Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I've been volunteering at the jail for almost four years now.  My church wanted some involvement so we are starting a new program to connect newly released inmates with jobs and housing and twelve step programs.  We are also offering mentors to those who wish to have one.

I offered to mentor a young girl who was just released.  She has a child and an opiate addiction.  No housing.  No job.  No license.  No car.  No family support.  I went to some friends and asked for donations and got her first and last week paid for in a recovery house.  I got clothes and food donated.  I picked her up from jail and delivered her directly to the recovery house.  Three days later, she packed up and moved out.

At first, I was angry.  Then I started to wonder if I had the right intentions.  Did I help her for my ego?  Was I helping according to God's will or Hattie's?  But, then I thought that maybe God was giving me the opportunity to learn to love without condition.  I called a couple of folks that she might be in contact with and said, " Please tell her that if she still wants a mentor, to give me a call.  No judgment."

I may never hear from her again.  She might call.  Who knows.  "It takes what it takes" as they say in Al Anon.  Maybe God placed her in my path to help me.  I have been so arrogant to think that I could save her when maybe she is saving my relationship with my own son by teaching me that you love someone mistakes and all.  You love someone who is not doing it your way.  You love someone enough to offer support even when they are doing it on their time and their way.

I look back at how I grew up.  My parents loved me.  But, their fears affected the way that they showed love.  If they were afraid, they might hold back approval or acceptance until I changed my behavior. That is much the way that I have parented all of these years.  But, I am learning.  I am learning more from those that I would least expect to learn from.

Healing started for me when I was able to get truthful....mainly with myself about all that was wrong.  Saying out loud what the problems were took a lot.  Now I realize that we all have problems.  We all have done things that we are not proud of.  All of us carry shame and guilt.

Shame wants us to keep quiet and stay sick.  And, I am over it.  I am a mess.  I just learned a very valuable lesson from a young girl who is a drug addict with the kindest heart and broken spirit and a smile that lights up a room.  So I am opening up about this ugly pride that makes me think that I can fix her and save the world. 

Funny how God works.  She might just be saving me.  Praying for us all.


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