If you’ve ever been in a support-person role (and most of us have), you know how difficult it is to navigate the obstacles, emotions, logistics and, in most cases, unfavorable circumstances associated with the person you are trying to help. Add to that the frustration and heartbreak of doing everything you know to be physically, financially and emotionally possible, and still your loved one flounders. The family and friends of our clients have suffered mightily through our clients’ journeys, and in turn, experience immense relief when Real Change occurs. Here are a few reflections from a client’s sister:
“When my sister Jenifer was 12 and I was 30, our father passed away suddenly. While I lived in California, Jenifer was with our dad in Florida as he took his last breath. Fast forward 20 years, and Jenifer has been through all manners of challenges. From having money, to being broke and homeless. From building a promising career to a mother of three dealing with substance abuse. And rock bottom; her precious children in and out of foster care. One of the biggest changes that I have seen in my sister is that she no longer blames others for her challenges. It’s only when we stop blaming others for the obstacles that we face, can we begin to take the positive steps towards change and personal growth. As long as we place blame on others for our circumstances we cannot take personal responsibility for our decisions and make a commitment to changing our future outcomes.
Becoming a functioning, successful member of society requires more than giving a homeless mom and her children food and a place to sleep. Saint John’s has given Jenifer peer support, friendship of other women facing the same challenges, help with getting her children back, job training, and the opportunity to work and feel productive in society. My sister has benefitted greatly from the therapy she receives as well as the accountability related to staying drug free through the entire process. Yes, there are challenges. However, my sister has gone from feeling abandoned and unloved by her family members to experiencing faith and gratitude for every part of her healing process.”
By April Underwood
Sister of Saint John’s client Jenifer