Happy New Year! I’m feeling enlightened about something that I’d like to share with you all: the pain you’ve suffered in life can either be your prison or your platform.
I shared the story of my son, Genesis, back when I started this blog. Genesis was my greatest and most painful loss, and I’m living every day with the hope that my work for children in need can be his legacy (hence, Genesis Hopeful Haven).
This past year, some of you have probably experienced loss or hardship in your own lives, and I want you to know that even the most painful experiences can be turned into a platform for good. The old saying is true: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” The only question is, will you let it?
In the case of Genesis, I was helpless to do anything when he passed. With my world turned upside down, I had no idea what to do or how to react. It felt like the only thing I could do was to put on a good face and keep it moving.
Looking back, I’m so thankful that I had an incredible life coach (Lillie Dulaney) to help me dig through my own emotions and learn to face them rather than running away. Only then did I realize that allowing myself to grieve – surrendering to my weakness – was a vital part of moving forward. In sharing my burden with someone I trusted, I was able to gain a much needed change in perspective. Sometimes seeking guidance and reaching out for help is the first stepping stone in turning your pain into something positive.
That’s not to say it will somehow magically make everything better. Some pain will stay with you for the rest of your life. However, I made the decision that my pain would be my platform, not my prison. After taking time to mourn, I came to the point where I wanted to do something about the pain that I felt. Rather than weighing me down, that pain fueled my passion to serve children like my Genesis – children who are unable to cry out for help – children who have no voice for themselves. My pain drove me to seek out ways that I could be an ambassador for voiceless children and eventually led me to where I am today, helping foster children in need and giving them their best chance at fulfilling their future potential.
If you’re struggling to be real with your pain, ask yourself this question: What if my pain can help someone in my community?
Brokenness can teach us many things. It can define us as guarded and discouraged individuals, or it can carve out a path for us to reach others who are in need.
Whatever season of life you’re in, I hope you too will make the decision to allow your experiences to bring something positive to the world around you.
With that, I have a few updates to share! At GHH, we’re excited for 2018! In 2017, we went from having 2 housing programs and serving 8 youth to adding on a summer program that served 10 youth and provided therapy and resources to 14 additional foster kids in the community!
This coming year, our goal is to expand our programs and services in order to help more kids who struggle with making sense of their pain. In conjunction, we plan on building capacity so that we can be sustainable for years to come. We’re starting the year off with a board retreat, which will help us be more organized and plan for the continued success of Genesis Hopeful Haven.
Cheers to each and every one of you this New Year! We’re so thankful for all of the love and support that we and the children we serve have been showered with in 2017. Stay tuned as we continue to build Genesis!