Community is complicated. Building a community is a constant moving puzzle. One day the pieces will fit and the next, the entire puzzle is wrong and you have to start over. When it comes to a community built with women who have PTSD and extreme trauma, saying that the puzzle is complex and difficult is an understatement.
How do you build a community with women whose prior community experiences revolved around prisons, drugs, the streets and the life?
We like to keep it simple at Amirah, so what I am about to say may sound trite, but it is the standard for what we do.
How do we build a community at Amirah? It starts with us loving them by laying down our lives for them.
This is a foreign concept in the world today. Sacrificial love that is willing to go the extra mile. Love that has no expectations, no understanding of perfection. It simply exists and is given freely.
This is what drives us at Amirah – love. This is what we believe will change the lives of the women we get a chance to serve – love. Day after day, we offer each woman love and a chance to become who she was truly created to be. This love flies right in the face of everything she has known.
Her pimp “loved” her, but his love came with beatings, rape, endless nights of terror, secrets and lies, emotional trauma and countless abuse. His “love” drove her towards darkness, loneliness and mistrust.
But love, as it truly is, brings light to darkness. It reveals the best of people and can heal every dark night. It builds trust, and with trust comes community – what we strive to be.
How do we build a community at Amirah? We offer the one thing they have always been searching for – love, and expect nothing in return. But we know that when it is received, everything will change for her as she steps into a community that is there for her each step in her journey of liberation.
This is the third post in a 3-part series on Community.