Hello Sweet Soul! It’s been awhile. So good to be back! I’m such a newbie to blogging that I kinda forgot I had one…a blog. Kidding.
I’ve recently made a vision a reality since we last chatted. That was about four weeks ago. Holy cow what a difference a month can make! This vision came to me last summer and remained super foggy and gray. It kept morphing just as the falling leaves and changing seasons. The seeds were planted back in the heat of August and well, things are just starting to shoot through the cold, frozen ground of February! And when I say shoot, I mean shoot! This ain’t no “poking” around business.
Girlfriends, I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself. While bracing for the extremely hard work that is ahead, there is a deep, deep joy in my soul. Bravely Made will be a faith-based non profit Art House that serves local girls coming out of sex trafficking. Through mentoring and creative arts, girls will heal their pain and have an opportunity to participate in our business development program. The program will equip girls to sell their handmade goods through Bravely Made as a source of income. 100% of the profits will go directly back to the girls, in order to create independence and self-sufficiency. This is soul shining stuff. Life changing stuff. And I’m so honored to have been given this vision.
My team of fellow soul shining artists and I have a heavy burden and a heart for these girls. I’m not even sure why, but I know He’s spent years molding me for this work. I’ve always worked with girls, which is why…I’m sure…I have two boys. Lord knew I would have hundreds, prayerfully thousands of girls in my life. They fill me with so much estrogen, I mean joy…as well as fashion tips, that a girl needs in order to thrive and shine! Over sixteen years in education, counseling and life coaching has mostly been dedicated to reaching girls in all capacities…leaders and those needing a hand up. What an honor it is to serve the future Soul Shiners of America. Now that should be a pageant. I’d watch that one. (And by the way, I don’t mind boys. I love em. It’s just I really like mascara. Remember?)
In addition to reaching these girls, we will also be working to prevent trafficking by coming alongside at-risk girls in the foster care system. Take a look at these statistics, compliments of my Soul Shine friend Missy. She’s a member of the Bravely Made team and rocks it when it comes to research. There is a strong correlation among runaways and trafficking:
- Runaways make up the majority of sex trafficked victims
- 46% run away due to physical abuse
- 17% run away due to sexual abuse
- 30% of the runaways will be actively recruited by a pimp within 48 hours of running away
- 67% of runaways are in the care of social services
- There are over 3,000 kids in foster care in Colorado
The need is great. I see it in my office everyday as a Dean of Students in an elementary school. We can hardly keep up with holding our hands over the hearts of little ones with the gaping holes in their chests – pain so deep it’s palpable in the air. Abuse, divorce, grief, bullying, poverty, pressure, you name it. Pain is real and alive among our children. I suppose it always has been, but most educators will tell you something is different. Our kids are emotionally overwhelmed, much more so than they ever have been in the past. The minute I let go of one, another enters in with tears that just don’t quit. The truth behind their suffering leave most adults asking me for a tissue. And this pain is what send our girls, our children, out to the streets where predators calculate their “rescue.”
And this is why I’m loving February. A lot can happen when you receive a call and choose to live it out. Our Bravely Made team is taking steps everyday to build this non-profit. It’s a soak yourself in prayer and the Word kind of calling. It is a battle against evil and I’m not going down without a fight for our girls. I really hope you’ll listen to the prompting in your heart. If you happen to hear, “join her” I’d love to hear from you.
Tonight as I write, my heart is heavy. The pain is personal as I am keenly aware of the hurt right here in my little world. I am aware of girl who took her own life this past week. A girl whose shine was extinguished way before her time, but I’m trusting the Lord has her safe in His arms. I want to dedicate this post to my niece, who lost a good friend and teammate. Paige, you are a Soul Shiner and I love you so much. Your light shines bright for all to see! You are a real beauty. Kindness and compassion, fierce love for your family and a genuine heart for the kingdom sets you apart sweet soul. Can’t wait to see how your journey unfolds. You’ve got a lot of soul shining to do and I’m so proud of the way you shine it. This ones for you. I’m gonna fight. No stopping us now. We’re all Bravely Made.
Shine On Brave Warriors!