But today...today was one of the good days...today I spent a few precious moments with someone and I knew that what I said mattered, that she felt heard, that I gave her something to believe in...and, most of all, she said she had all but given up HOPE, but that I was giving her that very thing.
Hope. Have you ever really thought about that word and the weight it carries? It's a word I believe strongly in, a very small word that means so much. I look for it in each family I interview - without it they don't stand a chance. I listen for it in their voice, look for it in the depth of their eyes; sometimes it's easy to see, but often I have to dig a little deeper and help them remember what it is they are fighting so hard for. Life is hard - sometimes by our own hand, but sometimes we are hit over and over again with truly unfortunate circumstances. Job loss, broken relationships, abusive situations, the death of loved ones, illness, car accidents, mental illness...all things we see on a daily basis. While one thing is typically manageable, the families we see have most likely encountered several within a short period of time so it's no wonder hope is in short supply by the time they get to us. And I believe it's my job to help them use what hope they have left to start over - whatever that looks like for each of them.
Sometimes I see incredible things. Some days are absolutely amazing. I get to watch people, families, see their lives as something worth fighting for and their resiliency is beyond inspiring. I am humbled by them on a regular basis and feel honored to get to walk with them along their journey for a while. But, it's imperative that they know it's THEM doing the work, it's THEM creating a better life for their children. I can't do any of that for them and I wouldn't want to. But, there is nothing like knowing that something I do or say actually makes a difference if only for one person. And today...today, for one very scared lady, a few reassuring words and a hug did just that.