Sometimes when I speak with a group of people who are leaning in, focused, and engaged, I say things that are a bit surprising.
That happened last week.
I was talking with a group of really smart students at Virginia Tech. The faculty member, a dear friend, asked me to speak about my career trajectory and lessons learned along the way. The goal was to provide actionable insight as they pursue their academic and career goals.
Early in the conversation I was explaining how my first career was in Law Enforcement. I shared that for as long as I could remember I wanted to pursue justice and help the vulnerable. I felt a drive to advocate for those who didn’t have a voice or had been victimized. I’ve never been able to tolerate seeing others mistreated, so to me the most logical career move was to be a police officer. I told that group of students that I wanted to “kick in doors.”
I literally said those words: “kick in doors.”
What in the world?! I did not start my career in law enforcement with a desire to splinter wood and make a grand entrance. That’s not what I meant. I meant that I wanted to be fearless in my pursuit of justice and risk it all to help those who genuinely needed me.
But what was more curious than my original word choice was how those words came full circle in my presentation.
After taking the class through my full career story I landed on my current reality; my beautiful opportunity to support New Hope Girls with social entrepreneurship. Before I realized what was happening those words came out of my mouth again, “I’m kicking in doors again.”
Whoa. Those are strong words – fighting words. And that is exactly the point.
Fighting the Darkness
Human trafficking, exploitation and abuse are so horrifically ugly. We recently intercepted a 4 month old baby boy. That is not a typo, the child in our care is only 4 months old. He is now safe with us and getting spoiled with love and care from our women and girls. This darkness of exploitation preys on the vulnerable, steals voice, damages identity, and replaces truth with lies. So yes, I fight. I kick in doors.
The doors I “kick in” are not literally wood. I kick in doors with social entrepreneurship. I use the skills, talents, and experiences I’ve accumulated over my career to advance the work of New Hope Girls. As I do my job well, the workshop component of the organization will grow. As we grow, more women will be employed in a safe way that allows them to provide for their family with honor.
Be the Light
I’m in the business of doing my part so that cycles can be broken and empowerment can be ushered in. I’m just one person – but I am one determined person who is part of a team of warriors.
I’m joining a team of “door kickers” down in the Dominican Republic. No, they are not literally kicking in doors either. But figurative doors are splintering and shattering as they love and support girls coming from the darkest of places. They are giving their all, holding nothing back, heaving everything they have to see just one more rescued. Just one more brought into a home of light and hope. Just one more we can hold and speak truth over – you were created for more.
While my words last week may have initially surprised me, they make so much sense now. I am fueled by a righteous anger and a soul-level conviction that these women and children are worth more.
Do you want to kick in doors?
If you want to kick in doors too I want to let you know that we all can find our role and area of impact. Share your time, talent, and treasure in a way that honors your desire for impact. Use your experiences and skills to fill in a service gap. Give generously to support those who are serving on the front lines. Buy products from brands that are on the front lines and provide transformation employment to others. There are anti-trafficking organizations near and far that are eager for your help and advocacy. There are vulnerable and at-risk people who are waiting for doors to open for them. Find your corner and fight!