I made a new friend and found a new personal hero last week in a man called Jason. I met him because a friend had suggested that I give him a call: “He just needs some advice on raising teenagers” she said!
Although I have no children of my own yet, I arranged to meet up because I few years ago I adapted a parenting course for dealing with difficult teenagers. I went along to meet him, pack under my arm, ready to dispense some wisdom and change this guy’s life. I came away humbled and inspired.
Jason is a regular 23 year old guy. He’s funny, has a big grin on his face, talks a lot and seems to enjoy life. Last August, Jason’s mum died from a heroin overdose. His dad is no longer on the scene and his two brothers live elsewhere, so as well as coping with the grief of her death, Jason was left to care for his twelve year-old sister at home. He gave up his job so he be around before and after school, and he is working hard to prove to Social Services and the courts that he should gain full custody of his sister while also negotiating the benefits system, housing and schools.
While talking with him, it became clear that he is doing amazingly well. He’s passionate about caring for his sister and although it’s obviously a burden at time, he wouldn’t have it any other way. During my time there, I made a couple of suggestions but mostly listened. He’s really got it together and just needed to talk with someone about the situation.
Part of our conversation was about God. He says he knows there’s ‘something there’ but hasn’t decided what yet. It’s funny because Jason has such a positive and hopeful outlook, I could sense that God was present with him anyway! I’m going to meet up with him again in a couple of weeks to see how he’s getting on.
I have a couple of other people who have become my personal heroes:
Claire went been through a really horrible experience with her husband and yet has remained hopeful, joyous and loving throughout it all. She is a real inspiration to me.
Zoe has coped with horrific trauma in her personal relationships and struggled to raise her children on her own. She was timid and fearful until she became a Christian a few years ago and has now been transformed! She is just not the same woman anymore and stuns me with her talents and abilities that were hidden before!
These amazing people serve to remind me of what can be achieved in the most difficult circumstances and challenge me to have a loving and humble attitude in my daily life.