Every year I meet hundreds of kids who face really complex challenges. Many who are born in to and inherit really sad stories from the minute they open their eyes to the world. They’re born in to problems like domestic violence, single parent homes, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, generational crime and so on – they’re born in to brokenness.
Inevitably they grow up and these problems don’t disappear they become the criminal, the drunk, the single parent, the abuser. We see their story flashed across our television screens for us all to look on and shake our heads with disgust.
By the time I was two I was in a single parent home, by 6 I was witness to and victim of domestic violence, by 8 I knew exactly what marijuana looked and smelt like. I remember lying in my bed listening to horrific fights that would happen on my front lawn with some random that was at our home again. I was born in to brokenness.
By the time I was 11 that brokenness started to permeate in to other parts of my life, lots of boyfriends, experimenting with alcohol, really aggressive behaviour.
But at 13 I met someone that believed in me. Believed more for my life then the path that was laid out for me. They shared their family with me, showed me how to deal with all of the really deep seated pain I was feeling in a constructive way, they encouraged me to dream big.
Finishing school became an option, going to university didn’t seem so unrealistic, marrying a man who respects me seemed possible, having a successful career became achievable. So that’s what I did. I finished school, I completed an undergrad in social science, I married a kind and gentle man and I developed and lead programs for really vulnerable kids.
I don’t know what your story is, but what if you were the hero in this story. What if you were the person who didn’t watch the news and shake your head with disgust – but understood the story behind the brokenness. Who believed in kids, loved on them and showed them a different way.
I truly believe that every child is born innately good and we’re responsible for what happens after that.