I know, I know ... it's been a very long while. Let's not focus on that.
Today is one of those days where I lose sight of the last 20 months of my career life. Today I have been mired in numbers and urgency and crisis (of the grant-based type, not the individual type). Today I have spent a long time trying to solve a problem that I didn't create and over which - ultimately - I have very little control. When you work with victims, sometimes there is only so much you can do. Sometimes you have to say, "We tried, and there just isn't anyone that fits this specific mold right now." No matter how desperately I want to meet the goal (and I do!), I work with people who have free will; I cannot make them do what I think is best for them.
And so today, I need to remember why I do this job. I need to remember that the statistics are not just numbers - they represent people whose individual lives I have personally touched.
I need to remember that 1 in 4 women will be a victim and that the abuse is rarely only physical. I need to remember that this is hard because the problem is insurmountable on the whole, but very possible for the individual. I need to remember that without my sweat and tears and screams of frustration, she may not have a roof over her head tonight.
I need to remember that it is not I who does this job, but Christ within me. I need to remember that if it were not for me, some may never know that there is a God who declares from the highest hills that she is worth something.
Something much more than the abuse.
Something much more than the statistics.
Something worth more than the stress.
I need to remember that the days of being responsible for our actions will never end, no matter whether I report to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Lexington Theological Seminary, or only to myself and those I touch.
Some days are dark.
Some days are extremely frustrating.
Some days I want to turn off the phone and hide under my desk.
But I do this for them.
For the 4 year-old child who watched his mom get knocked unconscious by his dad.
For the toddler girls who bounce between homes because mom can't stay stable.
For the lesbian recovering addict who is afraid to leave her home.
That's why I do this job.
So that they can sleep at night without fear.
It's the hardest job I have ever done and I will never forget the women who have changed my life with their stories. I love this job. I hate this job. I am a different person for having done this job, and I will miss it with every fiber of my being.