When Grief Comes Unexpected

As I walked through Kohl’s, searching for the best Christmas gift for my niece, I passed a shelf full of the cutest little dolls. I stopped to pick one up, then held it to my face – the soft, cuddliness of a little girl’s toy.

Suddenly, I realized I never had the joy of buying my daughter a doll.

Fierce and unexpected grief crushed me. Overwhelmed me. Paralyzed me. Right there, in the middle of the toy section of Kohl’s, I found a corner – alone – and wailed out my grief.

No one came to help me, but that was okay. I could not have spoken to anyone or stopped my grieving.

After a while, I sat there in the corner, unable to move. The wailing was over, but I still held that little doll and wondered what it might have felt like to wrap it in a box, put a pretty bow on top and watch my baby girl open it.

I would never know.

My Rachel slipped out of my womb too early for life on this earth. At only twelve weeks, she could not survive. In fact, the doctor performed a D&C (dilation and curettage) to remove any leftover “tissue.” The remnants of my daughter’s body collected into a petri dish for further study, to find out what happened – why she was born and died so early.

No easy answers. No way to prevent its happening. In fact, two years before, I lost my little boy, Ryan – also at twelve weeks.

The most surprising thing about my grieving experience in Kohl’s was that it happened 33 years after my little girl died. You would think after 33 years, all my grieving would have been completed.

Evidently not. Something about that doll triggered the pain and the remembrance of losing my Rachel – something I could not anticipate or prepare my heart for.

Grief is a most amazing and scary thing. Immediately after the loss, as we begin to grieve, we think … well, I’ll cry and just get over this. Then I’ll move on.

Our society teaches us this is the correct way to deal with grief.

But not necessarily. Everyone grieves differently.

No one can tell you how to grieve or how long it will last. I certainly didn’t think I would be grieving 33 years after the event.

Some of us hope to avoid grief by seeing a counselor, joining a support group or praying our guts out. All these methods may help us deal with the grief.

But we can’t avoid it. We can’t just hope to get over it.

Grief is something we have to go THROUGH.

It’s sort of like puberty. We can’t jump from age eleven to age eighteen without experiencing pimples, hormonal changes and myriads of mood swings.

But as we go through puberty, we grow and learn who we really are. Then one day we realize…okay, I’ve finally grown up.

Grief may come in the stages Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross described: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

But even those stages cannot be predicted. No one can tell us how long a particular stage will last – or if it will ever completely go away.

Most of us don’t grieve in nice little bundles of time. The grief process is messy, weird and hard to figure out. We can drive ourselves crazy trying to figure it out.

Grief will always, always change us. Hopefully, for the better – to make us kinder and more sensitive to the griefs of others, to keep us from becoming hard and bitter, to enable us to grow up a bit more.

That’s why I knew I couldn’t just leave Kohl’s and forget about my grief. I had to give it a voice and work through it – even 33 years after my baby died.

When I finally did leave my corner in the store, I drove home and journaled for a while. Then I felt better. I knew I had moved through another piece of my grief.

Even though I never had the chance to buy my Rachel a doll, I know my daughter still lives – somewhere in heaven where I will someday meet her. I’ll wrap her in my arms and tell her how much I missed sharing earth with her.

And then…I’ll move through the final stages of grief and feel the joy of total healing.

©2017 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women

11 Tips for Dealing with Holiday Grief

The lyrics from a famous Christmas song suggest December and Christmas as the most wonderful time of the year.

Yet for women who are grieving, the holidays represent fresh sorrow. They do not feel joy nor do they want to find enjoyment at such a difficult time.

How do we survive the holiday season when everyone else acts like cheerful elves while all we want to do is curl up in the fetal position and forget?

Perhaps some of these tips will help:

Express Your Feelings.

It’s okay to grieve, even during Christmas. Others may not understand but you are not responsible for how they feel. You are only responsible for yourself and your own reactions.

Allow yourself the time and space to grieve – in whatever way is best for you. No one else can tell you how to grieve or how long to grieve.

Be with People You Trust.

Although it IS okay to grieve, it is also important not to isolate yourself too long. Surround yourself with a support group that encourages you and helps you through the grief. Choose friends and/or family who allow you to be real.

Embrace the Memories.

Hanging ornaments on the tree often brings back special memories. Or baking a special Christmasy treat may trigger the smells and textures of Christmas past with that wonderful someone.

Go ahead and make that special holiday food or play that favorite Christmas song. Remember the good times and be grateful for the time you had together.

Re-examine Your Priorities.

You do not have to do everything you once did to make the holidays special. This is the time for self-care, so eliminate any unnecessary stress.

Set realistic expectations. Simplify. You don’t need to finish thank you notes from the funeral and then send out a bunch of Christmas cards. Do only what feels right for you.

Take Care of Yourself.

It’s easy to eat too much of the wrong foods, drink too much and miss out on rest. Especially during the holidays and especially while you are grieving, take care of yourself.

But maybe you need to have a toast of rum-filled eggnog to best memorialize Grandpa. Or maybe you need to make some fudge to remember Mama. Enjoy the treats of the season – within moderation.

Self-care might also include getting away. Plan a trip to the mountains or the beach. Use your Christmas money to escape from the craziness all around you and the constant memories. Whatever you need to do, give yourself the grace of self-care.

Exercise.

This tip follows the idea of taking care of yourself. Perhaps this is NOT the time to schedule an intense workout at the gym, but what about a brisk walk in the cool air? Or a few minutes of yoga stretches?

The movement will clear your head, boost your endorphins and help you deal with the holiday stress. Just the movement of walking can keep us from diving into depression.

So grab a friend you trust and take a quick walk.

Remember, Christmas is just one day.

The holidays will soon be over and you can launch into a new year. This difficult season will be past and everything that happened to you will be a memory – part of your history.

Keep looking forward. Keep trusting God to complete the good plan he has for your life. Think about tomorrow and be grateful for the days ahead when everything won’t hurt quite so much.

Do What Feels Comfortable.

Set boundaries around your life. You do not have to meet everyone’s expectations. You do not have to be involved in the same activities as before. Do what you want to do – whatever feels comfortable to you.

Eliminate anything that feels stressful or too overwhelming to deal with now.

Create New Traditions.

Your world is not the same as before, but you still have the freedom to do whatever you want. Try something new and create a new holiday tradition.

A writer friend of mine lost her daughter to brain cancer. Every year, on the anniversary of her death, my friend takes a gift to the children’s hospital and gives it to the first little girl born on that day. She memorializes her daughter and blesses the new parents. She has created a new tradition around the holidays that helps her deal with her grief.

Do Something for Others.

One of the best ways to move beyond our grief is to consider the needs of others – just as my friend does every year. Think of ways you can bless someone else.

Visit a nursing home and adopt one of the residents for a few hours of joy. Make a treat for your neighbors – maybe something your loved one especially enjoyed baking and eating. Go caroling at a hospital and bless those who can’t leave for the holidays.

Move beyond your own grief for a moment and offer hope to someone else.

Consider Counseling.

If you’re feeling as if you can’t cope with the holidays, consider counseling. We have licensed, professional counselors at GateWay and we also have a Grief Recovery Program. We can help.

Take care of yourself by doing whatever is necessary to make it through the holidays and move forward with hope.

What about you? How do you cope with holiday grief?

©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women

How to Deal with Discouragement

discouragementOne of the lines in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” presents a great truth.

Clarence, the second class angel who’s trying to earn his wings, watches a video about his divine appointment. Then Clarence asks God, “What is wrong with George Bailey. Is he sick?”

“Worse,” God says. “He’s discouraged.”

Anyone who has experienced discouragement knows it is a feeling of being sick at heart, a heaviness and a dread, almost a hopeless feeling.

We might define discouragement as a black cloud that hovers over us, stealing our joy and distracting us from the abundant life. We feel melancholy and can easily slip into a gloomy pessimism that eliminates hope.

Sometimes, as in George Bailey’s case, discouragement settles in because of the circumstances of life. George was facing the possibility of jail time and scandal because his uncle lost the company’s money. Basically, George was discouraged because he thought he was worth more dead than alive. He listened to the lies of Mr. Potter, and then considered taking his own life.

Discouragement escalated to despair.

Some of our discouraging circumstances might revolve around a financial setback, a health issue, a child who denies her faith, the loss of a job – or any number of struggles.

Sometimes discouragement is a result of how others treat us. Constant verbal abuse that tears at our self-esteem or someone who ignores us when we so desperately need to be cherished.

Any type of devaluing statement can cause discouragement. This is one reason why our words are so important.

Sometimes discouragement creates a rut of gloominess, especially when we’ve experienced a series of losses. We feel we’ve struggled so long, we can’t move forward and we don’t know how to climb out of that dark pit.

So what do we do when discouragement settles in? Can we pray for an angel, a Clarence, to come alongside us?

Yes, we can. We can ask God to send us encouragement through the presence of angels or through the kindness of other Christians. God knows the exact gift we need or the exact words we need to hear.

We can ask Jesus to pray for us and help lift us out of our melancholy. His role at the right hand of God is to intercede, to remind God of what we need and ask for divine intervention. So we can cry out, “Jesus, pray for me. Send help!

Sometimes the way out of discouragement comes through powerful music. Just listening to a song or even dancing to the music can help us feel better.

When we are discouraged, we can talk to counselors and coaches at GateWay of Hope who will help us find the root of the problem and formulate a plan to move forward.

And we can remind ourselves that discouragement doesn’t have to win.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 TMB).

What are some practical steps for dealing with discouragement?

  • One day at a time, present the discouragement to God.
  • Journal about your thoughts.
  • Check with us at GateWay for ways we can help you.
  • Stay in hope – don’t lose heart.
  • And keep reminding yourself … Discouragement does NOT have to win.

©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women

 

Defining GateWay

GateWay Logo Original with OutlinesAs we promote GateWay of Hope and work on marketing the services we provide, several words keep emerging as key tags.

HOPE

This word is, of course, in our name but it covers everything we do at GateWay. When women first come through our doors, they may feel hopeless and powerless. They may wonder if life will ever improve.

Then they walk into GateWay and begin to hope.

Hope is a feeling of expectation, but it also involves trust. Women trust their hearts to us and as we work together, we experience a warm belief that hope exists and life can get better.

Hope grows as women meet with counselors and find safety in having someone listen to them.

Hope expands as women become involved in a group. The group relationship underscores the truth that these women are not alone. Other women struggle with the same problems. Other women want to learn more about Boundaries, Journaling and how to pray for their adult children.

Hope finds a plan as women begin the coaching relationship. They put action steps to their dreams and discover how to jump over the obstacles that once held them back.

Hope is a consistent topic at GateWay, and it is the goal of every conversation.

SAFETY

Women feel safe at GateWay. This involves physical safety, of course, but it’s more than that. They know all our services are confidential so they can be vulnerable and honest about what they share.

They discover they are not alone with their concerns, so they can safely incorporate other women into their support systems.

Women feel emotionally safe at GateWay. They know they can take off their masks and lay down their walls.

At GateWay, they can be their true selves. We will not condemn them. We will not betray their trust. We value their vulnerability and the trust they put in us.

We will not do anything that violates their trust.

ATMOSPHERE

We work hard to make the atmosphere unique and beautiful at GateWay. Almost every visitor who enters our space comments, “Oh, this is so beautiful! This doesn’t feel like an office.”

GateWay is beautiful and infused with a sense of peace. We want women to feel comfortable within our space and to feel the warmth and love of the GateWay experience.

Sometimes women wish we had a place for them to stay night. That’s part of our dream for the future. A place where women can take a break from the stresses of life, stay night if they want and walk the beautiful grounds of GateWay.

We decorate with women in mind, and we often see the visible effect when a woman crosses our threshold. She sighs and says, “Ah,” because she feels the peaceful atmosphere.

She lets go of her stress, her fears and her struggles within the walls of GateWay. She is moving toward a more empowering future and it feels so good.

ENCOURAGEMENT

In our difficult world, we are often faced with discouragement and despair. At GateWay of Hope, we work to encourage women in their personal gifts and talents and to help them become who God created them to be.

This encouragement might happen through a counseling session, the group experience, an hour with a coach or a time of prayer. It might look like a hug or a pretty card, a smile or a warm cup of coffee.

Encouragement includes total acceptance and the presence of a listening ear.

Women are encouraged to be their true selves at GateWay. This is where they come to journal for an hour, to de-stress in our Serenity Room, to express the anger that has been building for years, to tell the truth about their lives.

GateWay is the catalyst for moving forward, feeling valued and empowered. Women are encouraged to bring their knitting and sit a while. They can meet a friend at GateWay for coffee and a chat.

And as we encourage these women to be themselves, they also share that encouragement with each other. So the ripple effect continues.

TRANFORMED

When women come to GateWay and begin to experience our services, their lives change. As they feel hope and receive encouragement, they work through their issues.

As they meet other women, they realize they are not alone. They feel empowered to embrace their true identities.

In fact, some of our women experience such a transformation, they change their names. They feel like new creatures, able to function and succeed in life. They feel whole again, and we can see the difference in their faces.

Here’s the way one woman describes GateWay, “My life has been transformed by the counsel, resources and groups at GateWay of Hope. When I walk into GateWay, my walls come down, because I know it is safe.”

Our vision is “To help women transform their lives and create new legacies.”

As women become healthy, they return to their families and their communities more empowered to use their gifts and make an impact. Their children see the difference as their mothers live in wholeness, no longer encumbered by traumas from the past or living in dread for the future.

That’s what we do at GateWay of Hope. We help women discover hope, pursue healing and live in wholeness through Counseling, Coaching and Groups.

©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women – gwhope.org

When Discouragement Settles In

depressed womanOne of the lines in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” presents a great truth.  Clarence, the angel who’s trying to earn his wings, asks God what is wrong with George Bailey. “Is he sick?”

“Worse,” God says. “He’s discouraged.”

We might define discouragement as a black cloud that hovers over us, stealing our joy and distracting us from the abundant life. We feel melancholy and can easily slip into a gloomy pessimism that eliminates hope.

Or we might go as deeply into the discouragement that we eventually develop the darkness of depression.

Sometimes, as in George Bailey’s case, discouragement settles in because of the circumstances of life. He was in danger of losing his business and going to jail for a mistake he did not make.

For us, discouragement might be the result of a financial setback, a health issue, a child who denies her faith or a host of other struggles.

Discouragement may be the result of how others treat us. Constant verbal abuse that tears at our self-esteem or someone who ignores us when we so desperately need to be cherished.

Sometimes discouragement creates a rut of gloominess. We feel we’ve struggled for so long, we can’t move forward and we don’t know how to climb out of that dark pit.

So what do we do when discouragement settles in? Can we pray for an angel, a Clarence, to come alongside us?

Yes, we can. We can ask God to send us encouragement through the presence of angels or through the kindness of other Christians, through the changing of circumstances or through a special song we hear on the radio.

We can ask Jesus to pray for us and help lift us out of our melancholy. His role at the right hand of God is to intercede, to remind God of what we need and ask for divine intervention. It’s okay to ask Jesus to pray for us.

We can talk to counselors and coaches who will help us find the root of the problem and formulate a plan to move forward. GateWay of Hope offers counseling, coaching and support groups. Check out our website for more information.

We can also remind ourselves that discouragement doesn’t have to win.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

  • One day at a time, present the discouragement to God.
  • Journal about your thoughts.
  • Check with us at GateWay for ways we can help you.
  • Stay in hope – don’t lose heart.
  • Share the truth about your feelings with a trusted friend.

Discouragement doesn’t have to win, and we CAN live the abundant life in joy. Let’s all band together and fight against discouragement.

©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women

 

What Restoration Looks Like

Have you ever found an amazing piece of furniture you knew would look spectacular in your home?

But you hesitated to buy it because it needed to be restored. It was covered with years of old varnish and dust and it had so many scars, the original wood couldn’t shine through.

Yet you knew it could be restored and made beautiful again. You knew it could be useful as well as adding a wonderful story to your home.Woman celebrating

So you worked on it day by day. You used chemicals to lift off the old varnish and the gunk of many years.

Then you sanded it, and gradually – even though some of the scars remained – you began to see the beauty of the original wood. The craftsmanship showed through and you were so glad you purchased it.

The piece fit perfectly in your home and you told everyone who visited how it once looked and all the work you did to restore it. You even shared “Before and After” pictures.

And you were so proud of the finished product. Once again, it was beautiful as well as useful.

When women come to GateWay of Hope, they often carry the scars of years of abuse and sorrow. Some of them have lived with the gunk of someone else’s sin and it has weighed them down.

Some of them carry the dust of years of neglect, because they’ve been so busy taking care of others – they’ve forgotten all about self-care.

But deep down inside, they know God has a better plan. So we meet them where they are with whatever problems they carry.

Sometimes they need counseling while other times they want coaching. And almost always, they will benefit from the support of a group.

Then gradually, as the scars are smoothed over and the junk of the past is removed – they begin to shine again. The beauty of their souls reflect God’s love. They rediscover their gifts and begin to revel in new life.

They become useful and beautiful once again. Their “Before and After” stories are amazing as we watch them embrace hope, pursue healing and come full circle into wholeness.

The Psalmist wrote about restoration in Psalm 71:20-21 – “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.”

God does a mighty restoration work with the women who come to GateWay of Hope. From the depths of their pain and sorrow, he brings them up. He honors them and comforts them, providing hope and a new focus in life.

We love to see what God is doing at GateWay of Hope as he brings these incredible women back to life.

©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women

When Women Believe Lies

preferred liesHave you ever believed a lie and then directed your life toward that lie?

One of the reasons we deal with authenticity at GateWay of Hope is because knowing the truth helps us become who God created us to be.

But if we center our lives around the topic of the lies we believe, then we can’t be authentic and we can’t move toward being our true and incredible selves.

What are some of the lies women believe?

Lie # 1:  God Doesn’t Really Love Me Because I’m Not Good Enough.

In the hallways of GateWay, women often hear this phrase, “You ARE enough.”

God has never said, “I only love the people who are good enough, those who do lots of good things, women who exhaust themselves with good activities, people who have all the right attitudes, etc.”

God IS love, so wherever he is – which is everywhere because he is omnipresent – that is where love exists. His love for us never depends on how good we are or how many good things we do.

He just plain old loves us. Period.

You want proof? Jesus told the thief on the cross that because he believed, he would go to paradise that very day. The thief didn’t have a chance to do anything good – in fact, he was being crucified because he was a thief.

He simply believed in who Jesus is and accepted God’s love for him.

We can try to accomplish many things, be as perfect as possible, follow every commandment and spend our lives being as good as possible. God will not love us any more than he does right now.

We don’t have to be good enough for God. He loves us more deeply and more sincerely than any other being ever created. His love is eternal, pure, kind and perfect for each of us.

Lie # 2:  Physical Beauty is More Important Than Inner Beauty

Although our brains tell us this isn’t true, our actions don’t always follow the truth.

We look at magazines and see models who have no wrinkles, no gray hair, no sagging skin, et cetera, and we suddenly feel old and decrepit.

We compare ourselves to air-brushed models and photo-shopped pictures. We believe the lie.

The truth is that we are holistic beings – body, mind and spirit. Our physical selves represent only one piece of the puzzle and aging is part of life. Actually, some of the most glowing and beautiful women on the planet are elderly, and their wisdom and spirit continue to inspire us.

Having a healthy mind and spirit will allow us to be our true selves, authentic in every way.

Sure, we want to be physically healthy. That’s why we exercise, watch our nutrition and schedule annual exams. But that piece of us is merely the outer shell.

As we continue to learn new things, to concentrate on our passions and our souls, to operate from our core values – we develop the inner beauty that outlasts and outshines our skin.

Who we really are – our personalities, our core values, our hopes and dreams – that is the true woman inside. And that is the truly beautiful part of us no one can touch.

Lie # 3:  It’s All My Fault

Some of us were told this lie as children. When we didn’t take care of younger siblings, when our first attempts at cooking burned the supper, when we couldn’t finish our homework on time or any number of other scenarios. We’ve believed the lie for a long time.

As mothers, we often false-guilt ourselves when our children make poor choices. Or when our husbands choose a younger and different model because of their own lack of strength and integrity.

We blame ourselves and shame ourselves into thinking it’s all our fault.

This lie actually began in the Garden of Eden. After Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, Adam tried to shame Eve. He told God, “This woman you gave me – she gave me the fruit and I ate it.” He blamed her for his own rebellion against God.

Women have been believing that lie and shaming themselves ever since.

The truth is that other people make wrong choices, and we can’t fix the negative consequences. We are not responsible for how other people think or the choices other people make.

We can train our children, but we can’t make good choices for them. It’s not our fault when they choose a negative direction.

We can love our husbands, but we can’t ensure they will be faithful. It’s not our fault that we’re not beautiful enough, skinny enough or enticing enough to keep them faithful.

We can work hard, but we’re not responsible for the choices of other people in the workplace. It’s not our fault when something goes wrong that we could not have prevented.

We don’t have to live from the shame and blame others try to put on us, and we don’t have to believe this lie. It’s NOT our fault.

Check out the book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, “The Lies Women Believe.”

Think about some of the lies you may be carrying around.

Then fight those lies with the truth and march toward being the incredible woman you are.

©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women

How to Remember and Move Forward

learn from pastWe’ve reached the end of February and with two months of 2016 now deleted from the calendar, we’re fully into the new year.

How are you doing with your resolutions? Still moving forward to reach your goals?

As we consider this new year and how we can best learn and grow, it’s important to not forget what happened before. We learned some new things in 2015 as we grew emotionally and spiritually.

One of the best ways to move forward with courage and strength is to remember what we have learned, how God has been with us and then apply those lessons to where we are now.

In Deuteronomy 8, Moses reminds us, “Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth and so confirms his covenant” (Deuteronomy 8:18).

Moses reminded the Israelites that it was God who rescued them out of slavery in Egypt. It was God who sent them manna to eat when they were hungry and water to drink when they thirsted in the wilderness. It was God who protected them from snakes and from warring nations. And while he was helping them with all these practical things, God was also teaching them about trust.

For 40 years, God specifically helped them in the wilderness. “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands” (Deuteronomy 8:2).

Moses warns the people not to become proud. “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God…” (Deuteronomy 8:10-11).

When God helps us make our way through a difficult journey, we should be grateful. And when things start to look up and feel better, that is still the time to thank God for what he has done – to remember what he brought us through.

As women, we journey through lots of different situations – some of them more painful than others. But instead of living in self-pity or becoming victims, we can move forward with joy. Yes, we do remember what has happened and sometimes we have to deal with the past by seeking a good counselor and/or by learning how to grieve in healthy ways.

But we can move beyond the past and find hope for our tomorrows if we continue to learn and grow and thank God for helping us through our wilderness.

As we remember the past, we begin to see how our future will change. It may be shaped by what we have experienced, but it can definitely be better because of what we have learned.

The journey is part of our history, but the future becomes our legacy.

At GateWay, we offer a journaling class to teach women various ways to journal and the value of learning from a journal. Reflective journaling is its own type of remembering the past and searching for the future.

Check out these prompts for reflective journaling. Then call us at 913.393.GATE (4283) and register for our journaling class.

As we begin to march into spring and welcome a new month, let’s remember all the wonderful ways God has been with us in the past. Let’s reflect on lessons learned and look forward to how the future will be shaped.

All of us will leave a legacy. As we remember well and move forward with courage, we can make our legacies rich with strength, empowerment and grace.

©2016 GateWay of Hope – Hope, Healing and Wholeness for Women