Courage at 22

There are people in this world who completely and utterly amaze me.

On the list, of course, are the veterans…those who fought and fight for peace.  Those who were drafted and volunteered to do things I could never do.

There are also the single parents, often not by choice, who have to figure out not only their own lives, but the lives of those vulnerable angels in their charge.

The parents, guardians and others who by choice or blessing care for children with “issues”.

There are many others…

But this year I have added another group to my most courageous list:  young adults seeking help.

I have no idea how they do it.  When I was in my early 20’s there was no way I was going to ask for help.  And I needed it.

But I could do it on my own.  I could, and should, do it on my own.  At least that is what I thought.

It wasn’t like there were not people who would be open to helping me navigate the working world, but wasn’t that what I had been working towards?  Shouldn’t I be able to figure this out on my own?  Wouldn’t people think less of me?  Wouldn’t it show that I had failed?

Fortunately I found my way, or rather, I was blessed by God to marry an amazing man who helped me find my way.  But not all are so lucky.

Not all are so lucky to grow up with the idea of going to college as normal as taking a daily shower.  Not all are provided with parents who plan their careers based on paying for their future children to go to college.  Not all have family and friends scattered around the nation, able and willing to provide assistance to a start-up life.  Not all have a grandfather whose depression-era upbringing and physicist mind provided for a financial “bonus” a few years running.  And not all are set-up with an amazing and gifted spouse whose unique gifts provide for a steady income.

As some say, the stars aligned in my favor.  But they do not for others.

This week I started my position as Director of Women’s Programs at Launch Ministry.  It is through my volunteering and now vocation with them that I have met a whole new group of courageous individuals.

Launch Ministry grew directly out of the need of young adults struggling with becoming financially and emotionally independent.  Each of their stories are unique, but in the end their ability to be a “normal adult” (whatever that is!) in this particular society has been fraught with barriers.  They could easily fall to the wayside, continuing on paths that lead them to who knows where, but instead, they are asking for help.

They show what it is to be truly courageous.

They have decided that the life they are living is not what they want.  They could stop there, falling into despair, but instead, they have courage to hope.

This hope leads them on a different path.  This yearning for a different life is ultimately theirs, and this ownership of their life leads them on the next step.  They have to have the courage to become vulnerable.

Vulnerability is almost impossible to embrace in our society.  We are supposed to be strong and smart, independent and creative.  We are supposed to be able to handle everything by ourselves, if we can even be vulnerable to admit that not everything is perfect.

These young adults know they want more, and are just asking for some guidance on how to get there.  They are just asking for someone to help them navigate the unlimited choices, the government bureaucracies, and the unique situations in their lives.

They want what we all want…a place to live, food to eat, a job to go to.  They want to be part of something, and have social worth.

But they have to have courage to even ask for it.  Were you that courageous at 22?  I know I wasn’t.

Interested in supporting Launch Ministry?  We have a number of amazing current programs and programs in the works which could use your time or financial donations.

A few examples of ways to support these courageous individuals!

  • We are renovating the “church basement” into a welcoming and inspirational environment that truly represents how important and loved our young adults are.  This will include a children’s area for their children (and children of volunteers and staff) to feel welcome.
  • Our drop-in times are expanding to 5 days a week, in addition to Tuesday night free dinners.  Resources for these are greatly appreciated!
  • We are always looking for mentors and volunteers, anyone with a big heart or experience/knowledge to share are welcome!  This includes assisting with periodic women’s events.
  • We are also open to your ideas…just contact us and we would love to give you a tour and explore how your unique gifts and experience can support this ministry!

To contact me:  stephanie  (@) launchministry (.org)

About SFriant

I live to walk with others on their journeys - because everyone needs to know that they are loved, that they matter, and that they are doing amazing things. I'm a lot like our two kids: obsessed with learning, and constantly creating.
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