Monday, April 9, 2012

The Girl that God uses....

We have started a tradition for Easter....or as we like it, "Resurrection Sunday". We go to a new church  with dear friends and enjoy the annual community breakfast. It's cold, it's in a school gym and it's not fancy. But the people there are amazing! They start preparing breakfast for hundreds at FIVE in the morning!! (The non-morning person in me screams - Nooooooo!) The tables are set with eggs, potatoes, ham, bacon, fruit, cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy, and so much more. These people are servants. They work all morning preparing, serving and cleaning up. It blesses me so much!

This year, though, God gave me a bigger and brighter gift!! One of our homeless teen girls that goes to Girls Nite In each month was there! I was in awe. As I waited in line for my food, this precious girl ran up to me, hugged me and said "HEY!!!!" I was so excited to see her and surprised! Here's this girl who lives in a shelter and she's SERVING breakfast to hundreds. She is starving herself but not for food.....she is starving for love, acceptance, family and the Lord's mercy. Every month at Girls Nite In, this cute freckled face girl runs up to me to say HI.....she hugs me each time and she SERIOUSLY melts my heart. I am not supposed to have "favorites" but I do. How can you not favor a girl who is that precious?

God uses her in my life as a reminder. A reminder that all the studying, tears, time and work that goes into ONE Girls Nite In meeting is worth it........because she is there. God brings about 60 teen girls each month and a handful of them live at this shelter. There are not enough words to describe what that has done to my heart. It wrecks me. It melts me. It challenges me. God puts the girls' faces in my mind each time I prepare to speak. He has bound my heart to theirs and they have no idea!!!

You know how with each child you wonder "how will I have enough love to go around?" I think every mom wonders that. Yet, the Lord gives us a never ending amount of love. He IS LOVE and when we know the Father, we have LOVE to give. The teen girls are like my adopted kids.....they move my heart, they overflow my cup and God uses each girl to multiply the love I have for them. Not only am I in love with my three precious children......but God has blessed my life with countless teens who........seriously......if they knew how much I adored them, loved them and thought of would scare them!!! I am beyond grateful for this journey God has me on. Thank you Lord for your amazing gifts!

"But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love." 1 John 4:8

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Naked For Jesus

I love Vintage T-shirts!! You remember t-shirts with old logos like 7up, Atari, Coca Cola or some memorable year stamped on the front? They're new but they're made to look old and they have been around forever. They bring back memories of my childhood and remind me of days passed. As I was sharing my life with a dear friend the other day......I mentioned how I want a vintage t-shirt that reads "Naked for Jesus" !!! As we cracked up laughing (like seriously couldn't breathe laughing) at the thought of wearing this shirt and the looks we would get.....I asked her "is that inappropriate"? But when you understand the great journey behind those is perfectly appropriate!!

One of my biggest fears is public speaking. It's the number one fear of people. Isn't that crazy? Speaking in front of people in a perfectly safe environment scares people more than snakes, heights or car wrecks!!! But I will tell you that I get sooooo fearful before speaking. So, of course God has called me to speak once a month at Girls Nite In (a ministry to teen girls) in front of one hundred people. He hasn't called me to speak on anything "fluffy" either. He has called me to speak on topics of sin and self destruction. At Girls Nite In we talk candidly about life with these sex, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, eating disorders, divorce, self injury, loss/grief....BIG things!!! Our goal is to help them navigate through this messy life and point them to their Heavenly Father! I am so passionate about this ministry and yet it tears me up every month.

"Humble yourselves before the Lord,
and he will lift you up"
James 4:10

On my face before the Lord every month, I ask Him to speak through take away my make me bold through His Spirit....and to give me every word for these girls!! It takes all of me to submit to Him and to humbly do the very thing He has called me to. The ONLY WAY to be victorious in to LAY IT ALL BARE BEFORE CHRIST!!! When I stand in front of these heart beating rapidly, full of cotton mouth and sweaty armpits....I am naked. I am transparent. I am laying it bare. I hold nothing back. God has shown me lately that He can use me best when I hide nothing from Him. Forget trying to look like I have it all together.....forget trying to use the right words....forget pretending at all!

Is God calling you to lay it all bare before Him? What would our world look like if we all got "real"....and stopped pretending? What if we did the VERY things that GOD has asked of us.....plowing through the fear, being humble before Him and putting ourselves out there for others!??