I would say that 90% of the work Jasper House Haiti does results in the giving of many, many second, third and fourth chances.
Yes, sometimes these come in the form of showing grace to a girl when she has broken a house rule, but more often than not, it comes from giving ourselves second chances to begin again and learn from our mistakes.
When you set out on a journey to begin the work of restoration care, there are many things people don't tell you.
You enter into the work with nothing but a heart full of hope and a head full of dreams.
No one tells you about the girls who will look you dead in the eye, tell you they love you, cry with you, thank you and turn around and lie to your face.
They don't tell you that often times the ones you fight the hardest for, make the most sacrifices for, and go the greatest lengths for are the very ones who will walk out the door without a second thought.
They don't tell you how much you'll cry.
How much you'll question yourself, and wonder if it's even worth it.
They don't tell you how lonely and isolated you'll feel as you watch the world go on back at a place you used to call home.
That as your friends get married and start families, you'll be alone, in your room sweating in the heat, studying, praying and trying to figure out new and creative ways to provide women an opportunity for a new life.
They don't tell you about the struggle; that almost every month you'll hope and pray that they money comes in so you can keep doing this.
That people will like your posts and share your blogs, but hardly pay attention to the need.
That you'll give, and give, and give and rarely receive the appreciation and thanks you think you deserve.
They also don't tell you about how after you've finished crying, you'll brush yourself off from the blows of life and the frustrations of unmet needs, and you'll find your second wind.
You'll realize that it's you who needs the most patience, the most growth, and the most second chances.
The chance to forgive yourself for almost giving up, for giving doubt and fear the power to overcome faith and truth.
That you'll wake up and find the strength to see with new eyes and be the person who stays.
The person who doesn't give up just like all the others.
The person who stays long enough to see the breakthroughs, the transformation and the new life begin.
So, yes, while following this call is painfully difficult, isolating, frustrating and challenging, it's incredibly rewarding, and oh so worth it.
So - let's not give up now.
We'll keep finding humility in knowing that you're the one who needs the most chances to figure this all out and find the courage to keep pressing on.
Written by: Maria Atkinson - Founder/CEO of Jasper House Haiti
Read more of her musings on her blog: Going Forth.