Life Notes: Appreciating What I Do
by Donald Johnson, M.S.

Working with children can sometimes be difficult, Let me rephrase that, most of the time it is difficult! That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy what I do, because I love it. It’s mainly the high stress level that can get to you at times. Many times I find myself stressing over things that are out of my control.

For example: A 17 year old youth is only weeks away from aging out of the program. The treatment team has arranged an educational plan, a job, and a pending after care placement. All of a sudden he decides to sabotage everything at the last minute simply because he’s afraid of change.

In many ways I can understand why it’s so hard for our youth to detach from a safe, loving and caring agency. On the other hand, it’s difficult to see them make poor choices that may affect their future. Every child is special in their own way, however it takes someone special to identify with them.

The stress of the job reminds me that I’m passionate about supporting these kids and I know Christ will support me in that situation. Turning to a bible scripture is always helpful in keeping me grounded in my faith. In fact my favorite scripture is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). This scripture tells me that there is hope and any challenges I face through assisting children, Christ will see me through.

It’s good to be part of an agency that thrives on making every effort to give every client at least an opportunity to be in a better situation than they were when they arrived. Although I may extend my hand to change lives, it’s still not enough for our children today. In other words any kind of support we can offer any child today is well worth it, even if it’s a pat on the back, word of encouragement or volunteer visiting and so on. Lifting our children up is the key to a brighter future. In order for that to happen we must first extend a hand.

The Life Notes articles are written by staff of Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home and are published in The Ruston Daily Leader.

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