourage her, and she began to create beautiful gifts, like the one shown here.
“Melt my heart!” was Debi’s response.
“Dessy, just like most of our moms, showed up on our doorstep carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders,” said Debi. “But at HTPRC we are so blessed to work alongside Him and see so clearly what He is doing.
“Does it all happen overnight? No. But it does happen. We are all tired, depressed, hurt, sad and alone at times. That is when we know, God is working.”
Some time ago, Deseray gave Debi a hand-written prayer. It read as follows:
“Oh Father, I come to you as your child for help. Calm my heart. Enable me to see what I need to see. Make me aware of my need for healing and show me your “TRUTH.” Bring to my mind any buried pain. Surface any hidden hurt and the exact circumstances that caused it. I ask You to help my wounded heart to heal. I know you have the power to make me whole. I am willing to face whatever you want me to face so that I can be set free. In Your Holy Name, I Pray, Amen.”
Yes, she has buried pain. Yes, God is healing it. Yes, He is working. Praise Him!