Today we are joined by one of our hosts. Have a read to discover what hosting during lockdown has been like for her.
I learnt something today…
For the last week the main job has been scarifying the lawn (raking very vigorously and thoroughly). Its hard physical labour, for me at least! After a few days of work I feel totally worn out and struggling to summon the energy to move around. It’s a general body-encompassing torpor.
I have known several people, including our guest, who suffer from anxiety and/or depression. I have seen them battling with the kind of exhaustion that makes it difficult to make themselves a drink or get up the stairs. Until now I haven’t been able to imagine what that might feel like – I’ve even been a bit skeptical at times. Now I have a much clearer idea of why our guest spends so much time in her room, and sometimes seems listless or unmotivated.
Before lockdown, our guest would go to the gym every day. When she returned she would barely have the energy to interact with us – even climbing the stairs was a daunting task. How did I not realise how she was feeling?! Her hard workout on top of the kind of tiredness that can only come from the drain of constant anxiety. I have new-found high respect for her perseverance and determination.
Tomorrow I can have a rest day, but every day is a day of anxiety for someone who is a survivor of trafficking and is awaiting the decision of distant bureaucrats to seal their fate.
This is really why we started hosting in the first place.
We want to be good stewards of the advantages we have, given by God expressly to give out to others. I often feel conflicted over what to do about people who are homeless. It’s really difficult to see how to help effectively.
Hope at Home is a targeted and considered project that is able to make a real difference to people’s lives. Guests are individually selected because they are the ones most likely to benefit from the opportunity, and hosts are trained in what to expect and supported even on a daily basis where needed!
When our guest first arrived she was so not what I had expected.
I have found a friend who is bold, brave and bubbly. These qualities are often subdued in her, but by no means crushed.
Our expectations of what living together might be like were also quite different. Where I envisaged gaining a new family member, I think she viewed it more like another place to lodge and keep to herself. Lockdown has helped our relationship develop into more of a compromise between the two. We have had some great bonding times in supermarket queues! I now see much more clearly why she doesn’t want to trust anyone, and have seen her respond and flourish in the trust we put in her.
We are looking forward to celebrating her birthday together next week. I enjoy an excuse to make a cake, but having only sons I have never decorated a cake with flowers – an exciting first for me, and a first English family birthday celebration for our guest who loves all things floral.
I hope I can impress her!