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I don’t need your help.

The holidays are over. I am both sad and happy but glad that we can focus better now. I like to stay focused even if I find it hard to do at times. I do miss all the joy with my family. I don’t take them for granted, that’s for sure. I love to spend time with people I love.

The holidays are a great time to see the world come together. More people were eating out together, going to church, going to parties, helping at local organizations, and just a general togetherness. I miss that. I wish we had the Christmas spirit all year long. Of course, that never happens because of the stupid responsibilities that come with keeping up with everyone you know. The holidays are all about doing too much. You can’t do that all the time. So here we are- bored and liking it.

That giving thing is the part that I am going to work hard for this year. I have big plans to get out there and do a little more. Or at least find people that want to do more with me. You know that would make a big difference. We need to take good things and multiply them. Only good things will come from it. I mean, nothing is perfect, but you get what I am saying. Turning the wheels in the right direction gets you closer to the finish line. I hope. I think. I do have faith in that because I have seen it first hand.

People always ask me if I need help with anything for The Treasa Barley Foundation. I always say the same thing- I don’t. I don’t need help. At any time, I can do less or more. It doesn’t matter because the need is so great. I can always choose to feed two people or 100 people. Of course, I prefer to feed 100. That is the better choice. I have done it myself and enjoyed every minute of it also. I guess enjoyed is not the right word. It’s hard to have a word to describe the experience. I get the same amount of joy from doing it all myself as I do with a large group of helpers because I am there for myself — my personal growth.

It’s not that I need help. It’s not that the homeless need our help. It’s not that the hungry don’t need or couldn’t use help. Or myself, I don’t have all the time in the world. It is nice having someone to help create, organize, and work side by side. However, I don’t need it.

You need it. It would be best if you changed. You. Well, and me. I am part of the collective “you” in this story. There is not one person who is without needing to be a better human being. We all need a reality check. Helping a person who is less fortunate than me does precisely that.

You will become so connected to God. I don’t believe I am saying this. I was so against even talking about God. Like some bad thing that no one should ever discuss. I avoided healthy things. Why? I don’t know.

What I do know, being a person with PTSD, I struggle when I see people who are hurting. I do get emotional and have a hard time grounding myself. It takes me back to the past. I don’t want it to, but it just is unavoidable. You can’t take the past out of your mind. It is not a possibility. Not unless you get your memories erased. But this is not Marvel, so you are stuck with your memories. Sorry to say. And sad memories do weaken me. But now that I pray and walk in the path of Jesus, it is different for me. God is using my pain. He is a driving force that is going full speed ahead. I do still feel it. Like today I am feeling a little emotional. But God is putting this fire in me.

It’s hard because my best friend had her life taken from her. Her father molested her for her entire life. So she killed her self with the heroine. I watched her be destroyed by it. She withered away a little at a time until the end. Then she died in front of me. That is not something you easily forget. It is life-changing. This war against drugs is fierce. It’s so hard on everyone who has been touched by it. These are people we love, like our parents and siblings, our children, and even grandchildren. It is such a catastrophic problem, and there is no easy solution. Although it appears that everyone thinks they know what to do. However, no one does anything. The end is insurmountable. So we pray it goes away.

Here’s a news flash for you- It won’t, especially if we spend all of our time judging and not doing.

But God is with me. He is showing me every time I go into battle that he went there before me. God didn’t just know I was there. He went before me. That is what it says in the bible. Deuteronomy 31:8 “8The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” I would have laughed about that before. Now it gives me peace in my heart. Now I go because He is with me. Jesus showed me the path to forgiveness. It is a battle. You can see it. You can see the blows. You can see the blood and sweat from the battle — the death and awaking. We are fighting drugs and sexual violence. We are making a difference too. That’s not because of me. God is using my pain to make a difference in my life and the lives of others. There is not a person that will convince me otherwise.

If you want to see your purpose in this world, go outside of your comfort zone and help someone you said you would never support. Find a person on the side of the road. That guy that begs for money, and start a conversation with him. Please don’t ask questions like how did he get here. Why won’t he work?. Ask his name or if he needs anything besides money? Can we have some lunch together? Want to sit in my car and get warmed up? Tell him about yourself. Talk about his family, the president or the mayor, their families, or friends. It’s scary. What if he robs me? What if he does something worse? What if they are high and will hurt me? Well, you don’t have to let him sit in your car. But you can still talk to him in public with a lot of other people around. Just do it. Help, because you won’t be disappointed that you did it. I believe you may be disappointed that you didn’t do it sooner.

When you are sitting with your new friend, remember, loneliness is a leading cause of depression and self-destruction. Look up how loneliness affects us. It affects our bodies and our minds. I have even read that it makes a person colder. Homeless people are already freezing in the winter, and that is a big reason why homeless people stay together. They want to avoid loneliness. Unlike popular belief, they don’t want to die. Their minds are just so corrupted by the enemy that they can not see past the despair. A drug controls everything, and they don’t see an end, just like we don’t see that end. So they avoid doing the right thing, just like we as a society are avoiding it. However, we have a nice bed where we sleep and a family that loves us.

So no. I don’t need your help.

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