2023 November #1
By a Joy Junction Staff Member (JBF)
Where is your “happy place?” Do you have a familiar location you like to go to in order to feel a deep peace? Do you go somewhere quiet to escape life’s hectic demands? Is it your easy chair in your home, or a camping site by a beautiful river, or maybe a mountain retreat space surrounded by tall trees?
Most of us have specific spaces or places that fill us with a comfortable, calm, relaxed feeling. We look forward to being in that location. We prepare our hearts, well ahead of time, as we wait in expectation.
After being in our happy place, feelings of immense pleasure, joy, and contentment fill us up to the brim and over flow into our everyday activities. People may even ask what’s going on with us, because of the change in our attitude or behavior. We may even wear a ridiculous smile on our face throughout the days that follow.
It’s a good life when everything is going according to plan. The stars shine brighter at night, the birds sing sweeter in the morning, and we have a little skip to our feet as we walk through our day.
But, what happens when the demands of life hit again, and our happy place is suddenly pushed to the far reaches of our mind? What then?
When life makes an unexpected u-turn, and you are suddenly thrown into a path that is going in the opposite direction, there can be some pretty heavy emotions involved.
Some of the stories our guests have shared really pull on the heartstrings. We can hear the fear in their voice as they reveal their situation.
For example, Callie (not her real name) was going about her daily life, feeling all was well…until it wasn’t. Here’s her story.
I thought life was good.
I had a job I enjoyed and was living with roommates I liked. Then, the unimaginable happened. I lost my job and was unable to pay my portion of the rent. I had no other family or friends in the city to turn to, and my roommates could not carry the extra expense. I didn’t know what to do. It was scary.
I was fortunate to know the landlord well enough to discuss my situation with him. I was introduced to the idea of going to a shelter, and he told me about Joy Junction.
He said they help people in my position, and they have a program that brings about life-changing options. As scared as I was about going to an unfamiliar place with people I didn’t know, I decided the program was what I needed. I wanted a whole new start. My landlord was kind enough to take me to the shelter.
Even though I was nervous in the beginning, about being in a shelter with strangers, I joined the program as soon as I could. I have been working hard to complete all the assignments. I’m so thankful there was a place for me to go, because I really had no other option – besides trying to live out of my car.
I feel safe here and the program is really helping me. I’m very thankful for the things I’m learning, and I’m getting to know others in the same situation.
My faith and relationship with God is being restored, and I can see my future being something to look forward to again.
Callie is working toward changing her habits and thought patterns. She has learned that focusing on God’s plan is the best way to have a productive and peaceful life. She has high hopes for her future, as do many others who have gone through our program.
So, even though there are bumps in the road and unexpected turns in the path that was originally planned, life can still be good…with a little extra help from others who have caring hearts.
Our main goal is to provide the necessities for people who have lost pretty much everything, and then guide them through a program, designed to enlighten and encourage, to a better future.
If you see someone who is homeless, say a prayer for them. Then, give us a call at 800-924-0569 to see about having a driver go out and check on them. If they choose to take the offered ride to our shelter, we will do our best to help them.