Saturday, July 14, 2012

Love Mercy

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8


I live! It's extremely difficult to be updating without a computer, and I'm lucky if I get a moment to snag some time on my husband's...so finally, here is an update!

Last night was incredible. The women's ministry at my church is honestly, in my opinion, one of the greatest ministries you will ever come in contact with. It is through the JRW (James River Women) where God set a fire in my heart to find what true femininity and what a woman of God looks like (that, and of course writings from Leslie Ludy).

When I was in college, I was considering doing an internship working with troubled girls in St. Louis at a place called Mercy Ministries. As stated on their website, Mercy Ministries is an organization started by Nancy Alcorn that is a free-of-charge, voluntary, faith-based residential program serves young women from all socio-economic backgrounds, ages 13-28, who face a combination of life-controlling issues such as eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol addictions, depression and unplanned pregnancy. Mercy also serves young women who have been physically and sexually abused, including victims of sex trafficking. Using proven methods, a holistic approach and professional counselors in a structured residential environment, Mercy has helped thousands of young women be restored to wholeness. 

Please take a moment to watch their promo video here:


I was so excited to find out that my church was teaming up with Mercy Ministries and integrating them through our rallies and women's conferences. Last night, we had our women's rally themed "Run Like A Girl" where Nancy was asked to speak. 

The truly incredible thing about it, is how much God has blessed this ministry to expand and transform lives, not just in the US...but now around the world! It is living proof that if you are doing God's will, He will provide everything needed. The fact that they can offer these programs free of charge and still be provided with the resources to open more locations WITHOUT government assistance proves that. I'm also excited to hear that they are beginning to build a location in Florida!

So now that you're acquainted with MM, what I really want to discuss is WHY this organization must exist. WHY is there such a large number of girls hurting and broken and trapped in darkness? Why are people abusive and hateful? How did we come so far from what God intended our lives to be? 

It takes me to a conversation my husband and I had to have a few days ago. Although I never resulted to self-harm or drugs or erratic behavior, there are things that happened to me in my past that wounded me deeply. Things I had never told a single soul until I brought them to surface with my husband a few days ago, just to help him understand me better. Then I see the wounds in these girls and I'm left asking...

Why?

What is it in human nature that makes people treat others so terribly? To devalue and defile them without a single concern as to how that person may be affected for the rest of their life? It affects their choices, the way they see themselves, and it affects their relationships with other people. It's a snowball effect. 

We've completely missed the point.

Mercy is a good term. We lack mercy. But even more, we lack love. We get so concerned about ourselves and our own needs. Or perhaps the abuse of others is how a person is trying to cope with their own wounds. But that doesn't make it right.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye 
and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother, 
‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ 
when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, 
and then you will see clearly to remove the 
speck from your brother’s eye.
Matthew 7:3-5

You know, it isn't impossible to enjoy life. To have lives full of love and mercy and understanding. It is achievable, but it isn't achievable through man alone. We need God's help. We can't truly experience life as it was meant to be without it...we really can't...because God IS love. God heals. God shows mercy. 

That's why many of these girls have been to counselor after counselor and doctor after doctor trying to "heal"  from their wounds, but the only place they've been able to find refuge is a place that greeted them openly without judgement and spoke into their lives the value and intention God had for them.

There's a lot to be said about speaking positivity and love into people's lives. 

To love mercy.

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I'd like to extend an invitation to all women out there. Every year, my church holds this huge amazing life-giving women's conference called Designed For Life. It is one of the most life-changing experiences you will ever encounter, and it's open to women everywhere. We have people from all over the world that come to this conference, people as far as Australia and Europe! Please check it out, and tell your moms, sisters, cousins, and best friends about it! It will truly be a shower of blessing for you!

(Please click the image below)