AFTER EVERYTHING I HAVE GONE THROUGH, I REALIZE IT SERVES A PURPOSE. ALL THE EXPERIENCES SOMETIMES FEEL LIKE AN END, WHEN, IN REALITY, IT’S PREPARATION FOR SOMETHING GREATER.
Renata lives in Chicago, Illinois, and was nominated by her husband, Edward. At 15, Renata was pregnant, kicked out of her house, and she fell into an abusive relationship with no one to help her escape. Edward met Renata as a single mom of 3, sacrificing it all for her kids. When they married, she became a mom of 7 children (2 from his former relationship, whom Renata loves as her own, and 2 are theirs). Edward shares, “She was determined to make a difference in the world, so she enrolled in community college, graduated with high honors, and earned a full scholarship to Loyola University, Chicago. She did all this while being a mother to all our kids and being a wonderful wife. Her mission in life is to help kids. In 2016, I proudly watched her cross the stage as she earned her Master’s degree in Social Work. She now devotes her life to helping middle schoolers overcome mental health issues while empowering them with self-esteem and human kindness.”
Beyond being a ridiculously awesome role model to her children, and a fantastic school social worker, she also gives selflessly to her community, often providing food, counseling, and tutoring to others on her own time. She radiates with love, kindness, and an appreciation for her experiences, sharing, “God never closes a door without opening a window. After everything I have gone through, I realize it serves a purpose. All the experiences sometimes feel like an end, when, in reality, it’s preparation for something greater.”
The windows are open, the sun is shining, and the view is spectacular. Renata, thank you for reminding us that our obstacles are there to provide clarity and enlightenment. For without them, we may miss the greater good and potentially our life purpose.