Recently I felt as if I had jumped on the elevator headed straight for the top, chasing after the penthouse-sized dream I have carried in my mind. But, I have to start from ground level and work my way up, just like anyone else would. Some people arrive quicker than others, not having to stop at many levels, while some have to endure stopping at every level. But, based upon recent events, I feel my way there is going to be by different means than I was imagining… I am going to have to take the stairs (while Miley Cyrus’ “It’s the Climb” is being played in the background) .
It is no coincidence that these levels to the top are called stories, because I will have story after story to tell of the opposition faced but also opportunities that arose along the way. When I feel the momentum to take step after step, I want to get as far along as I can. But, when I feel I have lost all momentum, I want to remember the opportunity I have been given to put one foot in front of the other and keep climbing.
Here is the most recent of those stories:
A couple weeks back I had to make one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, and that was to take a step back from helping a lady I had prayed hard for, dreamed big for, and believed in more for. I had to come to terms with the fact that she was not willing and ready for change, despite her telling me everything I wanted to hear. It became a major problem when I discovered those things were repeatedly not the reality she was living. So, after giving her chance upon chance and grace upon grace, I had to finally say no to the lies. After investing so passionately in her and continually pointing her to the Redeemer of her past, it was devastating that she still made choices that kept her bound to her old ways and from stepping into Christ’s forgiveness and freedom.
As a result of this and because of her brother’s presence at her home, a young man with a well-known and unfavorable reputation, I got law enforcement to help me with the situation. I found out a week later that in return, and because of her, the police had started conducting an investigation on me- calling others to question my legitimacy and credibility. The Lord truly tested me during this trial- Was I to make a quick phone call to someone in power and have it shut down? Was I to show up with a lawyer to handle this matter legally? or Was I to show up myself, in the most humble manner I could, to simply sit down and discuss with them their concern? Through some restless patience and prayer, I chose the latter.
This past week I found myself in a meeting with the OC (officer in charge) of my city, an officer from the Child and Family Protection Unit, and a detective. What I thought would be a series of questioning turned out to be a platform for witnessing. I sat there amidst the three, sharing my heart and vision for these women I am working with, but above all, sharing about the radical grace of Jesus that changed everything for me and how it is my desire for those I encounter here to experience the same- including them. I knew they wouldn’t fully understand why I do what I do, the manner in which I do it, and the ultimate goal in doing it- but I pray that the lenses of religion, which obviously blinded them, were somehow removed. I pray they heard and saw a kind of love that is so often overshadowed by legalism. I pray that a seed was a planted and the One able to make it grow will do what only He can.
So, what has seemed as overwhelming opposition that brought resistance to the momentum I felt, has actually been a divine appointment and opportunity to share the love of Jesus with those I least expected to. The Lord’s ways are surely not my own, but may I welcome whatever trial comes my way, trusting His goodness and sovereignty to work it all together as He gives me the strength to keep moving forward. What I know is this- He is continually teaching me and shaping me, removing parts within me to remake me for His purpose. I will get to the top, because He has so clearly planted the dream in my heart. I may have to take a longer and more demanding route, but I want to take the only way I know He’s leading. It won’t come easy, but oh, will I cherish it all the more, and truly be able to count every opposition as a gracious and undeserved opportunity.