I Am Better Than My Past

Northminster Church, <a href=sickness Sunshine Angels,Sunshine House,” />As you have probably read recently in the local Phoenix newspapers, articles about the many children that have their lives forever changed when CPS and the courts take them out of their homes and often away from their families. More often than not, it is from parents that have in some manner abused them or deserted them due to incarceration, drugs, or alcohol addiction. These children end up, sometimes in foster care and sometimes in group homes such as The Sunshine Group Homes. 

The Outreach Ministry of Northminster Church and the kind and generous church family have made a commitment to partner with The Sunshine Angels to help these children in anyway we can. One of the outstanding leaders of The Sunshine Angels happens to be a member of Northminster. Her experience with these children spans over many years. Flo Smithinger is definitely an inspiration to all of us at Northminster.

One of Flo’s kids is 18 year old Bryan Kelly. He will be aging out of the Sunshine Group Home in December of 2012. Bryan has been in 93 placements during his 18 short years.  This remarkable young man will make his mark on this world and people will know that he is “Better Than His Past”.

This is a poem that Bryan wrote about his life from the start and up to where he is now and it is definitely from his heart.

I was a baby left in a box
I was left in the rain and cold
I was placed beside the freeway
I was with cars, horns and sirens
I was filled – given some warmth

I was left in a blanket
I was given a rattle,
but also given this battle.
I was heard over the thunder,
and was called a sheer wonder.

I am better than my past
I was one who would last
I am one who is learning
I am one who sees a new day
I am one who will find a way.

I am not my mother
I am not my brother
I am a figure standing tall
I am not just a crumbling way
I am not just a “Me”
I am who I want to be

I am one who is strong
I will be one getting along
I will be different from others
I will be one of the good fathers
I will be first in college
I will be one with knowledge

I will be remembered
I will be a forever burning ember
I will be a bright light
I will be a ready fight
I will be able to see
I will be what I wanted to be
I will be a path to all
I will be there to pick up others who fall

These are the words I now live by and describe who I am: Dream –Possibilities – Hope –Believe- Overcome – Perseverance – Courage – Survival – Hard Work – Faith – Family – Support – Future – and I AM BETTER THAN MY PAST!

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