How One Woman Went from Survivor to Joy Starter

Barb is a miracle. There is no question about that.  Growing up, she experienced abuse and  trauma. She attempted to take her own life and spent six weeks in a psychiatric hospital.
Today Barb is  alive, has graduated from college, and has a healed heart.

Missing Skills

Because of her childhood,  Barb did not develop the skills she needed to create secure attachments and had experienced very little joy in her life.  She could not look  anyone in face because she was sure they would see the shame and disgust and guilt that she carried. She weighed almost 500 pounds because she wanted to keep people from touching her. Barb believed that no one was joyful to be with her and that she was unlovable both to others and to God.
In July 2013, Barb  attended her first week of Thrive training and felt terrified. She was sure people would be able to see the shame and guilt that weighed her down and she was unable to look at anyone. One night during the God Hour she had a life changing moment. Jesus took her back to the moment she was born. She had always believed she was born just to survive, but Jesus held her in His arms and told her that she was born to Thrive!!!!!
By the end of the week, people were commenting on how different Barb was. She was actually looking at people and even talked to them. She saw joy and reflected joy back!  She knew she was born to Thrive and that Jesus loved her deeply.
[Tweet “By the end of the week, people were commenting on how different Barb was.”]

Changing Her Workplace

When Barb returned to work, her co-workers at the youth facility immediately noticed a difference and began asking what had happened to her. It was clear to her and everyone around her that Thrive had changed her life. One 15 year girl who lived in this facility for deeply traumatized teens had become very aggressive,  refusing to open up to anyone about what she had been through,  unable to make eye contact with anyone.  Whenever she returned from the store she would become physically aggressive with the staff.  It often took 4 people to physically restrain her on the ground.  Barb took the girl to the gym one night when she was acting out and shot some baskets with her, remembering that physical activity helps some people to quiet down.  Then they sat down together and Barb looked her in the eyes and began to yawn.  The girl yawned back and then they began to talk. Through the conversation that followed, Barb learned that this girl’s uncle had been molesting her and then would immediately take her to the store to purchase her something in order to buy her silence.  After this breakthrough things began to radically change in this girl’s life.  Eventually, she completed her program and is now attending a regular high school and on the dean’s list.

Spreading the Joy

Since then, Barb has developed a vision to create a program for troubled youth based on Life Model Works skills.  She carries the torch to inspire this vision to build a new paradigm for those children who need the Thrive brain skills in order to recover from trauma.
After returning from Thrive, Barb had a ring made that says “Born to Thrive”.  It reminds her each day that her purpose was never just to survive and that God still has BIG plans for her.

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Photo Credit Brett Thatcher

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