Blessing Esther’s House
Over the past year, Guiding Light has reflected on how best to serve the needs of our changing community, and we are excited to announce plans to expand our life-saving recovery program to include the women of Grand Rapids. To achieve this, we purchased two homes in November 2022 that will serve as housing exclusively for sixteen women with the same programming offered at Iron House. These new sober living homes are named after Karen and Esther, who have been Spiritual Directors for the Guiding Light Recovery program since 2009. Ruth’s House and Esther’s House are Guiding Light’s first step in creating a dynamic recovery program tailored specifically for women struggling with addiction.
In January 2023, guests, Executive Director Brian Elve, and Esther gathered in the dining room of Esther’s House to formally bless the home. Brian, who is also a former client and recipient of Spiritual Direction at the Guiding Light Recovery program, began with introductions. “We see Esther as a real life example of the love of Christ. We give her men, for Spiritual Direction, that typically have experienced a severe lack of love, maybe abuse. Guys who might need extra tenderness. The men sometimes ask ‘Esther’s coming today right?’ Because they need their Esther fix. Esther shows up with her heart open…we love you deeply…and appreciate you so much. And with that it is with great joy that I welcome you all to Esther’s House.” “Me too, you” Esther tearily replied. “May I just say, what a blessing Guiding Light has been for me. Yes I have given, but oh my, have I received. We’ve walked this journey together, we’ve laughed together, we’ve wept together, we’ve rejoiced together. And I am…just so honored to have this tribute as evidence of work that the Spirit can do….let us bless this house.”
Our hearts rise in thanksgiving for this house, Lord, and we ask your blessing on its purpose and the work to be done here. Bless this house from roof to floor, from wall to wall, from end to end.
May all who live and work here cherish and care for this home.
May your love reside here; may your healing mercies fill this place with insight and wisdom.
May your Spirit be the guardian of this house, giving courage at each going out and rest at each return.
May light fill every room and love reside in every heart.
May fear find no entry here.
May each woman who resides here find the refuge she seeks.
May she find rest and restoration here; may she experience comfort and renewal in these rooms.
Watch over her as she works, as she plays, as she grows, as she sleeps.
May all who work and dwell here grow in love.
Make this a place where relationships mature, where quarrels are resolved, where failures are forgiven, and where strength is renewed.
Save, shield, and protect all who dwell here through days of darkness and through seasons of light.
Let this house be a haven of hope, of healing, and of promise.
Holy One, come to this house. Anoint it with grace and goodness. Abide here always. Amen.
This prayer today hangs in the hallway of Esther’s house, to give hope to the many women that do and will call it home. This is because of you. You have made this a reality. We desire for the women of this community to have what you as donors and community stakeholders have provided for the men of Guiding Light Recovery all these years: a chance to experience life-changing grace and redemption. And we cannot do it alone. Creating a women’s recovery program will not be easy, but we are up for the challenge, and we believe you are too. From all of us at Guiding Light, clients and staff alike, we would like to thank you, our donors, supporters, and advocates, for making this important work possible.