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Last week I had one of the best days ever. Survivor, Caitlin, received one blessing after another in my presence and it as amazing to see her filled with such awe and wonder to God showering her with such love.

If you don’t know, Caitlin is one of my “I Have a Voice” participants and one of my first Hopeful Hearts Ministry ‘survivors’. She was a rape victim at the age of 11 and was 16 when I was introduced to her. She has struggled through bullying, family issues, and it has seemed that every chance she got a ‘leg up’ she’d get knocked down. She is now in her 20’s and she never gave up.

She put herself through homeschool then went on to get a certification in dental hygiene, at the same time working at the local Wal-Mart Central Market. Two weeks ago we had a horrible storm blow through with 60 mph winds that knocked two trees into her home. She lost everything. Clothes, furniture, etc.

That same weekend we had our Taste of Sonoma party that was auctioned at our gala. I briefly told everyone in attendance Caitlin’s story because I wanted to help her in some way. She didn’t ask for the help and she didn’t expect it which made me want to give her more.

By the graciousness of the souls who attended the event I presented her last Wednesday with $960. She broke into tears. “I can’t explain how much of a help this is,” she wrote later in a text. “Thank you so much. It really really means the world to me.” I know she plans to write a thank you to everyone who donated as well.

Never EVER Give upOn that same day, while with me at the office, she received a call she had been anticipating – she got approved for the lowest interest rate to buy a modular home! The light in her eyes made me beam with pride for her. Not to mention the promotion she received at work the day before to Customer Service Manager. (If you live in the Kingwood area be sure to go and say ‘hi’!!)

I went to take a peak at her new, fully furnished, home and it is adorable. She opened the door, turned and said, “It’s like I finally get a clean slate. A brand new start.”

Amen. This is why I love what I do. Caitlin went from a 16-year-old who barely clung to the will to live to a 20-year-old who knows she has an abundance of life waiting for her to enjoy.

Caitlin and her fiance Joe at the Hopeful Hearts Gala

Caitlin and her fiance Joe at the Hopeful Hearts Gala

Just one more example to remind you to never never give up.