In this blog, Direct Support Professional Stacia Spaulding shares her experiences working at Hope Haven:
This summer I lost someone I loved. There were days where I didn't want to get out of bed. Where I didn't want to see anyone. Where I wanted time to stop and reverse. I was angry. I was confused. How could a God so wonderful allow something so horrible to happen?
I remember working one day and overhearing a client tell another client "it's okay to be sad." Wow. "It's okay to be sad."
That really hit home. Such a simple sentence, yet is hard to carry out into application. It's easy to put on a brave face and go through the motions. The 'I'm fine, everything's fine' face. But sometimes everything's not fine. And that's okay. It's okay to be sad. It's okay to mourn. It's okay to not understand and be upset. God is there through it all and everything we go through. Life isn't meant to be easy. If it was, would we rely on God as our source of strength? Would we understand the depth of needing redemption?
"It's okay to be sad." When I overheard that, I thought also of how anytime I'd felt some joy throughout the summer it was at work. Whether it was an adorable quote, a smile, a hand shake, a hug with a happy "hi!", clients would give me a reason to smile every shift. They continually show me God's beauty. And they've shown me that amongst trials there is beautiful, lovely triumph and joy. They are not diagnoses or medical records or a name on lists. They are lovely, beautiful human beings. And without their knowing it, they were a great source of peace and comfort this summer. They were a reason to get out of bed in the mornings. Yes, there is client and staff, but we are also like a big family. And what a wonderful family it is.
My favorite part of working at Hope Haven is building relationships with clients. To be a part of their lives is a great privilege. To see there personalities shine brings joyful butterflies, and I find myself doing a happy dance in my heart when watching them grow. Staff care deeply for clients. But staff doesn't just care deeply for them; Believe me when I say that when clients care for you. They deeply care for you and will care for and think well of you forever if you let them. Hope Haven shows me how deep God's beauty and love runs. A real-life look at the gospel.
And let me tell you, the gospel is truly a beautiful thing.