Circle of Hope
Some 400 people celebrated the institution’s 65-year history of providing treatment and recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. One of Fairbanks’ shining programs is its Hope Academy, (http://fairbankscd.org/highschool.htm), a tuition-free recovery high school. Two of its graduates, one an 18-year-old who began using heroin at the age of 14, spoke movingly during the dinner of her gratitude to the academy for providing a curriculum and recovery program that inspired her to get sober.
Can you imagine being a parent or caregiver of an addicted teenager who receives this incredible gift of hope?
Can you imagine being the teenager feeling the hope of a new life?
Earlier that day, during my flight to Indy, a front page USA Today article described a program in Michigan called the Michigan Prisoner Re-entry Initiative where released prisoners collaborate with cops and receive help finding jobs so long as they stay out of trouble. This unusual arrangement assists many career criminals turned ex-con obtain well-paying employment and reengage in a society that may not otherwise want them.
Can you imagine what it must feel like to come out of prison, having served time for a decade or more, and a cop–of all people–believes in you enough to help provide a fresh start?
Can you imagine being that ex-offender feeling like life has begun anew?
Hope is a powerful motivator when you have known so much hopelessness.
Most of us in recovery have experienced both; for me, it was the hopelessness I felt about a year ago that catapulted me into life circumstances where only two things remained consistent–my employment and my sobriety.
The thing about hope is it has a way of leaking in around the edges of hopelessness when we least expect it.
One year ago, I had no way of imagining that my circumstances would be what they are today.
I think God graced me with hope in spite of my best efforts to thwart it. Like a hibiscus beginning to bloom in summer, each day found hope opening a bit more in my life.
Like the Hope Academy graduates and the recently released Michigan prisoners, hope is the foundation on which my new life began. Hope is a circle that reconnected me to my beginning, to the innocence of infancy and the humility of renewal.
Do you have a story of hope to share?