Thursday, January 24, 2019

When we Let our Opinions Lose sight of what God has Created us for

When we let our opinions lose sight of what God has created us for we start going down a very dark path.
And that is to be loved by God and to love others with the same love.

I very rarely throw my opinion into politics in a public place because I believe relationships are more important than opinions, and I’ve learned how to use discernment in choosing the battles God wants me to fight. But reading about how New York has just passed a bill legalizing abortion up until birth has literally grieved my heart.  In the past 2 years of working in our restoration home here in Cambodia, I have fought for the lives of babies and I have walked closely with mothers who were pregnant not by their own choosing. I fostered a premature baby that struggled for life for months, but that stands next to me now as a flourishing 2-year-old that brings his mother so much joy and has changed the trajectory of both of their lives, and their entire family for good. We have fought to keep more than 32 babies safe from being trafficked across borders and sold, and for their mothers to be able to be free to raise their babies outside of prison- pregnant again not by their own choosing.  I have held the hands of very young moms as they birth beautiful life giving babies that restore their hearts within seconds of being in this world.

Every baby that I have seen come into this world- almost all which have come from rape/abuse/or trickery have been nothing but life-giving, restoring, and beautiful in all the lives around them. And to take those babies lives away would have been absolutely devastating for their mothers, and for everyone they will bring life, joy, and love to in their lives.

If we could spend our efforts in supporting expecting mothers in distress, love them in their questioning and grief, hold their hand through labor pains, and walk through motherhood with them- I think we would see God’s loving miracle and healing that comes from a new life being born even in the darkest and most traumatic of situations.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

To Bear Witness

Rest days are difficult for me these days. It’s much easier for me to press on working through my muddled thoughts and heavy heart than to process it most days. Today I chose to spend some time with God in the mess and ask him some of the hard questions. One of the hard questions for me lately has been ‘How do I bear witness to horrible events and evil but still stay healthy and proclaim hope in all of it?’ God responded in grace and purpose today and I wanted to share some of His words in the mess.

I sit here smelling fresh coffee beans being ground and blown my way through a fan. Small potted plants line the wall perfectly bringing life to the grey walls and dirty Phnom Penh streets in view. My heart feels heavy, and I ask God why it’s so hard for me to sit still and listen these days. I often leave our restoration center each day either physically exhausted or emotionally spent. My brain tries to make sense of the things I’m seeing, hearing, and working through with our rescued girls and staff everyday- but it can’t. Some days feel like we are taking steps backwards, and all we do is survive the day. I’m reminded by God that in the thick of the battle it can feel that way.

I ask God what the purpose of simply walking through each day to survive is. His answer shed some beautiful light into it for me.

‘You are to bear witness to these precious girl’s stories, their pain and suffering. And fight for their voice and healing in the mess.’

I am here simply to bear witness. To walk through their anxiety attacks and dark moments with them. To bear witness to their tears, and pray and encourage through them. To bear witness to the moments that are difficult and to the moments of peace and even breakthrough, healing, and growth. To bear witness to the moments that they overcome, learn, feel joy, and experience the love of the Father.

‘And you are to bear witness to Christ and the hope that He brings.’

And I am here on this earth to bear witness to Christ- the hope that He brings by the life he led and His death and resurrection. I am here to bear witness to how He fights for our rescued girls, the way He is tangibly showing them real love and comfort in the pain, speaking life into their bones, and providing for their every need. I am to speak hope and life in the moments that feel so dark and hopeless for our girls, hold and cry with them in their pain as I pray over them, cheer them on as they grow and take risks slowly again, and teach them that they have worth and a voice. I am to be the example of daily seeking Christ in the mess and to not fear the dark places.

He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.” John 1:7

A beautiful collision happens when you bear witness to not only pain and suffering but to Christ and Hope in those dark places, and that is a supernatural healing and redemption of even the darkest of evil and the most horrible things that can happen on this planet.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Conquering Fear

I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the McDonald’s play place, but I haven’t been familiar with it myself since I was really little. But when you have a 2 ½ year old nephew that is a picky eater and loves nothing more than a trip to McDonalds with his aunt- you familiarize yourself with it again pretty quickly. And to be frank, it’s not my favorite place in the whole world. The McDonald’s play place is full of snotty nosed elementary student bully’s that use that play ground as a way to show their dominance in the world over poor little toddlers like my nephew. The first time I took my nephew there he was playing innocently when out of the corner of my eye I see this towering child maybe 10 years old barreling forward towards my nephew with 2 hands out. Before I could grab him away, she had pushed him full force into the ground leaving him dazed and confused. I scooped him up quickly and ran him out of that play place!

The following week, Anth asked me to take him back to the play place for another aunty-nephew date and reluctantly I said yes hoping the towering kids stayed home that day. We walked in and we were the only ones there, but I could tell right away he still had a healthy fear of this play place and going through the dark tunnels to get to the top. I encouraged him but he didn’t want to be pushed, so I let it go. A few minutes later a little boy a few years older than Anth and his grandma walked in. Right away he walked past my nephew and started climbing in the tunnels. About half way up, he turned around came back down and gently invited Anthony to climb with him. Anthony looked back at me for an encouraging nod and then he slowly climbed in. Before you know it, he was at the top and laughing as he came down the slide. I was so so proud of him for facing his fear, and getting to the top. He came down the slide just long enough to push away my hug and run to climb again.

I realized a few significant things that day watching my nephew conquer fears. Fear loses its grip on us, when others see our potential and offer to walk past it with us. A hand held out from a new friend was all Anthony needed to enter into something unknown and daunting.

Change cannot be forced or pushed, but comes with gentleness and a safe place to take risks. The environment in which Anth conquered his fears came when only a few people he could trust were around and willing to take each step with him. I’m sure next time he will have little or no reservations running into that play place no matter how many kids are around.

Fear. It’s a word every human being on the planet is familiar with. We all have places of fear in our lives. Maybe you’ve been hurt, abused, torn down, told you can’t and it has left your potential frozen by fear. I’m here to say don’t let that fear hold you down any longer, grab a friend, ask a stranger- take someone with you in the journey who is gentle and can see past the fear that seems to have a hold on you. It is so worth it to stand on the other side of fear and see all you are capable of. There have been people and places where God has allowed me to step out of fear from my past and into something really beautiful on the other side. Maybe you have already stepped over the line of fear, and you need to be a safe place to reach out your hand for someone else to do the same. I’m so honored to be able to walk through life here in Cambodia with the hurting and broken because I was there too at different points in my life crippled by fear of walking through the pain. I love giving away what God has so graciously given me and seeing others come alive when they know someone will not only call out their potential but walk through the mess to get there with them. Walk out of fear. Be the invitation for others to do the same, you just might see chains of fear broken today.