This week I've been mad.
Maybe more mad than I have ever been before.
Because when I think about all the hurt, the lack of resources for people that are hurting, how the choices of one person can impact generation after generation...
I GET MAD.
Lately my frustration has been pretty narrowly focused.
I HATE DRUGS.
And more than that, I hate when people are left in situations where they think drug abuse is their only choice.
A life that has been paved for them of sorrow, poverty, frustration, isolation, hopelessness.
And when an escape is offered, when drugs are offered, the choice seems simple.
Honestly, in the particular situation I'm closest to, I can see how they got there. I can see why they feel trapped in a cycle that started generations before them. I can see how they might think they'll never have more. I can see how they might think it is too late for anything better.
And I get mad.
Unfortunately I've seen first hand how hard it is to find resources for someone who is already in too deep. I BELIEVE in MIRACLES. And that's a good thing, because that's about the only hope for someone who has already chosen the life of an addict. It shouldn't have to get to that point. It should be possible to help someone choose something different. Whether it is because someone should have told them. Or because they would not hear. I wish they had seen the choice. Sooner.
And I get mad.
I want all seven of these faces to know they DO have a choice. No matter what came before them. No matter what the world tells them. No matter how hard life is. THEY can choose.
Sometimes when I get mad, I do something about it. But many times, I don't.
The thing is, I'm married to someone who does something about it. Every day. He has chosen a profession in which he immerses himself in the lives of teenagers for one purpose. To tell them SOONER.
YOU HAVE A CHOICE.
You have a choice to live.life.better.
He works for Teen Lifeline. A non-profit organization that tells teenagers "we will help provide you some tools to make that choice."
When a freshman in high school was killed in a tragic lake accident this last Labor Day weekend
Teen Lifeline was there to tell teachers, students, parents- YOU have a choice. This is hard. Really hard. But YOU get to decide how you walk through grief and how it impacts your life going forward. Let us help you walk.
When students come to the local alternative school, they sometimes feel like they've already been pegged as hopeless. But Teen Lifeline is there to tell them...YOU have a choice. Let us help you make that choice through peer support groups.
When teen aged parents make a difficult decision that their child deserves to LIVE, Lifeline is there. They provide resources for young parents who might see the situation as hopeless. To hopefully provide a different start for that new life. To maybe start paving a path for that baby to make choices someday to live their own life better.
And what's more, Lifeline helps provide resources on social media, talking to your students about tough topics, and offers insightful seminars to discuss current information so that parents can also help make it clear to their kids- You DO have a choice.
And maybe, just maybe. Of all of the teenagers encountered, at least a few will say
"I'm going to choose something different. Something better. I DO have a choice."
Maybe a few will have opportunities to make those choices before its too late.
And when a student hasn't heard that at home, at school, or in their community,
maybe Teen Lifeline is the only voice.
Would you help Teen Lifeline provide a choice.
Would you consider sponsoring our family team this month as we walk/jog/run together to raise money for this organization?
TEAM LEWIS! Or, if you can't contribute monitarily right now, would you consider passing along the link so that others can fight with us?