A couple of weeks ago, we met Sonya, a woman living in one of Nashville’s low-income communities. Our Family Relations Team was out delivering beds and other necessities to one of her neighbors when Sonya saw us.
In an act of desperation, Sonya approached one of our team members and explained that she and her two girls had nothing…nothing at all in their home. Tears flowed down her face as she began to tell her story.
At the age of one, while Sonya was asleep, her father murdered her mother and grandparents. For these brutal crimes, he was convicted and sentenced to serve two life sentences in prison. As a result of this devastating situation, Sonya was left parentless and eventually was taken in to be raised by her aunt.
Though she grew up with a home, the loss of her parents left her with a deep sense of loneliness and unworthiness – the feelings of an orphaned child. A fractured view of her self and the world around her led her down a long path of destruction…a path that took her even further from the love and acceptance she so desperately needed. For the past 10 years, Sonya has wandered, homeless and directionless.
But as of this past year, Sonya has been doing all she can to get back on her feet…but finding her footing has proven difficult. In July, she and her girls moved into one of Nashville’s subsidized housing developments (aka: the projects). But she had nothing to fill it with…no furniture, no cookware, no beds…there was nothing but huge rats that crawled the concrete floors where they slept. However, despite having so little to her name, she was happy she had a place to call her own. Another encouraging event soon followed.
On her 34th birthday, Sonya and her father re-united. He was given one day to re-connect. And, incredibly, Sonya agreed to see him. This unexpected reunion filled her with a gratifying comfort; she felt loved and accepted as his daughter. She forgave him and loved him back regardless of what he had done in his past. All she wanted was a “Daddy.” Unfortunately however, this sensation was not lasting. Just 4 months ago, her father passed away, dying of Cirrhosis of the liver. And once again, Sonya was left without a father; that orphan feeling came back almost instantly.
But God, who is a Father to the fatherless, has a plan…a path for her to the Love she has been seeking so desperately.
When the Lord brought us to this precious woman and her children and we heard her story, we were compelled to do our part. We went on a search to find things for the family. Amazingly, we soon came into contact with a woman who was moving out of town and needed to get rid of her furniture. We shared a bit of Sonya’s story and the kind woman was touched and donated many of her possessions. Along with furniture and a bed, Sonya was blessed with a dinette set, cookware, kitchen utensils, drinking glasses, a lamp and other little items that meant so much to her. She even received a turkey with all the fixings for Thanksgiving!
When we delivered the stuff, tears once again streamed down her face…this time, however, a smile and a heart full of gratitude accompanied them. She beamed as she told us how excited she was to be able to cook her first Thanksgiving meal for family. Such a wonderful moment. God is sooo good!!
Regarding Sonya and her family, we know that mere “things” alone will not bring lasting comfort, but in our time with them we were able to plant seeds of Love into their precious lives. And God the Father, who watches over everything, knows how to make those seeds grow.
Please join us in prayer for Sonya and her two girls!
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