Tough Love

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The New Hope Resource Center is intentional about partnering with clients who are actively trying to better their lives.

When someone comes to us for an appointment, our counselors help clients identify concrete steps they can take to move towards financial stability and life transformation. We call this an Action Plan – it details what the client will do and what we will do to help.

Action Plans help us gauge how invested a client is in his or her own future. Many times, clients come in for their second appointment and they’ve done everything we asked and more. Sadly, though, sometimes we have clients who seem to blow off their Action Plan altogether.

We thought Mallory was one of those clients. Mallory came to us last year for assistance, and by her second appointment it was clear to Julie, her budget counselor, that she had no interest in partnering with us. “Mallory is not moving forward on any of her action steps,” Julie wrote in her notes, which led to a difficult conversation with Mallory – “If she doesn’t work on her action plans then there is nothing else we can do for her.”

Mallory reluctantly scheduled one more follow-up appointment, but Julie thought she’d never see her again. Too much tough love, she thought.

But Mallory surprised us this week. She came in for appointment, and to Julie’s amazement, Mallory had made significant progress on her Action Plan. After speaking with her, Julie learned that Mallory had several other “wake up calls” in her life over the past several weeks that had softened her heart. “She had a better attitude and was having more confidence,” Julie said. Clearly she was finally ready to invest in her own future.

It became clear to us that God was doing something bigger in Mallory’s life, something we were only a small part of. For Mallory, it took a string of bad situations and a handful of people willing to speak hard truths to her before she was ready to open herself to transformation.

“If you are not careful,
you can become everyone’s friend,
but nobody’s leader.”
– Ron Edmondson

If Julie hadn’t been willing to love Mallory enough to tell her the truth, we might have short-circuited what God was doing in her life.

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