Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Hauser.
Amy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
From an early age, I was drawn in by the timelessly simplistic beauty of mosaic art. Eventually, I would become skilled in this medium— not to sell my art, but rather to share hope through symbolism. It was in the self-taught process where 10 steps were spoken into my heart, sharing God’s perspective of the pain and struggles of my life and how he saw things much differently than I had ever been able to. It was here a gradual unveiling of the true beauty available through each shard of brokenness I had and would, encounter throughout life. I would share what I was learning, as I was learning it.
Here, serving others would move me beyond my small story and live beyond my comfort zones into wide open spaces. At the age of 40, the Beauty in Brokenness(c) program evolved and became known as an experiential learning and healing process through means of artistic expression. It is in these two-hour sessions participants are guided through analogies paralleling the 10 steps of the process alongside our own journeys through trials.
I would first share this process with aged out foster youth. Having a heart for adoption and those left to the hands of the system, my husband Tom and I chose to adopt our precious daughter from China back in 2000. Tom worked in a related field at the time, so sharing Beauty In Brokenness in this way was the right fit for the early season of this ministry. In 2010, shortly after moving to Houston from Iowa, I was diagnosed with advanced Triple Negative Invasive Ductal Carcinoma which changed the trajectory of so many things I’d hoped to accomplish. In hindsight, it was the best thing.
After a year of chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, countless doctor appointments, and more–I was declared cancer free and it was time to get moving! As a couple, Tom and I published In His Grip, A Walk Through Breast Cancer and began sharing hope through more writings and speaking engagements, then a team effort equine therapy program for survivors, integrating Beauty In Brokenness. From here, I moved into hospital and retreat venues sharing God’s message of Beauty In Brokenness.
In 2015, a series of events would begin to unfold, challenging the message I’d been entrusted with seeing Beauty from the Brokenness in the framework of life. First, a reemergence of depression was creeping into my life. Our ministry experienced some serious blows and it was taking its toil. An extended family secret had come to light with a upstirring of dormant emotions, not to mention our only son leaving for college, serious downsizing, and actually much more.
During this season, Beauty in Brokenness seemed to be floundering to find its place as I was doing the same internally. I actually remember throwing away much of my mosaic supplies and loads of broken tiles when we moved. Perhaps a tangible act of surrendering whatever this was and letting go of forcing things to work my way. It would be in this season where I would learn to truly live beyond the circumstances of life and into the place of freedom that comes only from seeing and experiencing life from a different vantage point. A deepening of understanding of the 10 step mosaic process happening in my own life.
In the midst of all the uncertainty, our family experienced another blow as we were faced with the realization that our son was battling with alcoholism. Thus began a now 3-year road to recovery. It was here we experienced a growing need to move beyond our idea of a Christian family with our ducks seemingly in a row, to one who had deep wounds that were in real need of the true touch of a Healer. None of this was going to be easy… on any of us and would require letting go of what we thought we knew and opening our eyes and hearts to what we truly needed to see. This was a chance to put faith and love in action and redefine what both those words actually meant.
I am happy to say that our son has been sober now for over one year. Because of a connection to treatment options I never even knew existed, Ross has chosen to take full advantage of wise counsel and work his way into a place of wholeness within his recovery. After successfully completing an in-treatment program, Ross transitioned into a sober living community in Austin, Texas and is a house manager for a stellar new sober fraternal organization on campus at UT with ambitious plans for returning to a full-time student status in the near future.
We are grateful beyond words of how his story has come full circle and we have learned to see the beauty in the broken pieces of both his life and our own. It has taken blow after blow that cannot nor need not be detailed, in order that I might see that none of this is about the circumstances we see, but rather the growth and healing deep within that is required to become all we are made to be while here on earth.
One of my greatest challenges through this extra rough season between 2015 and 2017 was birthed from a simple invitation to have lunch with a group of Woodlands women who all shared a common connection. This connection was Alison Broussard who worked in the mental health and addiction industry as a connector. She helped others with resources and finding the help individuals and families needed when faced with a crisis.
Alison had been the person who had helped each one of us and she knew something needed to change in how our community supported those that were hurting. It was here that Mosaics of Mercy began. Slowly, we realized we had four women who had struggled with mental health dis-ease and/or addiction, either personally or through someone they loved…or both. In my case, it was both and I was smack dab in the midst of the darkness at the time. I was looking for people who “got it” and not another ministry to serve in. I needed to breathe.
At that lunch meeting, God brought Beauty In Brokenness to the table, not me. I didn’t want to do it anymore but God said otherwise. As all our skills and personal experiences were pulling together, we clearly saw the visual connection forming around Beauty In Brokenness. As the ministry slowly began to take shape, mosaic sessions were offered in my garage as I reluctantly shared my story…all of our stories. I had no strength to do this as I was still battling depression and anxiety over so many things now plagued my spirit.
At times, I thought I would completely lose it in the middle of trying to do what we knew was so greatly needed. Frankly, I wanted to be the expert, like a cancer survivor who shared her wisdom with those in treatments, or an adoptive parent sharing with foster kids. Now I am faced with my own mental dis-ease and have a son who each day, I don’t know if I will hear from him or the police. I DIDN’T WANT TO BE THE VOICE of hope when mine was teetering on despair.
Well, let me just say, that is exactly where God said, “In your weakness, I am strong. Amy, this is exactly why others need you to do this. No one wants the expert here. Journey together.”
And from here, we have struggled but we have grown strong. It has been in this stepping way out of my comfort zone and doing the hard thing anyway, that has brought healing to my depression, erased my anxiety, and allowed my son the space he needed to work this season out on his own with us letting him fall, then get back up again and love like Jesus taught us to. It has been hard but it has been beautiful.
If you or someone you know might like to learn more about not only the Beauty In Brokenness sessions, but how we connect people and resources, educate both churches and schools, break the stigma, and the foster community surrounding mental health and addiction, then please do not hesitate to call or connect through either our website or social media. Please do not wait another day. Together, we can make a difference as we change lives…one heart at a time.
Has it been a smooth road?
One of the biggest obstacles we have faced in this just over one year endeavor is breaking the stigma surrounding mental health and addiction. We realize this will not happen overnight but also know it will take others agreeing and seeing the importance of acknowledging the struggle and seeing beyond the label and through to the truth. We all struggle and some more than others. Our lives are different and uniquely complex. Healing comes from a sense of being heard, loved, and encouraged as we walk things out.
While there certainly are reasons and seasons for anonymity, especially when dealing with someone else’s struggle, we also believe anonymity can be associated with shame. Mosaics of Mercy is seeing SO MUCH MORE JOY AND FREEDOM in people when they realize it is okay to say there is a struggle and give a voice to it. The need to shine light into darkness and disburse it is a huge step towards betterment.
Another obstacle is ongoing support. Working 40+ hours per week for well over a year and a longing for food on the table takes great faith. While that isn’t the biggest issue, it is a factor. We need passionate volunteers that align with our vision to really get rolling and do even more. Funding for ongoing services and sessions and expansion as the needs are huge, requires a regular stream of funding. We are confident we will get there! One day at a time.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Mosaics of Mercy – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Our creative mosaics sessions are not the only thing we do, but rather represents the “heart” of what we do.
Mosaics of Mercy offers hope in three unique ways as we come alongside those struggling with mental health and addiction, reminding them they are not alone. Our mosaic sessions are only one way we share hope, we also:
Our endeavor is to help individuals, families, and the community have a better understanding of mental health and addiction. We do this through individual and group interactions or formal training and events to help teach others how to respond to and support those who are struggling.
Accessing information in the midst of a struggle can be difficult. We help identify several potential mental health resources available in the community. It often takes several pieces fitting together to form a circle of support.
We are passionate about helping our community see that there is beauty in brokenness. We show this through testimony, intentional prayer, and artistic expression to inspire recovery.
Changing lives… one heart at a time.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love our diversity, inclusiveness, a strong element of faith in God through Christ while honoring others of various religious backgrounds.
I like the traffic the least.
- One of a kind mosaic heart, $25. Black easel stand, $2
- Website: www.mosaicsofmercy.com
- Phone: 2817408424
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Mosaics of mercy
- Facebook: @mosaicofmercy
Karin Wood, Kris McNeil, Tim Barosh
Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.
Deborah Holden Theriault
March 9, 2018 at 3:16 pm
So proud of you Amy Blessings !.
June 19, 2018 at 9:45 pm
Well done Amy!