Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” A few months ago, we had the pleasure of admitting Stephanie* into our care at our Children’s Shelter. Before we even met Stephanie, we were given an extensive background on her. We were told that she would not be with us for very long because she has been on a constant Baker Act in all her placements. This means that she has been reported suicidal and would be admitted into lockdown mental hospitals against her will. We were told she would behave good but then she would write a suicide note for staff to find or begin cutting herself until the police were called and she was taken away. Upon hearing this I knew we were dealing with a brokenhearted child.
When Stephanie arrived, she was dressed in all black, wearing a hoodie and expressing to everyone that she was an atheist and doesn’t want to have to be forced to go to church. Her case worker was not too hopeful either, letting us know to expect her to be removed within a week or two. Stephanie was going to be assessed for a placement in a lockdown. When I looked at Stephanie, all I could think was that all things are possible through Christ. I told the case manager to not be surprised if God gets hold of her and things change. After only two nights we had our first incident with Stephanie. She was Baker Acted for cutting again. My heart was broken, yet I still had faith. She was released after only 48 hours and came back to us. We had a nice talk, but her heart was still hardened. All we could was pray for her. About a day later we found a song she wrote about suicide, so we had to call the police again. When they questioned her, she told the officer it was old and for the first time in a while she was not feeling like harming herself. So, we prayed some more. Stephanie had her assessment and they concluded the institution would be the best for her. So again, we prayed some more.
As we waited for the change of placement, Stephanie began to change. We found her reading her Bible, singing Christian praise music, and after months we haven’t had any cutting or suicidal thoughts. Stephanie had this new light about her and it was beautiful! I brought this to the case manager and GAL and let them know I don’t feel she needs an institutional placement. This is the longest she has gone without any problematic behaviors. So, they told me they would consider it! Just a couple weeks ago Stephanie opened up to us that she had accepted the Lord as her Savior and allowed Him into her heart. She explained how she felt God tugging at her heart and she couldn’t keep Him out any longer! Glory to God! At the same time, we have also received news that Stephanie might be reunited with her mother in the upcoming weeks. What an honor to be able to witness Gods transformation of a so-called atheist, another broken heart mended, another seed planted. This is just one more child God has gotten hold of here at our Children’s Shelter!
-Written by Jamie Scher, Director of our Children’s Shelter