My father was an alcoholic, a functional one, but still an alcoholic. So, even though he remained physically present in my home as I grew up, he was not an engaged father or husband. My mom got up at 4:00am every morning, doing everything in her power to cover the roles of both mother and father in my life, and the lives of my siblings. For obvious reasons, this left her little time for herself, much less a social life. She was hunkered down in a bunker of motherly responsibilities, occasionally lifting her head up to get some air and necessary resources. JCLC works with women every day who are raising their children alone in their own bunkers. It is not a job for the faint of heart…and they are tired.
I have the privilege of hearing the stories of these women; women who have survived extreme trauma in the form of abuse, neglect, domestic violence, abandonment, parents or spouses with addiction, food insecurity, the list goes on. What they have experienced would send most of us running to our beds to hide under the covers and not come out. Yet these women wake up every morning to fight through another day for the sake of their children.
What breaks my heart, and that of our Father, is that so many of them have been forced to hunker down and survive each day in their own personal bunkers while those around them have judged them based on their own assumptions and experiences, rather than taking time to hear their story. God didn’t create us to live in bunkers. We were created to be in community with Him and with others. We were not created to go it alone.
For that reason, JCLC enters into a 9-year mentorship and support relationship with each apprentice AND their mother. We all need people in our lives who are fearless enough to let go of their own assumptions and insecurities, who will reach down into the bunker and show us a way out.