A dear friend of mine who is currently homeless wrote the following blog. She and her five-year-old daughter are now safe in a mission. I wanted to share her thoughts with you, in part, to debunk a couple of thoughts that can be pervasive in our society today.
First, our perception of the homeless can be very tainted. When Set Me Free Ministries began to work regularly with the homeless, it struck me so strongly that with one tragic life circumstance, I could be in their shoes. The saying goes, “There but for the grace of God, go I.”
The second misconception is that if someone we love becomes homeless because of circumstances they created, we do not love if we leave them homeless. Safety is certainly one thing that can’t be overlooked, but when they are safe in a shelter, sometimes the best thing for them is to stay there. God allows hardships at times to completely change our hearts.
Enjoy the writings of this beautiful young mom who is learning day by day to press securely into the arms of Christ.
by Tamika M. Hopkins-Sanders
The teacher was talking, but I heard nothing. I had zoned off into my own world until I heard him say, "Or the reason why you're homeless…” My head shot straight up, and I looked around the room to see who he was talking to. Then I realized he was talking to me. To the entire class. Wow, I am "homeless.”
The word settled a bit like curdled milk would at the bottom of my stomach, and it cut like a dull, crooked knife right through me. What a hard realization to come to. Even after knowing it for a month now, for the first time ever I can see what I am. I can see what they are. And when the shock of the word dims down and self-pity (though I hate the term) slips away again, I want the world to see what us homeless people are really like.
We are not uneducated, we are not ugly, and we do not all waste the last of our money on alcohol or drugs. We are not slow or incapable of anything. We are people who are temporarily without a place to stay, a house to call home. Every one of us has had some sort of tragedy lead us to the shelter. Some of us will get comfortable and not want to resume independence. Some of us never had it to begin with. And some of us will learn from this "bottom" and make personal change. For me, that change is God. Not that I ever was without Him, but I follow Him now, and He carries my cross.
This morning as I walked out the door to the family room in the Crisis Center, my hand reached for the door handle and a thought crossed my mind. Since I have been here at the mission, I have seen people come and go. I have seen people relapse and come back and have to start all over again. For a moment, I felt real fear–fear that I would be, once again, someone who wasn't able to follow through with something. The program I am in is a six- to nine-month program, and right now I’m all in.
But what happens when depression creeps its ugly little head back into my life again? Satan would like me to believe that I would just give up, but in this moment, I know who I am in Christ. I once heard that what you’re looking for, you’re living for, and what you’re living for, you’re dying for.
Because I’m looking for God and no longer looking for things of the flesh, I don’t have to fear what hasn’t happened to me “yet.” I don’t need the thought of another do-over to take up space in my mind rent-free!
I am free, and Satan hates that. Because I know the Truth, and I share the truth I’m not dying for the devil, I’m dying for my King, only to be reborn into the Kingdom. I will not fear failure, and do-overs aren’t an option when it comes to losing my faith.
GOD IS MY STRENGTH.