Monday, March 28, 2016

You Can be Part of the Tapestry of Love

"In weaving, tension is a good thing," she said.

Laura makes her art look effortless.

Her hands and feet all work in rhythm, interlacing threads with donated remnants of material or reeds cut from the weed, phragmites, that grow in abundance along the river. There is something soothing about the sound and the process of weaving to an onlooker like me. The natural fibers, earthy tones and random bits of thread feel healing and real.

Standing in the office of Deborah's Legacy, I'm watching something beautiful be crafted out of things discarded and viewed as useless.

The first seeds for the ministry of Deborah's Legacy were planted in the tender hearts of co-founders, Allison Huebner and Jill Vaughn.

Allison and Jill drew from the example found in the Bible of the warrior Deborah, who used her strengths to bring glory to God. The ministry name also has deep meaning because of the loss of Allison's sister, Deb, who died as a result of her addiction to alcohol and drugs.

In her research, Jill discovered a residential program called, 'Magdalene' a part of Thistle Farms.

Deborah's Legacy was loosely patterned after this successful life restoring program.

Now, Deborah's Legacy is beginning its 4th year as a residential program that provides secure housing as a haven from the social, psychological, and economic factors that drive women to desperate means for survival.

Last year my heart got wrapped around these women and their stories.

The work of recovery is hard, imperfect and beautiful. Sometimes it feels like I'm watching my own little girl navigate a winding path while learning to ride a bike for the first time. And when these women embrace the truth of faith? It's like they are riding with no hands! You can see the excitement and hope and a tiny bit of fear in their eyes. The wind of the Spirit and freedom whipping their hair while they are learning to balance it all, teetering, nearly out of control.

There are falls and skinned hearts and a deeper healing. And the hardest work of all, learning to get up and try again. And again.

But it's a beautiful thing when a woman begins to trust that they are loved for who they most deeply are and they embrace their unique, God-given strengths. They begin to move forward and build a new life. They begin to laugh and be thankful for the days.

Ultimately one life changed can affect an entire community.


This is such a key piece to what happens at Deborah's Legacy.

The women live in community with other women and are challenged to hold each other accountable. Through various volunteers and experiences, the women have opportunities to broaden their healthy circle of friends.

The Magdalene House in Nashville has a saying:
 "A community that lets a woman live on the streets, 
can also be the community that brings her home."

And for almost twenty years the Magdalene model has proven that community and love heals.

What I love is that Deborah's Legacy holds out Jesus as the One true answer to every broken, shattered, thing in their life.

His love is what binds up broken hearts and brings the true, lasting, healing that so many try to fill with drugs, alcohol or another man's approval.

The embrace of Jesus is the only one we need.

The embrace of Jesus is all-inclusive.

His love can penetrate any barrier.

His healing can restitch any broken heart.

The vision of Legacy is that of women growing individually and collectively while living in community.

Deborah's Legacy is a community of communities.

The women who come here represent a large radius of communities.

The door is open to all.

The common thread is brokenness. The prevailing need is to be loved.

How far would the ripple effect reach when even one life receives healing?

I don't know the full weight of it, but Jesus talked about leaving the 99 to bring back the one.

The scarlet thread that runs through their story lines, parallel the ones that run through all of our lives.

Soul places that need deeper healing. Hearts that need bending toward greater and greater obedience which will result in greater freedom.

I showed up to be part of helping others and ended up being the one receiving some healing. It's so upside-down to anything I can explain. What I know is that God is moving. People loving people can change the trajectory of a life, which has the potential to impact the lives of their families, neighborhoods, towns and the generations to come.

The thing being offered to women at Legacy House is the thing that Jesus offers everyone one of us. The free gift that He bought for us at great price.

The Weavers Beam makes all things new.

The Lord is using the pieces, the cords, the strain and all the stretching, to weave gilded threads into our story.

Into His story.

And He calls us all to join in the work. 

He calls us to be His tapestry of love. 

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Ways to partner with Deborah's Legacy:

Would you pray?

Would you like to hear more?

Personal message me if you are interested in attending the banquet. RSVP by Thursday, March 31.


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© Rhonda Quaney