By Muriah Stahl
In the book of Genesis we read of the story of a woman named Hagar who finds herself in a desperate situation. She has been used, rejected, and mistreated – so much so that she flees into the wilderness with her child. She has run out of hope and a desire to live, and it is in that place that she has an experience with God in which she comes to know Him as the God who sees her and hears her.
Here at Hannah House Ministries, we desire to create a space in which women know they are seen, heard, and fully loved – not only by us as staff, but especially by the God of the universe. This mission has not only made a difference in the lives of the women and children we serve, but also in my own.
Getting to work at the Hannah House (and I say “getting to” because I love my job!) gives me the opportunity to experience the power of the gospel on a regular basis. First, the house exists because of the gospel. The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ, in that God came to Earth to be with us, to take on the punishment of our sins, and to offer eternal life. God frees us from the bondage of sin, the things in our lives which we are held captive to, and restores our lives. The beauty of the gospel is that we don’t deserve this redemption, yet God freely gives it. Because our lives have been changed by the power of the gospel, we desire to offer the same opportunity for a different way of life to each woman we serve at the Hannah House.
Next, I have regular opportunities to share how the gospel makes a difference in the everyday experiences of the women and children I work with. Because of the gospel, I am able to talk to a child whose negative self-talk leads him to believe he is stupid and worthless and to challenge that lie with the truth that he was created in the image of God and, because of that, he was “custom-designed,” created for a purpose. Because God created all people in His image, we are called to honor all people; that’s why we don’t call each other names or hurt each other. It’s amazing how these reminders through conflict resolution with children can make a difference in how I see everyone around me on a daily basis!
Because of the gospel, I am able to encourage women who have been hurt in innumerable ways to forgive and seek reconciliation, to choose to honor someone who has hurt them rather than to retaliate. We have received grace and forgiveness from the Lord; who are we to withhold that from others?
Lastly, I come face to face with the power of the gospel in my own life daily. God has taken my prideful, selfish, and defensive heart and has transformed it, giving me the gift of being able to love others in a way I am not capable of loving them on my own. Time and time again He is faithful to provide, to always do more than I can ever imagine, in my life and in the lives of others.