We have been feeling God leading us toward the preventative side of substance abuse which has also lead us to looking at healthy lifestyle choices in general. As I have been spending a great deal of time becoming educated in this process, I have come up against a challenge I was not sure what to do with till this point.
My education has mostly dealt with spending time with individuals and families who are currently in pain due to poor lifestyle choices in the realm of substance abuse. My challenge has come in the form of sensitive information. I don’t feel I can share the stories of the families I’ve been working with, but I still want you to know the ministry we have been doing. So I want to share what I’ve been going through.
Empathy is an unsurmountable mountain if you simply look at the mountain instead of begin to climb it activley. Knowing families and individuals are hurting due to substance abuse interested me, but a great flame of passion has sprung up as I began climbing with those in pain. The more involved I got, the more I hurt when substance abuse reared its ugly head. Fighting for the answer to why it is happening is so hard when we were just trying to keep it from happening another time. But the answer to why seems to be the only real way to stop the next occurance. Then you through into the mix the need for groceries, rent, school work, and just the day to day issues we all face. How do you find the strength to continue each day? Where do you find the hope in continueing to put effort into this seemingly fatal battle? What hope is there? WHY DIDN’T WE DO MORE TO KEEP THIS FROM HAPPENING INSTEAD OF ALL THE EFFORT WE ARE PUTTING INTO THIS NOW!!!!!!????
Well I am hurting, tired, frustrated, and full of hope now. Our church group is studying 2 Corinthians this month which has been helpful. Chapter 1 verse 4 has this to say, “(God) Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.” I am in the midst of suffering with my extended family because God was there for me in my suffering. And as I suffer with them now I am hopefull for the celebration we will get to share in when we are all consoled by Christ’s impact in their lives.
This suffering has fuelled our search for a way to impact these families before getting to this point which has given me additional hope. We are developing a program to address unhealthly lifestyle choices as a way to love our community because God loved us first. Our hope is in serving our community in such a practical way it will open doors for explaining that it is because of Christ that we have hope in our hearts and that He is the reason for our lives.
Thank you for supporting and joining us in this journey.
Love, The Neels