Jillian Devine has been the Director of the Women & Children’s Center since 2015, where she has had the opportunity to walk alongside many women through their journey’s to find healing and recovery.
The Women & Children’s Center is rooted in the same principles that the Men’s Center is – but how those concepts play out is beautifully unique. With a small number of people living together, these women form a bond that is hard to put into words, as the intimacy of sharing and healing ties them together like a family.
We wanted to to hear what “Grace Changes Everything” means to Jillian, and how she has experienced that in her time working with Shepherd’s House Ministries.
She brings up her own story – a great place for each of us to start. Her struggle with accepting herself through mistakes is not an uncommon experience, as each of us have to learn that as people we are designed to mess up, learn, and grow – over and over again!
In this context, the importance of grace becomes clear. How many opportunities have you had to learn from your mistakes in and environment where people have expressed love and kindness?
So many of us have grown up in families that have allowed us to learn from our struggles. This is where we learn to make better choices, and more importantly – to forgive ourselves and to move on.
In Jillian’s experience, learning what it means to accept grace has allowed her to learn from her mistakes, and to extend grace to those around her. The concepts that Shepherd’s House Ministries are built on, hold truth far beyond our ministry – and we see it in the lives of our staff and volunteers, like Jillian and Darin. Everyone needs grace and connection.
For many of the men and women who become a part of the Shepherd’s House Ministries programs, their lives have been affected by the absence of grace and connection. Learning self-acceptance and forgiveness are a huge part of the healing that takes place, and although it can be messy and painful, it is extremely rewarding. Often we see that experiencing acceptance and forgiveness from others is the first step.
At Shepherd’s House Ministries, we see mistakes and setbacks for what they are – an opportunity to learn and to express unconditional love. As a family we take care of each other, we learn about boundaries, we hold each other accountable, we keep each other’s interests at heart, we tell the truth, we forgive, and we keep moving forward.
We believe that this kind of grace-filled community of genuine relationships is what creates lasting life change.