Enter Tori D. Seriously one of the hottest girls you will ever meet. I mean, the girl guys become friends with me for to find out more about. Best thing about all of this? Tori really, I mean REALLY has no idea how freaking gorgeous she is. So she is amazing, and one of my people that I can talk to for hours and we can go from serious to laughing back to serious again in a matter of minutes. One of the people who truly knows my heart, so she calls it like she sees it. Aaaaand I love her for this.
Hang out with me long enough and you are sure to get a post about you. That a total of three people MIGHT read. Because I love blogging, but hate sharing . . . A shy girl trapped in a story-teller's body - something like that. . . .
So I convinced Tori to lavish me with some serious quality time type of love tonight and it made me really think. About myself. My stuff, my life down at the mission.
And how God controls all of it. Lately it has been a moment by moment living out of what God is teaching me. A season where I read a chapter of Scripture, or hear a sermon, or have a spiritual conversation with someone and moments, I am not kidding, moments later, God calls me to put it into use. So talking with Tori helped me to figure a lot of stuff out.
I got to share with Tori for the first time about the real conversations I have with the girls at the Mission.
I just LOVE this picture. I have no idea who wrote this on the steps, but I am sometimes amazed at my cell phone camera and sometimes super annoyed at how it takes the blurriest, worst pictures of all time. This one came out well.
So back to Tori - and how this applies to my recent learn-it-now-use-it season. Tonight in Bible study we talked about spiritual warfare and always being armed and ready. We talked about how each piece of the armor; salvation, peace, righteousnes - all of its components are things we cannot bring about ourselves. We cannot create peace or righteousness or salvation in our own effort. This requires the step asked of us in Galatians 6:18 - PRAY!
So I was talking to Tori about stories of some of the conversations we have had with the girls on Wednesday nights. She was blown away. She had no idea that these were the things that were happening. That girls who have been known to throw bricks at people's heads, are excited to learn about the Bible. They are making references to lessons two weeks prior and they are remembering things about God's grace, and they are excited to learn more. They ask questions, remember things, apply things to their own lives. . . . and no one other then Doreen and I have experienced this.
I was planning on not attending the Tuesday program this week, because its just unstructured time in the parking lot. Fights break out, kids are crying, it can be chaotic most often. . . . but every time I say I am not going to go, I go. And I get a smile from a kid or hugs and I get to see my girls in a non formal setting and get to experience the joy of them running up to me from across the parking lot. I love it. I get frustrated with it, get bored a lot, but all it takes is one hug, or one smile and I am loving Tuesdays again.
I got an email from Doreen today. She might be mad at me for saying this but . . . she wrote this (when I was still planning on not going) -
i will kinda miss you tonight.):but tuesdays are what they are.wednesdays are the shiznit
And so it sums it up. Tuesdays are nice. We walk around the parking lot, grab a couple short conversations, but something magical, or should I say, SPIRITUAL happens on Wednesdays.
So I am sharing with Tori and she is welling up a little with tears, because the stories REALLY are crazy good. CRAZY God good. Like, girls who used to hide behind the industrial sized fridges in the kitchen because they were DYING for attention are now talking about how Peter rejected Jesus, and Jesus still forgave him. Stuff like that. Or the girl who we worry about with boys the most is talking about God's mercy. And girls are seeing how they live life saying they are a Christian but don't live like it. All of these things are unprompted by human forces, so the only other thing to be prompting them is Spirit, right?
So Tori says two things.
1) I need to share these stories with the group more.
2) There is no way I can leave the mission while these conversations are still taking place. They are the heart and soul of why God keeps us here on Earth. To proclaim His message.
And what I love most about Wednesdays really is that my lesson are lame. I soooo dont do fun games or have crazy pictures and ideas, we sometimes use notecards that I scotch tape to my wall, and journals that they and jot ideas in, but for the most part- the Bible is opened, its read, we talk about it. Simple.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
The Gospel doesn't need fancied up or watered down. It is what it is. We are called to speak it. "How will they know unless they have heard, and how will they hear unless it is preached, and how will they preach unless they are sent?" . . . I am summarizing a huge piece of Scripture, but it is the root of my point.
I really feel like I was 'sent' here for the sake of speaking truth to the girls. And so I am just doing that. I get sooooo caught up in the trials and the hardships that come with me being down here and I have sooooo lost focus on what AMAZING, MIRACULOUS stuff is happening with the girls that I can only chalk it up to not having spent enough time focusing on the Lord and recieving the pieces of the armor - acknowledging my identity as righteous and peaceful and saved.
There are no unwanted adopted children. Adoptive parents go through hell and high water to get their children. As an adopted child I need to remember the pains my Father went through to adopt me. He chose me for good works. I need to focus on the joys of that, on the joys of being used as planned, as designed - not on the millions of things that can distract me.
Talking with Tori helped me clarify a lot of things. The talks with the girls are unheard of type of stuff, and most definitely, in light of eternity, worth breaking through any walls that come up - and it won't be hard to do, because I will be heavily protected with the full armor of God.