What L.I.F.E. has taught me about lost souls—and how to save them
I’m going to be emcee at a charity event for L.I.F.E. Recovery this week. They provide safe, structured housing for women who desire a lifestyle free from drug and alcohol addiction. So I’ve been thinking lately about what it means to be a “lost soul”. And what it means to save one. What has L.I.F.E. Recovery taught me about these things? Mainly, that saving a lost soul is possible, and that it’s done by loving more, giving more, and listening more. The only difference between the women L.I.F.E. Recovery works with and you (if you’re lucky) is they suffered something traumatic at a very young age. A death (like suicide of a parent), sexual abuse, or addicted parents. These are 99% of the cases. That’s what it takes to create a “lost soul”.
If you didn’t have any of those three things happen to you, how could you relate? How could you experience that kind of pain, and learn how to cope with it when you’ve been given no life skills. At the age of 12 or younger—when these girls all suffered their traumas—how much did you know?
What do you do when there is literally NO ONE to support you, guide you, or love you? I’ll tell you what happens: you become a “lost soul”. You look for the other lost souls because that’s who you believe you are. They're usually the kids you’ll see at elementary schools skipping school, trying out cigarettes and alcohol, potentially dabbling with drugs, and hanging out with the other “bad kids”. The one thing these girls all longed for was support and understanding. If we could have given them that, then their lives would have turned out 100% differently.
I am amazed by women like Jenny and Shirley and all the other amazing mamas who love these women back to health. They’re not Bible-thumping normies (that’s what drug users call us and so they should). They lived their own stories of trauma and drug abuse and have come to the other side so they totally relate to what these women have been through.
I am equally amazed at what this program has enabled women in recovery to do. They all have lofty goals. I was awestruck when they talked about becoming addict counselors, or street kid advocates, or mothers to the lost kids.
These women get to go to school, work in the thrift store, enjoy hot delicious meals together, spend time in prayer, and set goals for the future. They have assistance with getting to and from appointments, whether they’re for health, court, or family matters.
These women are working hard to get their lives back. Every single second they struggle to see the light in the darkness. To override the dark memories with new positive ones. To look at the present moment as a triumph and be proud of themselves for not running away, quitting, or going back to the only comfort they’ve ever known.
They are courageous fighters with purpose. They are raw love in the purest form. They are souls just like you and I, but they have a badge of honour for making it through the war of their minds.
These women are not lost after all. But you know what? The biggest thing I’ve learned from L.I.F.E. Recovery is that if I don’t honour and support them in their fight, my own soul is in need of some work.
So let’s get to work saving some souls—starting with your own.
I dare ya to make a difference,