Hallelujah Highway

Celebrating the Journey

Hope~ Donna

on March 20, 2013

 

Hope- Donna

I was much honored when I was asked to submit some thoughts for this awesome blog. I mean if you knew me you’d know most people are usually praying for me to shut up, and now I’m being asked to talk. Free reign to talk in an open forum, the possibilities are endless; as is the block I was having.

Of course the normal ideas came to mind: family, friends, and work. But if I’m going to have this one chance to introduce myself and chat with you I wanted to provoke you into thought because that is just the kind of person I am. Some may say I like to debate, others may say I like playing Devil’s advocate, and there are some I am sure I don’t want to know what they say. I said a little prayer and told God that I hope I get it right. Then I thought about that word hope. I use it often; I hope I get accepted into a good college, I hope my children succeed as honest human beings, I hope someone will come up with a delicious chocolate donut that burns more calories than a treadmill. The word hope loosely defined means a feeling of expectation for something to happen. What do I hope to happen? Then it hit me, my work as an advocate relies greatly on my ability to continue to hope for change in laws and society.

So allow me to lay a little background on my road to becoming an advocate. Several years ago our family went through one of the most traumatic events any family could go through. To say this almost destroyed me is an understatement. I decided to channel my anger into something meaningful. I found a group who did online work fighting pedophilia so I joined and for 3 years I worked as an undercover decoy helping law enforcement arrest men who were seeking minors online to rape. While this work did a lot to channel my anger, it also made me a little jaded and cynical.  I mean, there are things I have seen, read, and been told that I wish I had never seen, read, or heard and I wouldn’t even want to share that with anyone because some things just are unspeakable. Yet they happen, and to innocent people. It’s easy to lose hope in humanity when you deal with this a lot.

As my children grew my circumstances changed and I had to retire from this group. I knew I still needed to do something so I went through training and became a rape crisis advocate for the county I live in. So from dealing with the bad guys every day I now got to work with those who were victimized but were brave enough to report their attacks and went from victim to survivor.

Where is the hope you ask? The hope lies in healing. The hope is the expectancy that things will change, laws will be made, and people will learn that while there is evil in the world there is also good. No matter what happened, there is healing that can occur. I think hope is the one human characteristic that makes us strong. We can’t control what others choose to do to us, but we can control how we react. I love the notion that I can tell my children that while the plans they have for their futures may hit detours, some bigger than others, they have their faith and the hope that they can heal. There is also the hope that we can be the difference, that we can affect change.

One of the beauties of hope is that it doesn’t require something bad to happen first, to then hope for good. My daughter’s father and I hope every day when we send her off to school that we are doing right by her, that we are teaching her the right values, the right ethics. We hope that she sees how we love our family and hope that she chooses to expect the same goodness her Dad showers us with when it is time for her to find someone; which we hope isn’t for decades. We hope that she isn’t afraid to try things; we hope she has courage to do what is right instead of what is easy. We hope that her faith is shown through the behavior she displays, and the causes she is willing to stand for.

My advocacy relies in the hope that people can stand and fight for change. The hope that our military females can serve without fear of being raped by those they are supposed to work alongside with. That a child can go online without being targeted by a pedophile. I hope that we won’t see more politicians trying to define the rape of a woman to gain voters. I hope that we will all hug our kids a little harder, not be afraid to stand up for what’s right rather than what’s popular, and my greatest hope is that we all look a little deeper inside ourselves to see where our advocacy lies.

 

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?view=att&th=13d673072b536e44&attid=0.3&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P-KlM6x3miF9ESL-WMcvpKR&sadet=1363748451151&sads=yAQVuhxBjgrXabHqNj2Zrsh-MJ4We met Donna at the high school that Rae and I work(ed) at and Donna’s desire to make the world a better place walks into the room before she does.  She does work that most of us couldn’t, yet she still embodies hope.  We are grateful for Donna’s reminder that “hope lies in healing” and that “hope is the one human characteristic that makes us strong”

For more information about Donna’s organizations, please visit these websites:

http://www.perverted-justice.com/

http://rarcc.org/

Donna, we think you are amazing and thank you for being you.~ Rae and Kristi


4 responses to “Hope~ Donna

  1. I know Donn as well, and I love that she continues to hope!!!!

    Like

  2. Victoria Lopez says:

    Very well put my friend !and I hope that we will be friends for a lifetime ! So proud of the work you are doing as an advocate !

    Like

  3. Melissa Ealba says:

    Very well written with the intent truly meaningful Donna!! Thank you for sharing You!!!!! Love ya sister!!

    Like

  4. […] a guest contributor to Hallelujah Highway on starting her own blog.  Recently, Donna wrote a piece about hope and advocacy.  It touched many of us deeply.  Since then, she has started her own blog […]

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