“I guess, the problem is, I never really knew who I was,” says Jack, a 50-year-old guest at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. “I didn’t know it, but that’s where all my problems come from.”
Jack was raised by a single mom and two older sisters. He never knew his dad — and there was never any male role model in his life who could mentor him or help him grow into the man he was meant to be.
Jack’s mom owned and ran her own bar, and by the time Jack was a teenager, it was clear she was grooming him to take over the business one day. But Jack had other ideas. He didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life, but he didn’t want that. Instead, he started down a road of booze, drugs and women.
“I was in and out of relationships with different women, getting jobs and losing jobs, drinking more and more, smoking cocaine — I just didn’t want to think about what I was doing with my life,” Jack says. “Eventually, I’d get myself cleaned up, get another job, get back on my feet, then go right back into that old rut again. Over and over and over again. I knew that wasn’t who I really was. But that was my whole life until I came back to MRM this last time.”
Opening Himself Up to Others
Jack knew he was ruining his life. And he had to find out why. Something was missing, and he needed to find out what. For the first time, he started opening himself up to other people in classes and one-on-one sessions in Safe Harbor’s New Journey Program. He started peeling back the layers of his life bit by bit — until one day he found Jesus staring back at him.
“When I saw Jesus, I knew who I was,” Jack says. “I’m not who everyone else said I was. I’m who Jesus says I am. I’m a child of Christ. Before I knew that, I was just a dressed-up garbage can. But everything’s changing now — all because I know God and He knows me.”