Encountering Homelessness in 2019

Happy New Year!

2019 Is The Year Of The Voice

I struggled to get off the jam-packed freeway full of road rage and weary drivers that found themselves parked instead of moving forward.  Here it was 6:45 p.m. and I needed to get my life-sustaining heart meds before 7:00 because the pharmacy closed its steel doors at the strike of the 7:00 hour and would be closed for the next two days. 

Once I got off the freeway, there was no way possible to maneuver over four lanes in enough time to turn into the pharmacy’s parking lot so I was forced to travel another bumper-to-bumper half-mile to perform a U-turn.  Amazingly, the light connected with my anxiety and turned green, rushing me into the parking lot with just a few minutes spare to run in and get my prescriptions. 

As I leaped out of my car, I was stopped, even bullied and challenged by an unknown homeless man who was adamant that I give him a couple of bucks. 

You see, in my city, the City of Roseville, I refuse to put up with panhandling.  It’s a distraction.  It initiates fear and crime and there’s ABSOLUTELY NO NEED FOR IT! 

I have even been known to stop in the middle of an intersection to get them to move on.  It’s not that I lack compassion; after all, I run a homeless organization, but it’s just that we have many resources available and their panhandling is an excuse and becomes an eyesore.

I work hard to help guide and direct them to get tapped into alternative resources and get off the streets. 

It’s hard for reality to prevail over guilt!

When encountering panhandlers, I instinctively stop what I’m doing and give them the lowdown of who I am, how and why I run an organization catered specifically to helping love on the homeless, and if they are hungry, I will buy them food.  I then pray over them, give them my business card, and tell them that if I come back in the next hour and still see them panhandling, I will have them arrested. 

You might find that harsh given my heart pours out the love of Jesus into these individuals daily, but if the services we offer don’t suffice, then it’s obvious they’re only looking for a quick fix related to drugs and/or alcohol.

This man was the FIRST AND ONLY HOMELESS individual who didn’t pack up and leave.  Sadly, he felt his fear tactics and threats to kill would influence me otherwise. 

I challenged him with his futile threats to go ahead (not the brightest move admittedly), but I’m ready to meet my savior, Jesus Christ, at any time so it didn’t really matter.

phonto-6

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is praying that 2019 initiates a new attitude and compassion for stabilization regarding our homeless epidemic. 

Being the founder of Blameless, I want to be very honest here.  In working to stabilize our homelessness through God’s Great Love, I humbly admit I get frustrated and quite offended when I encounter panhandlers.  Giving them “money” is defeating our arduous work!  It’s much easier to trigger sympathy than to seek help.

Mental illness is the main precursor of homelessness; addiction, depression, psychosis, abuse, rejection, and abandonment issues are the leading causes, but a lot of homelessness has to do with shame and guilt and the need for guidance to get reestablished back into society. 

I don’t like seeing the makeup of my town changing because homelessness is out of control, and everywhere you look they’re either lined up around our stores or in parking lots panhandling or passed out in our parks while depleting our fire and law enforcement resources.

Blameless Homeless Rite-Aid

img_0610

Please don’t encourage Panhandling!

There are many ways you can help and we need a village of people to come together and help combat this Goliath.  Please don’t encourage panhandling by offering money; but instead, as you encounter homeless beloveds, acknowledge their presence with eye contact and a warm smile and maybe even say “good morning.”  Being affirmed builds worth and a sense of belonging.

You could offer to buy them a sandwich or burger along with a milk.  A used bike and metal cart is invaluable. 

Another idea is sharing you are tight on money, but could they use laundromat tokens or clothing?  Share with them you’ll go home and be right back with a few things and/or buy tokens with laundry detergent. 

Better yet, donate to charitable nonprofits like Blameless that deal with homelessness.

Here is a glimpse of one homeless beloved who wanted to go to the laundromat for his birthday…

img_0335

I personally have found that the most significant treasure was asking if I could pray for them.  Praying over an individual offers hope and a sprinkling of love that someone actually acknowledges their presence and took the time to pray for them.

Being the hands and feet of God encourages the homeless that they’re seen and their lives matter.  This is the way our communities can come together along with the homeless and help find a remedy to stabilize and tackle this epidemic.

God is going to do mighty things in 2019 and tackling this homelessness is going to be one of them. 

Happy New Year!  May God be with you, keep you safe and bless your generosity.

 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Advertisements

When You Have Been Abused, Abandoned and Rejected, What Is Next?

When You Have Been Abused, Abandoned and Rejected, What Is Next?

Part 1

I’ve been abused, abandoned and rejected.  Now what?  What does that say about me when others treat me as rubbish and waste?  We only discard filth, so does that mean I’m not worthy to be loved, honored and cherished?  Who discards their child with contempt anyways? 

Disclaimer:  This blog series for the next couple months may trigger some Beloveds that have been a victim of abuse.  Abuse and rejection are hard areas to heal.

Who wants to vocalize and admit they’re a victim of abuse, abandonment and rejection?   Not me, but it’s something we need to talk about and share with one another, so…

We all desire to be loved, accepted and belong.  I am no exception.  Admitting I was thrown out as waste and unwanted droppings automatically labeled me as a reject, unwanted, refused, loser, no value, screwed up, refund demanded!  What does that say Blameless Clearance Rack 3about me as a Beloved, my worth and value, and every decision I would make subsequently thereafter? 

When you’re not wanted and abandoned, that rejection tears right through your heart, mind, body and soul.  Plus, you don’t know how to love or be loved; instead you become one whom must perform to others’ expectations in order to be loved.  WRONG!

I’m glad I’m a Beloved who chases after my Lord, even though He never leaves our side.  Otherwise, I truly don’t know how I would have walked through such a lonely, hopeless and heartbreaking journey, much less become the bold and courageous Beloved I am today.  God turned my ashes into beauty.  I know I’m God’s treasured daughter who was once found at the bottom of the dump, but God meticulously cleaned me up and now I’m crowned skipping merrily in freedom, confidence and wholeness.  What a beautiful assurance of His Great Love.  That’s called a beautiful exchange!

As the torturing fire of acknowledgement burns the pit of my stomach as I write, my mouth regurgitates “I’ve been rejected, AGAIN!”  The reality of such an abominable tragedy to any child is overwhelming, but the power from the eruption of St. Tammy’s Emotions exposes an even deeper level of loss and insecurities.

I am so grateful the Lord didn’t consider me scraps that are thrown out to the pigs.  Instead He chooses to love, cherish and relentlessly pursue me so much that He even extended His loving arms down from heaven to protect me when I drove myself off that cliff 37 years ago and redeemed my life with His Great Love.

God doesn’t kick His children to the curb or throw them away like a piece of deplorable regret.  In fact, He calls His children His masterpieces and works of art!  His Love never ceases and He will never forsake us either.  There’s nothing we can do to lose that Love.

When We’re Considered A Piece of Deplorable Regret!

I am not the only person who’s been rejected and abused, much less abandoned.  My heart genuinely grieves for the Beloveds that have been violently tormented.  My teeth grit just thinking about the unconscionable behavior of others.  It’s hell that no one could even begin to understand unless you’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death yourself. 

Emotional trauma caused by those who profess to love you is the hardest journey to walk through victoriously.  It can cause other mental health issues such as depression, addiction, eating disorders, you name it, just to escape and numb the pain that afflicts the heart and mind.  I know, alcohol makes a great numbing agent, or did!

This is really hard for me to talk about.  Dealing with the tragedies of life and facing it head on is something that is outside of my comfort zone without Mr. Denial, but…

When one is discarded like rubbish, though, this torment leaves a permanent marking from the scorching cauterization of the branding iron.  This imprint of “rejected” forever tarnishes one’s worth and value tragically and effects behaviors regarding life, love and choices and decisions.  Even effects our relationship with God.

God is a God of love and mercy, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love (Psalm 103:8) who never leaves our side.  I’ve been healed by the touch of God and now I understand why I passionately want to help the unlovable because all lives matter and deserve to be loved. 

One thing is absolutely certain besides my tangent:  No one is unlovable and removed from the touch of God!

My bestie lovingly reminded me of the worse offenders to help soothe the sting of my abuser’s manic explosion.  She shared, “Some moms sell their children as sex slaves for rent money and to satisfy their own drug fix.”

We are not the labels our offenders branded us with!

The greatest gift God gives us is family and friendships.  If we’ve been orphaned, God brings us friendships to fill those vacancies and walk alongside of us being the hands and feet of God, along with offering their precious hearts and time.  The love, hope and affirmations we receive from our relationships cultivate our beauty to bloom right where we’re planted.  That’s how we thrive and not just survive.  Investing precious time into our relationships not only shows love, but it also revives honor.

Because we are loved immeasurably more than we could ever imagine, the torturous time feeling invisible and insignificant, you know, overlooked because we are tossed out with the rest of the trash, God sees us.  He not only sees us, He is even proud to be seen with us and calls us the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8).  Blameless Crown Tiarra 7To know we are His prized possession and treasured Beloveds should empower us to walk bravely and take risks with confidence knowing He will never leave us. 

When only Love could make a way, being immersed in God’s mercy and love creates a wholeness and contentment of heart.  Knowing we are called His treasured daughters enables us to forgive our offenders.  People are full of pain and pride and sickness.  Shame cripples and shackles.  It’s a powerful membrane.  But we don’t have to stay entangled in the Black Widow’s web of destruction.

Honestly, even though I am at a great place in my life spiritually, professionally and emotionally, admitting that I’m orphaned and not wanted is a hard pill to swallow.  It’s hard to admit that.  It does leave a sense of loss to my heart, but I’ll allow this pain to help others.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless New Beginnings 1.1

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: