Happy Summer My Friends,
Hope you all had a restful and enjoyable 4th of July and are adjusting to the blessings of our extended warm, dry weather. As temperatures rise and the sun shines bright it’s the time of year we celebrate accomplishments gained through long roads traveled culminating with another grade level completed, as well as graduations from pre-k to post grads. The excitement of summits achieved and the anticipation of new horizons ahead envelope hearts with zeal for hope-filled new beginnings, while relishing thoughts of lazy summer days and a break from structured routines.
It is very much the same at Joseph’s House where in the past few weeks many of our little ones have graduated pre-k and kindergarten and are preparing for summer programs, new day cares, and more school at new grade levels in the fall. They are getting older, getting smarter and moving up in the world in new and exciting ways. Change is in the air too for some of our moms who have been with us for long periods of time and are preparing to move out on their own and transition to independence with their children. And finally, there are infants moving forward who have been in utero for nine months and have decided it’s time to make an entrance into their new, exhilarating outside world.
All this moving, up, out and forward can seem especially perilous to many moms calling us home because the complexities of the problems that have occurred in their lives are so very twisted and so very dark. We could never have foreseen five years ago when we opened our doors the turbulence, devastation and depravity of some of the traumas suffered by these young women. We could have never anticipated the destruction was multigenerational and included immediate and far extended family. It is no wonder they struggle with anxiety, depression and mental health problems making it most difficult for them to untangle 20 years of mistreatment in the 2 years they have with us.
This is one of the many reasons we at Joseph’s House are called to go further out on a limb for our moms and kids than anyone ever has before. We are called many days to walk a tightrope, so these young women might see evidence of how true compassion and the love of Christ are forged together. As we extend ourselves in unexpected ways and in new directions, we make this love and compassion evident, not only to them, but to those to whom we advocate on their behalf, as well as to those who have since cast them away.
We had many examples of all of us teetering on limbs and walking on tightropes with The Monica Miracles, written about last week. This week there were more crisis to be addressed and more high wire acts completed as we fought for a mom to get healthcare needed for years due to unrelenting abuse suffered since early childhood. This situation has been brewing throughout this young mom’s life, has come to a head and is finally being addressed due to the unrelenting persistence, assistance and compassion of all of our staff, most especially our Case Manager Rebecca. This young woman is now in a safe place getting the extended care she has required for years because of Joseph’s House. When she has addressed her problems and is in a better state of mental health, she knows she has a safe home and loving family to return to who will give her all the support she needs to become a strong, independent survivor and wonderful parent to her children as we continue helping her move forward in her life.
We have recently been confronted with another situation we never anticipated five years ago, which is helping moms gain custody of their children. However, hindsight being 20/20, we are able to now see how Our Lord has led us into these situations slowly and carefully. We are able to see clearly how He has been waiting for us to be prepared for them and how He has been instilling within us courage and confidence through past experiences to handle the complications they entail.
You see Jesus always prepares us, although we may be unaware until we find ourselves in the midst of a situation that would once have caused a panic attack, but is now handled calmly with gravitas and discernment. These are situations where we encounter people who in the past would have intimidated us. People we know are more educated than we are and have vast experience in their respective fields while we have none. At these times we remind ourselves of our total surrender to God’s Holy Will as we find ourselves serving as an arbitrator, making split second decisions, and fighting battles in legalese for which we have no real comprehension. And yet somehow by the Grace of God, words of conviction are spoken from the unschooled, the court battle is won and the underdog prevails. The next thing you know we are at the hospital whisking away a jubilant mom’s newborn child taking her HOME, to the place that will forever be her first home, our home at Joseph’s House.
While that conflict was taking place, there was another happening 120 miles away right here in Syracuse where a real lawyer, our Executive Director Bronson, continued a plea for sole custody for another mom for her children. This situation has been ongoing since March and once again, another hard-fought battle was won, another great result achieved because of the courage and perseverance of Bronson and a mission built on the foundation of forgiveness and compassion that is always seeking the way that is Jesus Christ.
I can honestly say we are all exhausted by the weeks’ events, almost to the point of delirium, but so filled with awe that we are invigorated with hope and wonder. This hope and wonder are another gift that comes in being filled with the Holy Spirit as it gives us the motivation to keep moving up in reliance towards Jesus, moving out to extend our comfort zones according to His Will and moving forward towards more victories for His most precious children in unforeseen and incredible ways. What an adventure it is and what an adventure it will continue to be as we step out daily in faith for our moms, for their children and for Our Father in Heaven. We have positions available if you would like to be a part of the hope and wonder that is the Joseph’s House mission, a mission moving up, moving out and moving forward! God Bless you my friends.
Love & Prayers,