The biggest mistake I one can make is thinking that a heart for people is something that sparks within you, and is always there. That, I think, was my greatest lesson at SALT this year.
My name is Jenna, and this year was one that I spent interning at a non-profit organization. From my youngest years, I always felt a burden on my heart for the underprivileged, or less fortunate. It absolutely broke my heart to think that children would be born into situations that were hopeless. Where they wouldn’t be given the tools they needed to thrive in our world, or even the basic ingredients they needed to survive at all. It caused me sleepless nights to think that young women like myself were placed in segments of society that disempowered them and took away their belief that there was more to life than just merely existing. That was my reason for joining SALT. I wanted to help bring hope to my community; to make a small difference in my world.
At first I thought that what was required of me for the year would be easy to give because I felt so strongly about the mission we have at SALT. But that idea was very quickly misproven after weeks and weeks of coming face to face with the people that I thought I wanted to save.
For some reason I didn’t feel the way I thought I would, my heart didn’t always feel broken and ready to serve. In fact most of the time everything I was doing felt like a big sacrifice.
Sometimes I would look around and see that my efforts were useless because they were so miniscule in comparison to the massive need that there was.
But that all changed for me one day when I realized that the whole idea of serving other people is that you have to forget about how you feel, because after all, it’s not about you. And that by any stretch of the imagination doesn’t make what needs to be done easier, but by constantly reminding yourself of that simple truth; your dedication and devotion to the cause becomes so much stronger than your emotion.
Even though the work being done feels like it is too small to really change the community, it is important to remember that every life that is impacted by our mission is a life catalyzed to changing the lives of those around them.
Thus if I think that one looks at the end goal from where they are at this very moment, in any walk of life, it would seem impossible. Yet I learned that if we can be trusted with what is asked of us every single day, then with hindsight they shall be able to look back and see all of the wonderful things that have happened.
Kind of like what happened for me, after looking back on the last eight months with SALT.