It’s time to help – please take a minute to read!

PLEASE consider joining this beautiful initiative. CLICK HERE TO READ the details.

Anyone that knows my story, knows that helping people who’ve been abused has been a direction I’ve been headed into for a while. On my journey, I learned of a beautiful organization call the Brave Girls Club. Even though their mission statement had nothing to do with what I had been through, it had everything to do with where I wanted to be: FREE and HEALED.

For me, art has played a major role in that. I do believe I was created with a level of sensitivity other artists would understand. I see details, in all things, whether I’m trying or not. And, as I’ve gotten stronger, the desire to produce more and more art has grown. And, left me asking myself what to do with it?

LET ME TELL YOU: a word of TRUTH can change the direction of your day. For me, I had to cling to what I knew to be true like it was my breath because the OVERWHELMING power of the lies that entangled my heart because of abuse were simply put: destroying me. Wounding my heart, suffocating my soul.

I was able to heal and move forward, but I could not do it on my own. Many people played a role in speaking truth into my life on those days when I thought I would just give into sorrow, despair and anger. I still battle at times, but my support makes all the difference on those days.

And, I refuse to FORGET how hard it has been for me. My heart’s desire has been to heal, get stronger and pass on that courage to others in the throws of it all.

PLEASE take a moment to read this blog post of the Brave Girls club partnering with a non-profit to help women rescued from human trafficking. PLEASE consider helping – the time is so small but I truly believe the effects so very important.

1 in 6 women have been abused, 1 in 33 men have been abused. The chances that you know more than one person that has faced the atrocity of abuse is LIKELY. The luxury of not dealing with this is know what they have known. (http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims)

Some facts about Human Trafficking (cited from http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-human-trafficking)

  1. The average cost of a slave around the world is $90.
  2. Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including:
    • Forcing victims into prostitution
    • Subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude
    • Compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography
    • Misleading victims into debt bondage
  3. According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.
  4. It is estimated that there are approximately 27 million slaves around the world.
  5. 68% of female sex trafficking victims meet the clinical criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.
  6. Around half of trafficking victims in the world are under the age of 18.
  7. More than 2/3 of sex trafficked children suffer additional abuse at the hands of their traffickers.
  8. Trafficked children are significantly more likely to develop mental health problems, abuse substances, engage in prostitution as adults, and either commit or be victimized by violent crimes later in life.
  9. Women who have been trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation experience a significantly higher rate of HIV and other STDs, tuberculosis, and permanent damage to their reproductive systems.
  10. There is only one shelter in the U.S. designed specifically to meet the needs of trafficking victims, and it currently only houses a total of seven to nine victims.
  11. Trafficking victims normally don’t get help because they think that they or their families will be hurt by their traffickers, or that they will be deported.
International Justice Mission

International Justice Mission (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you want to read more about another amazing organization fighting for these victims, check out International Justice Mission’s site: http://www.ijm.org/.

Actress Ashley Judd, who has appeared in over ...

Actress Ashley Judd, who has appeared in over twenty different movies, attended Sayre. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ashley Judd also a humanitarian, writes so eloquently of the suffering and the need for all of us to get involved: http://ashleyjudd.com/.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/h-k-d/3063566547/”>h.koppdelaney</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

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Tender and Free

On this Christmas Eve morning, I want to take just a minute to say “It’s Alive!” My heart, that is. With the celebration near of the birth of baby Jesus, my heart has been more tender than it has in years. Crying freely with gratitude and humility, I am thoughtful of His presence in my life and the lives of those around us.

I’ve been so busy simply adjusting to the softness of my heart, I haven’t blogged. After having such hardness for so long, this is coming as a bit of a surprise. At first, I was like, Oh no! What’s the matter with me, I keep crying. Then, I heard His soft voice say, It’s ok, I am here. And, the fresh tears were cleansing and renewing. And, for the first time, I embraced them.

heart in sidewalk

heart in sidewalk (Photo credit: Escalla)

With much sensitivity, I say I am so thankful for the healing in my heart. As I know, many others are still in so much pain they cannot see straight. I pray that the God of love wrap His arms around all of you in despair, in hardness of heart due to too much life happening to them, or those who are simply feeling a void inside of them. And, that He meets you where you are – simply where you are.

I wish I had answers to the many Why’s of the loss you’re experiencing, or that I could make sense of it all. I can’t, but just know I cry with you, I sympathize. You are not alone. Keep going. Do not give up seeking a whole, healed heart. It is for you.

May the New Year bring true newness.

From my husband and mine’s FAVORITE ban, some tender music for this day: