There is no greater crime in all of society than that against a child.
Sex trafficking is the second most profitable illegal crime in the world, generating $32 Billion annually, topped only by narcotics. A child goes missing roughly every 44 seconds in the United States alone.
Today, on the Power Project, you’ll be hearing from my friend Jodie Webb of Colors of Hope. Jodie’s story is one of restoration and redemption. She has answered God’s call for her life and is fully living a life of purpose. By God’ s grace she has been able to transform childhood trauma into a lifelong mission that stretches across international borders to fully restore survivors and further prevent these atrocities.
Not only will you be inspired and empowered by Jodie’s mission but you’ll also hear about navigating the obstacles of starting a non-profit as well as balancing a family life while pursuing a purpose.
To learn more about Colors of Hope, go to www.colors-of-hope.org. Get involved with the newest campaign @ www.inittopreventit.org.
Follow Colors of Hope Equine Restoration on Facebook
and @colorsofhoperestored on Instagram.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call now.
1-888-373-7888 or TEXT:233733
THE HOPELESS PLACE
This has been a crappy week. We lost our second girl at the aftercare house in a month. She was 2 weeks from graduating the 9 month program & left. This was her second time in the program & I didn’t doubt her success for a minute. I’ve been Her spirit and brilliance radiated. I couldn’t wait to see her share her testimony and minister to other women walking through the fire.
The other one that left was in my class. She was an eager student from the beginning. She had a heart for learning and a love of people. I knew that once she found her voice and confidence, God was going to do great works through her. And then, I showed up one day and she was gone. No clue where she is now.
And so, I sit. I sit and I ask God if this is all really worth it. Is the work that he is asking me to do worth it. How can I be following his will and purpose if these people keep turning from Him. How can he be leading me away from my kids, husband, and job to do work that is fruitless? How is this truly His plan? I feel helpless today. I feel empty. I feel hopeless. I feel like the literal life has been sucked out of me. Its one thing to see people struggle, but it’s another thing to wonder if even God can pull them out of the insane state of Hell that they’re living in. It’s this crazy cycle which is a direct result of their trauma. I don’t have a license in this department. I just see the aftermath & it sure is a difficult situation for those of us trying to speak life into it.
My only saving grace is that I have to focus on God’s grace for us. All I can think is that We, God’s children, disappoint him every day. We make poor decisions and leave him disappointed. Regardless of the extreme parameters, this is the same with the people I work with. There will inevitably be more bad days than good. We just must persevere & know that above all, He is God. He is mercy, grace, and love.
THE HOPE-FULL PLACE
Ms. D: The first time I met her was when I took dinner to the house. She was quiet and withdrawn but joined us at the table. She kept her head and eyes down and only glanced up occasionally when someone asked her a question or passed a dish. After finishing her meal, clearing her plate, and thanking me for dinner, she excused herself to her bedroom for the rest of the evening. I gave her space and didn't push. My only hope was that she could eventually see Jesus through me and feel loved, welcome, and safe. Over the course of the next few months, I was able to see her blossom like a flower. Each week, she became a little more open. And, then one day when I showed up, she was sitting outside in the sun, looking radiant, and smiling ear to ear. She hugged me and told me all about her new job and how great everything was going.
Ms. A: I came to the house one Wednesday afternoon excited and anxious to be meeting two new girls that I would begin a weekly class with. I came in and sat down in the living room ready to get to know the ladies. She sat there silently drawing in her binder and not looking up. I finally asked her to tell me what she thought about the book as well as the upcoming class. Her response was "I ain't ever had no boundaries, nobody never taught me no boundaries, and I don't need to read a book about boundaries." The following week, I returned to teach the class, and after just two chapters, had a completely different student sitting before me. As I walked in, she excitedly told me "Miss Brandi, I love this book! It's changed my life. I wish I would have had it fifteen years ago!" And, she carried that excitement throughout the rest of the book!
A PLACE OF HOPE
As time went on, I built a great relationship with both ladies and relished watching their journeys unfold as God truly restored them.
Then, last night, I was able to see the beauty of God's work in action. We, celebrated their graduation from the 9 month program. The church was filled with staff members, volunteers, fellow church members, advocates, and the ladies' families that traveled hundreds of miles to be there.
We listened to their accomplishments and kind words spoken about them. We saw them fully transformed as they shared what this journey meant to them. But, the most beautiful sight I may have ever witnessed was seeing them both with arms stretched high, worshipping a God that never gave up on them. With tears streaming down their face and music playing, they praised a God that loved them and chased them before they ever knew him.
There will inevitably be more times of hopelessness along this journey. There will be more days of heartache and feeling the pain of helplessness. But, in those times, I will cling to the image ingrained in my mind of those ladies, arms stretched high praising my God and I will HOPE.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."
Last year at my company's convention, I had the privilege of hearing Kristen Brown speak about The Happy Hour Effect. Since, then, we've been "friends" on social media and she was kind enough to let me interview her for the Power Project Podcast. We followed it up with an amazing meal of charbroiled oysters at Dragos and had a great evening in New Orleans.
You're going to be inspired and motivated by what she has to say. In this episode, we hear from Speaker Kristen Brown, author of The Happy Hour Effect. She is a self-proclaimed occasional know-it-all, sometimes workaholic, and frequent wine aficionado, but more importantly, my friend & mentor. Kristen uses her world-class industry expertise and research into human behavior to motivate exceptional business leaders to elevate their brand and skyrocket their performance for maximum impact on results even during change and stress. She has shared her expertise with clients around the U.S. such as Target, Women Presidents Organization, Live with Kelly, and many more. But, today, she's sharing with us her approach for overcoming obstacles, interrupting your thoughts, and taking action in your life.
You can follow her as your very own virtual accountability partner on:
Facebook: Kristen Brown Presents
For speaker coaching, podcast interviews, or speaking appearances, find her at www.kristenbrownpresents.com
I launched The Power Project vlog March 8, 2018 on International Women’s Day with the sole purpose of having a platform to spotlight women living a purpose filled life. I wanted other women to be inspired and know that they can do whatever they put their minds to. I had been working on launching the blog & podcast for 2 months.
I had never heard of Rachel Hollis until a friend told me about Girl Wash Your Face. She told me I had to check it out because the girl reminded her of me & the title is so relevant to my business. *The one where I tell people wash their faces.*
I started listening to the audible the day I ordered the book & had finished it by the time GWYF came in. I was so excited that someone else out there “got me”. She said all the things that roll around in my head. We have the exact same views on most of life. We were both raised Pentecostal. Neither of us have degrees but are still successful business owners, and we both want women to know that they were made for more!
And then, it happened. The fear crept in. The realization that someone else was already doing exactly what I was working towards terrified me. And, she was doing it on a massive scale! She beat me to it. Cue the self-doubt.
And so, the Podcast & blog we’re both put on hold. I wrote & recorded but couldn’t bring myself to publish because someone else had already done it better than I could ever imagine doing it.
How could I *compete* with Rachel?
And then, I realized, there was only one ME. I will praise Him because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Only I can say what it is that HE wants me to say, and someone needs to hear what it is that I have to say.
There are more people in the world that need to be inspired and empowered than there are of us going out and sharing the message. The World needs More. More good. More empowerment. More inspiration. More purpose. More. Of. US.
So, whatever it is that you’re doubting yourself about, whomever you are comparing yourself with, whatever is holding you back.. SHUT IT DOWN! That is Satan's voice & that bastard is a liar!
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14.
You were Made for More!
I did it! I finally launched my podcast! And, I might just throw up now. Why on earth has this one simple goal been so hard for me to accomplish? I've poured over this EIGHT months!!!
First, I bought the microphone. Then, I created a podcasting account. I plugged the microphone in so excited to start this podcasting thing... I mean, after all, God gave me a voice and I might as well use it. Then, I could not for the life of me figure out how to play the audio back that I was recording. I decided that was okay, I could learn the technical side later.
I then decided I would set up my podcast page on the platform I had chosen. That should have been simple enough. I just had to write some descriptions and upload some pictures. I do that every day on social media. No big deal. But, I could not master the accurately portioned image for the cover. Don't even get me started on layout choices. And, I hadn't even began to get into the technical issues.
So, the microphone sat abandoned on my desktop...taunting me... daily. The podcast profile page stayed unvisited, the description was left wanting, and the cover image remained a distorted wide lens view of what would ordinarily have been a great profile pic.
For. Eight. Months. I've talked about this podcast with others. I've told them that I'm working on a podcast. However, the term working was used loosely to say the least. I've let myself be afraid of the actual act of launching a podcast.
What will I talk about?
What if I run out of things to say?
What if no one cares what I have to say?
What if I say the wrong thing?
And then, I'm reminded that His plan is so great, that not even I can screw it up!
Eph. 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably are than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
I knew that I was passionate about speaking into others and empowering others. I knew that I was supposed to be talking to others but didn’t know what He wanted me to talk about.
After praying and searching for several months, I was sitting in church one day, and our pastor said “You already have whatever it is that God needs you to have to do whatever it is that God needs you to do.”
That’s it. You have a talent, a special gift that is uniquely yours. You just have to tap into it, and that unique gift may not even look like a gift to you. Mine is my voice and I can’t stand the sound of my voice. I am well aware of the nasally rasp of my voice, thanks to a lifetime of allergies. I’ve also been told my entire life that I talk too much. I know this to be true. But you see, that was my power. That was the gift God gave me to share with others.
What are you “hating” that might be your gift?
Your shoulders? They may be the shoulders that someone needs to cry on.
Your sensitivity? That may be the tender heart that needs to share compassion with the world.
Your infertility? That may be the womb that mothers the orphans.
Your quietness in crowds or shyness? That may be the ear that needs to listen to others.
Your bull-headedness? That may be the strength that carries you through the fire and makes the impossible possible.
Where your passion and God’s will for your life intersect is where you will find your purpose.
So often we feel we have to have everything in order before "serving". We may feel that God is "calling us to serve"...
By the way.... if you're breathing, God has called you to serve. But, we feel like we have to get ourselves tidied up before saying yes. I think what we don't realize is that God just wants us to get into action. Serving doesn't look like what most people think it does. It's literally just saying yes and being obedient.
When God first led me to the Human Trafficking cause, I had no idea what he wanted me to do with it. I didn't know why he was calling me to that particular cause. I had no experience with abuse and have lived an incredibly comfortable life. Plus, it's dark and shady, and I just wasn't sure I could handle it. However, I kept hearing "Move your feet" and "Serve where you are." I tried to ignore it, but God kept calling louder until finally I had to say yes.
Last night, my "serving" looked like: making a batch of chicken spaghetti, having dinner, and playing Phase 10 with some beautiful souls. All survivors of trafficking & all with their own story to tell. But, most importantly, all with a new love for Jesus and the newfound freedom to hope and dream. As I listened to them share their goals and plans for life with me last night, I thanked God for bringing them to me, and realized, that it wasn't all dark and shady. There was beauty in the hearts of the women sharing with me.
Many of you reading this know what you're being called to do but you're getting in yours (and God's) way. You're thinking the same thing I did: What do I have to offer? How can I help put an end to such a massive crisis? Why me? Where do I start? How do I get involved? But.... I'm Scared.
2 Tim 1:7 "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control"
Here's the clearest instructions I can give you.
1. Say Yes
2. Pray about it (not once, continuously)
3. Get involved (research, connect via social media & in person)
4. Find the people that want to get involved with you. (Scary things are less scary with friends)
5. Just keep saying yes and moving forward.
In the words of my pastor "You already have whatever it is that you need to do whatever it is that God needs you to do."
God needs laborers. He needs us to all take the prayers we've prayed and put them into action. He needs us to move our feet. Luke 10:2 "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore to send out workers into his harvest field."
Hi! I'm, Brandi, founder of The Power Project and I'm so glad you're here! I've been speaking and writing all my life and find my greatest joy in helping others see themselves as God does while realizing their own POWER! I hope you find some inspiration, encouragement, and empowerment here.