The Beauty of Being an Advocate
The amazing thing about the women in the Purchased program is how strong they are. The things they’ve experienced, the trials they’ve gone through, and yes, the things they’ve done, make for a life I can only imagine. I knew that going into my first Purchased training with The Net. I knew that I had been blessed beyond measure with two loving parents and a safe home, opportunities to a college education, healthy relationships and very little to worry about – and that this was in stark comparison to the lives of the women I was going to meet.
And to be honest, that scared me.
It wasn’t a fear of the women, but a fear that we were too different from one another to form any sort of real friendships. And, that maybe I wasn’t equipped to be a real friend they could depend on in the first place.
But God has been so faithful as to show me truth: That no, we really aren’t all that different from one another, and, well, yes, I’m not equipped to serve them on my own. But by His design He will use my inadequacies for his good.
I’ve been an advocate with The Net for 3 years now. I can tell you that the Net events are the best part of every month. Real friendships can and do form among the most outwardly opposite of people. That my heart at its core can be really self-serving, but serving others through The Net is what brings me the most joy. That I never thought I’d become so passionate about trying to win a chili cook-off (one day, one day…). And that seeing others’ lives literally transform for the better before your eyes is the happiest thing on the planet.
My friend, Andrea, has helped reveal all this to me. While our shells look different, our souls are kindred. We share our lives with one another, we laugh over tacos and coffee, we check in with one another and pray for one another. And I’m not just walking alongside her as she fights for her goals, but she is walking alongside me as I do the same.
When I met Andrea, she had finally decided that the life she was living was not the life she could endure anymore. She wanted better. She had been addicted to drugs for years, in and out of jail on various charges. She had scars on her skin and in her heart I still don’t know the depths of. Today, she has her own place. She has a job. She bought a car. And she’s graduating from Purchased this March!
Her story is just one of many incredible stories that God orchestrates through The Net. And the beauty of being an advocate is that you get to be a part of them.
by Jenna Simard
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