There has been so much tragedy in the news lately. It’s sometimes hard to manage all of the emotions that rise up when we hear of the tragedy others have faced. As a country we experienced the Boston bombings, even though I wasn’t there I felt it in my heart. We have learned of the miraculous and heartwarming escape of the three young women who were kidnapped over 10 years ago. What a wonderful day that was when their neighbor came to their rescue. Now they are home with their families and enjoying well deserved privacy as they recover from the trauma of their experiences. We just learned of the tragedy in Oklahoma when that tornado ripped through their town and took so many lives. I have lived in the Midwest my entire life, so tornados are not new to me, but even after the recent two year anniversary of Joplin, I don’t think anyone is ever prepared for tornados of that magnitude and destructive power. The loss of children is so heartbreaking as a parent I can’t wrap my heart around the pain those parents are experiencing. All I can do is send them my prayers and hope they are able to find some comfort somewhere.
There are so many more stories that have been on the news, too many to mention, it can be so overwhelming to think of all the heartache people are experiencing. I have felt that way at times about this work—the people and their experiences—and the struggles that I, as an administrator, have with fundraising and other challenges. At times it can just be too much. At times it can feel like we are all drowning and there is no one there with a life preserver to help us. When I am feeling like this I know that it’s time to stop and breathe and take a time out. I realize I cannot solve the world’s problems. As much as I would like to, I cannot. To recognize that is extremely important in order to put everything back into perspective. When I do that I am able to relax and realize all of the good that is happening in our world and that the good really does over power the iniquities. We are part of the good and when I remember that I can then continue on with this work and make a difference.
I received a client testimonial the other day that brought me to tears but it helped me realize we are making a difference. She said: “I feel proud, for the first time in my life. And it’s all due to Hope House, and all the people here who help us to see, really see, who we are and that we are worthy of good. Thank you so much for all the lives you touch.”
That makes it all ok. We’ve touched someone’s life in a very positive way. That’s what we’re here for and we are doing it. I can breathe easier today and know that I have the strength to keep up this work and hopefully I can make a difference in someone else’s life today.