Posted by: Emily Shemwell | October 29, 2009


While sitting in the storage closet today, watching guests sift through their belongings in the hallway, I heard a man ask another guests where he stayed last night. “At the shelter?” he probed. “No, at my sister’s,” he answered.

Upon hearing their conversation, my mind became filled with questions. I began to wonder why this man stayed at his sister’s last night. Was this his first time staying with her? Why didn’t he live with her and escape the cruelties of living on the streets? My mind started thinking about this man’s family situation. My heart broke for this man and for many of my homeless friends… Many of them have no family. Many of them come from broken families. Many of them are in the circumstances they are in because of their family situations.

My mind then immediately thought of my family. I’m blessed to come from a Christian home where the majority of my family members are followers of Christ. I’m blessed to have two godly parents married for 33 years who are keeping their vows of “in sickness and in health” and “in good times and in bad”… two godly parents who love each other and love me unconditionally… two godly parents whom I’m blessed to still have in my live today. I’m blessed to have my older brother who wants to protect and seek the best for his little sister. I’m blessed to have a sister-in-law to provide me with words of wisdom and who is more like my sister than any “in-law.” I’m blessed to have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins loving and supporting me in my pursuit to follow Christ.

I’m also blessed to have found a family at Jefferson Street Baptist Center. While miles separate me from my biological family, I’ve become part of a family here in Louisville. They are my family in so many ways. They do life together with me… They see me in the good times and the bad… They experience my selfish moments and are there to forgive me and show me grace when I repent… They see me when I smile and they comfort me when I cry… And, still, they love me anyway. They are my family.

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