Jean Heard- Leadership Council Member and Family Coach
I’ve been part of Safe Families for a very long time. I have seen God do wonderful things, and I have wondered where He is in a lot of situations. I know, first-hand, how difficult it can be to pour out myself and still wonder if I’m doing enough. I have made mistakes with more people than I can count. But I trust God that I have also touched some lives deeply. I cherish relationships with fellow Safe Families that go back ten years, maybe more. And I have relationships with “Crisis Families” or “clients” that go back just as far.
For example, Tiffany 2 (we housed 3 Tiffanys in about 3 years) and her son lived with us when he was 3 and she was pregnant with her second son. The boys are now 16 & 13 and have additional siblings. I’ve seen them a few times over the years, but a few months back I ran into Tiffany at the store. Or, maybe she ran into me. When we spotted each other we both ran (maybe screaming) into a fierce hug. I treasure seeing her and the kids. “I am Facebook friends with several of the women who lived with us. It has blessed me deeply to see them lead productive, happy lives. I loved housing the moms and moms-to-be. I love the little ones too, but I feel like God really called me to those mommas.”
Not long ago, we took a short placement for a toddler. She didn’t come with much, so I put out a plea on social media for clothes. Out of 632 Facebook friends, do you know who responded? Tiffany 2 and KayCee. KayCee was a teen that we helped in 2009. Today, she has a solid relationship and a beautiful 3yr old stepdaughter (though she would never say “step”). She is educated, anchored in a good job, and has grown into such a strong woman by enduring hardships that no one should have to go through. She has mended family relationships most of us couldn’t imagine.
KayCee is the one who brought bags full of immaculate clothes for the little girl. She came full circle, from needing help – to helping others. Interestingly, the Safe Family who housed KayCee also brought clothes. See how God weaves His thread through our lives?
Sometimes we don’t get to see what God has done through us, but sometimes we do. I can’t help everyone. I can’t take as many cases as I wish I could. But God uses me. It is an honor to be used by Him. It is my honor to play a small role in the lives of these courageous young women who I’ve met through Safe Families.