Changing For The Better
A while back, I wrote an article about spending the day with a homeless woman and the struggles she goes through just to make it each and everyday. This story is an update on the great gains and progress she is making everyday in her life. While you might not agree with everything I say, you will agree that accepting change in your life is not always an easy task.
From the time she was born in her mother’s womb, Darcy was never wanted. Born into an environment of drugs and alcohol, in and out of foster care, never having any thing good in your life, and no moral support will sometimes make you do things that normal people would never think of. Darcy learned from an early age that life was a struggle. These struggles and learned behaviors from a young age, would deem her hopeless to many. However, one day something changed her perspective and now for once in her life things are finally changing.
It is easy for us all to judge the homeless, druggies, alcoholics, and the bottom of the bucket people all into the same class of people. I will admit that there was a time in my life when there was no exception. Something changed in me the day I met Darcy. My eyes started seeing things in a whole new perspective.
I have been very fortunate to have grown up in a great family dynamics. I always had food to eat, clothes to wear, and a nice warm bed to sleep in. I guess as a young child I never knew anything different. I was always well cared for and loved by both my mother and father. I was naïve to the fact that not everyone lived the same way I did. I was taught to be kind, compassionate, loving, and always understanding. It wasn’t until I became much older that I noticed that others weren’t as fortunate as I was to grow up in such a family as I did.
Darcy grew up with none of these things that I mentioned above. Somehow she has managed to survive through all the good and all the bad. She is starting to realize that life is so much more. The two of us became friends about a year ago. We visit each other weekly and through kindness and a lot of encouragement, I am seeing her make awesome gains in her life. What changed her perspective? When you have an addiction you can either live until you die, or take on the world and find a way to overcome and pursue a better life. For Darcy, it was finding out that she was going to have a baby. A baby you say, oh my God not another one to care for….listen to the rest of the story and let me know if you change your perspective.
Finding out about being pregnant usually is the most joyous time in a woman’s life. That is if your life is good, but to someone like Darcy it literally was a wake-up call.
Faced once again with the reality of being messed up and not living in the best conditions…she literally knew she had to make some harsh decisions if the baby was going to have any kind of life and survive. So, she sat me down one day and together we came up with a plan. A plan that most of us would never be able to handle. She knew she would have to change every single aspect of her life. Something most of us could not even begin to unravel.
The first thing she needed to do was quit drinking and doing drugs. While most people will say, once an alcoholic always an alcoholic. Yes, this is true, but look around you…there are a lot of people that have chosen not to drink anymore and they are now living a better life. Darcy decided that day, that she was no longer going to do the “BAD” things anymore. She literally made a choice that day to stop all the bad in her life. She wanted her baby to be healthy and she wanted to better herself. To make a long story short, she admitted herself into a rehab center and got herself clean.
I have to be honest with you…I am amazed at what I see. This baby has changed her whole perspective on life. She now is volunteering and helping others overcome their addictions. With the drugs and drinking behind her, for once in her life she is finding her place in society. Her new apartment is amazing with stuff that she has redone and things she has found along the way. The nursery is coming along and the baby is growing more inside her everyday. With a new engagement ring on her finger and marriage in the near future, Darcy and her boyfriend are beginning a new life in the right direction.
You might wonder how I meet these people? Well, I will tell you this, I didn’t honestly go looking for her. I use to see her everyday as I passed her while riding my bike. One day for some reason, my foot slipped from my pedal and I had to stop my bike right in front of her. She began talking up a storm and from there we became friends. I think God wanted my foot to slip because she really needed someone to talk to. Our worlds are totally different. I don’t drink and do drugs. I live in a home and have never lived on the streets. I have a family and I am married. So, what makes us such good friends? Well, we are real with one another. We accept each other for who we are. Together, we discuss and work out plans to help her continue on her upward journey. I feel that all she really needed was some guidance in the right direction. I am thankful that my parents raised me right. While I don’t know everything, I can be kind and understanding. I can give hope and praise, and most of all I can be compassionate to the less fortunate.
Friendship doesn’t have to come in a perfect package with fancy paper and bows. A true friend is your friend because they love you just the way you are. Darcy, is a great person with a big personality. She wasn’t born into the perfect family like many of us. I see her daily struggles, and to tell you the truth it amazes me the strength this girl has in her. I guess all it took was just a little hope and someone believing in her.
Yesterday, my husband and I took her and her boyfriend to Jacksonville for a special ultrasound on the baby. The doctor’s wanted to check and see if the baby was alright because of the past addiction problems. As we all held our breaths, the technician performed the ultrasound. We could all see the baby’s hands, feet, brain, backbone…yep thank God all the parts were there. Darcy cried sweet tears of joy as she looked at her baby on the screen. “I did it! I am changing my life one day at a time and working hard to take good care of my baby. Are you proud of me?” she asked. “ I am so proud of you.” I said.
Sometimes I think we all need to pay more attention to what is happening around us. There are so many less fortunate than us. People who are hurting, overcoming, and people who just need a friend. It doesn’t cost money to help. Darcy, has never, ever asked me for any money or to give her anything. She simply just wants someone to care and talk to. I think sometimes this is what God has given me as a gift. I simply love helping others.
There are many things that you can do to help others. Donate your old clothes to a charity, give to a food bank, volunteer at a shelter, or simply take someone under your wing. It truly is a good thing to do. You never know, you just might be the only hope someone has left.
Oh, I almost forgot…check out this beautiful baby picture. Thank you Lord, for letting this little one be okay. Give me grace Lord to keep encouraging her in the right way and give her strength to keep moving forward.