EVERY HEART HAS POTENTIAL
Updated: Oct 6, 2019
Anything is possible with faith the size of a mustard seed.
Every heart has potential like a seed waiting for the opportunity to grow.
Every day I encounter individuals who are simply doing the best they can with the tools life has given them. Regardless of the different versions of darkness they are facing, every single one of them have similar struggles with their identity and their self worth and their hope. The Mustard Seed Ranch of Florida, through love, volunteers, animals, knowledge and community, is working to create an environment that helps youth and eventually families who are struggling with whatever it is that life has given them to know their worth, to understand their potential and to find their purpose.
"I woke up this morning saw a world full of trouble now, thought how'd we ever get so far down, and how's it ever gonna turn around? So I turned my eyes to Heaven I thought, 'God why don't You do something?' Well I just couldn't bear the thought of people living in poverty. Children sold into slavery. The thought disgusted me. So I shook my fist at Heaven. Said, 'God why don't You do something?' He said,'I did, yeah, I created you!'"
- Matthew West
A four-year old little girl comes to school and hands her teacher a doctor’s note explaining how she may express discomfort in her private area after experiencing penetration. The suspect has gone to jail, while she is sent to school with a doctor’s note and her parents do their best to pretend it never happened.
A nine-year old little girl tells a school counselor of her sexual experience with her stepfather. She is asked if she thinks these things have happened to her little sister. She tells how her sister is still able to laugh and play and sing and dance, she does not think her sister would still be able to do this if those things had happened to her. The nine year old's mother tells her she will go to jail for telling. In this case, the suspect goes to jail, the child is made to feel like she was the problem and very quickly becomes a behavioral issue in school.
A nine-year old boy is very aggressive, screaming and cussing at everyone from the moment he arrives at school. After being abandoned at birth by his mother, his father recently dying and his grandmother not wanting him, it’s no wonder he had no idea what to do with his emotions. This same boy now at thirteen years old, has been failed by the world at every turn. He barely knows how to read and write, has been arrested multiple times for his aggressive behaviors, still has no idea how to process his emotions and still has no one who wants him.
A thirteen-year old girl cries about her desire to return to her physically abusive father because the emotional neglect from her mother is unbearable. In school, she has received thirty-eight referrals in a year. She talks of how she desires for her mother to spend time with her and of how her anger makes it difficult to control her tempter.
A sixteen-year old boy begs to be taken to jail to escape the unrealistic and emotionally abusive behavior of his substance-abusing father. When his cries for help go unanswered, he works at intentionally finding ways to be arrested in an effort to avoid going home.
A struggling parent of children they have adopted seek guidance and assistance with the behavioral issues they cannot seem to help their children overcome.
A grandparent cries for help while they do their best to raise their drug addicted and incarcerated child’s children who have become teenagers and are completely self-destructive.
A middle age man describes how he was disciplined and chastised as a child for his bad behaviors, failing grades and juvenile arrest while, unbeknownst to his healthy family unit, he was and continues to maintain the secret of his own sexual abuse.
An older man and his mother talk of their violent home life, his violent rape from stranger as a young child and her direction from the professionals of how if she did not talk about it he would eventually forget. They describe his lifelong struggle with violence, substance abuse and abusive behaviors.