With each story headline presented, I felt myself shutting down. I have such a hard time processing how human beings can cause severe physical harm to other human beings. I can't wrap my mind around it, and I tend to shut down. Turn it off. Turn away. Ignore.
Opening the floodgate to stories like that hurt my heart. They make me weep with fear for my children. They make me want to sit on my couch wrapped in a blanket and never leave the house. They make me fearful to send my children out alone. Fearful to trust anyone.
I know that the news tends to focus on the negative, and I'm well aware that beauty exists and that good people are out there doing good things. Doing GREAT things. And I know that we are commanded not to be afraid. I know the enemy is counting on us to be fearful, to lower our gaze and divert our eyes.
I told you all awhile back that I felt God wiggling His way into my already crowded and over-stressed existence. I told you that even though I feel overwhelmed at times, God is nudging me, quietly whispering that He has plans for me above and beyond those things. I have been praying for several months now, quietly communing with Him, asking Him over and over to show me what He has in store for me. I have been asking Him to break my heart for what breaks His.
And He is showing up. He is revealing a purpose for me. A cause for me to dive into. A cause that I know breaks His heart. A cause that I know will rip my heart open and leave it shattered on the floor. A cause that will leave me tempted to shut down, lower my gaze and weep. I am scared, I am full of passion, I am excited and nervous. I cannot wait to get going, but at the same time I know it is going to rip me apart and leave me exposed and vulnerable and needing God more than ever before.
I have a habit of shutting down. God is telling me to open up. He is telling me that if I declare myself a follower of Christ, I need to show it in my actions. I need to face the ugly, to side with those who are poor and vulnerable and broken in spirit. To step outside of my comfortable Christianity - my community of middle class believers who are just like me.
I can't wait to share more of my journey with you. The pieces are falling into place now, and when the time is right, I will share more.
And I'm asking you to pray for me. That God would continue to reveal Himself and His purpose for me and that I would always be in a place to receive it. That when the enemy fights back, and I know he will, that I would be in a place to withstand it. And when you're ready, I encourage you to pray the same prayer I have - for God to break your heart for what breaks His.
We can all find encouragement in Mordecai's message to Esther, found in Esther 4:14:
"For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this.