Debbie's story: Made for Relationship
Guest blogger Debbie Fedor, Director of Operations at Community of Hope and table member from the first table in Cleveland four years ago.
From the beginning of time, God said it wasn't good for us to be alone (Gen.2:18). He created us for relationship. I'm convinced that most of what we're to gain and experience in relationships is to mirror the kind of connection God wants with us. He shows us glimpses of Himself through those He puts in our lives. The mutual love we share with each other is a tangible expression of God's love for us. There is something in us that makes us want to belong, to be known, and to be understood.
From the first meeting of our Table, we all fell in love with Michael. The first year was the hardest--we were from very different backgrounds and cultures and we certainly had a lot to learn about the impact of trauma and lack of consistent relationships has on a young person. Michael has been on his own his whole life, he didn't trust and he was in a constant state of crisis.
His greatest need was not getting out of debt, education, job training, housing, a good job or other middle class expectations---it was a deeper need---to be known.
All of our lives have been transformed since six volunteers gathered around a stranger, a young person with no hope, serving together. Four years later, we are still together. We are family. I have been changed by love and as a result, last month I accepted the position of Director of Operations for Community of Hope.
Lately, Michael has become interested in finding some of his relatives whom he has never met. Some relatives live in another state and he was considering their interest in seeing and getting to know him. He asked me, "What do you think I should do? Do you think it's too risky-to give up everything and move....?"
I told him that he should probably go visit first, and see if he liked it, which seemed to make sense to him.
I probed further, "What would you be giving up that's important to you here?"
He answered, "All of you guys."
To be known and loved is a great treasure.