Grief and loss is something we face too often in the Magnolia Women’s Center. This summer, we lost a very dear friend to addiction. Even in this grief, we hold onto hope knowing that we will be reunited with her again in eternity.
We met Natalie* in the summer of 2020 when I was an intern with Raising a Voice. One night, I was out walking Magnolia and saw her sitting at a bus stop. I asked how her night was and she immediately broke down into tears and asked for prayer. We had been friends ever since.
Natalie* was a mother who loved her daughter fiercely. She was compassionate, a fashionista, and loyal to the core. She had the raspiest laugh you’ve ever heard and it was absolutely contagious. She had a tough exterior but over the years we grew close and she would often let her guard down to let her tender side show; opening up about her heartaches and struggles on the street. Natalie* passed away in June this year and we will miss her always.
Working in this space, the realities of relapses, overdose and death are ever present. With relationships being the core of our ministry, women know us first and foremost as their friends, and overtime, their family. We are typically the only safe person for them to confide in or the only person to speak kindly and tell them their worth. Losing a woman from our community is losing a friend, a sister and a piece of our hearts. These losses leave us feeling the weight of the work we are doing and every emotion in between. We get hit with the lies of hopelessness and the lies that we could have done more. But at the end of the day, it is the hope of Jesus that we cling to. I feel peace knowing that we love every woman who enters the Magnolia Women's Center radically, like Jesus, and we pray that we will one day see them again in Heaven.
This is our Local Ministry Director, Sara with Natalie*.
*Name changed for privacy purposes.