From Victim to Victor
By Juliet Sharrow
Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others. Titus 3:14a NLT
It’s a label no one ever asks for. In fact, it’s a label that has to be forced on us! No one EVER chooses to be a victim. But that label forever defines us. It taints every decision, every moment, every occasion for the rest of our lives. We filter everything through our victim mentality. It can take years for us to trust again, to feel normal, to hope… to love.
Even if you’ve never been a victim yourself, I would guess that you know someone who shamefully wears this label. Victims see the whole world and every circumstance through the tainted lens of their victimhood. Victim becomes their identity. They believe this is who they are and who they always will be.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, a time for us to remember and honor victims, especially those who have died as a victim, carrying this identity to the grave. The sad part is this is not an unstoppable evil! It is not a cancer that ravages our body and we have no control over it. Abuse is one person choosing to hurt another.
Often abuse occurs between two people who love each other, and sadly even occurs in marriages. Do you know what it’s like to be beaten every day by the person you love? Have you been torn down with ugly, hateful, demeaning words until you believed they were true? Do you understand how it feels to wake up each day and wonder if today is the day they will kill you? Countless people around the world live with this fear every day!
UNICEF reports that 1 billion people worldwide who are alive today, have experienced or are currently experiencing domestic violence. And in the US, 1 in 7 adults (over 40 million people) currently live with or have lived with domestic violence, causing UNICEF to label it “one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world.”
Do these numbers surprise you? They should, because domestic violence is our best kept secret in this country. No one wants to talk about it, and even fewer will admit they are part of this statistic. But I stand before you today admitting that I a member of this statistic. I have worn the scarlet letter of victim for most of my life. I carried the shame of victimhood far too long. I believed the lies my abuser and Satan spoke to me, lies that told me I was unloveable. Unwanted. Worthless.
Can I let you in on a secret? All victims believe these same lies. Just ask them if they feel unloved, unwanted or worthless, and you will see their eyes well up with tears as they lower their heads in shame!
Life experiences have taught them they are unlovable. But God says differently.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
God believes these victims are worth dying for.
Their abusers and sometimes even their families tell them no one wants them. But God says:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5a
“You did not choose me, but I chose you…” John 15:16a
Society tells her she is worthless. Worth less than those who have a husband, or a good job, or a put together life. But she is treasured by God. Created in His image. Priceless!
These women don’t realize how beautiful, loved, wanted and valuable they are! And they won’t know until someone shows them. They need someone who makes them feel things like hope for the first time in a long time. Someone who speaks light into their darkness and life into their crippled hearts of stone. Someone who shows them their beauty in Gods eyes by loving them in all their ugliness, who shows them the depths of Christ’s love for them by serving them in their darkest hour and providing for them in the direst of circumstances.
These women don’t just need a handout. They need love. They need someone to show them how desperately God wants them by walking alongside them through even the hardest of days.
This is the mission God has laid before us here at Kelley Latta Ministries. We have felt His call to be His hands and feet and minister to these broken families. To serve them and love them and walk alongside them on their journey to independence and freedom. To break through the lies in their belief system and deliver them into the freedom truth promises.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
This ministry was birthed through my own background of abuse, domestic violence, and homelessness. God used my past, my pain and my struggles to birth a passion to minister to and love those who are where I have been. While at the same time laying it on Kelley’s heart to reach out to the orphans and widows of our day—broken families—as scripture commands. God joined our hearts and our passions as we obediently followed His lead in founding this outreach ministry called Love LIVES.
The focus of this ministry is to meet the needs of abuse victims and their families along with the broken and down trodden in our communities. We do this by providing for financial, physical, emotional and spiritual needs. In meeting the most basic of human needs we build trust and show them they are not alone and that someone cares. This lays a foundation that enables us to share the love of Christ and the good news of the gospel with them.
When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 12:13 NLT
We also offer a mentoring program that allows us to walk alongside the victims on their journey to freedom and victory. Our mentors were all victims themselves, so they understand the struggle these ladies are going through and can minister to them in ways no one else could! In this way we share life with them, counsel them, love them and help meet ongoing needs with the goal of enabling them to not just survive but to thrive!
Through Love LIVES we have answered the call to minister to the forgotten and unwanted. We stand beside these victims and broken families to show them that their lives matter. That they are valuable. And that someone actually cares whether they live or die!
But we need your help. We cannot do this alone. We invite you to partner with us in making a difference in the lives of these women and their families.
You can help us meet the needs of our clients on an individual basis by joining our email list. We send out emails listing individual client needs as they come in from the Safe Home. We don’t expect you to help with every need, but only as you are able and feel led to. If you get the email and want to help, you let us know. It is that easy! And remember, even what seems like the smallest gift can mean the world to them.
We are also looking for those who would like to partner with us financially through a one time or monthly tax deductible gift. We use these funds to help victims with first month’s rent & security deposit to get an apartment or to help pay their rent or utilities in extenuating circumstances. We also use financial donations to purchase needed items that aren’t donated, or that we must purchase new, like car seats and mattresses.
Would you prayerfully consider partnering with us as we reach out to a lost and hurting world, giving them hope and sharing the love and grace God has so lavishly blessed us with? Will you stand with us to prove that Love LIVES?