I remember that night so well.  The night my heart broke as I sat in my car with three brave young mamas who called The Sparrow’s Nest home.   I had been volunteering for The Sparrow’s Nest for at least a year, working mainly in the office sorting donations and doing miscellaneous other things.  A need had arisen to help with transportation, so after doing the training, I jumped in and began to help with transportation every Wednesday evening.  I drove one mama to her college class and one or two others to church.  Then an hour and half later I went and picked them all up to take them back to the Nest.  Periodically, we would have to wait until staff returned to the Nest before they could go in, so we would sit in my car.

On one particular night it was dark and cold when we returned to the Nest and we had about a 30 minute wait until staff would be returning to let us in.  I remember so well one of the mamas abruptly saying, “I’m thankful for all the things I’ve been through because it has made me a stronger person.”

This statement caused quite a discussion among the three of them.   I was quiet and just listened with tears streaming down my face as each of them told pieces of their stories…horrific pieces of their stories…pieces of their stories that shouldn’t be pieces at all.

Questions began to roll around in my head as I tried to process the trauma that these girls had endured.  And I began to ponder, “where would they be if it weren’t for The Sparrow’s Nest?” and “what would have happened to their sweet babies if they didn’t have this safe haven to call home?” and “how can we best communicate to them that they are so deeply loved by their heavenly Father?”

I will always remember this as the night my heart strings were tied a bit tighter to The Sparrow’s Nest.   I’m so very thankful for this safe haven and for Christ’s love that is being shown to some precious teen mamas and their babies.

Editors’ Note:  Kim McKnight is the Community Awareness Coordinator at The Sparrow’s Nest.  To learn more about how you can challenge your heart while helping to change the lives of brave mamas and their children, contact Kim@TheSparrowsNestSTL.org.