I tell you what, there are certain issues/people that are truly on my heart...I don't know a better way to put it. There are just a few things that seem to touch my heart and break it all at once...if that makes sense. I mean, it feels like my heart is so open and I feel so moved to do something...to reach out, to say something...because I know the need is there...I know that someone needs to hear exactly what I'm reading...but sometimes I feel so useless...like I don't even know how to respond. Other times, I feel like I know just how to respond. I can see in my mind how to do it...I hesitate to say that I have a vision for such ministry, as it seems to bold. It seems to imply that I'm specially equipped or uniquely gifted for such things, and I can't prove that. I don't want to make such a bold claim. I just know where my heart is, what my passion is for...at least, what it's for when it's stirred up. I could give examples, but I wouldn't want to ramble too much. But as I think on these passions and dreams...I can't help but get teary-eyed. I give props to those who share my passions and visions. Then again, I give props to those who have different passions and visions. We are all different for a reason, I believe -- different parts of one body, right? If we're Christ's body...then we have the ability to do great things on this earth...and are able to touch so many lives...if we so choose. Don't you love that about free will? God equips us and calls us, but it's our choice to follow -- to do? I read a book once upon a time (I know...shocker) entitled Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. It discusses the image of the church as the body of Christ. It's amazing because it uses knowledge we have of the human body, which has clearly increased since the time when Paul busted out the whole "body of Christ" deal, to show how different people, different congregations, different denominations, are uniquely gifted to serve a different role...but that no one role is greater than the others because all are needed for the beautiful functioning of the collective body. I don't really know what part I am...or exactly what part I play...but I know where my heart is.
Anyway, so tonight, I want to give props to xxxchurch. Some of the stuff they are doing blows me away -- reaching out to broken people, offering something more, and most of all, letting beautiful young women know that they are valuable. I also give props for Dove and their Campaign for Real Beauty. I love what they're doing. It touches me somewhere deep every time. I love the materials they're developing, and there's such a part of me that wishes I'd had access to some of those when I was running my girls' group because I know that those girls would've benefited from some of that. Not to say that God didn't work through that group as it was, that God didn't bless The Sisterhood. He did...in amazing ways. I mean, I am blown away when I consider the fruits of that group. I had no idea...I had no idea...but God used the meager resources we had and the energy and passion we offered to do awesome things...and really, such resources would have only enhanced the group...well, maybe given me more to draw from as I put it all together...or maybe made another year possible. I guess I don't know that The Sisterhood has ceased to exit. I pray that it hasn't, that my girls will have someone step up and continue to help them grow in their faith and grow in love...I really do...and a part of me wishes I could be there...and share the things that I've been learning and reading and see what God can do with it...but I don't know if I'm called to go back to those girls...it won't stop me from loving on them or from praying for them...I just...pray that God will find ways to continue to remind them that they are amazing and beautiful and strong and that He has amazing things for them in the future...and I pray that God will use Dove's materials to bless more young women...that they may know their worth...that they may know their beauty...that they may learn the truth...and I pray for xxxchurch's outreach and the outreach of similar groups...as they show young women their value in God's eyes...and as they remind all of us that we are all sinful and that we are all equal in God's eyes and that no one is beyond the reach of God's amazing love and amazing grace...ever...maybe that's why my mind keeps going back to "the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:5)...to me, that means so much. It reminds me that there is always hope because we are called to be children of the light, and so we will never have to remain in the darkness. It reminds me that no matter what lies surround us, no matter how thick they are, the truth remains. No amount of lies can destroy the truth, or keep it from us because it is always there. Truth is stronger than any lie, light will always shatter the darkness, hope will always remain...God calls us to shine His light into the dark corners of our souls, the dark corners of the world...to bring His hope and His truth to everyone...because we all need it...What I love about that is that it will take on new meanings for different people -- it will be accomplished in new and different in different places in different lives. It's a beautiful thing...a beautiful thing that touches my heart, moves me to tears, and inspires me to keep going.