India: A Piece of My Love Story

When I was in therapy I held tightly onto Genesis 50:20.  My therapist read me this verse one day, and it immediately touched my heart.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives……..Genesis 50:20

While in therapy I was working through a lot of things.  Things that were surely intended to harm me.

Abuse.

That was a big thing I was working through.  Somehow, I found myself smack dab in the middle of an abusive relationship.  I never in a million years thought I would let someone treat me the way he did.  The worse he treated me though, the more I stayed.

Pain.

Every aspect of my body ached with a pain that is truly indescribable.  It is as if every hurtful word, betrayal, and lie was punching me in the waist.  Along with the emotional damage caused by these events, I was left pretty beat up.

Fear.

I lived my life in fear.  I did not know what it was like not to wake up each morning without fear being the first thing on your mind.  I was paranoid 100% of the time.  I would walk down the street and be paralyzed, left trembling in fear if there was a man with a beard headed towards me.

Depression.

I did not even know I was depressed.  However, not being able to get out of bed, not even having the strength to get in the shower some days led me to think I may be.

I could go on and on and on.

All of these things meant for harm, became the very things God would use for good not just one day but every day of my new life in Christ. 

I see my life as many moments.  My favorite moments are witnessing the goodness of God’s saving grace in the lives of precious ones He has brought along my path.

The chapters of harm are pages turned and gone.  The chapters of goodness are ones I want to re-read over and over, praising and thanking God as I flip the next page!  My favorite moment is one found in my favorite chapter of my story with God.

This chapter I like to call the Love Story I Was Made For…

I had been through a true horror story there is no denying this truth.  I believed with all of my heart that God would bring me the most beautiful love story I could ever imagine with a man who would know my story and love me still.  To my pleasant surprise, I found the love story God had planned for me all along in India.  This story is not with a man.  It is with precious lives that God has saved from the grasp of the evil one.  Meeting God’s children who have suffered through the worst harm I never want to imagine, filled my heart with immeasurable joy.  Little did I know, I would share a moment with these girls in which God was using me to show His amazing saving grace to each and every one of them in a tangible and unforgettable way.  Being in India with these girls felt like that is exactly what I was created to be doing.  My heart felt at home in the middle of a foreign, uncomfortable place.  Meeting them proved to be the purpose for all of my pain.  They were the good that God has planned from my harm.  One of the sweet girls that has touched my heart so much, gave me her favorite ring.  This ring symbolizes for me the lives that God is saving.  How thankful I am for a ring to go along with our love story.

I never thought I would be thankful for harm, but thanks to God’s promises I am beyond thankful for harm.  If it weren’t for the harm, I would have never found the love story I was created for with the complete lover of my soul, Jesus Christ.

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From Our Hearts to His…

When occasions arose to pray aloud in a group, my stomach got a sick feeling instantly.  I thought to myself, I don’t pray eloquently, I don’t sound “Godly”, I don’t say the right words, People will wonder why I am praying.  –Has anyone been there?

God brought fearless sixth graders along my path to show me just how wrong those thoughts of mine were.  When it was time for group prayer at the end of small group so many girls would pray!  Each week, I was more and more touched by the prayers of these sixth graders.  When I was in sixth grade, I don’t think you would have ever heard me praying in front of others.  I was so inspired by their fearless prayers.  God used them to help take away my fears of praying with a group.

I remember praying with two friends one evening, and they said I like how when you pray it is like you are having a conversation with God.  I thought to myself, well that is all the eloquence I need in my prayer life!  Communicating with the God of the universe is not something to underestimate, but it IS something we can feel comfortable doing.

God loves to hear from us.  I can just picture Him jumping with joy when He hears our prayers.  He is waiting patiently for each and every one, whether eloquent or shaky from nerves, GOD hears them.

God does not care what my prayers sound like to others, He just cares what they sound like to Him.

Even if I sound strange, repeat words, pause for an extended amount of time because I cannot think of the word I need to be using, keep it short and sweet, or go on and on and on…God does not mind.  He is eager to hear me, not eager to point out fault in my prayers.  In fact, when we pray from our heart to His, there is no fault found, despite the fault others may hear-those faults are on mute to God as He listens to your heart.
One night at church my dear friend told me she needed people to pray for girls in India.  These girls have been rescued from brothels or the streets and brought to a safe home.  They all have or had mothers that live in these brothels and work as prostitutes.  She told me she was praying for six girls and needed someone to pray for some of the girls.  I quickly responded with “I can pray”.

That week we met, she introduced me to the precious ones I would be praying for.  She also explained the ministry of the Praying Aunties.  This is a prayer ministry for different homes in India for boys and girls who have been rescued from human-trafficking.  One woman from our church was told more than anything these precious children of God need prayer.  This same woman started the Praying Aunties with the idea of one Auntie (as they call us) will pray for one girl (or boy).  And then she told me…the dreaded, we will meet once a month eventually to pray for these girls.

I knew this was ok, I knew I could easily do that, I knew I would love to meet other women monthly to pray.  God had given me so much confidence in our prayer life from when I was a sixth grader.  Satan however, will try to squeeze any doubt, and fear, and lie into our hearts that we let him.  I had to quickly shut Satan out of my heart with a prayer.  The only way to get Satan out is with prayer, He cannot stand a chance when we cry out, Jesus!  I did not want to give Satan any chance to keep me from praying for little ones that need to know the safety, love, grace, healing, and power that comes through Jesus!

Praying for my girls in India has been a life changing experience for me. I know first hand the power of prayer. I know how prayer changes situations from being the worst moments in your life to becoming the greatest ones spent with God. When we pray, we invite God into the situations and circumstances around us. When we pray for these precious ones in India, we invite God into their lives and circumstances. Our prayers enable God’s power in their lives.  God desires for His children to be healed and safe in His arms from Satan’s wicked schemes.

When I was in India, I was so touched to see the smiles of the sweet ones we pray for the instant they were introduced to us.  The joy they have knowing someone is praying for them in contagious.  God has shown me through our trip to India that we must never give up praying.  He never gives up on us, we cannot give up on Him.

Even though we are miles away and I hold onto their pictures as I pray and not their hand, I feel so incredibly close to the precious ones I pray for. I feel as though our hearts our connected with God’s.

God is not dependent on our prayers, but we surely are dependent on God. These children in India are dependent on God too. The girls don’t mind what your prayers sound like either.  They are just filled with joy to know that they have an Auntie that loves them enough to pray for the best in their life: God’s will.

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.  James 5:16

If you are interested in becoming an Auntie, you can email prayingauntiesnetwork@gmail.com.

If you are in the Pittsburgh area we need about four more women to pray for a home.  If you are far away from Pittsburgh and would like to start a prayer group in your town, that would be great too, there are always more homes that desperately need prayer.

For more information and to learn more about getting involved visit the Praying Aunties Facebook Page.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Praying-Aunties-Network/218983168236274

I want to be _______________.

Do you realize how many words/ phrases I could use to fill up the empty space in the above sentence?

a pretty mommy that loves loving her little ones.

a writer whose pen is guided by God alone.

married to a man who will be wrong to this world, but right to me.

And these are just a few of the many.

There are so many thoughts of who we might want to be one day, but what about who we already are?

When we breathe our first breath this world is busting at the seams to fill us with what “it” would like us to be like.  These worldly desires and dreams begin filling in us the second our mommy can hear our scream.

They are so strong.  Before I knew of God’s desires for me, I felt as though I would die without being what it is I wanted to become.  I know that is slightly dramatic, but maybe miserable, unhappy, unattractive, lonely are better substitutes for the word die.

Psalm 37:4 says, Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.  This does not mean that my words used to fill the empty spaces will come to fruition.  What it does mean is that as I read God’s word, and grow closer to Him, He will begin to get rid of what it is the world has convinced me I need to be.

God will slowly get rid of those worldly desires that lead to emptiness and He will fill me with His desires.

If you have put your hope and trust in God alone, if you have accepted Him into your life, if you have let Him in to change you, then you, my dear, are a child of His.  You are royalty.  You are crowned with His salvation.  Oh how He loves His precious child!

What if the days of our lives were filled with more of choosing to be who we already are than wanting to be something else?

I strongly believe that the only thing that matters in our day to day life is the time with God we find. For in these moments we are embracing our true identity. We are placing the words God intended in that empty space above, I want to be more like Jesus.

As His children, we are called to be set apart, holy, and Christ-like. I need to stop day dreaming about what I might be or want to be one day. It is time to start reading God’s word and letting Him show me who I already am.

We do not need to feel controlled by the words this world wants us to believe about ourselves. Thank goodness that we are defined by God’s words alone; no one else’s.

Words people use to describe you as hurtful as they are sometimes, do not need to affect the way we think of ourselves. Words can be used to destroy us, but God’s words can be used to bind up the wounds the world’s have left on our heart.

Just because this world says we should be a certain way, does not mean that God thinks the same. Let us all stop filling up that empty space with words that were never intended to be placed there. We are His- that is all that truly matters.