"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melody Beattie
When I decided to ask rescued girls what they were thankful for, I must admit, I hesitated. What right did I have to ask anyone who has endured so much trauma, what she might be thankful for? It felt like the height of insensitivity.
I wonder, though, don't we all struggle, have our sorrows, endure tragedy, heart-ache and some of us even suffer abuse? Isn't the greatest challenge to find goodness in the midst of suffering? Don't we strike a blow against the darkness when we intentionally fill our hearts with thanksgiving, even when, especially when, we are experiencing pain?
So, on my request, our staff reached out to girls in all the diverse walks of their free lives: recently rescued girls in government shelter homes, young mothers, expectant mothers, students, entrepreneurs, and newly-weds.
Here's what they said. I am so glad I asked!
- Mala Malstead, Co-Founder, President, Freedom Firm USA
Gratitude in Chaos
Rakhi: I thank God for my daughter. I didn't know in my pregnancy that I would have a son or a daughter but I became a mother. I don't know who my daughter's father is, but I am very happy that I am her mother. It was bad in the eyes of the world that I was not married but still I am thankful that I am a mother. And I expect my daughter to do all the good things.
Ruppa: I am thankful because I am not where I was before. I'm safe in this shelter home and I'm happy. I don't have my trouble and I'm saved from bad things that happened to me.
Deepti, I am thankful for the fact that I could deliver my baby in such a tough time especially after being diagnosed with Covid-19. Both me and my baby are fine.
Ayesha: I am thankful to Asha (Director of Nagpur office) and Freedom Firm group. Today I am living a blissful life in society because of Freedom Firm. If I wasn't rescued from the darkness then I would have been" somewhere." Thanks to Freedom Firm, that not only rescued me, but is still today taking care indeed, encouraging and guiding me always to live a self-independent life with dignity.
Asha : I am thankful that I could survive during the pandemic given the fact that I am already fighting a terminal infection. I could get my dose of survival drugs and that too in remote area.
Priya: I was discovered with TB this year, but the shelter home and every staff there took very good care of me and I recover by their help. I'm thankful for that.
Sona: I appeared for MSCIT exam few days back. I had not been able to study much, but I still passed! This will be very helpful for my future!
Sahamina: I thank the Freedom Firm team for providing groceries during the lockdown. I'm an old survivor yet Freedom Firm remembered me and helped me. I thank God and ask for his blessings.
Padma: I'm happy to be back home in Bengal. I'm thankful that I'm not in the same place where I was in the last month. I'm thankful that you all are helping me to learn things which are for my good.
Aanchal: I am thankful that I have kind parents in-law and a home in which everyone is very good. And I am very happy with my husband.
Vandana: I am happy and thankful that I will get a chance to do something new- make papad ( rice or potato crisps), study, sew or become a beautician.
Shital: I'm thankful that I'm going to be a mother. Everyone in the house takes care and loves me a lot.
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