The Christmas season may be over, but the hope of Christmas is still very present. “The Light has come and darkness cannot overcome it.”
However, the staff of Intact Family Services sees darkness everywhere. There are so many broken families, hurting mothers and fathers, families destroyed through addiction, and families overwhelmed by mental illness. In the midst of this darkness it can be difficult to see the change we are trying to facilitate in order to strengthen and support families.
I would love to say that our families all see the value in what we do and welcome us into their lives and homes with open arms, but that doesn’t always happen. Some families do welcome us, trust us, and understand that we are really there to try and help them succeed long term. Unfortunately, it seems that many can’t see the value of our time and services. I don’t blame our clients for this. I can’t imagine how it must feel in the midst of their pain to have a stranger come into their home, especially affiliated with DCFS. They’re scared of having their children removed, are defensive of their parenting abilities, and just want to move forward in their lives without “interference.”
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, families never trust us nor do they voluntarily welcome us into their homes. These are the most difficult cases for any worker.
Yet, in the Christmas season something very special happens! We as an agency and as a service are able to provide all of our families with Christmas presents. LOTS of them! Through the generous donations of so many, hope is provided, even for a moment, to a family. For some, the moment we arrive with gifts for their children is the first time they see that we really do care and that we really do want to help. That is when the walls may begin to come down.
Isn’t that what Christ came to do? To break down walls, walls of sin and shame, and offer hope? Providing families with gifts may not seem very significant on the surface, but underneath it is one of the most significant moments for the IFS team. This moment is when we begin to become a part of our clients’ families, and when change begins.
So, thank you to all who have generously donated to bring hope to our families every Christmas; we are so grateful for the role you have played in bringing hope, breaking down walls, and letting the Light in.
For, the Light has come and darkness cannot overcome it.
Brigid Luke, Supervisor (IFS)