If you needed to hear something nice today

Zoe was one of the first residents in the woman’s home. Almost a year later she is still here, but now as a much different healthy and happy woman. She has worked diligently on her recovery and it is paying off. 

She has advanced to a management position at work, has taken on a leadership role in the house, completed her addiction classes and is planning to become a peer recovery coach when the training is once again offered at Oaklawn. 

Last week, Zoe purchased a brand new electric scooter for transportation. It’s really nice! 

She and her friend, Ashley, rode it over to the church office to show me. We chatted for about 10 minutes and when she was ready to leave she said: “Come out and see my scooter. It’s parked right outside”. 

The three of us walked out the door right next to the office and were shocked to find there was NO SCOOTER! 

In those few minutes, someone had literally walked off with it.  

Since the key was not in it, the thief could not start it without doing some work.  Zoe was, of course, pretty upset. We stayed with her as she cried, and some pretty familiar negative self-talk came out.

Why do only bad things happen to me? 

Why can’t I ever have nice things?

Why can’t things ever just work out?

And really, who could blame her? Those thoughts are coming from somewhere. We learn to tell stories about ourselves, and it is hard work to change those stories when bad things keep happening.

But put a pin in that.

After Zoe had poured her heart out, our little village sprung into action.

I went to the church office to get the security footage (which luckily caught the whole thing!). Some of the men from the Upper Room men’s program immediately got on their bikes looking for the culprit and the missing scooter. 

They found the scooter a few blocks away. The man was arrested, and the scooter returned unharmed. 

A nice story, right? But that’s not where it ends. 

A few days later, the women and I were having a house meeting. At the beginning of each meeting we do a brief reflection on a topic and then discuss it. 

The topic this day was “Don’t sweat the small stuff. “ During the discussion, Zoe remarked that she was “sweating the small stuff” by worrying about a scooter. 

“As I began crying, and saying all this negative stuff, I suddenly realized that those things I was telling myself were no longer true. 

I am not in the same place I was. 

I am not the same person. 

These things I was telling myself were from the past. 

I realized then and there that I had to stop telling myself lies from the past. My life is good; I am in recovery and all is well today.”

It is such a privilege to work with such a caring community, and to be there when women like Zoe realize that they can change their stories.

Life is good and kind.

– Linda Jung-Zimmerman

Photo on Best Running

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