Most of the boys in Sheridan House have trouble expressing their emotions appropriately or discussing feelings when things are difficult. So, when house mom, Terri, discovered a partial self portrait of Travis crumbled up in the back of the van, she knew it was a learning experience in the making. Travis had the beginning of something great, but he gave up too soon.
Travis is a gifted athlete and a good student. However, he has a hot temper at home with his parents and his siblings. Travis often exploded instead of finding a suitable solution for his feelings and disappointments. He hates to lose a game and refuses to back down from any confrontation.
Challenging the boys to take a risk, trying new ways to express their emotions, and opting to control their reactions and impulses can be a very slow process. After years of bad habits, many boys have a difficult time choosing to make a heart and mind change while at Sheridan House, but not this time. Terri sat with Travis and they finished the portrait together. They took full advantage of the wrinkles in the paper from him wanting to throw it away. She reminded him how giving up on something that is difficult too soon will often end up in the trash. Instead, he saw that working together and asking for help can make things better, even beautiful.
Travis smiled shyly as he looked at the completed self portrait. He was proud of it. He even allowed it to be displayed in the home’s study hall for all to see.
Taking the time to revisit a defeat takes courage. Attempting to express frustration in a healthy manner takes determination. Learning to finish a task, even if it seems daunting, takes strength of character.
Terri said it best, “I love helping these boys see that hard work pays off in the end. Even more, I love watching God soften a calloused heart changing a dim past into a bright future.”