We envision businesses led by Peace Promise that create opportunities for the women we support. Change Purse and Soaps by Survivors are the beginnings of our social enterprise dreams. Our future holds unlimited potential for the women we serve as they truly begin again with jobs that are safe, rewarding, and provide meaningfully for their families.
I can recall a childhood of brokenness and fragility. As a young girl, I searched for any sense of love, support, belonging, and attention. Never knowing the arms of Jesus were fully extended toward me, I turned instead to the whispers of the world to try and fill the deep longings of my heart.
Drugs, alcohol, clubs, sex, money, men, and prostitution quickly enveloped me and promised me glamour, control, power, and security. The whispers were inviting and intoxicating. Within a few short years, my life was completely unrecognizable. I had an expensive drug habit, was dancing at a local club, had men exploiting me on a regular basis, and drank every night to escape the hell I was living.
While trying to hold it together on the outside, my soul was screaming in agony. These whispers had lied to me. I had no control or power. I was oppressed, abused, manipulated, isolated, and broken. When I simply could not take the torture of my soul any longer, I cried out to a God I wasn’t even sure existed. I had never known so much pain and desperation.
True to who God is, I cried out to be saved, and was rescued. I believe I was led to Mechanicsburg Brethren in Christ Church by God’s grace alone. As His grace would have it, one Sunday morning I approached a woman and asked her to pray over me. I told her I was working a “sinful job” and wanted the courage to leave. It’s worth noting that, at the time, I knew nothing about Susan, or of her involvement in this ministry, or her passion and love for those who were broken and exploited.
From that moment, my recovery and new life as I know them were birthed. It wasn’t easy, but I wholeheartedly gave God every piece of me, brokenness and all. He then enveloped me with provision, protection, and love. God is my provider and His faithfulness has been incomprehensible. He walked me right out of the industry and into the arms of Jesus.
My favorite quote is from author Lisa Bevere. She says, “If you think you have blown God’s plan for your life, rest in this: You, my beautiful friend, are not that powerful.” I was there. Surely God couldn’t take all my junk and make anything of it?! Besides, mine was really messed up. But that’s exactly God’s true heart for us. No matter how far we have walked away or how bad we have messed things up, He is crazy about us and can redeem us completely.
Today I have a family, a home, a career, a marriage, a testimony, and a beautiful life because of what God did for me. Today I rely solely on Him to meet my needs, and he comes through every single time. Do I still doubt and get nervous at times? Absolutely. But true to who He is, He loves me despite my mess. Financially, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and physically I have everything I need. Everything! I could talk for years about how He redeems, affirms, and protects me. He has truly traded my darkest ashes for a stunning crown of beauty.
Peace Promise has played such an impactful role in my journey toward wholeness, restoration, and recovery that I am eager to give back in any way I can. I now serve on the board of directors which helped inspire a vision for “Soaps by Survivors.” Soaps by Survivors is a grassroots, cottage industry of homemade, organic soaps and lip balms. Not only does it offer beautiful, all-natural, hand-crafted soaps, it provides a larger-than-life dream that the exploited everywhere are worth more! That women who feel the heart tug to leave the Industry may have a launching pad to be inspired. My hope is that Soaps by Survivors will be a passion, and source of income, and creativity for women at their most broken times. It is OUR responsibility as women to support one another because any of us could have been just as easily exploited and affected. We all deserve to know that those worldly whispers lie, and that only in the arms of Jesus are our souls at home.