Bethesda News

Changing and Becoming

by Serina Brown, Community Center Director 

Life at the Community Center is constantly filled with changes.  Having children and youth in your life is to know and understand that change is required.  Emotions shift, attitudes change, and hope fluctuates. But the beauty of all this change is the opportunities we have to see what will come of it all.

Two specific quotes come to mind:  “The journey between who you once were and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place.” -Author Unknown, and “I am learning to trust the journey even when I don’t understand it.” -Mila Bron.

One of the hopes at the Community Center is that we can meet each individual in a place of “once were” and “now becoming.” These are waters more easily tread with love and support surrounding you, while moving through the moments of not understanding.

Sharnee is a beautiful example of someone we have watched grow up and go through the changes of life.  It has been amazing to watch her grow to the age of 19 and to see her mature in her emotions and decisions.  There was a time when you could find Sharnee in the bathroom at the Community Center agonizing over the pain of identity.  She would weep over her self-image or painful things that her other peers would say.

At 7-years-old, she came in uncertain of the world, but found art as a way to vent and understand life.  Throughout Sharnee’s Community Center life, she learned how to swim, process emotions, and create murals.  In the basement of the Community Center you will find two murals that she left here to inspire others. One is a painting of Jesus, reminding all those who enter that He loves them.

When asked about what her life would be like if she did not have the Center, Sharnee shared, “the Center is where I built bonds.”  It was not only a place of safety and support for her but also friendships.

Sharnee has now graduated high school and has begun to move into her future as an artist. When asked what she learned in her journey moving toward adulthood, she said, “life can be challenging, but as long as you do things for yourself and find support, you can get through it.”  This is an idea we push greatly at the Community Center. It is only through partnerships with family, friends, and organizations that assist in being strong support for one another that we can get through.

One of the hardest things Sharnee has recognized in becoming an adult is the ability to balance money well.  But this an area she is managing to maintain. She understands that each life touches a life.

Sharnee is currently in art school and is making plans to move to California after she graduates to open an art studio, open an art gallery, and do art shows.  Please continue to pray that God will meet Sharnee through her talents and give her wisdom to make good decisions.


This article was first published in the October 2018 edition of Bethesda’s “New Life” Newsletter.

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