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Are you familiar with the game Jenga? It’s a tall tower of blocks where each player attempts to remove one single block without toppling the tower. Of course, eventually the weakened structure crashes. In Robin Paneiro’s small group at the UGM Crisis Shelter, the leader said Jenga was a picture of what had happened to the women’s lives. Rather than building solidly block upon block, holes had been created through abuse and neglect until the structure of their lives simply could not hold. Everything came crashing down. The leader then asked Robin and the other women to draw a picture of what a whole, restored life would look like for them. Robin drew a slightly lopsided heart. She colored outside the lines because she wanted to remind herself that it wasn’t about being perfect. A strong vine, representing the presence of Christ in her life, wrapped securely around the heart and flowers were beginning to bloom. Because, Robin said, life can be beautiful again.

Robin has moved to the Women’s Recovery Program at Anna Ogden Hall as a means of working toward that whole, restored life. She wants what she knows in her head to permeate her heart, as well.

 

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