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   Written anonymously by one of our superstar volunteers. She is heavily involved in both our Church Partnership and Advocacy programs, assisting us in ways that many are unaware of. Our impact has been very influenced by the expertise, gifts, and skills she offers us. We are truly grateful for her.  

Four years ago, in 2019, I was a confused wife of over 20 years, struggling with what I thought was my job of managing my husband’s moods.

In 2020, I saw a counselor for anxiety. One of the tools she used to help me was the “Called to Peace” book and workbook by Joy Forrest.

In 2021, I completed advocacy training through Called to Peace Ministries.

At the beginning of 2022, I became an advocate. So far, I have had the privilege of walking alongside seven women who are feeling many of the same things I was feeling just four years ago.

I’m still flabbergasted at how the Lord has changed my life, and I’m so thankful to share hope and healing with other women.

Here are five tangible ways I have been impacted through my experiences with Called to Peace Ministries:

1. I have a new understanding of God. Before, I thought it was my job to submit, no matter what. When I finally disclosed the pain in my marriage, one pastor told me, “This is your suffering for Christ.” Another pastor said that all wives could probably tell the same kinds of stories I was speaking. Without realizing it, I had begun to see God as a taskmaster. Reading Joy’s book and watching her YouTube videos explaining misapplied Scripture passages helped me to understand that God was not expecting the impossible from me.

Now, I see many Christians’ working together at Called to Peace Ministries to be the hands and feet of Jesus to abused women, and it strengthens my understanding of Christ’s compassion even more.

2. I’m being pulled out of my comfort zone.  I’m a by-the-book kind of gal. I don’t like not having the right answers. In advocacy, “right answers” don’t really exist. I can advise, but the situations are always messy, and women are often faced with less-than-optimal choices. As Joy would say, “You choose your hard.” I wish there were a manual. But in my weakness, I must rest in Christ and trust Him to care for each precious woman I work with. Each situation, each legal aid appointment, each court date, and each conversation builds my experience and gives me a little more information to work with the next time a survivor encounters a new difficulty.

3. I get to be part of a ministry that’s growing exponentially.Called to Peace Ministries keeps breaking records. Each year, requests for help roughly double. The Lord brought some finances into my life that I wasn’t expecting, and it has been such a blessing to donate to Called to Peace Ministries because I know the ministry needs financial support to keep expanding to meet the needs.

4. I feel like I’m part of a network. One thing I especially appreciate about Called to Peace’s ministry model is that it leaves no one hanging out to dry. Advocates are richly supported through Porscha, Brooke, and Dr. Debra. When I have a perplexing case, I know I can get advice. There’s also fellowship and support for the women I work with. I can refer them to support groups when they need emotional support, and I can loop in the Church Partners staff when women need help approaching their churches. As a relatively new volunteer, I feel empowered by such a support network.

5. I see the future of the church. I attended a Protect the Flock conference last year, and it blessed me to see that Called to Peace Ministries is helping to change church culture. Is the “submit at all costs” teaching still out there? It is, but it’s losing its stranglehold. I see changes in the blogosphere. I even see changes in some of the perspectives within my own denomination. As a donor and volunteer with Called to Peace Ministries, I get to be on the front lines of this slow but visible shift as the church grows in its awareness of abuse and adopts healthier views of marriage and relationships. What a gift!