I hate the word “fail” – it almost makes me have a visceral gagging reaction, borderline puking. Thankfully, if I take a minute to pause, evaluate and collect myself, I don’t puke. But if I’m not careful, I can easily throw things into the “failure” column and in a nanosecond find myself back to mental wrestling mat, almost down for the count. As God & I were talking about this whole failure thing this morning, I was reminded about how Jesus looked hanging on the cross, beat to a bloody pulp and possibly personifying the ultimate failure. He was betrayed by his friends, completely helpless, physcially obliterated and even yelling at God, “Why have You forsaken Me?!??”
Hanging on the cross, Jesus looked more like a failure than anything I’ve ever experienced & yet from God’s perspective, perhaps Jesus had never been more successful in His earthly existence, up to that point. Let’s be careful that we don’t frame failure in the context of defeat, permanent or hopeless. Jesus rose from the dead and living in our hearts, we have resurrection potential every day.
Be sure to pass this along to anyone you know who is struggling with seeming defeat or failure 🙂
Today, we walked through a few red light districts in India, doing some research for our nightcare program with Saving Moses. We’re coming to the end of our day & I find myself having some very mixed emotions. The women in these red light districts ranged in age from very young to very old, some with a seemingly sweet innocence & some very hardened, detached & icy cold. We happened upon a preschool community centre that looks after toddlers & preschoolers for a few hours a day – sweet, rambunctious & vivacious kids.
Exploring these red light areas is a very eye opening experience & I find myself needing to process some of the days sights, experiences & feelings. More to follow
I just returned last night from Cambodia, celebrating the grand opening of our second nightcare – so much goodness! Nightcare is our initiative with www.savingmoses.org
where we take care of the babies & toddlers of prostitutes while they work. Without nightcare, these babies & toddlers are at work with their moms – every horror you can imagine & more. The hopeless part is that I can get overwhelmed by the needs, atrocities & unimaginable devastation occurring every night in these neighborhoods without nightcare.
Hopeless happens in our lives when we stop moving forward, when we fixate on what is dark & evil. Hope is taking a step, doing something positive & loving genuinely. Love rescues us from being hopeless. Genuine love gives the escape
Sometimes we can be in really dark situations or seasons in our lives. Darkness can be lots of different things: bad environments, yucky people, wicked things that happen to or around us & lots of other things ( I’m reminded of one of the neighborhoods that I walked in for a possible new nightcare location in Cambodia with www.savingmoses.org – a totally evil & wicked place that was overwhelmingly dark even during the day).
With that being said, lets be mindful to keep Jesus as the Light in our hearts – dont let the darkness seep into your thoughts or emotions no matter how strong it may seem. Darkness never overcomes Light so lets stay full of Jesus in our hearts so that we can bring light, hope & genuine love to any darkness that could be in our lives 🙂
When I was recently in Angola with Saving Moses I had an experience that has really been haunting me. If I understood the situation correctly, I met a mom who had seemed to give up hope on her baby surviving and I’m deeply affected by this – so much that this experience is really starting to challenge some of my thinking. I think that there are situations where I quit too easily for various reasons (disappointment, discouragement, lack of progress, bad reports, setbacks, etc). Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean that I should quit or give up. And even if I’m only making microscopic progress, I’m challenging myself not to quit.
In Angola with Saving Moses, I met a 3yr old little boy who was severely malnourished. His mom, Lucia, is a beautiful, engaged and very concerned mom who has a beautiful little baby girl, Josephine, who is about 2months old – bright, cheery & zesty! Segunda is very emaciated but I have really high hopes that he’s going to make some rapid improvement & be released within the next few weeks. Please be praying for Segunda & his mom, Lucia!
I think that it’s really important from time to time to get some fresh perspective on life & the world in which we live. Today has been a day of fresh perspective for me. I’ve met heroic & legendary moms & dads who are doing everything in their power to keep their babies alive. But I also met a mom today who was extremely discouraged & I’m deeply concerned that she may have given up hope. Her baby, Josephine, is only 10 months old but is extremely sick & close to dying. Her mom, Miciah, brought her to our malnutrition clinic to receive milk & medical help but was herself not feeling well. We took a short break for lunch & upon returning to the clinic, I started looking for Miciah & Josephine but couldn’t find them. As I asked around, the nurse said that Miciah had left the clinic w Josephine & the nurse strongly encouraged mom to stay. Miciah left, regardless of the nurse’s appeals & we don’t have a way to track them down – no address or phone number. I have tremendous concern for Josephine because she was not doing well at all. Please remember to pray for her – I’ve attached her picture so you can please remember her. The lesson for all of us is to never surrender hope.
Friday, my husband & I were taking our son & his friend to ski for the day to celebrate my son’s bday. Unfortunately, we hit a really icey spot on the road & proceeded to lose control at 35-40mph. As we were slipping around the road, we missed an 18 wheeler semi, dodged all of the oncoming traffic as we slid perpendicular to the road, slipped into a ditch on the opposite side of the road & almost flipped into a mini-forest. When the car finally stopped, we checked & no one was injured and we could all climb out of the car. After the very amazing extraction of our car, we checked over the car & the only damage was that the front license plate was dinged up. We drove away from this crazy experience and went skiing for the rest of the day, even though my legs were still rather shakey during the day.
I’m crazy thankful to God for protection, miracles and care. Hopefully, our story encourages your faith and confidence that God is very engaged with our daily living, even when things don’t quite turn out as we had planned or hoped.
I was reading this morning about how Jacob in the bible married Leah & Rachel. The Bible says that Leah was hated but Rachel was loved. There’s lots to be said about these marriages, but I love that Leah looked to God for strength & help – naming her 1st 4 sons: Reuben (God sees me), Simeon (God hears me), Levi (attached) & Judah (I praise God).
Regardless of what’s happening in your life:
*God sees you & has compassion on you
*God is listening with ears of lovingkindness
*attached – let yourself be completely attached to God
*never neglect to praise & give honor to God 🙂
Yesterday was an absolutely amazing day! I was able to visit our nightcare facility & to see it operational & blessing infants & toddlers in massive ways! God put this dream in my heart for almost 2 yrs & I’ve been trying to make this dream into reality with much effort, prayer, travel & persistence. Yesterday, I got to see the dream come true! I had the privilege of meeting several moms who are using our nightcare to provide a safe place with care, love & nurture for their babies. These women work through the night in various clubs & in professions that no woman would even remotely want.
I met a little boy, we’ll call him Sam, and his mom had no one to care for him while she worked through the night, so she used to leave him all alone, locked in an empty room. Now, with nightcare, she brings him to our shelter where he gets a nice dinner, love, care a comfortable bed & a safe place with loving moms who look our for him as he peacefully sleeps.
What an absolutely astounding honor that we get to express genuine love in such tangible ways.
Jesus says, ” When you do this for the least of these, you do this for / to Me.”.
Genuine love – nothing changes us more powerfully than genuine love 🙂