What does it mean to be free?
To be free from all negative thought?
To be committed while God is sought.
Is freedom the release of all your anxieties?
Of just a change in your priorities?
Maybe it’s replacing fear with faith
Knowing that the LORD will always keep you safe.
Staying calm during the storm of life
Or being celibate until you become someone’s wife?
Is it beauty in knowing that you can choose?
Or the fact that with God you won’t ever lose.
Just imagine the feeling of being set free,
Starting all over with a whole world to see.
You become pure in your heart, body and mind
Confident you’re unchained, for good this time.
Claiming independence, relying ONLY on God
Reaching your arms out sort of like a lightening rod.
Finding out the truth about forgiveness
And what a role it plays.
Living by love throughout all your days.
I think freedom means serenity
Letting peace become all of your entity.
So what does freedom mean to you?
Is it trusting in God?
Or knowing that together you’re two peas in a pod.
RFW resident Korey W.
Sex trafficking victims without a voice, survivors without words.
Art is a gift, a language all of its own, given to each of us by God.
Trauma can leave a person at a loss for words. As a survivor of sex trafficking, expressing myself has proven especially challenging. How do I find the healing I desperately need and desire if I struggle to communicate?
I am a lover of art, but even I was reluctant to using art for anything besides an escape. This was often expressed in pictures of angels in beautiful places that I could imagine, anything I could create that would bring me the peace I so longed for. But God, in His goodness, showed me that so much healing can come if I am open to using the gift of art in its many genres.
Art helped me to speak words that had been hidden for too long, words I could not speak and at times did not even know were there. So much of my healing from trauma has come from self discovery, with God using art to reveal the truth about how He sees me, contrasted with how I see myself. This allows me to communicate my innermost feelings to those around me, though fear tries to lock the words inside. Every stroke of paint and every fleck of color is an experience or a feeling. I get to choose for myself what those will be to tell my own story, find some freedom where there once was none, and most importantly, discover how God sees me and loves me just as I am.
I can come to him with every stroke of paint or piece of poetry or skit or song and know that He hears me and sees beauty no matter how I choose to express myself. There is no right or wrong in art, only truth. Sometimes I have surprised myself that the things I have expressed are so much deeper than I would have ever had the courage to say. It has been such a gift to use my art on this journey through recovery from sex trafficking, and without it I don't know how I would have ever found my voice again.
RFW Resident Odelia
Description of photo: In this painting I am expressing how I think God sees me. There I am, running, always running. I think He sees me running from Him, and paradoxically I think he sees me seeking and running to Him. I depict myself in white because I believe He sees me pure, even though I do not see myself that way. Though I see myself running in circles in the dark, He does not see dark. I chose blue, white, and glitter because I think it is the beauty He sees as He looks down on me. - Odelia
Disclaimer: Please note resident quotes and testimonies are provided for use by Refuge for Women, Inc. and its subsidiaries for the purpose of general communications and updates to staff, volunteers and potential supporters of Refuge. Identities of residents should always be protected. For disclosure purposes, publicized resident names have been changed. The contents of testimonies should not be used for any professional publications without permission from Refuge for Women, Inc.