I woke this morning to the rain. The downpour on my roof shocked me awake. Even though I was in the comfort of my home, I was aware of what was going on outside. While the wind was blowing and the rain was viciously hitting my window, I was safe, dry and warm. I instantly thought of our youth that we serve weekly at our Drop-In Center. My heart dropped. I said a prayer asking the Lord to be with them. While I knew that I couldn’t change where they were in that moment, He could be with them. I have been learning lately that through the ups and downs of life, the comforter is always around. We just have to have an open posture to let him do His work.

Too often life can be comfortable. It isn’t until we are shocked awake that we are reminded of how fallen this world is. I want to take a moment to challenge us. Unintentionally, we take advantage of our shelter. We forget how many blessings we have in our lives until they are taken away from us or something drastic happens to us. Then, when change comes our way, we instantly try to fix the problem. We aren’t willing to sit in the hard moments of life or be with those around us who are hurting. We hate being uncomfortable. STOP. Be uncomfortable for once. Let the Lord work through the pain of not knowing what to say. Let Him be the answer instead of thinking we have to have it figured out.

You might wonder what this challenge has to do with Hosea. It has nothing to do with Hosea (as an agency), but everything to do with Jesus. He wants us to be real, authentic people. People that sit through uncomfortable situations and do not run. As an agency, we understand that only He has the power to truly heal. Weekly, we see many youth walk through our doors looking for their basic needs to be met. As staff, while we love them where they are at, we ultimately hope that over time they will ask what is different about Hosea. It is from here that we have seen amazing things happen.

In the two years that I have been with Hosea, I have honestly seen Jesus at work. I have seen that through building relationships with our youth, change happens. To sit and be uncomfortable with a youth has so much power. They can see right through inauthenticity, which is why we must steer clear of that. We need to let them see us be uncomfortable and stick around. Loving through these situations has power. It builds trust.

Our youth continue to teach me so much about life. They constantly are beating the odds, and through them I see Jesus. Their lives are constantly changing, and it is a joy to watch so many people in our community come alongside them. It definitely takes a village.

Wherever you are at, I hope that you will begin to look at uncomfortable situations as opportunities. I hope that in the shocking situations you will have the strength to fight and not take flight. I hope you can be encouraged, because it is through these moments that amazing things can happen. It is only through loss that we can begin to gain a deeper knowledge of Him who is at work in us.

~JJ Halemeier, Director of Human Resources

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