His Plan, For His Glory

His Plan, For His Glory Hero Image His Plan, For His Glory Hero Image

This month during Love Our City, Watermark members are sharing the ways they have been transformed by Christ to love like Christ. This week, we sat down with Tracey Hardwick, the founder and executive director of Together We Thrive, a ministry partner of Watermark that aims to positively influence youth across North Texas through one-on-one relationships with consistent, positive adults. As you read, consider what ways you can serve the Lord and love our city this summer.

How did you come to know the Lord?
“Growing up, I watched my parents lead unbelievable lives as they served Jesus faithfully. My parents were serving as counselors with Billy Graham’s ministry, and my grandmother would bring me every evening. At seven years old, I asked Jesus to come into my heart, cleanse me of all my sins and become my Lord and Savior. I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, and it felt as if I was the only one in the stadium that night. It felt so natural, like something I was supposed to do, following the ways of my parents.

“Later at my Christian college, during chapel, we had a speaker visiting who asked if anyone wanted to give their life to Jesus. He presented the options for life as you either love Jesus and choose to serve Him, or you don’t; There’s no in-between. I immediately jumped to my feet, with arms opened wide, and said, ‘Jesus, I want to carry your cross.’ My life was changed. I felt like I had always loved Jesus and always desired Him, but in that moment, I was ready for more.”

How did you start Together We Thrive?

“When I finished college, I stepped into a career in television news that I clearly knew the Lord had called me to, and I did that for over twenty years. One day, I was on my knees praying in my closet. (That's kind of my quiet space.) The Lord prompted me to do something different. It was clear to me that I was being called to work in a nonprofit organization. I left my career having no idea what the next day looked like or even how to step forward. With a husband and four children, I know that to many people what I was doing didn’t sound or look like a wise decision, but I was confident this is what the Lord wanted me to do.

“Now, four years later, Together We Thrive is stepping into the gap for youth that are navigating life on their own – young people living right here in our community. Our Life Coaches commit to being the consistent adult in the lives of vulnerable youth living in survival mode, youth that have experienced homelessness, sex trafficking, food insecurity, and many living in underserved communities. We consistently meet one-on-one with our youth in the safe haven of school during the school day.

“We're always looking for people that would love to give their time and help. And we have lots of different ways you can serve to impact vulnerable youth (James 1:27). No matter what cause tugs on your heart, find where you can impact the life of another or do something for somebody else. Find whatever it is that piques your interest or that you’re drawn to, and watch how the Lord will use you. When you help someone else, it is one of the greatest gifts you’ll ever receive.”

How have you seen the Lord’s faithfulness in your time with Together We Thrive?

“I sit in awe of the Lord when I take time to see how He has orchestrated such a story from a little girl responding to His call. Every day, I get to see young people living in survival mode step into a place of sustainability. Young people that can’t name one consistent person in their life now have people they can depend on. At one point, it felt like there were too many obstacles for our organization to get into the schools, but now we’ve gotten our feet in the door and are able to serve and share Christ in multiple school districts. And even in numbers alone, we’ve seen the Lord do big things. This year, our plan was to serve 300 youth, and we have already served over 600! The math doesn’t even make sense, but does it need to? It’s His plan, for His glory.”