I AM BLESSED
Hi – my name is Dani. This is my volunteering story at The Journey Home. I hope it brings encouragement to those needing help and inspiration to those looking to serve. We are called to be Salt (healing) and Light (guidance) in His name. (Matthew 5:13-16)
I grew up in a middle-class family, obtained a bachelor’s in Nutrition and MBA, married, had two children and a good career. I was living a good life. Fast forward several years and through some unfortunate circumstances and bad decisions, I found myself unemployed, no car, not much money, and homeless. I thought, “I’m an educated woman, I’ve managed large budgets and staffs. Had fine homes and great vacations. How can this happen to ME?” At 56 years old my whole life fell apart.
This wasn’t just about choices and circumstances but an answer to prayer. I wasn’t living in God’s will and was miserable but didn’t have the courage to turn away. I prayed for God’s help. God knew how independent and stubborn I was, so He didn’t mess around. God pulled the rug right out from under me. Stunned and scared, I didn’t know what to do. Yet, I thanked Him. (Psalm 59:16-17) My parents were delighted for me to come back to Murfreesboro to live with them. After months of job searching, I still couldn’t get a job. Continued prayer led me back to school to become a nurse.
While in nursing school, I met a homeless man from the streets of Nashville – I will call him DW. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I met him. He carried the stigma of being homeless. His clothes were dirty, and he wasn’t well groomed. DW had experienced a heavy life that trapped him into homelessness. DW wasn’t just down on his luck, it was his life. He had been homeless since his mid-teens and he was now in his 40’s. I was able to spend time with him and realized he is kind, funny, honest, humble, and enjoys good conversation. Through some generous, caring people, DW is no longer homeless.
In the last few years, I’ve met more really good people who experienced some hard times. It stirred a longing in my heart to find a way to help. An internet search lead me to The Journey Home. Working full-time M-F I wasn’t sure what I could do but after contacting the Director, a plan was set in motion. The need is great, and the workers are few. Ask and you shall receive, knock and the door will be opened. (Matthew 7)
As we forge out this new opportunity, I look forward to doing more, to be a blessing and to be blessed by those I meet on this journey with the Journey Home.