“Listen to voices that you don’t usually listen to…make room for others, especially those who no one else is hearing.” This was advice someone recently gave me. Any of us who are leaders in any capacity have the opportunity to use our power to empower others. We have the privilege of helping others flourish by giving them opportunities to take back authority over their own lives. So often it’s fear that keeps us from listening to those different than us, or that holds us back from using the power we have to empower others. Fear is the currency of oppression. Let me introduce you to our latest graduate from Naomi’s House. This is a woman who can put our fears to rest and give us immense hope for the future.
When this young woman moved into NH just over a year ago, she had just been released from the hospital. Her trafficker was so violent with her that she ended up with a broken ankle. She spent her first several months with us having to go to trial to testify about her life as a victim of her trafficker. Each time that she did that, she’d come back to the house emotionally wiped, because she was reliving her trauma. But she endured like the brave and strong woman that God created her to be! Fast forward months and months of her time at NH, to today, and hear me say that she is thriving. She graduated the program committed to her healing, her sobriety, her future, and her relationship with Jesus. She stood up in front of her entire church sharing her testimony of how God saved her and how Jesus is her best friend. And anyone who knows her can’t get enough of her vibrate smile and huge heart.
She has the “statistics” of someone our culture might fear. She has a complicated background and might continue to have a tough road in front of her. But now she has tools that she’s never had before. She has a community around her that sees her for who she is and encourages her to be her true, authentic self. And she believes in herself. I think that might be my favorite thing about watching someone’s life transform – when our women discover who God has created them to be and they accept it, they become not only new creations through Jesus, but also empowered human beings, able to use their own power to help others. I can’t say it enough: we are all better when someone’s life goes from darkness to light, captivity to freedom, death to life. This new graduate from NH embodies this, and our community is blessed to have her!
If you’d like to personally tell her how proud you are of her and want her to know that you’re praying for her, send me a note and I’ll be sure she gets every one of them.