Faith to Move Forward
Psalm 29:11 tells us, “The Lord gives strength to his people, and the Lord blesses his people with peace.” No words have been truer for Irayna. While pregnant with her third child, she became the victim of domestic violence. Unsure of what to do, she immediately turned to God, asking for the strength to seek safe shelter. “It was hard making the decision to pick up my family and move,” Irayna recalled. “But, it just felt like God’s way of transitioning us into a new season.”
Just two days later, Irayna was welcomed into The Salvation Army Ruth Lilly Women and Children’s Center with just her two children, one suitcase full of summer clothes, and her faith. “Things seemed to move so fast when I first arrived,” she explained. “Looking back, I realize how much closer my relationship with God became during that time.”
The shelter’s staff immediately provided Irayna's family with clothing, shoes, hygiene products, and a basket of baby items for her unborn son. Irayna knew this is where God needed her to be. A few days later, she was assigned a case manager, Sonia, who made all the difference. Together, they created a plan that would lead Irayna and her family to success.
Though Irayna felt determined to better herself and her children, adjusting to life in a shelter took time. “It was very hard to adjust to a new environment,” she said. “Suddenly, I was in this facility with other women and their families. However, I now see I needed people to grow alongside me.”
With the help of dedicated staff, Irayna's children were enrolled in a local school and the family was provided with bus passes to get to and from school and doctor’s appointments. While the kids were in class, Irayna attended classes of her own at the Women and Children’s Center, where she learned the power of positive affirmations, how to build confidence to enter the world on her own, and the steps needed to get her family back on its feet.
Today, Irayna is preparing to move her family once again, but this time into a place they can call home. “I will be signing my lease in 7 days, and having my son 3 days after that,” Irayna gleamed. “That was another prayer answered for me. I didn’t want to have to bring another child into a dangerous situation.”
As she looks to life after leaving the shelter, Irayna says she is ready to make the world a better place. “I am going to share my story with other women who may be experiencing domestic violence,” she said. “I want to tell them how to keep their head held high.”
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