For the past couple of years my youngest twin has been passionate about the plight of trafficked humans and human slavery. At 13 (when this notion of slavery really took off) I wasn’t sure what I should be doing – encouraging her or dissuading her. I mean human trafficking is a sordid, excruciatingly painful and very adult topic to be delving so deep into. How could I allow Charlotte to pursue this God-given interest, but protect my girl at the same time? And how did I know it was even God-given anyway?
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. (Hebrew 13:3)
Every year, around February time, I question why I homeschool. Over the years this has been very organic, in that it happens naturally, I don’t plan it. It’s been over sixteen years since I began looking into homeschooling as a viable educational choice for my family. I have known pretty much from the start that my biggest goal for my children was that they thought for themselves, and had the confidence to stand their ground with regards to their own belief system, and take any action they judged to be in order. And I don’t just mean their religious beliefs, I mean their beliefs about the world around them and their place in it.
The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them and do nothing (Albert Einstein)
It is this deeply held conviction then that has guided me as I navigate this important issue with Charlotte. I am her mother. It is my job to make those difficult decisions for her until she is able to be discerning herself; until she is able to look at the pros and the cons and make a well thought out decision for herself. It is also my job to sit back and allow her to make those same decisions for herself once she is able. And she is. Charlotte is a highly intelligent, inquiring young lady. She is filled with a passion for life that is rarely seen. She has the strength of will and character which comes with coping with those incredibly strong emotions she has about anything and everything. Emotions I am still helping her learn to control; emotions which sometimes threaten to overwhelm her. She is outspoken and fearless in her outspokenness, sometimes to the detriment of others, sometimes to the detriment of herself. But fearless nonetheless.
You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know (William Wilberforce)
To date, she has written two books (which she will working towards self-publishing next year), she writes emotion filled raps and spoken words as well as blog posts, trying to get the word out there, to anyone who will listen. She has written an article for the local newspaper which she intends to submit once she has published her book. Of course, she reads these all out to her family, and somehow along the way, we have become caught up in this passion.
One person can
onlydo so much…
Lillie has chosen the theme of human trafficking for one of her photography and art projects, and she has carried out her research for this project with tears running down her cheeks, coming into the kitchen and bawling her eyes out over the injustice of it all. She can not believe such evil exists in the world.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter (Martin Luther King Jr)
Yes, I could have prevented my girls from feeling this way. I could have prevented the tears. I could have prevented the loss of innocence. But I’m glad I didn’t. Their tears are righteous tears. They cry because in some small way they are able to feel the pain, the terror and hopelessness of their fellow humans, all too often young girls like themselves. Tears are good, because tears may very well move a person to action.
People were created to be loved and things were created to be used. The reason the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.
Right now, as I sit at my computer, my two youngest girls are upstairs creating a song entitled ‘Break These Chains’, my oldest two are in the living room choreographing a dance to ‘Dear Me’ by Nicole Nordeman. They belong to a dance troupe who go on the streets in a dance ministry. Charlotte just read out to me the speech she has written to read out to our little worship group which meets once a month, and from whom she has received permission to share about human trafficking. The twins have been in talks about having their sweet sixteenth birthday party as a gathering to raise awareness of trafficking. And I know that the goal for Lillie’s art will be that Charlotte use it for her books, her articles and any other literature she produces.
The strongest thing we have isn’t our fists, it’s our words, it’s what we do. So fight (Alex, childhood victim of child trafficking)
My prayer? That Gary and I have the wisdom to guide these incredibly passionate children, who instead of their teenage years being all about them, are choosing to make them about those who do not have the freedom to choose. That Gary and I can support them in every which way possible. That we make sure they know they have a voice, and that they can use this voice for good. That God gives us the strength needed for the potentially tricky road ahead, as each child finds the path God has had carved out for them since the beginning of time.
One girl, who has affected her whole family with her passion and is now tentatively reaching out those tendrils to world around her. One girl, who can make a difference, who has already made a difference to those near to her. One girl.
Let it not be said that I was silent when they needed me (William Wilberforce)