I’ve generally been one to avoid pain, discomfort & darkness, often finding something else to distract me or keep me from having to face anything that made me remotely uncomfortable. If something was not fun, I honestly struggled to engage with it, or stick with it. The big problems of the world, and any kind of brokenness at all were too much for me to try to process so I found it easier to not sit in that place
A few years ago I prayed that God would show me how to love like He loves, to care for others like He does. Little did I expect the adventure that was ahead.
The past two years God has begun to show me how to sit in the uncomfortable, how to start facing the darkness (He’s been so gracious, only giving me what I can handle at a time and easing me into it). I feel that He’s been teaching me to lament and to grieve what is broken. To learn to stay with it long enough to see the hope and promise at the end of it. To see the purpose He has for me in it.
I’ve also learnt that my tendency to lean toward avoiding pain and searching for the joy and excitement in life is what is now enabling me to face the darkness and brokenness without being overwhelmed by it.
I am learning to say yes to things that I know will help me to love others more, regardless of the discomfort it may cause me, being assured that on the other side there is hope.
So I recently said yes to going on a trip to SE Asia to see and participate in the work of trafficking intervention agency The Exodus Road.
I’m truly nervous about how I will process all that I will experience, but I’m also very much aware it’s part of the journey God has me on.
I believe that Gods heart is for the flourishing of all of His creation, and that He invites us into that journey. It’s so often (like it can be for me) too hard to know what to do. Being overwhelmed is natural, but choosing that as an excuse to disengage, means that we don’t allow the deeper things of God’s heart to resonate with our lived experience. Choosing to engage means that we allow ourselves to embrace our world fully (with all the tension of; fear, joy and sorrow).
I believe that we are each called to engage with those around us, our friends, our family, our neighbors, our co-workers – loving them as ourselves and showing the love of Jesus in all that we do. And genuinely seeking Him for the role He would have us play in helping His creation to flourish.
As God opens my world to more of the things that break His heart, I know I’ll be heartbroken, angered, fearful, overwhelmed and often confused, but my prayer is that I won’t disengage, but that I will grow into a person who will find a way to love and continue to hope anyway.
The things that God has put in my hands this past year have led me on some pretty incredible adventures, and I would love to share the journey of what this next one looks like.
So I’m leaving on Friday with some incredible ladies who I can’t wait to get to know and learn from. As well as allowing my heart to be completely broken & figuring out what to do with that.
Read more about The Exodus Road and those going on this trip with me here. You can follow our journey on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Register to be part of The JUSTICE Pre Conference Track on Trafficking in Chicago on June 3, 2016