Early on a Saturday morning, the LeadHer Chapter of Nashville, TN gathered together to proudly walk for the cause of domestic violence: spreading awareness and fighting to end its prevalence. In the pictures, these women proudly wore their cause t-shirts and dawned bright, beautiful smiles, but what is not see is that several of these women proudly walked not only as advocates but also as survivors.
These women are bold examples of surrendered pain transformed into God’s purpose. Their LeadHer Local Chapter has not only become a place where they have found support to talk about the things that break their heart, but also the support to act.
Our LeadHer Team spent some time in Nashville in October and as we sat surrounded by so many passionate LeadHer members, we were truly touched by the rawness of some of the stories that they shared. Stories of grief, identity, and abuse. One of the comments that was made was that LeadHer had become a sisterhood to come, to talk, to cry, to pray. The support they share is evident, but one thing that stood out was that they each shared their pain, purpose, and passion together in the same sentence.
They were not afraid to let God use their stories as a catalyst for change. Instead of giving God excuses, they were asking God for strength to move forward. The same women who shared stories of grief, a loss of identity, and domestic abuse shared opportunities to write books to inspire others, mentoring other women as leaders, and organizing a walk to support an incredibly important cause.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 1 in 3 women have been victims ofsome form of physical violence from an intimate partner. On average 20 women are experiencing physical domestic abuse every minute leading to more than 10 million physical abuse victims annually. 20,000 calls per day are being placed to domestic violence shelters, and sadly, thousands are turned away because there is not enough room or resources to help them. While these statistics are overwhelming. But LeadHer Local Nashville has decided that while they can’t solve the problem, they will do something together to make a difference.
When God added the name LeadHer to the vision, it emphasized a defining belief that every single person is called to be a leader. Chapters are not exclusive for individuals who carry a title of leader. Just like passion is not an exclusive gift given to those who exemplify certain personality traits or who pursue certain careers. Passion is God-given and stems from heartbreak over a personal experience, over the experience of someone close to us, or over an issue that we believe in and can’t stand to see not changed. Bill Hybels writes in his book, Holy Discontent, that “If you want to be a force for good, then you’ve got to choose to take action in the area of passion God has placed inside your heart.”
You may not be able to solve the problem you are passionate about, but what if God uses you to make a difference in the life of one person? What if God uses you to bring about change in your community? What if God uses your actions as a part of the bigger solution?
LeadHer Local Nashville is just one Local Chapter that is choosing to not waste their passions by making excuses. If you are interested in connect with the Nashville LeadHer Chapter, you can connect with them on their Facebook page, or you can learn more about how to bring a LeadHer Local Chapter to your area today!