I had lost focus on what matters in life

I had lost focus on what matters in life

2024 January #1
By a Joy Junction Staff Member (JBF)

At the beginning of every new year, most of us tend to stop and take stock in what all we did during the year before, and what we plan to do differently, or better, in the year ahead.

Some years have been very hard, and we are SO looking forward to a new start. We may wonder how our hearts were able to carry such a heavy load during the hard times. Could we manage to go through it again if we had to?

On the other hand, some years have been very enjoyable – to the point that we hate to see the end. Harmony and happiness were found throughout the weeks and months that passed by so quickly. Could we possibly duplicate it?

Either way, the beginning of a new year is a good time to examine each section of life and see if there are places that need altering.

Are there bills that need to be paid off?
Are there people who need to be contacted?
Are there bad habits that need to be changed?
Are there projects that need to be started or completed?

Making plans for a new way of thinking about those life sections should be a big part of the adjustment or development phase in the new year. It all starts with the thinking process.

Those who come to us have usually had to go through “steps” in their mind to finally decide that they need our help. It’s not always an easy decision to make.

You may think all of our guests have come to us because they lost everything due to drugs, alcohol, gambling, or some other kind of bad habit.

However, some of our guests are not struggling with addictions or destructive behavior. They are battling the “how do I get through another day with no income” situation. Some may have income, but it’s not enough, so they wind up losing everything. It’s terrifying and fills a person with anxiety and fear. Stacey (not her real name), one of our female guests, was fighting that very battle.

Here’s her story:

I had lost focus on what matters in life…

I was rushing around, but accomplishing nothing.

I felt like all I did was rush, rush, rush. I was trying to keep life from overtaking me. I worked long, hard days, and was still behind.

I was trying to take care of things by myself and found that I was lacking something – I didn’t know what – that could help me get everything done. My family had turned their back on me, which I can now see wound up being a positive thing.

I was concerned about finding food to eat and keeping a roof over my head and paying the bills…all the time. It was a never-ending cycle. I just couldn’t keep up. I was exhausted…and I was losing my apartment.

I finally had to accept that I needed a change in my life. I knew I couldn’t control everything and didn’t know everything. That much, I had figured out. So, when I heard that Joy Junction had a program that could help me get rid of the stress I was living in, I decided to give it a try. It was time to learn something new.

I found a ride to the shelter and joined the class. The program has helped me finally understand what real living is all about. It’s so different…but, in a good way. I no longer have to rely totally on myself to get through this life. I have learned that God knows what He is doing and I can rely on Him for all my needs.

I’m ready to start a new phase in my life. Jesus and me…we’re going to make it!

Half the battle is making the decision to do something about the circumstance causing the hardships. It is a long road, sometimes, to get to that point. But once that decision has been made, and the trip to our shelter has been taken, we are ready to shower love on the person the moment they step through our doors.

Our staff works hard to maintain a positive attitude and environment so our guests can begin to feel encouraged about the next phase in their lives. Coming to our shelter is like a turning point in someone’s life. Sometimes, it’s the starting point for a whole new way of living.

However, it takes willpower to go beyond the thinking stage. We are happy to be the source of hope for those who have made the hard decision to put action to their thoughts, seek help, and turn over a new leaf to get out of their homeless situation.

May the new year ahead be full of hope for all.

Happy New Year!