Surrender to Serve
A month of awareness and service for victims of human trafficking
We talk much about empowering others and facilitating strength in struggle. We want to encourage and equip women in both seasons of trial and in seasons of triumph to continually be seeking growth, whatever that might mean in the current context of her life. When we think growth, when we think new lifestyles for a new year; we think action, progress, and controlled, intentional efforts. And those forward motions, the hand written goals, they are certainly a part. Yet they are only part.
A finish line without a map. A race without rest. A charge for success without the courage to surrender. Wait, surrender?? This is grossly incompatible with our culture! It is a personal affront to our strength and abilities and perseverance. Because the truth is just what Rosie tells us, “We can do it!” What we cannot do is empower others, or even reach untapped potential in ourselves, without first surrendering something.
This makes us cringe, and with good reason. We live, work, and love in a white knuckle culture with white flag disdain. Surrender is weakness, defeat, vulnerability. We have to stick to a plan and hold fast to what we have, should it suddenly be snatched away. We must be strong to fight, not just for ourselves and our loved ones, but for the many who cannot fight for themselves. How could we possibly do that if we reduce ourselves to an admission of surrender?
This word that from one angle exposes fragility, can and does from a much healthier and humbler frame, exude empathy and trust. The root of our hearts at NaSHEville are from places of brokenness, and to truly serve others in despair, surrender will always be the first step. To care for those who are abandoned or oppressed, we inevitably surrender much – our plans, fears, and conveniences. We must submit to hearing harrowing stories and forgo our own discomforts in order to sit with and honestly see another woman in need.
We call for daring acts of surrender this month as we hope to be a voice for both victims and survivors of human sex trafficking. January’s Trafficking Awareness Month is committed to educate and exhort communities across the country to not just open their eyes, but to hear with readied ears the truth and depravity of this issue.
Our single ask for the SHE’s like us, who can never and will never know the depth of hurt these women and children have suffered, is to simply surrender. Surrender our judgments of prostitution and those who are coerced into a lifestyle that no one readily chooses. Surrender our reticence to its uncomfortable truths. Submit ourselves to circumstances that lie far outside our comfort zones in order to acknowledge and care for the victims in whatever ways our community provides us to do so.
We will soon share a personal testimony from a local trafficking survivor, a graduate of Davidson County’s Cherished Hearts recovery program. She will share her story anonymously and adamantly without intention to shame. Her goal, as is ours, is not guilt as a call to give back, but transparency and truth as a hope for tenderness toward the many accused; the accused who actually the anguished.
End Slavery Tennessee, our non-profit partner for human trafficking, will host a remarkable fundraising event at the conclusion of January’s Awareness month on Friday, February 1st. Professional actors will perform intimate narratives of real trafficked women and unlock all the unnerving and uncomfortable insight into the plight of these victims. We hope you’ll surrender whatever voices clamor to hold you back, and come join us to simply hear their stories.
How to get involved:
January 26th – Shampoo & Conditioner Drive.
Bring full-sized shampoo and conditioner to Parlour3 Salon in Brentwood from 10am-1pm. We will have a booth of NaSHEville apparel and light snacks, along with information and a chance to meet a local trafficking survivor. Your donation of goods will help provide much needed supplies for victims still trapped in human trafficking.
Other drop-off location at:
The Beauty Room, Lebanon
February 1st – End Slavery Tennessee’s second annual Human Trafficking Monologues at the Marathon Music Works. Funds will support End Slavery and their program for rehabilitating and serving women escaped from sex trafficking. Volunteer or purchase tickets to attend here.
Click here for donations to benefit End Slavery Tennessee.