Scared is the New Brave: Part 2

I’ve already shared Part 1 of this story with you, but there’s more…

 

 

The call came at 9:25 AM. Was I in town? Could I come talk to a young mother? Yes… and yes.

 

So began my journey down a new path. I was scared.

 

But this time the story isn’t about me.

It’s about her.

 

Arriving at the women’s shelter, I met briefly with the director. Krystal (not her real name, of course) had arrived a few days before. She needed to work, but there was no one to care for her young son. Yet if she didn’t find a job – and stability – she was on a path to lose custody of her little boy. She was in a seemingly endless cycle of “impossible” that, not surprisingly, began many years before when she was her son’s age. It had continued as, for the next two decades she was abused – both in and out of foster care – eventually aging out of the system and left to fend for herself.

 

And things went downhill from there…

 

barbed wire nest

 

But now, five years later, she was ready to talk to someone about Safe Families for Children.

 

I met Krystal and young Jason, a rambunctious little guy with a bright smile and dancing eyes. While he played on the playground nearby, I sat quietly as the scared, twenty-something young mother shared her present reality, sobbing in frustration over the lifelong grip of hard times. There was no blame, only a Mama Bear kind of protection in her voice… and an eternal love on her face as she spoke of wanting the best for her son.

 

And there was courage.

I definitely saw courage.

 daisy

 

Krystal had just learned about Safe Families, and it sounded too good to be true. Was there really a Christian family willing to provide short-term care for her son so she could get a job and actually afford a place to live? Would they really pay for all of his expenses – just because they cared? And she really wouldn’t have to give up custody? … because that was non-negotiable.

 

I assured her those families did exist, had passed the necessary background checks and home inspections… and the perfect one was just waiting to open their home to Jason – if that was her choice.

 

She said she was scared. Jason had never spent longer than a weekend with anyone besides her. They had been through some really hard times together, but she had assured him she would always be there for him. If she sent him to a safe family, would he think she had lied? Would he understand it was really only temporary?

 

She watched a video on the Safe Families website and then, with resolve in her voice and tears on her cheeks, she bravely made her choice.

 

She would accept the offer of biblical hospitality from strangers.

She would relinquish guardianship temporarily in order to break the cycle. Her child would not become another tragic statistic in an already overcrowded, overburdened foster care system. She would keep her family together.

 

I made the call to the Safe Families coordinator. The following day she met Krystal and Jason, and a brave little boy was taken to a host family where he was welcomed by two parents, their four children, and a variety of farm animals. He’s in Little Boy Heaven! The first day, he bottle-fed a baby calf – and talked to his mother on the phone twice.

 

Days later, Krystal had found a job and started working. Jason came “home” and spent the weekend with her. Sending him back yesterday was harder on both of them than the first time, but they’ll be fine. When I saw how Jason’s face broke into a smile and watched him run across the room to hug his host Dad at our meeting place, I knew he was in good hands.

 

As for Krystal, she has a long road ahead of her, but God is faithful, and the roadblocks are already being dismantled one by one. An anonymous donor learned of the young mother’s courage and determination to break the generational cycle – and paid off a several hundred dollar balance that would have kept Krystal from applying for low-income housing. The women’s shelter, seeing Krystal’s determination, will extend her stay beyond the 45-day limit as long as she follows their rules, keeps working, and starts saving money.

 

For Krystal, scared is the new brave. She’s pushing forward. Her sacrifice is great, but the future for Krystal and her son is bright with hope.

 

I’m cheering her on!
Will you join me?

 

 

I’ll be joining:

Testimony Tuesday at Holly Barrett

Playdates with God at The Wellspring

Unite at Rich Faith Rising

Titus 2 Tuesday at Cornerstone Confessions

Tell Me A Story

#TellHisStory at Jennifer Dukes Lee

Comments

  1. Vicki Daugherty says:

    What a wonderful story….one that is, hopefully, repeated often. I am unfamiliar with Safe Families, but what an awesome ministry that must be. And as for little “Jason” he now has a chance at breaking the cycle and coming out a winner. Thank God for blessings. Vicki in Louisville KY.

    • Vicki, Safe Families is a nationwide movement of the Church to provide respite for stressed families BEFORE abuse occurs. Check out their website. Maybe you’ll even feel led to start a ministry in your area as I did in mine. “Krystal” is the first person here to take advantage of the program, but “Jason” actually had to go to a family in a neighboring county because the few volunteer families in our area are just beginning the approval process…

  2. Your inspiring post called for tissues. I am so glad that this woman and her son have an excellent chance to make it in life. God is on her side. Thank you for sharing with us here at “Tell Me a story.”

  3. Lately, I have been so overwhelmed that I want to stand up and cry. This had a completely different effect on me.

  4. Hi Susan! Thanks for stopping by my blog and introducing yourself. It’s great to meet another kindred spirit. I love your blog and reading about the work you and your husband are doing is inspiring. I checked out his website too and look forward to reading his book.

    By the way, “Scared is the new brave” – Great title and story to match! Thank you for sharing the hope that comes when we choose to push forward in spite of fear. Blessings!

  5. This is an awesome story, Susan! Thank you so much for sharing it and for the work you are doing with Safe Families. Love, love, love!

  6. Wow, Susan this was a beautiful story. I love your writing (and your kind heart). Thanks for sharing this.

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