Written by Kate Richter, Development Manager
As one of the non-alcoholic women on staff, I have come to learn a lot about recovery, but the lessons don’t stop there. In addition to learning about recovery and alcoholism, I have come to learn more about the women that surround me. They are some of the strongest, most faithful women I have ever had the privilege of knowing. They love without hesitation or expectation and understand the importance of living in true community.
Love can be defined in an infinite amount of ways. To truly love well, I believe that you must be deeply committed to the well-being of others without conditions. I see validation of that nearly everywhere I look here at The Magdalen House. Upon my arrival, immediately the women embraced me with this kind of selfless love. It is the same love I see them pour out whenever they are meeting with a Sponsee or chairing a meeting downstairs, when the women on staff are listening to women in the house or when I hear the women downstairs singing, praying, or comforting one another. This love is relentlessly expressed in every action of their every day.
I can understand how people might be intimidated to enter a community of women with such deep connections. On the outset walking into a space where you hear the phrase “I love you” everywhere as a newcomer may elicit the thought “Wow this is great, but will I belong?” Or, you might have found Maggie’s during a time when you have lost relationships because of alcoholism and are experiencing loneliness and grief, wondering if love is even a thing you can prioritize right now. These feelings are completely natural, and you’re in luck because the opposite couldn’t be truer.
This community thrives on belonging. The unconditional love for others is what allows for our community to grow. For a community to truly thrive it must be a place where people are comfortable to talk intimately, to embrace vulnerability, to befriend, to support, to struggle, and to celebrate together. That is what The Magdalen House has created – a life-giving and life-saving community of recovered alcoholic women who are committed to embracing their past and using it to be uniquely helpful to others. Loving others in this unconditional way sparks and grows hope in the hearts and minds of alcoholic and non-alcoholic women alike so that they can bring positive change to their lives.
I am not an alcoholic, but the women of The Magdalen House have taught me what all-encompassing love and true community look like and has blessed me in more ways than I could ever count.
Here’s what our community has to say:
“I have a whole extra family to celebrate with, one that has no hint of forced small talk, no checking the clock, no worrying about saying the wrong thing. Just joyful fellowship and celebration by such a wide variety of people, all brought together by a single purpose.”
– Mary Kate, Maggie’s Alum
“The love and concern that’s within these walls and outside of them has rebirthed my heart.”
– Michelle, Maggie’s Alum
“I just think it’s really beautiful that even in a time where it would be so easy to feel disconnected and isolated, our ladies are still able to feel the community and connection that comes from The Magdalen House. Fellowship of the spirit is what comes to mind. ”
– Stephanie Crawford, Program Manager