Wednesday, October 1


Yesterday was rough.
As in, crying off and on throughout the day.
Pretty much every time I talked to someone, the ever-near tears came streaming down my face.

I live at Oasis...a restoration facility for boys with behavioral or drug related issues. This means, the requirement to coming to Oasis is that you have a problem. You have some kind of brokenness in your past whether at the hands of others or by your own choices or, as in most cases, both.

Yesterday, probably due to some exhaustion and some stress, I lost it. I was talking to my friends/coworkers, who live out there full time, about a particular situation which led them to sharing about the boys with whom we live. Sharing some of the scars and baggage and brokenness that they bring to Oasis, along with their own anger-issues or drug-addictions. Most of these boys have experienced abuse whether sexually or physically by the very adults who should have protected and nurtured them.

The greatest issue I have at Oasis is learning how to show love with boundaries. I have learned (am learning) that when I naturally and purely want to give hugs or kisses to the boys, that very often, they, in their brokenness, do not know how to receive that love without sexualizing it. An hug or kiss from me can lead to them believing lies or fantasies about "us."

I was overwhelmed by this yesterday. This boys are so broken that they cannot receive or understand natural motherly, unconditional love. And yes, some of it is from consequences of their own actions, but a lot of it has to do with homes in which they lived and the broken parents that raised them. For them, I grieved. And grieved. I could not stop the tears. How can I, who has no understanding of this kind of life, who had a safe Christ-fearing godly-parents home, be a blessing to these boys who can't comprehend what a pure hug means due to their brokenness? What can I possibly say to them? How does God desire to use me in this ministry when I feel so inadequate?

I was reminded that God may want to use me in their lives to teach them what a healthy family looks like, what a healthy person looks like...without the baggage, without the give them hope and a vision for personal change and how their own family could look one day in the future. Broken people do not need to beget broken people. The cycles of pain that was "normal" in their home, at the hands of their parents or guardians, doesn't need to be the cycle in their home, with their kids. They can be the one who can change and they can be the one who loves well, with the healing power of Jesus! And I can be an image of this. A word of encouragement. A hope aspired. I can show them real love...not manipulative abusive love...but unconditional Christ-powered love. Yes, with boundaries, but I can still show love. He who is mighty is able to heal and restore the broken-hearted and for this season of our lives, I get to be a part of their healing.

After a sound sleep, this morning, at breakfast, I announced to the boys that I had good news for them. When I had their attention, I said, "The mercies of God are new every morning and His love never has an end." I needed to hear that. They needed to hear that. I'll start with this promise and trust God to continue teaching and using me in the days that follow in the lives of these beloved boys.