Today was the first day of sharing the pillows with the homeless in Orlando. Let me share my awesome experience. When we started out for the day, my feelings were flooded with different emotions; I was overwhelmed with how it was so surreal. I felt an abundant amount of gratitude towards God for how He saved me from myself, a deep dark addiction, and emptiness.
The first stop was on Orange Blossom Trail (OBT). We met with Connie, Fred and Lee. They were just sitting near a local store, just sitting there with nowhere to go. One of them had a beer and my first thought was, "God, thank you for deliverance!!" I remember the days when I did not have drugs and alcohol I felt so empty.
As we started to approach them I could see the hardness within each of them. Then we told them who we were and what we were doing, as we were holding these pillows. They had no clue. When you are out there you TRUST NO ONE!!! As I spoke to them, I started to see each of them melt like butter. They were really paying attention to what we were saying and Connie started to cry. Fred shared with us how he wants off the streets. They were all so lost! They had no clue where to start. That is when I told them I KNOW how they feel. I HAVE been there and that the hardest step is the first step! God has a plan for them and being out there is not His plan. I just wanted to take them all and take away their addictions.
As my heart went out to them I realized God allowed me to go through all I went through so that He can get all the glory in the end. They all have to get to the point in life like I did and realize they cannot do it alone. They need God's strength because they are too weak to do it by themselves.
Each person who received a pillow today brought me back to my addiction in a sense. I pray that we touch the lives of many, many more people that are caught in this vicious cycle of addictions, homelessness, and darkness. I want to wrap my arms around every one of them and share the amazing love of the LORD and how He is the only Way. I am so blessed to be part of The Pillow Project.
The names of the people who received pillows today were:
Homeless People of Orlando, Florida
Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida
Orange County Correctional Facility
Friends and Families in need
Heart 2 Heart – Women’s Residential Seminole County