Easter is a time of reflection, and of praise. I am so thankful for Jesus giving his life so that we could live. So I guess it is also a time of thankfulness….
I am so blessed to be working with the children living within these three group homes for they give me more than I could ever give them. I see Jesus in their smiling eyes, in their laughter, and in their pain.
During visits, parties, and outings we encounter all sorts of outbursts, some good and some not so good but they all are the result of a child reaching out for love. All children crave love and attention when they are young. Like my three year old granddaughter, they scream, they hit, they fall down to gain our attention. They want to see who is watching, who cares enough to stop what they are doing to help, to listen, to hold.
When life gets hard and we have no other outlet, we scream, we cry, we lash out. You may be able to control your outbursts because you have had the love and understanding of someone setting the example for you. What if they weren’t there? What if no one showed you how to control your emotions? What would happen if you ate your emotions, kept them bottled up inside of yourself?
Sometimes cries for help come in the form of loud screams of anguish. Sometimes they are in the form of violence and fighting with others. Other times it involves self-mutilation, or silence. I have seen all of these behaviors from one girl, and I thank the Lord for giving her the strength to reach out for help. I thank the Lord for giving us the opportunity to be there for her, to guide her, to receive from her. St Patrick’s youth group, Life Teen, went on a retreat (Spring Retreat 2017 “Unfinished”) which this young lady grudgingly attended. She was told by her house mom “There is an open slot on the retreat and you are going.” She had been having angry outbursts with other girls, in and out of the home, resulting in the loss of her privileges. During the retreat she blossomed like a beautiful rose, she shared her personal story on stage in front of 100 campers, strangers to her. The Lord reached out and blessed this young lady during the retreat. She was able to make an impact in the lives of so many and come away with love in her heart. Upon their return, all of the kids attended 5pm mass where it was a blessing to see the light in her eyes, the hugs from new found friends, and her warm loving smile.
I thank God for this ministry and the ability to witness His hand in the lives of these beautifully broken children. I am in awe of their strength and will to thrive. All we do is plow the fertile earth. He plants the seeds so that we can watch them grow. Thank you, Jesus, for all you have given us and all that you have yet to give. Because of you, oh great Lord, we have the strength and will to continue on our journey through life. Where You lead we will follow.
We are here for the long haul and we will not go away.
That is what the For the Love of Kids Ministry is about; helping with love in any way we can.