Reflection by Sono Leone from TEAR's partner, Strong Women Talking. Art by Chris de Hoog.
Everything changes when we meet Christ. We have an unshakeable hope for the future and everything we need to live out our lives here on earth.
My painting is bright and lush, has hints of rainbows and new growth. The figures are living in communities that are open and full of life.
Hope Romans 8:24-25
By Sono Leone
Paul speaks of a hope that is yet to be seen, that we are called to wait for, with patience. This is a powerful part of the Easter message: that when everything seems to be at its darkest, the victory of life and light is just around the corner. This message is good news for everyone – but particularly those who are trapped in situations of violence or abuse, as Sono Leone shares:
At Strong Women Talking, we journey with our First Nation sisters in community who have experienced trauma from violent relationships – in their own lives and intergenerationally.
We’re bringing hope by helping women come to the knowledge and understanding that there is still hope after we come out of abuse. That Creator God has a plan and a purpose for every woman, beyond the violence and trauma, just as it is written in Psalm 139:13-16. We see women experiencing this hope as they move from a victim mindset to a survivor mindset to an overcomer mindset. I have a testimony of how God brought me through: I am a survivor of violence, not just in my own life, but violence passed down through the generations, stemming from the impacts of colonisation. And now I’m on the other side, a person of hope able to give hope to other women.
Heavenly Father, I pray that our First Nations women would receive the love that you have for them.
That they would come to a revelation of the newness of the plans and purposes that you have for them after violence.
That you have a plan of restoration, healing and forgiveness.
I pray that women would come to see how valuable and loved they are.
Through you and through your son Jesus.
Sono Leone, a Garrawa and Butchulla woman, is the founder and CEO of Strong Women Talking, delivering culturally sensitive Domestic Violence workshops to First Nations women in communities.
Chris de Hoog is an artist and graphic designer living and working in Geelong, Victoria. He is married to Amie and they have four children.