Home Less

This summer  was the most difficult summer of my life.  I spent the summer living in the Salvation Army Homeless Shelter.  This was not an experiment, or a research project.  I was homeless due to a series of unfortunate events and some bad choices on my part.  I was totally unprepared mentally, emotionally and of course financially for being without a home.  I am grateful for the Salvation Army and for the spirit of what they do for homeless people. If it had not been for the Salvation Army I may have had to sleep in my car.  I resisted going to the shelter, because a part of me thought I was “too good” to live in a shelter. When you don’t have anywhere else to go, a homeless shelter starts to look pretty good.  The fact that i was in a homeless shelter is less important than the lessons that I learned while I was there.  I learned that no matter how bad you think you’ve had it, there is always someone worse off then you.  My kids are grown, I own my vehicle and I have a job.  I didn’t have to worry about any of those things and the fact that I have a job gave me somewhere to go during the day.  If you live in a homeless shelter, between the hours of 8am and 4pm you have to find somewhere else to go.  This was the hottest summer that I can remember.  There were people who had to be out in that heat because they didn’t have the luxury of a job to go to.  I could get in my car and go where ever I wanted.  I have family near by so I could get away from there periodically.  My attitude has been turned to gratitude.  Most of all I learned that you can’t live your life thinking that you are the only one who matters.  I was not the person that I thought I was when I went into the shelter.  I thought I was humble and honest and just a good person.  Being in a situation where I had to live among people who I didn’t know with issues that I could never have imagined forced me to realize that I was arrogant and snooty.  I let go of thinking that the world revolved around me and was able to (I hope) be a truly positive influence.  I could only do that when I kept my eyes on Jesus who is the Author and the Finisher of my faith.  I learned to rely on God in a way that I never imagined was possible.  Just because I didn’t lose my mind while I was there didn’t mean it wasn’t a real possibility.  After 44 days homeless, I’m much closer to being the person that I though I was when I went in.  I’m not there yet, but I’m closer.   I am now at a point in my life where there is very little stress.  I live on campus which has removed the stress of paying rent and light bill and cable and dsl (tuition covers everything).  Even though my job is very stressful,  I am so grateful for it, that even that is less stressful than living in a homeless shelter.   I trust God and know that His plan for my life is a plan for my good (Jeremiah 29:11), however, I can’t help looking over my shoulder, waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Because I am a writer there is a book that will be forthcoming from my homeless experience but not right now.   in the meantime, I hope that, instead of waiting for something to go wrong, I can learn how to make the most of this and enjoy it while it lasts.  But mostly I never want to forget the experience of being homeless because it reminded me that people are more important than anything that we can own.

Advertisements

~ by Diva2de on September 13, 2012.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s