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The Storm Doesn't Last Always!

Helplessness can make or break you! I say this because I have witnessed people in despair who have made a series of decisions that led them to dire consequences. On the other hand, I have observed other people channel their despair positively by making decisions that lead to positive outcomes for everyone involved.

This topic came to my mind because every January I reflect on the previous year and this year I have been reflecting all the way back to 2006 which is the year I founded the Southern California Mentoring Academy. At that time, I was looking for answers. My firstborn son (Victor), who was a teenager at the time, was making decisions that could only land him in jail or in the grave. I desperately wanted to save my son from himself but he wouldn't listen to me or his family. Eventually, his decisions led him to spend a short time in Juvenile Hall, a year in the County Jail and over seven years in a State Prison.

I was living in a storm for several long years! When my son was sentenced to Prison, I felt very sad and helpless! Instead of burying my head in my pillow, I continued going to work every day and mentoring youth in my spare time. I encouraged their parents along the way and some of them began to volunteer with our mentoring organization. I also continued to pray that my son would meet someone, anyone who he would listen to that had good advice for him...a wise officer, a positive inmate, a nurse, a mentor. My helplessness transformed into hope as I began to write my son inspirational letters and continue to mentor the youth in our mentoring academy!

The good news is that in August of 2018 my son was finally released from Prison! Thank you Jesus! By the grace of God, he is healthy and he is doing well. The storm was indeed long but I am so glad that the storm doesn't last always!

If you find yourself in a storm, hold on to hope! Find something that you love to do and immerse yourself in that. The beautiful thing about this experience (as awful as it was) is that I developed a deep sense of compassion for children, teenagers, young adults and seasoned adults who are in the midst of troubled times. I know all to well that life can be downright hard but with perseverance, determination and hope your greatest storm can turn around and bless others in a big way! I have learned first hand that when you bless others, you end up getting blessed in the process!

May you overcome every challenge that comes your way in 2019! Peace and blessings to you and your family!

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