Saturday, July 6, 2013

Land of the Free - Sherry's Story

Who would of thought ... 
I would be homeless?
Who would of thought ... 

I'd lose my job and my home? 
Who would of thought ... 
I would get caught up in the bondage of sin?
Who would of thought ... 

I'd use over and over again?
Who would of thought ... 

I'd be hopeless and dirty 
And living from bridge to bridge? 
Who would of thought ...
I'd be stigmatized
In homelessness over and over again? 

Who would of thought ...
I would ever be proclaimed
Mentally ill?
Who would of thought ...
I would be in a mental hospital?
Who would of thought ...
There was no one I could turn to? Who would of thought ...
I'd be beat up and robbed
From trusting in the wrong people? Who would of thought ...
I'd ever get well, again,
With food, clothes, and yes ...
A home, again?
Who would of thought?
...Sherry
2009

There's been a lot of talk about freedom this week.  And wars.  And liberation.  And victory.  It's been on my mind.  We've won a lot of wars, but victory is not yet in our grasp. In the news we see challenges to freedom in many countries and even in the most free country in the world -- our own.  Some challenges are blatant -- the sex trade, addiction, mental illness, homelessness.  Other challenges to freedom are more subtle-- attacks on our Christian beliefs, government interventions that threaten our businesses and personal lives.

I've learned a lot about freedom - and a lot more having to do with the real world - from Sherry.  I've wanted to tell Sherry's story for a long time, since I met her, actually, in 2006.  She changed my life and she says I changed hers.  I have her permission to tell it, and it's a trust that I will treat with respect and care.  It's not pretty.  But, neither is war.  And that's what Sherry's life has been -- War.  There have been been some wins and some losses.  There have been forward movement and setbacks. There have been times when we have been thoroughly fed up with each other! There have been times when we have both cried out to God for help for each other.  I've spent a lot of time shaking my head and throwing up my hands about Sherry. And, I know she gets frustrated with me, too.  She often says, "I'm a mess, aren't I?"  And, I reply, "Yes, you are. But, so am I."

The telling won't be short. And, the story isn't over. But, it'll be honest and interesting, because you can't make this stuff up!  This is real life.  So, come back and take the journey of Sherry with me.  Many of my readers know Sherry, personally, and many know about Sherry. God puts us in each other's lives for reasons that we can only imagine. She might just change your life as she has mine.

"So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed."
John 8:36 NIV

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