No Award, Just Gratitude

Every Thursday night I co-lead a divorce recovery class with caring people. These are the type of people that hold a significant amount of compassion and mercy in their hearts for others. You know the type, the ones who show you grace after every foolish thing you say or do, because they believe in you and where you’re headed.

On Monday this week, I learned that the program we use is shared in over 4,000 other communities. I also learned that our group attracted the attention of an organization who stated that we are in the top 100 of communities that run the program.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that our group’s greatest assets are its leaders. I am surrounded by people who care and know how to love the hurting. These men and women share and serve from the depths of their heart, many times reliving painful memories in order to stay sensitive and console those with fresh wounds.

In sharing with the team about the recognition, I took the opportunity to thank each of them for their wonderful contributions. The program couldn’t be what it is without them. People are always the greatest asset of an organization regardless of the nay-sayers who spout off about everyone being replaceable.

People can never be replaced, as each one is unique and has special gifts, ideas and services to share. My co-leaders are especially equipped to help others lighten their load and see passed their circumstances to the values residing within their souls. What a generous gift they have to offer.

Reflecting back over the past seven years of service, I couldn’t help but realize that I was the weakest link on the team. Nor could I help but to be thankful for my co-leaders encouraging me and helping me to help others. I’ve learned a lot from each one and I’m honored to call them my friends.

The sacrificial giving of their time was rewarded, not by the organization I chatted with, but by the smiles of gratitude from each person completing our program. The funny thing about those thanking us at the end of each session is that they barely can comprehend how much we learned from them.

I must admit that I’ve grown more as a leader through this program than when I attended it as a guest. In fact, helping the hurting realize how valuable they are and watching their self-esteem rise, is a blessing beyond explanation. I’m in awe of the joy and peace that comes to us leaders through the program. I’m also amazed when many return a few years later to give us an update on their lives.

We’ve seen the wealthy and the poor come through our doors. We’ve seen the scholar and the drop out. We’ve seen the professional and the blue-collar worker. And, we’ve seen the once confident and the abused. In all cases, we’ve seen hurting people reengaged in life.

Is there some where were you can serve? Is there a place were you can give without receiving anything in return?

It took me a while to find a place where I could serve without getting anything in return. But, the funny thing is, I’ve found that I have benefited far more than anyone else in the process. I have been in awe of each leader and find myself giving respect to everyone who walks through our doors. They are the ones who have decided to do the hard work, making themselves mentally and emotionally healthy after being dealt such a devastating blow, and they are the ones that go on to stand by the side of others experiencing difficult days. They are the reason our group made it to the top 100.

Copyright © 2011 By CJ Powers
Photo © Sprinter81 – Fotolia.com
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