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A Journey of the Heart








This page tells a love story. Actually, many love stories.


These are not the kind of love stories that will make their way onto the glossy pages of a Hallmark card or romance novel. They are the down-to-earth tales of ordinary people who faced extraordinary challenges with courage.


Each of the leading characters was faced with a difficult choice that cannot wait for a better time or more comfortable circumstances. Each person’s thoughts were riveted to the necessity of making an urgent decision. And, until they did, they would reside in a crucible of ultimate proportions.


In these links provided in the adjacent sidebar, you will find that there is nothing light-hearted or frivolous about any of these stories. There are tens of thousands of moving anecdotes in the Client files of the Nurturing Network. Only the limits of time and space would not allow them all to be shared with you.


Each story reveals a similar, inescapable reality born of the fact that whatever choices were made, lasting, life-altering consequences resulted. An inescapable urgency and finality contributed to the passion that runs through each of the stories. The dramas take on a familiar form.


There was the initial discovery, followed in a split-second by shock. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me!  Denial moved in to cushion the blow. Then mind-numbing fear settled in. Panic took over. Frantic thoughts considered a quick fix. That option was dismissed.


There were many reasons.


The last vestiges of figuring an easy way out dissolved. Unbridled fear crept back in. Self-doubt took over. What reason was there for courage or personal sacrifice when no one was showing that to me?


Trust was shattered and abject loneliness crowded out rational thought.


A stark realization set in: No matter what choice is made, my life will be forever changed.


This is the precise moment when staff members encountered the Clients of the Nurturing Network.


It is a singular honor
to be invited into any person’s life
when hope is wavering,
faith is obscured,
and love is battered.
These are the most intimate
and cherished of invitations
that have captivated my heart and mind
for over thirty years.

                  Mary Cunningham Agee, Founder


What we are reminded is that there is nothing weak or inept about a person who turns to someone for help at the most vulnerable time in their life. There is also nothing magic or clever about the first conversation that takes place with each person in this predicament.


Each person in crisis yearns to be reminded of truths they once knew but now desperately need to have refreshed if they are to find their way to a better day:

 “You are not alone.
A positive outcome is not too much to ask.
You have more power than you may realize
to shape your own story.”


When these simple messages begin to be heard, the weeping starts to subside. Accusations become less important. Self-pity loses its footing. Shame is relegated to its proper place on the wasteland of guilt.


An unmistakable calm comes over the conversation. The pace slows even as the tone takes on a palpable energy and excitement. Hope begins to take root.


There is room for forgiveness -- even laughter. Options begin to be heard. Rationality returns. Problem-solving makes its way onto center stage. A helpless victim is breaking out of a self-imposed prison that has been in the making for many years. Real resources are being considered and accepted as gifts. Empowering choices are being made.


Tears well up, again.

But this time—with gratitude.