names have been omitted in this post
Growing up it was like my family lived on another planet far away that had no resemblance to what "normal" families lived. It was like we lived in a cult, a different dimension that left you feeling like you were locked up… shut up inside some pit or hole resembling prison... childhood often felt like a life-long sentence… it was the stuff of books or movies yet it wasn't glamorous but more crushing of the spirit and soul… it was removed from the rest of the world, it was eccentric and odd and "different". It was seemingly forever and all each of us; my siblings and mother wanted was to escape it and never look back.
"It is far better to grasp
as it really is
than to persist in delusion,
however satisfying and reassuring."
-Dr. Carl Sagan
When you grow up in an alter-odd environment where you request to do something… anything…normal stuff like a very simple thing... like going to a school function or to a fellow peers home after school to work on a school project… it never happens. It's usually always met with "No, that isn't necessary" or second choice is it's met with "I'll think about it." A few days pass, a week goes by… you go to him and ask again, reminding him that you're still waiting for an answer to your request. Instead you are met with the pages of a newspaper rustling and a grouchy verbal grunt of "I told you I'd think about it!"
You stand there not even being given the courtesy of eye contact… the newspaper is a shield between you and he… a buffer in the hopes that maybe, just maybe if he ignores you long enough you will go away and leave him alone in peace to read his paper. You sigh again. You dare to push the issue because you're the eldest and the strong willed one. You break the silence... "But you've had a week to decide." You remind him… your patience is beginning to wear thin.
You see it's wearing thin because it's always this way.
Every. single. time.
Your life gives new meaning to over-protected.
It gives new meaning to sheltered.
Those words don't even touch the surface of how you really live.
You finally irritate him to no end with your nagging and haranguing (which merely cements the idea that that's what girls and one day women have to do to get a "yes" from a male) that he finally, finally gives in one time. And when he does… you learn how very different your home life is. As you sit on the carpeted bedroom floor of a fifth grade school peer and take markers to poster board… working on a school project after getting frozen yogurt earlier (your family has never had frozen yogurt) her dad appears in the doorway and says "Hey, Court… remember tonight is family meeting night after dinner." Your classmate smiles at her dad and nods and says okay. After he departs down the hall you turn to her assuming family meeting night must be something awful… that must be punishment, right? Because it must mean you get yelled at for doing something wrong or not doing whatever it is you were supposed to do. You ask her with curiosity what this family meeting night thing is. She smiles and tells you "Oh, that's where we all gather in the den after dinner and talk about whatever is bothering us. We can talk about anything."
I stare at her incredulously.
My mouth hangs open in disbelief.
"Anything?" I echo.
She nods and explains further "Yes… we can talk about anything we want to. We can say if somebody has made us mad, or did something we didn't like. We can talk about anything and nobody gets in trouble. It really helps."
Maybe your own family would have benefitted from such a meeting... open dialogue where each person felt heard and was encouraged to express how they were feeling. For myself growing up a family meeting would never happen. That would mean everyone had feelings, everyone had a voice in how they felt, that everyone had the right to assert what they believed. "Assertive" was a bad word. Assertive got you a yard stick slapped on your butt so hard it snapped in half. Assertive got your arm grabbed so tightly it left red marks. Assertive got you put in time out in the storage room alone on a hard backed chair. Assertive got you screamed at and then listening to a rant-a-thon in the background for what felt like an hour. Having a voice? That was so foreign to me. I wondered wistfully what that must be like.
11 Things I Learned From My Childhood:
1. You're more valued as a person by working (work always comes first) than spending time with your family.
2. God is someone whom we are to fear not to be loved by.
3. Constant fear (fear in general) of failure is normal.
4. Self-awareness and therapy are not important and are not ever done.
5. Spending money on yourself is perfectly acceptable at the detriment of your family's needs and the upkeep of your home.
6. Even if you feel something, deep inside, please keep it to yourself. We don't talk about things such as feelings, dreams, goals or hurts.
7. It's perfectly fine for everyone around you to feel powerless, to feel controlled and diminished… because you're "the man" and way more important than the "little people."
8. Stay a safe physical distance away from others; no hugs, no pats, no high fives, no anything… because that would be weird… the human touch is not needed.
9. Follow the footsteps of your earthly father, his obligations, his dreams, his goals… don't think authentically, or spiritually… don't go outside the box or on any adventures… cling to self-preservation because it's way better to be able to say "I may not have been anywhere or done much but I'm still here."
10. If you ever feel threatened that someone might take your stuff… be way more concerned with protecting your material/marital assets than your relationship… because people are disposable but things on the other hand… those are worth much more.
11. Trusting people leads you to being screwed over, to being bamboozled. Always have something on someone in case you need it later, always have evidence… and listen more than you ever give away.
In life we don't get the childhood we want.
We get what we are given and then often we just have to make the best of it. All familial issues stem from the previous generations that were not resolved but instead allowed to continue to grow like toxic weeds… where growth and change have not yet taken place. We meet someone, we marry and if we haven't done the necessary work to address what needs haven't been met when we were children, we then on some level (we may not even be aware of this at the time) look for those unmet childhood needs/issues to be resolved with the one we marry. We are each looking to the other for healing… for wounds to be soothed.
We may or may not find what we are seeking… but one thing is for sure… we can always look up to a higher power… the one who knew us before we walked earth… before we cried our first cry of infancy and breathed our first breath… we can look to our Father in Heaven for affirmation… that we are more valued than any material thing on earth… that we don't have to fear He doesn't love us… that we don't have to fear at all… that our identity comes from Him… and He is always there to wrap us up in His arms with comfort and eternal love.
Today I'm here to tell you that God loves you... you are his child and no matter what you have been through in the past... In this journey, along each curve, each mountain, through every stumble and triumph He is with you... you are not alone.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014
Last Friday afternoon found me sitting in a movie theater… escaping reality for a little while and enjoying some much needed down time. The Best Of Me was a tear jerker like nearly all Nicholas Sparks stories… and I left not only with a wad of wet kleenex in my purse but reeling from the emotionally charged film. If you haven't seen it or heard of it it's a story of two high school sweet hearts who take different paths and eventually find themselves meeting up again due to events out of their control.
I opened the door to my SUV, sliding on the brown leather seat, tossing my oversized bag onto the floor of the backseat behind me. Sunlight streamed into the windshield and I winced from the harshness of it despite wearing Jackie O style sunglasses. The late afternoon sun was in full force and even though my stomach grumbled it was hungry I knew it had to wait… I was needed back at the office… work called.
Beside me, my mother flipped her visor down to shield the light from her eyes and she pulled her seat belt across her, buckling it in place. Starting the ignition I breathed in deeply through my nostrils and felt the tension that had built up in my neck and shoulders begin to slowly release as I exhaled.
"What did you think of it?" I asked her… backing out of the parking space and slowly making my way across the lot toward the street. The late October weather was mild and finally boots were justified… fall is terribly fleeting in Texas… it barely makes it's presence, like a flirt it disappears as quickly as it comes before winter settles in full force.
"It was a little rough… rougher than what I expected." She murmured and I immediately detected her disapproving tone.
I myself had not expected it to be that rough… I was expecting sappy and sweet not what it had delivered… a mix of heart gut wrenching emotions that had left me feeling more drained than anything. I affirmed my agreement with her with a murmur.
"What did you think?" She asked me… "Did you like it?"
"Parts of it… " I replied slowly and cautiously… "Parts of it I was disappointed in… there was no justification for them as high schoolers to have sex… it wasn't sweet or endearing… this is a PG- 13 rating… it sends the message to young teens that this is okay behavior… that scene was disturbing… it bothered me." I told her with a furrowed brow. "And… " I continued, "They didn't learn their lesson later in life… she's ready to have an affair with him… even if she is likely from what we can gather married to a jerk. And he was more than willing to let that happen. It was disappointing to see that occur… them together when she wasn't divorced. I wish it had been written differently."
She echoed the same sentiments as well and as I followed the flow of traffic down the main thoroughfare my thoughts spun too… "It's really a story of destruction." I said quietly. "It's a contrast of how maybe you think things should be and then how they really are. It's idealism and painful reality clashing like two opposing planets. It's the age old battle of how life coulda been versus what unfortunately is." I added… "You think to yourself… if only his family would have crawled under a rock… left them alone… they created so much pain and heartache. And it ultimately killed him. It's the injustice of that part and then the struggle that he's not his father. He's not like his family… him realizing his identity is not in them and their sinful ways. He stood for beauty and good."
"And then you've got her family… her dad trying to buy him off to not see her anymore." She added, "That was so cliche… it's been done time and time again."
"True… and yet it happens all the time I imagine in higher social circles." I affirmed and pursed my lips in thought... "How can she respect her father when he behaves that way? Her father is a man choosing to be defined by his wallet not Godly character."
5 Truths In Life:
1. You are not your family
You are not defined by your father who beat you, a mother who neglected you or any other scenario… we are not summed up by our relatives, by our bloodline… we are not their mistakes. They are separate from us… their wallet doesn't equate to our value as a person whether it's full or empty. God knows who we are… we are His and we are loved by Him.
2. Missing someone doesn't equate to pursuing them
We all have past relationships whether they are short lived or long and span the course of several years… we may have regrets or simply just wonder from time to time what coulda happened if it had worked out. It's one thing to wonder… but not fixate… eventually we have to let go… release these feelings and connections like a dandelion to the wind. We hurt others when we indulge in our selfish emotions, when we act on them and hold expectations of others. We also hurt ourselves staying in a state of mind that remains in the past… life is about growth, about change… and if it's meant to be it will happen under God's way and blessing not against the grain.
3. Money doesn't solve everything
True, money can solve a lot, without a doubt… it can solve emergencies that pop up and threaten our monthly budget… it can solve car troubles, an extra high electricity bill come mid-August or even paying for our kids college educations. But when it comes to wielding power and control… money can fall through… not everyone can be bought… a young woman intent on being with a young man she's in love with or vice versa likely isn't going to respond to a father extracting his wallet. True love doesn't engage in bribes or deals.
4. There is bad in the world
It is an unfortunate truth in life. There is bad everywhere and sometimes it hurts. Life isn't fair and no one ever said it was. Why does it happen? Not one of us can fully understand or explain it. Because of this fact many may be quick to dismiss God and Christians… to poo poo at them, claiming they are living in some type of fantasy world without concrete answers. We as Christians may tend to measure our sins in comparison to others and cry "...but I'm better than Suzie Q or John… so why do these bad things happen to me?" It's human nature to think our sin card is a tiny bit better… cleaner, than the person's next to us, at the office or even on social media. Like thinking of our own children or our own home we are each undeniably a wee bit biased. But the truth is we each deserve the wrath and fury of hell… each day we are still here living and breathing on earth it's because of God's great mercy. The fact is… we live in a sinful world and we each have the power every day to infuse light and love into it or contribute to the continual downfall.
5. She/He Is Maybe A Jerk Yet She/He's Still Your Jerk
In life we may be married to someone who is difficult… heck, were all difficult at times… who isn't when we've had a bad day, been sick or it's that time of the month. Maybe on the extreme were married to someone who is emotionally, physically or verbally abusive. Maybe were married to someone who is toxic, who has a "temper" or who is merely absent. We may not love them, we may not want to be around them or maybe we don't even like them… but unless were divorced they are still our spouse… were either married or were not… there is zero in-between or gray area… even separated still means married in God's eyes. Until were legally divorced we shouldn't be involved with anyone physically or emotionally… if we are struggling with this we can go to Him with it… as pleasing God should be first on our list and it shouldn't feel like a chore but a joy to do.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014
Isn't it in the times of transition that we seem to flounder most (?)… when our lives have been uprooted by change either that we ourselves pursued or outside forces inflicted. Whether it's an unforeseen illness that has reared it's ugly head, the choice or need to move, a death in our family, a joyful birth… regardless of the type of change, whether it can be defined as wonderful or horrible… we know it can leave us feeling unsettled as we move into a new season in our life.
A New Season…
As I begin a new season of life… perhaps you are too. As I type this I am surrounded by boxes… moving boxes and plastic bins… I am moving by choice… downsizing again… ridding myself of the excess space and stuff that continues to act as a block to inner peace. Striving for minimalism, I believed that was what I was attaining when I moved before on the heels of my divorce becoming final… but it's often not until you begin living in a space for a while… adjusting, after some time has passed… and then realize that you still have more worldly possessions than you could ever need or want. You realize you don't even use rooms x,y,z… and you begin taking serious inventory of just what exactly you do utilize on a day to day basis.
Taking Stock Of Our Life…
Taking stock of what we are using, what were actually wearing, what space we are living in and even what we are enjoying is a big undertaking, no doubt. But doing so, downsizing… even in small increments here and there over a period of time… can bring such peace to our life… shedding ourselves, purging what we no longer use, need or enjoy can begin opening the door to what truly matters… we won't have so much static clogging up the doorway to a peaceful life.
Life can often cause us to give into worry, to stress…
To buy that box of cookies we don't really need but we do because were mentally or physically maxed out and need a "fix", we need to decompress, we need something to make us feel better. Some people choose alcohol, some choose retail "therapy", some choose exercise, some choose chocolate… there are endless options on what people may choose to self medicate on a bad day, bad week or even stressful season. We may find ourselves with pent up tension… tight shoulders, an aching neck, a headache… even stomach upset… but God doesn't expect nor want us to go around like that. I have to remind myself of this often… maybe you do too. Last night as I was reviewing a contract for work and making necessary calls I glanced at the time only to have a mini freak out… I had to go! It was getting late and my daughter had to be somewhere. I found myself stressed… and soon I found myself mentally saying to myself: "You cannot be everywhere. You cannot do it all. Just. Slow. Down. Deep Breaths. " Sometimes we find ourselves feeling the pressure of a situation and at the end of the day we either don't have control over it and/or we can remind ourselves to just take it one step at a time. We can remind ourselves that God doesn't expect nor want us to run around in a fervor of upset… that He wants peace for us in our lives.
Jesus promises to give us His peace
We have peace because He has overcome the world
1 Corinthians 7:15
God calls us to live in peace
1 Corinthians 14:33
He is not a God of disorder
but of peace
He is our peace
His peace transcends
should rule in our heart
Peace is a fruit of the spirit
Exhorts us not to worry
The best way for us to overcome stress in an increasingly stressful world that is filled with stressors like school, health issues, traffic, deadlines and maybe even family strife... is to increase our fellowship with God.
When we are moving into a new and changing season in our lives no matter what it is, we must take the time to develop a deeper intimacy with the Lord, to lean on Him. We can remind ourselves to remain in God's word, to immerse ourselves in it daily throughout the thick and thin of battle, of trying times. When life throws us unexpected curveballs we may often turn to a chocolate bar, a beer after work… an intense exercise regimen, or reality television… but don't despair, don't cling to the world… we can remember we may have stress, we may have problems, we may have change… but they don't have to have us.
We can turn to God, our Prince of Peace…
We can allow Him to
He is the ultimate healer and soother.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014
I attended a wedding this past weekend.
But the truth is…
I hate weddings.
That may come as a shock considering how many romance posts I've written.
When my mother first heard I was going she looked at me warily… even with amusement.
"Really? But you don't go to weddings. You hate weddings. How did this come about? I mean, you've done really well the past... how many years… getting out of them, except like one… your game is off… I hate to be the one to break it to you but you're slipping." She quipped.
I laughed aloud at that. The fact of the matter was… I went with a friend this past Saturday and it was an opportunity for us to spend some time together as we don't see each other very often. But, nonetheless… yes, my mother was absolutely correct… I try hard as I can to avoid them like the plague.
As I sat there in my seat Saturday, fidgeting in a black dress and nude heels before the wedding began... music played… music that resembled some sort of audio torture system... the lyrics immediately triggering some type of gag reflex within me…
"Wishin' and hopin'
and prayin'… "
You know… that opening song from the movie My Best Friend's Wedding… where those women sing like they've been wound up in the back in some sort of synchronized Stepford wife state…. fight or flight kicked in and I glanced sideways at my friend wondering if making a run for it would be considered taboo… I always feel like the wild card in these moments… maybe it's the impulsivity of the ADHD... but where on earth is an exit door (?) and please for the love for all... turn that music off! I thought to myself. However there was no escaping as the minister appeared and soon couples conversations hushed, children in tiny dresses and suits yelped for the last time and everyone turned back to look for the bridal party to begin their procession. Soon the doe-eyed bride appeared in white and made her way to her smiling groom awaiting her… colors of black and white were everywhere along with fresh roses and sprays of baby breath.
As the vows were spoken by the minister before the happy couple, inward I cringed… why do some of us take issue with wedding vows? I wondered. I know I'm not alone in this… because I googled "I hate weddings" and lo and behold there are plenty more like me…
Venting on message boards about them.
Watching brides speak those vows makes me feel sick to my stomach… it's like watching someone walk to the guillotine… I'm always silently rooting for them to not through with it… "Don't do it, just don't… Save yourself!" I think to myself… women give up so much to marry… much more than men, even today… maybe it's the rebel within me rearing her "expressive" outspoken mouth, er, head… but marriage benefits men so much more in my opinion… debatable… yes, I know… and at the end of the day that is only my opinion… hardly worth much considering God above is whose running this circus, er, great show on earth and also who created marriage and the covenant of exchanging those sacred wedding vows… binding man and woman together before His eyes.
On rare occasions maybe we dare to go there… to think... "What is the big deal, anyway? Why do we have to do this marriage thing, this exchanging of vows so as to live without sin in God's eyes? As opposed to just living together and if things don't work out you can walk your cold or angry feet right out the door… so long, bye, bye!"
Having sex outside of marriage
complicates and destroys
I didn't make the rules… of exchanging those vows that make us one before God in the spiritual sense and in the legal form before man. It's like marriage is a necessary evil… I sometimes think to myself with chagrin wondering... "Why do we have to take such a risk? How do we know this person is going to love, honor and cherish us? In sickness and in health?" There is absolutely no certainty, no guarantee. As the minister uttered the words Saturday… "Work hard every day and you'll have a good marriage"… my face showed skepticism and if I hadn't been in public I swear I would have snorted… Really? Despite concerted efforts, lots of grace, sacrifice and intentional love… so many marriages fail. One person can hypothetically do everything right and if the other one doesn't it still fails. Maybe there should be marriage insurance. You pay in a little money each month and then if it falls apart you can cash in when you file for divorce… it could pay for your attorneys fees. I'm kinda serious. A man who isn't controlling? I question if such a man even exists, I question if there is a man who doesn't fully expect you to utter "yes" to everything… (heck, I'm divorced and my ex still expects everything to go his way) … of course people continue to tell me otherwise, that non-controlling men do exist… and the age old scenario erupts where nearly every man wants a chance to prove you wrong (gentlemen, we know what you're doing, nice try, but no; anybody can be on golden behavior for a limited time)… people continue to inform me that I just haven't met the "right one"… Really? Where is he? Hidden under a rock? Because I haven't found him. It's ironic. We are to find a fellow believer who walks in love, care, kindness, loyalty… who is after God, who reads His word and applies it to his life… and yet we are simultaneously given free will in that pursuit.
It can feel
like a cruel joke
But this leads us to what God
views as necessary
versus what we may choose to do
or even what we like.
God believes the marriage of two people before Him is necessary… for two to become one… and yet so many want to jump to the consummating of the relationship (the fun part)… living together minus the vows. Perhaps some don't see the whole exchanging of "I do's" as necessary, they want to "save money" they cite as a reason for living together… or maybe they view vows as more of an inconvenience or archaic. Everyone is different in what they believe is necessary and yet what they ultimately choose to do in life. It's sort of comparable to going through the daily motions… we choose to eat that delicious bear claw for breakfast when perhaps scrambled eggs with fresh fruit would be a better, healthier choice for us. Or maybe we double check that The Good Wife, Scandal or Revenge is recording on our DVR (can't miss it) and come Sunday we choose to sleep in when God would love for us to attend church.
Without a doubt God sees marriage vows as a must do… a covenant of two joined in love before Him… exchanging vows… we may see it as a religious obligation of some kind… or maybe we do reach for it, aiming for marriage as the ultimate goal of faith… in Him. All I know is… I've been in the dirtiness of living in sin… I've behaved like I'm not His in the past, like an orphan without a Father and I don't want that chapter to repeat… maybe you feel the same… because we are called to turn from sin… and not subscribe to it anymore.
Maybe I avoid weddings because I hate seeing anyone risk stepping off into the deep end… taking that risk of drowning in the depths of divorce, heartbreak and disappointment. I love romance, courtship, even the companionship of marriage… but vows? Maybe just "Yeah, love you babe, I choose you" is a lofty yet preferable idea to a bunch of words spoken by a minister that only make my heart want to scream out "Nooooo!" and put the brakes on. Yet everyday I still follow God… choosing to stay on His path… knowing that there is a clearly defined definition of single life and married life… there is no in between… there is nothing that He condones where the lines are blurred… He believes sex stays within the parameters of marriage, that we don't live together before our vows are exchanged and for us to not give in… to not give in or chase something we know He doesn't want for us. I know He wants what is best for me… and you... living in His word. I may cringe at the thought of wedding vows but certainly if there is any vow I can make right now that sits right with me it's a general one…
I vow to live for Him.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014
names and descriptions have been omitted
or changed in this post
"You do not get out of the car… you understand?" Bao asked me, his face directly in mine, peering into my brown eyes in the darkened confines of the car. His longish hair fell into his face and he smoothed it back with one hand. His eyes, inky black that matched the February night sky waited… without blinking for an answer. I nodded at him. He paused... staring at me, not seeming certain I truly understood the importance of his instructions. He spoke again "You do not leave this car under any circumstances. You do not come up to the house." He reiterated once again to me. I nodded and spoke softly "I understand." His eyes studied me and finally he jerked his head in a nod that affirmed he knew I truly understood what he was telling me and then he added "Stay low… do not let anyone see you in the car."
With that he opened the door, slipped out of the drivers seat and slammed the car door shut… making sure the Supra was locked and then followed Duc who was waiting on the nearby lawn of a dilapidated wooden house for him to join him. I had no idea where we were… we had seemingly driven in circles… I was in unknown territory and yet in some way due to Bao's protective behavior that was probably for the best. Duc's vehicle was parked behind Bao's somewhere in the dark shadows of the street and I slumped down in the passenger seat so as not to be seen… checking in the side view mirror for any oncoming headlights… any sign of a vehicle approaching… but all was quiet. It was early February… and yet didn't feel like it at all. For me, the month of February meant hot chocolate, plaid cozy blankets, maybe a fire and a good book or movie in. But those ideals were far from reality now. At least this night didn't feel like winter, I mentally comforted myself… luckily I didn't get chilly waiting and yet time continually passed by… minutes turned into thirty which turned into over an hour… then more.
The house was lit up inside… a picture frame window revealed enough to show at least a dozen men or more… donning wife beater shirts… milling around… beers in hand and mostly serious expressions minus a few chuckles and a slapping on their backs like men do. The largest of the men wore a snug t-shirt that hugged his bulging midsection and sported an overgrown mess of long hair on his head, gold necklaces gracing his neck and a gun shoved in the side waistband of his pants. He was pacing the room like a caged tiger projecting his authority onto the others in the room.
So what were they doing? My mind wondered. In some areas of the country Asian gangs are one of the primary distributors of marijuana… drugs... was that what they were dealing that night? Or was it related to prostitution? Chop shops? Who knew… I could only wonder. Bao always looked out for me and sheltered me as much as possible from his life. Sunk low in the front seat, time passed on and sleep kept beckoning my name… I tried to force my eyelids to stay open… to stay awake… I felt I had to… because I had no idea what was coming… much of my time with Bao involved increments of sleep here or there… it was never knowing what could… or would occur next and it might require me needing to be alert… the hours they lived were inconsistent and scattered.
After what felt like an eternity, Bao unlocked the door and slid in beside me, his warm presence overwhelming the tiny interior… Duc was already gone, having sped off in his own car leaving us on our own. Bao's scent was the smell of cigarettes emanating from him and he reached for my small left hand giving it a momentary squeeze… "Thank you… you are safe." He smiled..."Thank you for staying in the car." He told me, his accent heavy with relief… I gave him a long look, studying his face and finally asked him quietly "Why do you care so much?" I was curious. I wondered why he would care so much for me… he had always looked out for me… never expecting a thing… with everything he had on his plate his worry was for my well being when he was in the midst of who knew how many threats left and right… he now clutched the stick shift and staring straight ahead into the piercing dark night as we departed from the curb, replied with an odd tone in his voice I hadn't heard before… "Because…" he replied tightly with emotion just hovering under his breath… "Because, you… you are like me… I have no one."
Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away in a year.
November is National Runaway Prevention Month
Runaways are a concern for all of us.
If all of these young people
lived in one city,
it would be the
5th largest city
in the United States.
These figures are staggering, yet the problem seems invisible.
Youth ages 12 to 17 are at the highest risk of being homeless versus adults.
Most youth run away due to conflict between themselves and a parent.
The majority of runaway girls report sexual abuse.
The risk of rape
or sexual favors in exchange for mere basics...
such as food and shelter is common.
The reason for most youth not wanting to return home?
The risk of further abuse inflicted by a parent upon return.
The risk of suicide for
runaways is high.
The risk of not finishing high school
due to running away is high.
The risk of drug use by
runaways is high.
So what we can do?
You may wonder what on earth
you can do
to help with this not often
talked about but huge issue…
As a parent, a teacher, a school nurse, a counselor…
As a friend… an aunt, an uncle, an older sibling, a mentor…
See who is struggling around you…
Who can you spend a little time
with just listening?
Who has parents who aren't around?
Who has parents who are checked out?
Or maybe who has parents that are
doing all the right things
and yet their child is still struggling?
Maybe with depression?
Who can you reach out to today
"I'm here… I will listen. I'm here for you… my door is always open."
Take the time.
It's worth it.
It will make a difference.
Don't let your child be the one
who says to someone else:
"Because I have no one."
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014