Making Better Choices
by Angela Sanders, Freelance Writer
“The one who walks with the wise will become wise…” Proverbs 13:20
Watchful and wary, eighth grader Kayla doesn’t open up quickly or trust easily, but her stay at Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children (OBHC) has given her the confidence to be herself “only better.”
“I came to OBHC last summer,” Kayla says. “I was looking for a fresh start. There was so much drama at home and so many struggles. I would always argue, yell and talk back at my mom and not follow her directions.” Kayla winces. “I regret it all.”
Kayla found the new change she was craving and more at OBHC. “I really don’t know what it is about being here that makes people want to do better, but I got caught up in it,” Kayla says.
“At first it was just about learning manners, to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and how to act at the dinner table, but then they started teaching life lessons and I just felt myself wanting to cooperate with them because they were trying so hard to teach me and help me. My attitude is much better now, and I’m trying hard in school. I know I’m doing better because I can see it in my mom’s eyes when I go home on visits. The way she acts with me is different and more relaxed.”
Kayla continues, “I didn’t really know about God before I came here, and they did a good job explaining Him to me. I’m improving in that area and starting to believe in Him. I didn’t believe at all before I came to OBHC because we didn’t go to church and we didn’t pray. I didn’t even know how to pray. Now I know. I’m also learning how Jesus sacrificed His life for us so He could forgive us for all our sins and how He can make a difference in our lives if we let Him.” While Kayla hasn’t yet made a decision, she’s still considering what it means to give her life to Christ.
Someday, Kayla would like to be a dancer on TV and/or a contestant on American Idol. “I also want to be a houseparent here,” Kayla adds. “That’s a for sure thing, but I want to try to do the other things, too. I think I can handle it.” She would also like to be a mother someday. “I think being here has helped me learn what a solid family looks like. I don’t want to have to discipline my kids, but if they have a bad attitude or get bad grades because they don’t try, I know how to handle it now and discipline them in a way that helps.”
Adulthood still far away, so Kayla is content to live at OBHC for now. “I’m making good memories here,” Kayla says. “I have two really good friends, and I’m going outside and being active. We went to a fall festival, a pumpkin patch and maze, and we had a bunch of Christmas parties. I got to visit my parents for Thanksgiving and do a lot of other stuff that I didn’t really get to do before, like hang out with friends. I get to color and do other creative stuff. Right now, I’m coloring a page that says, ‘The path is the destination. Enjoy the journey.’ I think that’s good to remember.”
To those who have helped make OBHC part of her journey, Kayla offers her thanks. “Thank you for letting me come here. I’m a better girl than I was. I still have some anger issues, but I know I can make good choices no matter how I feel and make life better for myself. I know now I can be myself and enjoy it.”