We Don't Have Answers

Shari Tucker Profile
Article by Shari Tucker

It’s difficult to put into words what houseparent life is like at Gateway Woods. As we approach two years as houseparents, we look back over our experience and who we were when we first came here, and we are so thankful for the work God has done in us. If we were to give you the number of kids we have worked with that are doing well now, our statistics could be discouraging. But what is our measure of success? What will God do with these stories and lives down the road? Only God knows the rocks that have been moved and the seeds that have been planted, and we trust Him for the increase!

We have felt like we’re at rock bottom many times these past two years. What do you do when you are pouring out all you have, giving of your heart and time, and the very teens you’re trying to help respond in an apathetic or oppositional way? How do you live with the negativity, drama, and heartbreak they bring with them? Can you answer “why?” to a teen who is still at the emotional age of a child because her mom threw her out on the streets at age nine and she survived by running drugs? Can you answer “where was God?” to a teen who was hurt and abused from the time she was four years old?

Think about all the people you have around you who support you and pray for you. Can you imagine having no one? No one who will come visit you, or to even make a phone call to, or to live with when you leave treatment? The situations and impossibilities we face daily drive us to our knees like nothing we have ever experienced before.

We don’t have answers; but we do have hope. There is nothing abnormal or special about us. We don’t possess some super talent that you don’t. What we have learned is that the work is the LORD’s, changing hearts and lives is of the LORD, and praise be to Him that He can do the impossible! At Gateway, we give these teens maybe the first safe home in their lives, and show them a way of living they have never known. We live out the Gospel by loving them when they are unlovable. And we do all that only by the grace of God and by His strength.

It’s tough to remain fully staffed, because the work is difficult. As believers, though, we are not called to the easy, but to the difficult. The truth is, we don’t have what it takes to do this work…but God does. We encourage you to step out and live for Christ in a way that is uncomfortable and challenging. You will find that the work God does in changing and molding you more into His likeness is far more than worth the cost.

Shari served as a Houseparent at Gateway Woods with her husband Luke and their family.