I did not trust anyone enough to let anyone know that I was homeless and jobless and couldn’t tell anyone because I wanted to look like I was ok. I wanted everyone to see the “me” I wanted to be. Instead of reaching out to get help to be that person, I wanted to be accepted and liked. I had (and still do at times) the hardest time asking for help, but when I finally could see no viable option, I had to ask for help.
I was lucky to be in the position I was. I was in AA and working through the 12 steps when I broke. It was when I was asked to make a list of all my past wrong doings and went over this with my sponsor that I was able to see how much pride was a motivating factor for me. I never wanted to let anyone know what was really going on. I didn’t want them to see how hurt and broken I was. When I looked at others, they seemed to have it together. They had housing. They had cars. They had the flexibility to live lives with each other.
I wanted to be thought of as strong, as independent, as fitting in, but I didn’t understand how to even accomplish my basic goals. I felt overwhelmed by all the problems and issues that I couldn’t find a solution for one, and I didn’t want to admit that I had no idea how to save money or budget or buy a car or get insurance or find housing. I was scared that with my history I would not be accepted into any housing. I had not ever lived completely on my own, so I didn’t know what I could afford or even how to get housing.
I was sitting in this swirling miasma of panic at the thought of how to do any of this, and I thought it seemed so stupid, that I was so stupid for not knowing how to do any of it. I was lucky to have a sponsor that walked beside me. It was because of my relationship with her that I was comfortable enough to ask for help. She was knowledgeable and helpful. She had been in my shoes and knew how to help me. She did not ridicule me. Instead, she told me how to take the steps that I needed to get to my goals. She became my mentor, my friend, and, at times, my mother. I relied heavily on her until I could walk, wobbly at first, to gradually more sure. I could not have reached stability without her. She was the one who made sure that I got to work and to the doctor or hospital when I was pregnant. She took me to find a place to live and assured me I could afford it. She helped me through the process of buying my first car. She helped quiet the noise of my mind enough for me to be able to move out of fear. In my head, she was my superhero because she knew everything! There was no problem that I had that she did not help me find a solution.
That is why we need volunteers to become a coach to the mothers in our program. It’s hard for these women to trust that you won’t reject or ridicule them for their lack of knowledge or the way that they think. They have not had experience with a healthy, stable friend or family. Years upon years of conditioning has taught them that they are the only person who cares about themselves.
In all honesty, they have no clue that they really need help in an area because it just doesn’t occur to them that they don’t know the right way to handle it or have the proper view. In becoming a coach, you will walk with a mom to help her learn basic life skills that you have learned. You bring the experiences of your life. You will build a relationship with her. She will become your friend, and you will become hers. You will hurt for her as you see the struggles she has to deal with, but help guide her to overcome. You may never know the impact that you have on her, but I promise that for her you are a lifeline that she has never had. You will get to see her gradually open up to the possibility that she and her kids will be ok, that maybe she will not only survive but thrive, that maybe she is cared for by a truly loving Father who she has not experienced. You get to walk that incredible journey with her. You will get to teach her to juggle a family and all of the expectations around it. You will get to make a lasting impact in the kingdom of Heaven in the life of an individual and in a family.