Tracy Douglas knows the pain of domestic violence, but she also knows the peace and healing the Lord brought to her. She felt compelled to invest in families impacted by this same pain. “I know that recovery is possible,” she explains. After retiring three years ago, her desire to give back prompted a quick Google search, leading her to the fruitful work of Family Life Services and to a conversation with Nikki Lindquist, director of Women of Courage, FLS’ community outreach for single moms overcoming challenges.
Tracy began attending WOC meetings monthly, intending to dote on children, but she soon realized that supporting moms would be her best fit. Soon, she developed a connection with Megan, a mother of three who’d recently begun a new, tenacious chapter of sobriety and stability. Inspired by Megan’s journey, Tracy was delighted to walk with Megan in taking the next step in her growth through Women of Extreme Courage, FLS’ one-on-one mentorship program for nonresidential moms seeking further support in their journeys.
The first step of a shared cup of coffee in Megan’s apartment soon became the soil that nurtured a blossoming friendship. Quiet by nature, Megan slowly opened up as they met regularly. Coffee led to a few fun activities, and soon conversation during experiences fostered their bond. “We agree to have a good time,” explains Tracy, “to have fun with each other. It isn’t a lecture time.” A former professional, Tracy has gently pointed Megan to helpful resources on budgeting when asked, but she focuses first on friendship. She said discussions around raising kids, managing finances, navigating faith, and healing from the past became natural as the two grew closer. Now, they text several times a week, and continue to benefit from the inspiration gleaned at monthly WOC gatherings. There, Tracy watches Megan gravitate toward the other single moms who are all, like her, bravely building new futures for their families: it brings her such joy. In addition to a delicious brunch, excellent programming for the kids, and a chance to fight isolation, WOC provides moms with a time of meaningful teaching. “I listen closely to what’s being taught and how it’s affecting the women,” describes Tracy of this beneficial time, a springboard into further conversation with many of the women. “It tugs at my heartstrings to encourage them.”
When asked about her mentor, Megan declares: “I love her so much! We talk all the time. I don’t know what I’d do without her. She holds me accountable!”
In her retirement, Tracy enjoys gardening and swimming. But her decision to give back has led to her “biggest reward—having extended family.” Her loving nudge to anyone considering mentorship? “Jump in with both feet!” Women of Extreme Courage provides a fertile ground for life-on-life relationships that God uses to bear fruit in the lives of courageous FLS moms.
If you’re interested in being love in action like Tracy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org