By a Joy Junction Staff Member (JBF)
So, there you are, stuck in traffic… There’s no way to move forward or backward. You have tons of things to accomplish during this particular day and even more on your mind. But, there’s nothing you can do. You just have to stay put until the car in front of you moves, so you can move.
Circumstances beyond your control have interrupted your day…your plan…your life.
We’ve all been in situations where we wish we could change the circumstances. That happens pretty much every day, for one reason or another. No matter how big or small, issues that do not conform to our “perfect” idea of the plan for the day cause us to wish things were different.
It’s a normal part of life.
However, when you are homeless, sometimes the wish list to change the situation includes changing more than the outward circumstances. There are many reasons why homelessness happens. But, when the reason includes some form of addition or harmful behavior, a transformation needs to occur.
Because of the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ, which is celebrated on Easter Sunday, we are all given the opportunity to begin again, to transform, with a new start in life.
Easter is a good time to think about miraculous transformations. We have a nine-month life recovery program that uses 12 steps (a Jesus version of AA) to encourage those who are struggling with any kind of addiction. It teaches a person how to choose a more productive response when the desire hits.
The Twelve Steps
- We admitted that we were powerless over our problems and that our lives had become unmanageable.
- We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- We made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God.
- We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- We were entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character.
- We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
- We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- We continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry it out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.***
We encourage those who come to us to leave the “old” behind and seek a new life full of God’s blessings. Whether that includes addictions or just the need to find employment and/or a place of their own, a change toward the positive is available for the choosing.
One of our residents shared his story:
“My life was total chaos,” Gerald (not his real name) said, with a shake to his head. “I was hateful toward myself and others – and God.” He admitted he was an awful person before arriving at Joy Junction.
Gerald began his story explaining that when he first arrived, he would put on a fake smile. He would not ask anyone for help, and he would blow up at the drop of a hat — and not care about who got hurt in the process.
Then, one day, he got sick. Before he knew it, his world was turned upside down. One thing led to another, and open-heart surgery was required.
“That experience changed me inside and out,” he said.
“I believe God put me through that scary ordeal to give me a wake-up call. I think He wanted me to realize that I wasn’t just hurting myself with my ugliness, I was hurting everyone around me.”
Because of all that Gerald has gone through, he now shares that he can face things head on and make the choice to ask for help when he needs it.
“It’s a daily process, but with the guidance of the Christ in Power Program, I’m learning to trust God to help me. I want Him to take control of my life.”
Gerald, along with many other residents who have gone through the program, rightfully gives thanks to God for all the changes that have gone on in his life. It’s not an easy process, but it is well worth the effort to be freed from addictions or harmful behaviors.
Miraculous Transformations are possible!
Please pray for those who make such a huge decision to choose to change for the better.
We depend on you to help us further our mission to serve the homeless in the Albuquerque area. Thank you for your support!
***The Twelve Steps used in TheLifeRecoveryWorkbook have been adapted with permission from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.