The clock ticks, a Twix bar slowly melts in my mouth, Pandora music is playing in the background.

I hear the quick clicking of a keyboard and the subtle mumbling of Donna in the next room. Tucked over her computer, phone singing with messages and emails, large sighs and scattered laughs emerge as she reads the various updates from her many friends.

This place. This woman. This community. It’s all so beautiful to me. 

Donna has been an inspiration.  How she fearlessly loves others, and truly wants what is best for them, it’s beautiful to me.  She dedicates countless hours to Choices, as she would to anything that she believes in.  She is a passionate and driven woman, with a clear vision and enormous heart.  She doesn’t stop there though, she has nurtured hundreds of friendships and solid relationships with those hurting.  She was their loving and nonjudgmental friend when everyone else wrote them off.

I’ve had a three way conversation in the lobby of Choices, with one momma who fully believes in Vaccines, and another momma who is very skeptical about them. The three of us were able to have a really great, non-judgmental, conversation about it all.  It’s a special place that harbors such common ground to enable discussions like that!

I've also had moments where I've seen a new mom break down to tears, ready to give up, ready to give in, feeling used and betrayed by those around her.  I've seen quiet embraces from strangers begin to heal wounds.  I've seen people drop everything to hold hands and pray, even when they know very little about the situation, they trust in prayer. 

Choices has taught me so much about love.  How love sacrifices, how love is awkward, how love is difficult at times, and how love is patient.  The walls of Choices have heard many unspeakable sorrows and many miraculous joys.  They have witnessed tears, wails, and deep hearted, healing laughter.  Choices is a place for rejoicing and for healing.  

I’ve never before seen a place so fitted for both crisis and celebration. 

To me, Choices is an example of God’s abundant love.  Caring for each and every person that walks through those doors, no matter what.  Loving on them.  Equipping them.  Building friendships.  Nurturing healing. 

My time volunteering at Choices has opened my heart and my mind to others.  The experiences there have been priceless.  It has pushed me out of my comfort zone in the best way and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  It takes a special kind of person to truly love and accept every broken soul that wanders to their doorstep.  To bring them cookies, sit with them, hold them, and listen without turning up their nose. Unconditional love abounds. 

I encourage you to find and support a Crisis Center in your community.  Volunteer, donate, bake them cookies, mow their yard, offer your services to those in desperate need.  Miracles happen when we step outside of our comfort zone and stand on the doorstep of the hurting, ready to let God use us as his hands and feet. 

Do you want to see mountains move? Here's a link to Choices Mt. Shasta/Yreka website... https://choicesmtshasta.me/about/

-Carlee M

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