By Jeremy Reynalds, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO
I got thinking about our individual legacies after watching a couple of movies. One was “The Founder,” the story of the man who brought McDonald’s to international fame and prominence.
The other was titled “The Most Hated Woman in America,” the very sad tale of a woman who successfully initiated a battle to have prayer taken out of public schools.
The homeless are no different. They also want their lives to count, so we asked a few of our Joy Junction guests what they would like their legacy to be, and whether Joy Junction is helping them get toward that goal.
One woman said she would like to be remembered as someone who is slow to anger, makes good decisions because she is not “impulsive or reckless,” and respects the rights of others to behave the way they choose.
Another woman who identified herself as a transgendered individual said she would like her legacy to be as someone who came from “sheer pain to delightful beauty through recovery and spiritual healing.”
She would like to be remembered as a person “used by God and my past to not just help others, but to show (them) that God and recovery do exist through a transgender’s world.”
Joy Junction is helping her achieve that goal, she said. (“It’s) by far the only place I know of that continuously strengthens me day in and day out, with the love and education both spiritually and mentally to want to be a better individual for myself and for others.”
Anna said that her legacy will be a “challenge,” but that she knows with God everything is possible.
She added, “I am in school right now for my high school diploma and then I plan on getting my surgical tech’s license. I will always remember what I have accomplished, and I know that Joy Junction has a big part in it.”
Angelica said she would like her legacy to be someone who was the mother whom God wanted her to be.
One woman said she would like to be remembered as a compassionate and loving mother, who was understanding, non-judgmental and persevering.
She added, “Also as a strong, devoted Christian woman with a good moral compass, and an approachable character.”
A male guest said he would like to be remembered by his kids as “awesome, and the best person that gave them wisdom and understanding to be a successful adult and for my music to spread through my kids.”
Another guest said she would like to be remembered as someone who started her own homeless shelter. She said she’s unsure whether or not Joy Junction can help her do that.
She added, “I also want to be known as the one person who destroyed every stereotype about homeless people.”
Bernardo said he wants to live a life that is pleasing to God, so that he can guide others in the right way by hearing the Word of God. He would also like that to be his legacy.
Stephanie said she hopes people will remember her as being kind, compassionate towards all, loving, accepting others no matter their age, race or beliefs.”
She also wants to be remembered as someone who feared the Lord and was a loving daughter, sister, niece and friend.
Another guest said he would like his legacy to be that of a life changed by God.
He continued, “Joy Junction has helped by allowing me to show others how God has changed my life from my addictions and selfishness, to humbling myself and serving others.”
Another guy said he hopes to be remembered as a godly man, a husband to his wife and a father to his kids.
However, he added, “I do not want a legacy or to be in the limelight. I just want to remain humble.”
Sophia said she would like her legacy to be that of inspiring others to draw closer to God, and not go down the wrong path.
She added, “Joy Junction is helping me by giving an environment that is safe, and allowing me in the Christ in Power life recovery program.”
One woman had a markedly different response to others. She said, “I am not very concerned about how I am remembered here on earth. I am more concerned with how God sees my life, and doing what He wants me to do.”
So what would you like your legacy to be? It’s worth thinking about.