What I Learned from being Homeless

Some people may look at adversity in life as having bad luck. However, adversity is necessary in life and it allows us to grow and reach deeper within ourselves for strength. Adversity builds our character and suffering makes us strong.

For instance, take a young man named Calvin who lost his home and material possessions. One night he looked over at his wife in the front seat of their pick-up truck, and then watched his six month old little girl fall asleep in her lap. Their other two children ages one and three were finally asleep in the back seat of the truck as they sat in a McDonald’s parking lot in Dallas Texas. He had lost his job and his wife was not working and they did not have any other place to go. After staying in several hotel rooms, they quickly ran out of money and had to live in a homeless shelter.

Living in a homeless shelter humbled them and gave them a new perspective on life. They worked in the kitchen of the shelter and served meals for other homeless people. The shelter had a faith based program that allowed Calvin and his wife to join in order to cope with the struggles of being in a homeless situation. The program taught them in every situation there is hope, and set backs are only temporary.

Calvin, being the leader in his house, could have giving up completely after he lost his job and a roof from over his families head. But instead, he spoke to his wife and said, “God is a God who strengthens us and turns our adversity into victory.” As a result of persecution, Christians found themselves building and clinging harder to their faith in God (Luke, A.D. 63). They found adversity led them closer to God, and it was no different with Calvin and his family, because affliction was not leading them away from their faith it was strengthening it.

They spent nine months in the homeless shelter going through their program, learning about a different lifestyle and learning about other people. But most importantly, they learned a great deal about themselves. Calvin and his wife never had a wealthy lifestyle, but being homeless and living in a homeless shelter gave them a new perspective on life. And it taught them respect for themselves and respect for other people.

In essence, being in a homeless situation was teaching them humility and making them stronger. It was teaching them to persevere even when the outlook seemed hopeless and endless. That homelessness was not the end of life but a new beginning, a beginning of renewed faith in God and themselves. Looking back they realized being homeless made them stronger people and their suffering made them equally strong. Some people say that adversity is the result of having bad luck. But in the eyes of Calvin and his family, adversity did not have anything to do with having bad luck. Instead, they saw adversity as a teacher building their character and their struggle as a weapon making them stronger.


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