Today we had the mother of a young man, who died from a drug overdose, come and share her story with the newest guys in our Program. Dawn told about her struggles with Aaron while he was alive and using, what happened and how she felt when he passed and all that she has struggled with since his death – almost 7 years later. She says she still “sees” him in the mall or crossing the street, when a young man walk by who looks like Aaron. While both Dawn and Aaron had real spiritual experiences before his death (Aaron had graduated from a Christian high school), she has struggled with her emotions every day since.
Shortly after Aaron’s passing, Dawn began to regularly support our work here at Helping Up Mission. She wanted to see other mother’s sons get the help that her son did not get. For much of that time, Dawn has also felt a spiritual tug that she should come down and tell her story to the guys here – but she just couldn’t bring herself to take the first step.
It is standard practice for us to send out a receipt and a thank you note within 72 hours of receiving a gift. It has also become our practice for men in our long-term Spiritual Recovery Program to write a small post-it thank you note, as well. This year, on Aaron’s birthday, Dawn received a thank you receipt from the Mission with a post-it from a man in our Program named whose name was also Aaron. She found the “coincidence” to be meaningful to her.
Then, on the anniversary of Aaron’s passing, she received another thank you with a post-it from another Program guy named Daniel – the name of Dawn’s other son. Just small things…maybe…but to a mother just trying to cope one day at a time, it was the encouragement she needed to take another step forward. So, she contacted us about coming and sharing her story. Her honest loving message today really spoke to the hearts of our guys, and I imagine it did her some good, too.
May none of us ever forget that we are not isolated and that “I am not hurting anybody but myself!” is just not true. May we also always remember that, as we step out and do something good for someone else, that we always get blessed in return. Our God is faithful.
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director