Doubt is deceptive in its destruction. Much like addiction, it creeps up, slowly and painfully diminishing hope and happiness. Those consumed by it battle between feelings of worthlessness and the desire to achieve forgotten dreams.
For years, single mom Shannon was trapped in her own struggle with self-doubt, but felt powerless to stop it. An abusive childhood, a failed relationship with the father of her three children and a second bout with homelessness had depleted any remaining feelings of self-confidence.
“We got evicted because my work at a catering company was so unsteady, and I had no savings,” Shannon explains. “I felt like a failure as a mother because I couldn’t provide for my kids.”
Shannon was at the point of exhaustion when she and three daughters, Shanice (18), Khadijha (16), and Yasmeen (12), entered The Crossing’s three-step STAR Transitional Housing Program (THP) in December 2009. With the recent breakdown of her car adding to her distress, case manager Liz Berling remembers her client’s tearful vow to get back on track.
“When Shannon first came to our THP she was having such a difficult time with all the stressors in her life,” Liz recalls. “But she was motivated to change the things that were pulling her down.”
Within weeks of their move, the stifling doubt that had long held Shannon captive began to lose its grip. Money management classes taught her the beauty of budgeting and saving, while her favorite class, Healthy Relationships, helped her move beyond the hurt she endured with her children’s father.
The support Shannon receives from her daughters is also helping her to overcome feelings of parental inadequacy. While many of Shannon’s family members chastised her, insisting, “your children will remember everything you put them through,” oldest daughter Shanice is proud of her mother’s determination, and happily contributes to the family’s finances.
“I give all the money I make working at a daycare to my mom,” Shanice says. “She is always taking care of us, and I have no problem helping her out.”
Shannon’s budding confidence has also spilled over into other areas of the 40-year-old’s life. Usually averse to technology, she is honing her admittedly limited computer skills, and says The Crossing’s employment courses have encouraged her to pursue other avenues in the food industry.
“I really love the Get Employed, Stay Employed class I’m taking,” Shannon says with a smile. “I know that I want to stay in the food business, but now I’m thinking about what more I could do!”
Shannon will soon enter Step III of the program, confident that with each class she’ll be closer to achieving her lifelong dream of becoming a homeowner. For now, though, the family is enjoying favorite activities at The Crossing, like spending time in the Broncos Youth Center, and say they will continue to use this opportunity to grow both in their faith and as a family.
“My belief in God has grown since we moved here, and I don’t have pity parties for myself anymore,” Shannon says joyfully. “If you really want to make a change, this place will give you every resource you need to accomplish your goals!” – See more at: http://www.denverrescuemission.org/stories/shannon#sthash.rqwUWzAT.dpuf