Welcome Home Women
Welcome Home Ministries
What in the FAIR Dorm is preparing you for release?
If you want people to know what helps you and supports you in preparing yourself. What would it be?
I have been in the F.A.I.R. dorm since September 2012. I became House Mom in Dec. 2012 and am proud to be the Program mom since February 2013. In the past year, God has shaped me in ways I never imagined. The deep rooted changes in my character I have made over the past year are not personality characteristics typically associated with my name.
I have been known to be controlling, manipulative, over the top, explosive temper, attention seeking, impulsive, and on and on…
The personality traits I know possess are a direct reflection of the fruits of the spirit; as molded and graciously shown within Welcome Home Ministries, the woman peers, and facilitators of WHM, practiced daily by the ladies of the FAIR dorm, and nurtured by none other than God. I am becoming the lady, mother, friend, daughter, and faithful believer God intended me to be. I came to know my “expected end.” Through the eyes of God and the unfailing love and support of WHM, I have grown in relationship with God and his purpose for my life has been revealed to me.
It all began the moment I entered the F.A.I.R. dorm. From day 1,
I began building healthy relationships with clean, sober woman. I discovered boundaries. I learned that setting healthy, stable boundaries not only protected others from my childlike outbursts of anger but by confidently stating my “yeses” and “no’s” before I felt frustrated, I was creating healthy personal space, as well as a rational, structured belief system I could comfortably live within. My relationships began to change. As my clean time built, I discovered the importance of taking my own inventory, evaluated my own character defects, the importance of self-reflecting, and sharing with the group before my thoughts overtook my whole being and my reactions became irrational and sabotaged my progress. I learned tools and coping strategies to encourage me day by day to get me where I am today.
I give credit to the wonderful woman of Welcome Home Ministries-Carman, Donna, Patty, Vietta, and the various inspirational mentors who have volunteered their precious time over the past year-for sharing their strength, hope, and experience as proven examples that there is life beyond these gates.
Through each writing assignment, expunging our own “pus pockets,” we learn tools for relapse prevention, coping strategies, and learn we are not alone in our places of pain. We read and model 12 step programs meetings in our daily gathering and weekly N.A. meetings so we can carry on these practices at outside meetings. We discuss, model, and collaborate on the WHM philosophies and F.A.I.R. Dorm attitudes to build strategies to positively re-enter society. Our mentors are more than peers or facilitators. Each one dedicates her heart to each one of us in our own personal journey.
Rev. Carmen shares God’s promises, blesses us with hope, and encourages us each in our spiritual growth through prayer, sparkling green eyes, and warm smiles. Her presence is a blessing. Through her dedication to pray with me, I have strengthened my relationship with God, discovered I have been ordained to change the world, meditated in constant prayer to discover His purpose for my life, and my truths have since been revealed to me. I am stronger in my faith, hope, and belief than I ever imagined.
Welcome Home Ministries has extended its unfailing love and support outside these gates.
I am sentenced under 1171(h)-which means I am released after serving a 4 yr. local/state prison term without probation, no community supervision, nor any funding or resources available to me through the county or state. With WHM, I was blessed with a “Window of opportunity” I have been encouraged to go to a program upon release and I intend to continue the progress I have made and extend the opportunities I have been blessed with. I will leave here with numerous community resources.
I have been given opportunities to build networking support systems through WHM’s volunteers. I was re-introduced and inspired by positive, encouraging members of society (Michelle/Cathy, Inside Out Project, past facilitators Tammy and Anne, ect.) I have gained lifelines for my recovery all through the unfailing love of God, genuine heart of Rev. Carmen, through planning and vision of Donna, the strengths, hope, and experiences of our facilitators, and the beginning of something big.
I have been ordained to change the world. I believe it!
Annie Burchard 08/16/2013