Learned Love FaceLearned Love - The first Hagar’s Sisters meeting I attended was focused on taking care of ourselves. There was a delicious luncheon and amazing “angels” from Mary Kay who let us choose to have either a manicure or pedicure. It was overwhelming to think that anyone would go to this much trouble for me. I almost left because I thought I just didn’t deserve it. My table leader took me under her wing and I knew I was not going to leave until it was over.

While trying to choose I contemplated a manicure — it was much more non-threatening than a pedicure. Then I remembered the Bible speaking of how God washed the feet of his disciples and how He was honored to do it. His disciples had to allow him to do this to fully let him in. Although it was very difficult for me I chose the pedicure with that in mind.

I didn’t realize it would be so much harder for me to take the love and caring than it was for me to take the abuse. I could handle the verbal, emotional, and physical abuse but not so easily the pure love being shown to me that day. I wanted to leave so many times but forced myself to stay and just surrender, to take off my shoes once and for all!

This meeting broke me in a way no therapist, support group or individual ever had. I cried through most of the meeting — for being so loved and taken care of — for being pampered just because. These wonderful women lived God’s commandment to love others as He loves us. They did not even know me and yet they took care of me, nurtured me, and made me feel as if I mattered.

My heart broke open that day. I felt it literally crack — a little at first, but that crack has been opening ever since. The crack is being filled with amazing gifts of love, understanding, knowledge, freedom, encouragement, discernment, forgiveness and grace.

I try not to miss even one meeting as it has become a family gathering for me. A family gathering that is healthy, functional and respectful. I thank God every day for Hagar’s Sisters. I am learning so much. I always knew how to love others but now am learning how to love in appropriate ways and I am accepting the love others have for me.

"E" is a 45 year-old single woman with two teen aged children - CHELMSFORD, MA