Make a Difference, Be a Difference.
In February of 2008, after coming home from work, I turned on the television and on the news was this story being told about a shelter for women being closed and the residents had nowhere to go. To my surprise, I fell to my knees sobbing for the plight of these individuals for hearing of this broke my heart.
That very same night, I had a dream that I would be opening a home for single homeless women and my mission was to go into the woods, in the alleys and underneath the bridges in search of these women to get them off the streets and into a safe and stable environment in which to grow both spiritually and naturally. To build relationships and trust to help them to once again become productive members of our society as we provide them with assistance to get back on their feet.
The next morning, I wrote down everything that I had seen in my dream to include the name, Divine Rest, the supporting scripture Matthew 11:28 and I left it in a notebook beside my bed and went to work. I had no idea what to do with the information, but it was on my mind all day. That same afternoon, an old friend Yvonne Pryor whom I hadn’t spoken to or seen for quite some time, walked into my office. The first thing she said was this: “God told me to come see you today”. As soon as those words came out of her mouth, the tears began to flow.
I knew without a shadow of a doubt that she was sent by God to help me figure this out, and that she did as I shared the details of my dream. She immediately told me that I needed to form a nonprofit organization, what that meant and that I needed to contact Edward Chisolm who’s knowledgeable in forming a 501 C- 3 organization. I had no idea what that was. Lol! I was as green as a green apple!
I called Mr. Chisolm that day, got an appointment with him the same day after work. God was moving fast because he knew that I would procrastinate so he had everyone in place immediately to steer me in the right direction. After meeting with Mr. Chisolm and having him explain all about the process, I had more work to do, such as securing funds to begin the paperwork. God had all that worked out too!
I won’t divulge who God used to provide the funds, but let’s just say it was offered to me, I accepted it and was able to pay the individual back within months when a group of people came together and donated the funds to repay him. Whew God! Mr. Chisolm helped me form a board of likeminded individuals. I shared my vision with a friend, Sue Brown and Adriana Alvarez and from there, others readily joined! And the rest is history!!
You see, like many of us, I never gave much thought about homeless people; where they lived, if and how they ate and drank, etc. I was too busy trying to survive in my own little world, but as far back as I could remember, I’ve always had a “soft spot’ in my heart for the mistreated, the hurting, the underdog and/or anyone that was seemingly forgotten or ignored. I’ve spent my entire life taking care of others and now I know that God was preparing me for such a time as this.
I’m not sure how my story will end, but I can certainly take you on a journey from 2008 to the present. When I awoke from this dream, I began to journal everything I saw and this is how “Divine Rest” was born. To help you further understand what this name entails, just take a look at the scripture, Matthew 11:28 which reads, “Come to me, all that labor and are heavy burden and I will give you rest”. Yes, rest from troubles, worry, sickness, grief and whatever else one might need to give to God and just rest in His promises to supply all your needs.
Throughout the years, I have found myself crying out for some “Divine Rest” as I went through the loss of a great paying job, the loss of my first home as a divorcee and then the ultimate test of my faith and rest in God, the loss of my youngest daughter, Dee to cervical cancer in 2012. I had just lost a dear aunt in 2011 and only 2 months after this aunt passed from cancer, Dee was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer with a slim to none survival rate. It was devastating to say the least and it really shook my rest. If anyone needed “Divine Rest”, it was I!
My precious baby girl, 33 years of age whom I saw go from being vibrant and so full of life had become almost comatose from this debilitating disease. Due to the fact that her husband was incarcerated, she and her two children were living with me and I along with her 10yr old son, Marcus became her sole caregivers until she was admitted into Hospice Savannah to spend her final 3 weeks on this earth. We watched her that Tuesday night as she took her last breath just shy of 3 days of her daughter, Destiny’s 16thbirthday and I now have custody of my two grandchildren. The world that I once knew has been turned upside down. In the coming months and years after her death, my family and I suffered many more losses. I can’t begin to tell you all of my struggles because it would take too much of your valuable time, but just know that the struggle is real!
Now, fast forward Nov. 14, 2015 and my oldest last surviving daughter, Char passes away from community acquired pneumonia and septic shock stemming from her battle with Lupus. This death came as a shock to us all as she went into the hospital with difficulty breathing on Friday and Saturday, she was gone…no chance to say goodbye. The doctor was to perform a simple procedure to help her breath, but she never got better. She left 3 children, a daughter Caitlin 17, twin boys, Bernard and Brandon 16 and a fiancé she was planning to marry on March 26, 2016.
Here I am again, so in need of God’s “Divine Rest”! I believe that I was chosen to go through these trials and tribulations so that I can be able to look a woman in the eye who feels like she has lost it all, and say to her, “It’s not over, come let me show you how to get past where you are and into a place of rest.” As God is teaching me how to enter into His “Divine Rest”, I can encourage, equip and empower other women to enter into “Divine Rest” by getting them out of the woods and alleys and from underneath the bridges and move them into a safe home to receive rest for their souls.
I solicit your help in providing a home (not shelter) so that we can help single homeless women with no substance abuse or mental illness and those women who have fallen between the cracks, to receive a fresh start; a new beginning in their lives as we assist them with continuing their education, finding employment and being equipped with the tools to buy and/or rent a place of their own!
Thank you for your time and consideration!
Founder of Divine Rest, Inc.