Julian McPeak – Lexington Community Engagement Coordinator

As a teengaer, a life-changing event in my own life led me to hold a very special place in my heart for women who have been the victims of sexual and sexual-related violence. As an adult, I have found these women to occupy more and more of my thoughts, prayers and desire to find opportunities to serve through volunteer work and my own personal fundraiser. Over the last couple of years, as the pressures of life and adulthood weighed heavily, I found myself increasingly praying for a job or a place where I could serve others and bring some meaning to human life beyond the accomplishments of marketing a product for a company for financial benefit. I stumbled across Refuge for Women quite accidentally on Instagram, and as I delved into researching exactly what the mission was, I found it aligned almost exactly with a personal goal that I have – to someday create a housing or work environment where women coming out of trafficking or domestic violence situations and could find a safe place to call ‘home;’ whether that was a physical space to dwell or a work environment to earn an honest living. I’ve been tossing around business ideas and plans for years now – it is a long-term, personal ambition of mine and yet, here was Refuge for Women, already doing it, right where I lived. I knew almost instantly that I wanted to be a part of this mission. And low and behold, there was a job posting – I truly believe that God dropped this right onto my Instagram feed for a purpose and I have been determined to follow His lead ever since then. And here I am! 

Meet Julian

I am an avid-horse lover, particularly Arabian horses. I currently have three of them and have been riding since I was five-years-old. I am still actively involved in showing and riding on the Arabian circuit across the country. Almost the entirety of my professional life has been based in the horse industry. I also love the gym, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, ice cream, and English Bull Terriers. My graduate degree is from the University of Oklahoma, therefore I call myself a Sooner and love all things college football. I enjoy traveling, eating new food, and have an extremely adventurous soul. While I have always marched a bit to the beat of my own drum when it comes to fashion, style, personal ambitions and the pursuing dreams, I’m always called home to family, good friends and a glass of wine. The people in my life are very important to me.

It was Michael W. Smith who originally sang ‘A Place In This World.’ I recently discovered a re-dubbed version of this song by For King & Country (if you haven’t, you should listen to it). I think the song perfectly outlines the most basic human desire – to have a place in this world. We seek, we fail, and we become discouraged by the despair and the depravity of the human condition. We look for our place around corners, in the dark places, in our passions, our goals, our jobs, our families – and yet we fail over and over again to find our place. We are all roaming through the night to find a place in this world. And yet, the only place where we have a true place is in His light – “not a lot to lean on, I need Your light to help me find my place in this world.” In addition, John 1:5 says: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…” Each of us, in our own way, are searching for the light. My hope and prayer is that my journey with both Refuge for Women and the women that I will come in contact with and walk beside will be ‘light in the darkness,’ and provide a place in this world, both for myself, and for every woman that we come into contact with. I pray that it will be a daily reminder to myself to stand in the light. 

A Note From Julian

In my own experience, in order to heal from any ordeal or drama in life, you must first feel safe to do so. I believe that Refuge for Women’s mission provides that safety net for women to lay their heads down and truly sleep at night, knowing they are safe – the mission gives them room to breathe, to let their guard down, and to find growth, spiritually, personally, and professionally. Light always provides safety and Refuge for Women is helping to shine that light. 

You can contact Julian by emailing julian.mcpeak@refugeforwomen.org

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