Your misery becomes your ministry.
This I believe to be true. It has obviously been true in my own life. Growing in freedom and victory over my past has helped me to recognize pain in others who have dealt with similar things, and has helped me to see them with new eyes.
I think of a girl, early teens, we’ll call her Anna. For several years Anna was sexually abused by someone whom she should have been able to trust. Now Anna is the girl discerning mothers won’t let their daughters hang out with. She’s already sexually active, promiscuous, owning experiences that would horrify the mother of a so-called good girl. She’s the one destined to “get into trouble.”
When I see this girl, this Anna, my heart breaks for her. I want nothing more than to hold her and love her and whisper truth in her ear. I want to teach her that there is another way to attain the love she desires, that she is so much more valuable than the users of her body have told her. She is a child of the King, created by God for His glory, beautiful in every way. Her value is such that her Heavenly Father gave his only Son to suffer and die so that she could be restored to relationship with Him. For God so loved Anna, I would say to her, that He gave His one and only Son so that she would not perish, but have everlasting life. He wants to heal her broken heart and restore to her everything that has been stolen from her. Even everything that she has given away.
That’s what I see when I look at Anna, but I have to ask, what do you see?
Anna’s are everywhere – destroying themselves, hurting those around them, earning our judgment. Everywhere. Can we say that every promiscuous teenage girl is the victim of sexual abuse? No. Some are just victims of a lack of parenting – the subject of a whole other article. Regardless of why she is the way she is, however, it doesn’t change who she is.
She is the adulteress dragged before Jesus, her accusers demanding she be stoned. But what did Jesus say?
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
She is the sinful woman who came to Jesus, anointed his feet, and washed them with her tears. But what did Jesus to the protestors?
This woman loves much because she has been forgiven much.
She is me.
God. What can I do? How can I help this girl?
Awareness is not enough. Prevention is not enough. Right now those things feel like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound. There has to be a place for healing. Recovery. Triumph.
Again, I ask, what can I do?
I can love the Anna in my life. I can reach out, use whatever entrance God gives me, and show Jesus to her. I can be the body of Christ as it’s supposed to be and pray that it makes a difference in this girl’s life. I can hope. And pray. And love. And pray some more.
And I can encourage you, oh hapless reader, if you have the opportunity, do the same.