TOGETHER TO[GET]HER Freedom: Raising Awareness & Funds to Commemorate 1 Year’s Worth of Beauty

On this day exactly one year ago, I began this blog. My purpose in doing so was because I felt the Lord’s beckoning to see the beauty right where I was, and to believe in hope for the beauty that was to come out of all the “unbeautiful” my eyes saw in my life and in this world. October 15th also represents,  Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day, the day that we remember our Heaven Babies, the ones we never got to hold here on earth, yet radically changed our lives. That day, and this blog, were the beginning of a new journey for me. And as the Lord would have it, my soul has seen much transformation over the last year, and I once again find myself at the cusp of new season. My blogging frequency has been sparse at best, but that’s real life. There have been many real reasons why I couldn’t share in the moment what I was enduring {grieving, celebrating, fearing, hoping, believing}. Nevertheless, I find it appropriate to post the following on this, my 1 year anniversary of learning to both look for beauty in the present and to hope for the beauty that is not yet seen, but most certainly promised…

Exactly one month from today (on 11/15/15) my husband and I will be in Malibu, California on the beach. It’s a vision that I had at the beginning of 2015, but fittingly so when you walk with the Lord, this will look much different than what I’d originally envisioned… God’s plans are always lined with the “so much sweeter”!

At the beginning of the year, I was praying and praying about how I could make a greater impact on the lives of hurting people. How could I really put action behind all of the prayers I was praying. How could I bring tangible support for the concerns that kept me awake at night? For the men, women, and children who needed His rescue and restoration? One social injustice in particular that has broken my heart is the widespread terror of sex trafficking: and the many faces and ways in which has infiltrated our world wide society. From those who create the demand for it, to the those supplying it, and most horrifically, those falling victim to it. It disgusts me, it terrifies me, and it grieves my soul. It’s an epidemic to say the least. I just kept asking the Lord to please show me how I could DO MORE to join in the fight against it.

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At the time, I was working hard toward reclaiming my health. After two miscarriages in 2014, which lead to a downward spiral in every area of my health, I’d finally seen enough light to recognize that I’d fallen in a dark place and I’d been given all the FREEDOM in CHRIST to shine again. And that’s when it hit me: I’d been struggling with feeling like I just didn’t have much to offer this war on trafficking, but I had my body and I was freely able to choose how I used it.  I had everything I needed to reclaim my health. And what a victory it would be to use my FREEDOM to reclaim that health, for all the women and girls in this world that would give anything to have that kind of freedom to care for their bodies in such a way.

So there it was: I decided that this trek to a healthier me would end with an exclamation point in the form of running my 3rd Half Marathon, in an amazing place, on the last day of my 33rd year of life (11/15/15)! It was a big deal to me. Both a challenge and a reward at the end of two long years of fighting to see beauty. So I chose a big and beautiful setting: the Malibu International Half Marathon, ocean view from the PCH {Pacific Coast Highway} for the whole race. But it wasn’t solely for me, more importantly in my mind, I wanted to experience this victory on behalf of the victims of sex trafficking who have lost hope of ever experiencing such.  I wanted to raise awareness and funds on their behalf, and to do so backed by the excellence, expertise, and Christ-infused passion that characterizes an organization called A21 founded by Christine Caine.

A21 represents the vision of Abolishing human slavery in the 21st Century. There are over 27 Million people being held as slaves in our world today. This is a big and bold vision, birthed by a bigger and bolder God.  When I shared my plan to support this cause with my husband, he being the SAINT that he can quite frequently be, decided that he would make this his FIRST Half Marathon and that we’d do this together. So unbeknownst to me, he registered us both to run the race in March of this year. He has an uncanny knack for pushing me to actually pursue the larger than life  dreams I tend to toss around, and then all too often fall way short of chasing after…

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And almost as soon as I said that “YES” to the Lord…Cue the rest of GOD’s plans. LOL. In May, we learned the very unexpected {exciting and  honestly scary after two miscarriages} news that I was once again pregnant. MUCH more needs to be said on God’s goodness here, but that’s for posts to come. Suffice it to say, I sit here writing now at 26wks pregnant with a healthy little girl who’s face we cannot wait to lay eyes on in January!

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{Healthy as we both may be, 7 months pregnant and running a half marathon 2000 miles from home suddenly didn’t seem like the wisest plan for me}.

So now I find myself in a much different role than I’d originally anticipated, and I’ve found it to be a surprisingly sweet one…I get a tangible way of fulfilling my God-given role as my husband’s prime supporter! (And I don’t have to run all those miles- LOL). My husband has spent the last ten weeks in his “not-so-free-time” training to run the Malibu International Half Marathon BY HIMSELF, solely to fulfill the vision that I cast out into the world 8 months ago. What a a beautiful picture he’s painted for me of what Christ intended marriage to look like: a husband’s self-sacrificing love reciprocated by a wife’s greatest support and respect!

For the next month, I have two goals:
(1) TO BE MY HUSBAND’S GREATEST CHEERLEADER
and
(2) TO BE A VOICE for FREEDOM on behalf of the millions of sex trafficking and human trafficking victims around the world that A21 is working to bring freedom and restoration to…and I pray we can join TOGETHER TO[GET]HER Freedom.

Here is the link to read more about A21 and contribute to our fundraising efforts: https://www.a21.org/fundraising.php?id=871

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~ Dennika

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