This guest post is by Kristine Wendt, director of our Assessment Center. It is an intimate look at her work with Wellspring Living.
As I have written before, working with the women in the Redeemed Assessment Center is raw and somewhat like a rollercoaster. The scope of human emotion is vast, the memory of trauma is deep, and the angst of growth is intense. I am not so sure that I am all that different than the women who come in from various crisis situations.
When I think about my redemption by the Father, I am moved to tears, because I know that I was rescued from the mire. I was rescued from being my own worst enemy, critic, and mocker. I was in bondage to the ways of the law.
But like an avalanche, a whisper, or a gift of love, I was invited to dine with a King. I was given a lavish invitation, a grandiose wardrobe, and a scrumptious meal and I got to eat with a King. This dinner is lifelong, and will be renewed up in the Heavenlies someday.
I was reminded of my ‘meal with the King’ during the course of one of my first months here in the home. The woman was a ‘tender shoot,’ with an aggressive exterior and I was not her favorite person. We clashed and I made errors because I was not thinking clearly. She dismissed me because I was a new employee, was a stranger, and didn’t have anything she felt she needed. This tension came to a tenth degree one night, and I was completely unaware of what to do. I spoke with a peer staff member and we discussed two options. We agreed on one approach for the woman, her safety, and her well being – I said “goodbye, I will see you in the morning” and then I began praying.
My morning drive is toward the sunrise, and this particular Wednesday morning it was bright, bold, and beautiful. And an idea occurred to me! In fact, it was a revelation and a gorgeous image. I smiled and drove the rest of the way, prayerfully.
I arrived at the Assessment Center fully knowing I was walking into a tense environment.
I instructed my teammate and this woman to get into my car– we would be back. The woman was alarmed; she wasn’t sure she could trust me. Imagine that anyone and everyone you thought you trusted, over the course of life, proved that theory wrong. Abuse of trust is very traumatic. So, I am not all that surprised, she was still hesitant in her relationship with me.
We drove for less than 5 minutes, and arrived at International House of Pancakes, better known as IHOP. Rather than taking this woman to a new place she was unprepared for, I felt like we should take her out to breakfast.
She was ambushed and stunned. She wasn’t even sure what to make of the arrival at the restaurant. She felt under-dressed. I gently told her that I wanted to have breakfast with her, listen to her, and speak with her.
She was able to order whatever she wanted, and the three of us talked across the table. Our relationship had been tumultuous since day one, but on this day she saw something new inside of me: teammate, advocate, and Christ Himself. She received an ambush of grace from her Heavenly Father. I pray she awakened to the truth that her value was not in her actions, good or bad; rather, her worth was in Her Daughter-ship, in being a co-heir with the Son.
That morning, I was reminded that the God who Sees Me (Genesis 16:13) is ever present in my life, leading me on. He is ever present in the lives of His children. Once, not that long ago, He asked me to sit with Him for pancakes and orange juice, at a table fit for a King; and I don’t plan on getting up from my seat.