By Whitney Senden
I have never realized how comfortable it was for me to live in South Dakota. There are things back home that I have never had to worry about. For example, locking doors, being extremely aware of my surroundings, reporting thefts and fights, etc. I will forever be thankful for all that I have been exposed to in Colorado because I have grasped a much better understanding of just how difficult day-to-day life is for a number of people. Not only am I much more thankful for all that I have been blessed with in my life, but I now have a better understanding of what it is like for those living in poverty and how to best come alongside them. While I understand the need for safety, I also have realized that I need to be willing to push myself to feel uncomfortable. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” I knew that I had some difficulties trusting God, but I had no idea how much I struggled with it until I moved here. My fear of the city very much limited me during my first few weeks in Colorado, but God has revealed to me just how protective he is when I am willing to challenge myself.
I had never recognized how passionate I was about coming alongside women who were working to get off the streets and into the life that God had originally intended for them. Another way that I have been stretched this summer is in the responsibility that I have been given in my internship. I knew that I wanted to work in an environment where I could put to practice all that I have learned in my social work classes, but when the time came to actually do them I froze. Giving random drug tests, upholding the rules, and offering tough love are much harder to put into practice than I initially thought. However, I have been blessed to have wonderful examples that have shown me the positive impact of what sticking to the rules of the program can do. This summer has shaped me more into who God designed me to be and He has revealed to me many reasons as to why I am called to work with women who are struggling. Without this experience I would never have connected the dots between my passion and abilities.