Homelessness is more than a circumstance you find yourself in. A person can be “homeless” in their mind and heart, and it can cripple their efforts to move forward in life.
A meaningful life of purpose is not a quest for perfection as much as it is a quest for liberation from those things that may hold back our effectiveness or reduce the power of our daily efforts.
We were born with a purpose of expanding God's Kingdom on the Earth. God said that all the forces of hell would not be able to stop the advancement of His Kingdom in the hearts of the people on the Earth. But the power in our own minds? That can stop us dead in our tracks!
Some work towards fulfilling their purpose by devoting their lives to full-time ministry.
Christian businessmen and women do this my devoting themselves to their careers, funding God's Kingdom with the fruits of their labors.
Spouses, parents, teachers and the like do this by investing in people ... growing and developing other's minds and hearts to see and know the nature of Jesus Christ.
Regardless of our vehicle, we must ask ourselves "what is keeping me from being effective for God's Kingdom?" And, then, we must diligently and intentionally remove those things from our lives that are holding us back from performing at peak level.
One day I asked God what was keeping me from being effective. He said I didn't trust Him and I lived in too much fear … a fear that had been fed by many years of struggle.
I used to know, or thought I knew, exactly how God was going to use me to further His Kingdom on Earth. For almost two decades, I laid aside every person and dream that didn't line up with that trajectory. If a person or a thing wasn't beneficial to that ultimate goal of full-time ministry, they had to go.
But, things didn't work out as I had imagined. I took hit after hit after hit ... solidifying my fears and feeding my doubts about God's plan for my life. Life sent me up a cold, dark mountain on an unexpected path, and I lost my passion and my vision for introducing Jesus Christ to people along the way.
"Without a vision a people parish," the Bible says. That couldn't have been more true for me. I found myself in a place of being completely lost in a fog of disillusionment. I had no idea where to go or what direction to head in. I had no idea who I was anymore. I just felt abandoned and alone.
What was worse, I had lost my marriage, my step-son, most of my friends, my church family, my house, my car, my career, AND my health all within a two year period of time. And, from that point forward things only got worst over the next few years. If it had not been for my parents and for two loving, godly friends who loved me just as I was, I don't know how I would've made it through that season. I looked okay on the outside, but inside i was falling apart.
I was stuck. I felt powerless to move and make any changes to my life, mostly because of the physical illnesses I was battling at the time. Anytime I'd make some spiritual and emotional progress, I'd have a physical setback, and the hopelessness would come rolling back in.
I wish I could say I handled that season of my life like a champ, but my best simply wasn’t good enough. I found myself doubting God, feeling hopeless, and mostly just lost…completely lost. I felt more alone in church than I did at home. Being around “happy” people was so hard. They just didn’t get it. No matter where I went or who I was with, I felt a paralyzing loneliness and sense of homelessness that would not relent. This feeling came with more anxiety than I can explain, and just being around other people became very difficult.
I felt “homeless” even though I was anything but. It honestly felt worse being around my family, people, or even just or going to church. I didn’t have any person in my past I wanted to return to, and I didn’t have anywhere in the future that felt like home. I felt like a nomad in the desert.
... And ... for the first time in my life I truly understood the nature and the mentality of poverty and what prevents a person, who has lived in a poverty mindset for an extended period of time, to just give up. I also know what keeps a person in that place, even when they're being given an opportunity to get up and out of it.
When God finally called me into a better place and began to bring me up out of that dark place, I was so angry at Him. I had lived that way for so long, taking me out of what was familiar to me made me irrationally angry. It took awhile for me to lay aside my need to stay where things were awful-yet-comfortable so I could embrace something new and healthier.
And, that is what most of our patients at The Mercy Ministries have experienced by the time they enter our doors. Getting them to see a healthier path, to trust God along that path, and to dare to hope for a better tomorrow is quite the feat! Our nurses, teachers, pastor, volunteers, and administrators work tirelessly to help those who feel lost and homeless, victimized and hopeless, to stand on their own two feet and take intentional steps towards restored life.
However, I'm so happy to report most of our patients are doing the work, and they are making progress, and we’re seeing BIG WINS every single week!
We couldn’t do what we do without your support, and especially your prayers! God is so faithful! We see Him in every one of your faces, and in every need we encounter. Thank you for continuing to support our efforts as we endeavor to reach the thousands of men and women, ages 19-64, who are living in the 200% of the poverty level in and around Toombs County. Together, we are making a lasting difference. PUTTING GOD’S LOVE IN ACTION!
Director of Development, The Mercy Ministries