Resurrection, rebirth, renewal are all words we will hear a lot this week, but these are words that we live by, every day, at Saint John’s. When women and children arrive at our doors, the joy and exuberance that is life is missing from their eyes, from their faces, from their souls. They are broken, they are exhausted, they are desperate. Rock bottom seems like a step up.
We embrace these fragile families with open arms, and hence the healing begins. While the first few hours, the first few days might be met with trepidation and fear, gradually our moms and their children begin to absorb the love and support that surrounds them. They are cocooned by the warm, loving embrace that is Saint John’s, where someday, a butterfly waits to emerge. The process of resurrection, of being reborn, begins. Their journeys to a renewed way of life, to hope and to a future that is brighter and somehow now reachable, begins, one step at a time.
For most, this journey involves a total reset – like learning how to walk and talk, they are learning about how to live differently, what a healthy relationship looks like, what is acceptable and what is not, how to cope without the crutch of drugs and alcohol, how to learn and retain valuable information and develop useful skills, how to form friendships and relationships, and how to be the good parent they never had themselves.
It is in recognition of these very tough journeys, for those who stick with it and succeed, that make celebrations like our largest-ever graduation on April 4 so meaningful and so joyous. We honored these 24 graduates, all of whom have traveled this long journey in their own way, on their own individual path that led to common ground – a life of confidence, of joy, of clarity, with a bright future and a means to achieve self-sustainability. To the Spring Class of 2019, we salute you!
By Sue Cawdrey
Grants & Communications Manager
Saint John’s Program for Real Change
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