What If…

Life Hurts, God Heals is a bible-based teen support group curriculum for students who struggle with habits, hurts, and hang-ups. We’ve run it a couple of times over the years here in Delavan. The amount of hurt kids experience today is immeasurable. We’ve seen healing occur and hope grow in kids who struggled with substance abuse, challenging family dynamics, cutting, depression, and even those who have contemplated suicide.

The need for Life Support in this, and other rural communities, is huge. Heroin has made its way into our community, self injury is still prevalent among Jr. High students, bullying happens more than you’d think, and anxiety and depression are the most common complaints among youth I’ve talked to. Many report feeling overwhelmed by the demands of school and fear of the future. Still others express a growing sense of hopelessness and helplessness.

Often, parents struggle to know how to support their child. Sometimes we try to push them, saying things like, “Suck it up!”, “Life is hard so get use to it!”, or “Quit being so whiny and just deal with it!” Other times we may not push them enough, doing for them what they should be doing for themselves. Parenting can be hard and confusing and sometimes we could use support ourselves. If you’re anything like me, you probably doubt yourself and your parenting skills. We are our own worst critics. Again, parenting can be hard.

But what if…

What if there was support? What if there was a place where your child could find other adults to help walk through challenging times? What if there was a network of parents who came together regularly to learn from each other and to encourage each other? What if we didn’t have to worry about measuring up to others in our community and how their kids are doing? What if there was space to simply say, “I need help?”

What if…

Common Ground is launching a new initiative called Life Support Programs, aimed at supporting parents, students, and families. Our community is only as strong as the families in it. We are already providing counseling and support for all ages, as well as mentoring for youth, and are planning monthly educational meetings for parents with the purpose of equipping them to walk with their child in the digital world.

We are also working with other groups to support the development of healthy habits, such as the Delavan Biggest Losers competition, exercise classes, the upcoming 5K Run/1M Fun Run/Walk, as well summer tutoring and youth game nights.

We’re still dreaming of other ways for us to be together. We’ve talked about the possibility of a youth gardening class over the summer and even art classes.

What if…

What if we, the community of Delavan, continued it’s long-standing tradition of being generous and supportive of each other? What if we, together, dreamt of new ways to do that while continuing the ways in which we already do? What if there was a culture, where those who needed support never had to worry about the rumors that tend to spread in small towns when someone is in crisis. What if Common Ground could be a place that helped facilitate the meeting of those needs. What if Delavan was known more to the outside world for their care of each other than for fine dinning or “innovative” businesses? What if, when people are looking for a community to raise their family in, Delavan is on the top of their list because of our love and care for each other and they long to be a part of that kind of community?

What if…

 

 

 

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