If there is one thing that Servant Year does well, it is the amount of support we have in our placements, in our house and just in life in general. Between prayer partners, the wonderful people with whom we get to live in intentional community, the loving and always available Mother Erika (our chaplain and the Assistant Rector at Saint Mark’s), and our ever-faithful leader, Lindsay, we are surrounded by people who desire the best for us and would come running at the drop of a hat.
To top it all off, Servant Year also requires that its members meet regularly with a mentor; someone who is older and wiser than us. Several weeks ago I met with mine for the first time. She asked me what some of my goals were for the year and I mentioned one of them was getting better at working with and engaging teenage boys.
A large part of my job is interacting with at-risk youth who have come from a variety of difficult homes and have varying struggles such as mental illness, substance abuse and truancy. I have found working with the boys particularly difficult because some of them remind me a lot of some other boys I encountered when I was younger. I won’t go into detail, but those other boys hurt me very deeply and I am finding it hard not transferring my feelings towards those boys onto these new boys.
After having explained this to my mentor, she wasted no time. Earlier I mentioned to her that I find writing very therapeutic, so she asked me to write down my story. She wanted me to verbalize what happened and to work on forgiving the past, so I could move forward and work with these boys in the present. Writing about the past hurt more than I expected. In fact, I still don’t feel completely satisfied with what I have written, but I am thankful. It is a wonderful thing to have someone come alongside me in this struggle and push me to do the hard things that will make me better.
Hm… “Push me to do the hard that things that will make me better,” that is what this year is all about, isn’t it? A year of servanthood. A year of humility. A year of coming up against the dirt inside ourselves. A year of learning to turn that weakness into strength as we lean into God and the support with which he provides us. I am so thankful for all of the support that is intentionally built into this program.
I love y’all, for real.
Tamarah's ministry placement is as a Case Manager at Diversified Community Services.