New Year

New Year: Joy and Hope

New Year: Joy and Hope
Art by Sh’Myra, 13, Partners in Ministry, Laurinburg, North Carolina. From the 2021 Prayer Calendar.

Joy is a necessity for those of us who work in the mental health field. Joy brings balance to the hard times life inevitably hands us. When someone has suffered with so much for so long, they often forget what joy feels like or how easily it can be found—in the hug of a friend, a shared smile, a warm cup of coffee on a cold day, or a loving nuzzle from a beloved pet.

My work at Amethyst Place in Kansas City, Missouri, shows me a lot of heartache and frustration but it also shows me A LOT of joy. Kids getting their own bedrooms for the first time are SO excited! Moms feel like they can breathe again because they know they are safe and secure and can think about something beyond  survival. While substance use disorder is hard to master, when you see someone figure something out for themselves, you  see the joy and flame of hope in their eyes. As the volunteer manager, I pair volunteer tutors and mentors with our moms and kids and get to see their excitement when they learn new things or start to believe in their own intellectual abilities. They begin to realize that they are worthy of love, and they are capable of so much more than they previously thought. This is the transformational power of grace and love — of God.


Deaconess Mandy Caruso-Yahne is a volunteer manager at Amethyst Place in Kansas City, Missouri.

Posted or updated: 12/29/2021 12:00:00 AM

Give Thanks. Give Now.


Advent 2021

November 28: First Sunday of Advent
December 5: Second Sunday of Advent
December 12: Third Sunday of Advent
December 19: Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 31: New Year's Eve