Helena Ana Young
[Balboa Press, 108 pages]
Born in the late 1930s, Helena Ana Young was raised in rural Minnesota, in a family of Swedish descent. Blessed with a beautiful singing voice, she had the opportunity to study for the opera in New York, but a calling to God led her down a different life path, to instead work with drug addicts through religious practice.
In Always New Beginnings, Young takes us through the journey of her life, from feeling awkward and ugly in her teenage years, to being the life of the party as a young adult, to her joyous participation in organized religion, which involved helping people who’d become spiritually lost and had succumbed to chemical addiction as a result.
Young’s life has been a full one, and she candidly recounts its highs and lows: romance and marriage to the man of her dreams, only to have her happiness dashed by his many indiscretions; the euphoria of being connected to God and the church; the fulfillment she found in dedicating her time to help homeless and addicted souls; and finally, becoming a mother and newfound love.
Young also shares with the reader her work to create homeless shelters, churches and treatment centres throughout America. These efforts came with both success and challenges, and money was tight more often than not. However, through her strong faith in getting exactly what she needed when she needed it by acts of God, she was always grateful for all that she had and her accomplishments, despite the setbacks and heartache.
Living in step with spirit
Throughout all her trials and tribulations described in Always New Beginnings, Young shares stories related to her spiritual and intellectual growth, and how her faith developed over the course of her life. This growth was very profound when she entered mid-life, as her faith in God transitioned from one directly related to the church and organized religion to one of a broader spiritual nature, with a focus on the connection of the soul to a higher power.
Young eloquently articulates her realization that life is a journey of experiences in which we can continually reinvent ourselves if we live in step with Spirit, which she explains in the below excerpt:
Daily I am searching my soul, and with great compassion the spirit opens the hidden thoughts and brings them into light and understanding.
Completion of the circle of life is the base of all, the spirit, which takes on the soul, which takes on the body. Everything is built on the spirit of life, which turns out to be the reason we are born to flesh in the first place. To experience the life in the flesh and then experience spirit brings us to the reality of who we really are. A spiritual person arises like the Phoenix, which shakes off the ashes of their former lives and reveals the being that is one with spirit, renewed, restored, and reborn.
The profound realizations Young shares reveal her insights that God isn’t a force to be feared, but rather a loving Spirit that leads us through life to help us find our true selves. Our lives can be Hell on Earth or a heavenly journey—it’s our choices and our spiritual connection that can lead us to love and learning, if we stay open-hearted and embrace an existence alongside a force greater than ourselves.
Now in her late 70s, Young continues to aid those in need, running four treatment centres that help people overcome the chemically addicted state they’ve found themselves in because they’ve lost their direction. She’s a true beacon of hope and light, and inspires the reader to consider the blessings of life’s experiences through a oneness with God—and that God is love.
«RELATED READ» FULFILLING MISSION: A personal story of a life of service»