Jacob Finds Comfort and Healing
From an outsider’s perspective, Jacob’s family seemed like any other.
From an outsider’s perspective, Jacob’s family seemed like any other. Though they lived in a poor neighborhood, both of Jacob’s parents had jobs. While there were plenty of kids in the neighborhood who did drugs and were involved in gangs, Jacob and his siblings weren’t among them. Nobody ever assumed things were anything but normal at his house.
But behind closed doors, it was a different story.
Jacob’s parents had a volatile relationship. It didn’t help that they both regularly drank too much. They spent many nights screaming at each other. When his parents fought, Jacob and his brothers and sisters would huddle together in one of their bedrooms, terrified.
Eventually, his parents’ fights became physical. Jacob’s older sister became concerned and contacted the authorities about what was going on. It was decided that Jacob and his siblings would stay with his grandmother until his parents could provide a more stable environment for them to live in.
Jacob’s grandmother lived in another neighborhood of the city, far from where Jacob grew up. This meant changing schools, leaving behind friends, and having to learn his way around a new part of town.
The new neighborhood was much safer, and life at Jacob’s grandmother’s home was quiet and orderly. All his siblings seemed much happier in this new situation, but Jacob had a hard time adjusting to the sudden change. He was sad, angry, and felt completely alone.
Unsure how to express his feelings, Jacob began to act out. He refused to follow any of his grandmother’s rules and began doing whatever he wanted—staying out too late, talking back, and picking fights with his siblings. At school, when he bothered to go, he got in more fights and disrupted class at every opportunity.
One day Jacob again found himself in the school principal’s office. Jacob’s principal knew about Mercy Home. He told Jacob that it was a place where he could make a fresh start and learn to cope with everything that had happened to him. While Jacob was initially wary of the idea, he knew that he needed to make a change in his life. Not long after, he moved in.
Coming to Mercy Home was another hard adjustment for Jacob. For someone who had only seen fighting and anger as a way to deal with problems, Jacob struggled to learn new ways to deal with others.
But nobody at Mercy Home gave up on Jacob. And most importantly, Jacob never gave up on himself. Eventually, he became comfortable opening up to the other boys about his tumultuous home life growing up and found many of them had similar experiences. He worked with our therapists to process and cope with the trauma of his upbringing.
The bonds he made with those who listened to and shared his experiences truly brought comfort and healing to Jacob. Today, he is a leader among his peers—the first to listen when someone has a problem and the first to act as peacemaker when there is a disagreement.
These incredible changes are only possible because of the prayers and support of friends like you. Thank you.
Please note: Because we care deeply about protecting our children’s privacy, the names and certain identifying details in this story have been changed.