Tuesday, July 23, 2013

On Celebrating 4 Years of Mercy!

Lives transformed, hope restored. 

That is their slogan.

God's unfathomable grace in my life testifies that He can indeed transform and restore, even for the one convinced her mess is beyond the sacrifice made on the cross. 

I find myself today, sitting on this hard mattress, mosquito net encamped around me, gazing out over little brown bodies running with bat and ball, cows grazing quite contentedly amidst the trash, and the rooster squawking away at the most unaccounted intervals. This place is colorful and confused, as millions of gods are plastered across most buildings covered in the bright brilliance of turquoise and purple and orange. The government turns off the power pretty much whenever they feel like it and in those hours and days, life becomes far more simple. I love these people too much to leave. And in spite of it all, God is at work in this place.

How in the world did I end up here? I cannot wrap this finite mind around such infinite grace [apart from which I am still that girl, bound and broken].

Today, I am in the middle of nowhere India and all I have is the gospel that says Christ saves and frees us captives. When I walked out of the doors of Mercy Ministries four years ago today, I never imagined this is where the Lord would bring me. Or that He really did that—bound up the captives and proclaimed liberty to the prisoners. Like forever. 

But I promise you, He does. And we need it on both sides of the world.

What a blessing to reflect upon these past four years [and even the dark ones prior] from half-way across the world in a place that the holy spirit is very much alive and the gospel very much in demand.

I actually completely forgot the four years had come and gone. It wasn’t until my teammate randomly had on my i-pod and listened to my Mercy graduation recording that I thought about it.

As I listen to graduation day, I am so incredibly thankful for the staff and my mercy sisters. I am thankful that Jesus grabbed a hold of my heart in those months and that I have not had to spend a day apart from Him since. I am also glad they didn’t make it easy for me to leave, during that very first week after I decided I didn’t want to be at Mercy [after hundreds of people had prayed me into those doors, of course].

Graduation Day [July 24, 2009

A Day In India [July 24, 2013]
God had me at Mercy for a purpose far exceeding anything I could have ever asked or imagined at the time. Like literally, I was just so hopeless and consumed by my eating disorder and abuse and kingdom of self that I didn’t even know [or care] what day of the week it was, more or less the significance of “those plans I have for you.”

I had a plan—death.

As I stood behind the pulpit (to give testimony) yesterday, no shoes on my feet and a saree wrapped around my body with my back exposed, my eyes filled to brim as I glance out over all of my brown-skinned sisters and brothers, the brokenness and the hope in the their eyes. I told them how I ran after death in pursuit of filling up the hole deep inside and how that race led me straight to the bottle of pills. I told them how God saved my body from destruction that night and how it could only have been Him alone. A few stood and all cried out praise to His holy name. I had to breathe deep just then, as even I could not praise Him enough for such a life lived in and through His grace alone.

Don't worry, sisters, I am so far from perfect I wouldn't know it if it hit me on the head! I still wrestle plenty. The lies consume here and there, and it's real. Like the way I haven't had a fresh vegetable in a month and the men that view me as a commodity to be used every time I step out in public. India presents all kinds of new challenges and I cry a lot. But I know there is a way out. I can always choose life. That kind of hope is something I never had before.

And so, four years later I love Jesus more. I know His word more intimately and I need it more then I ever knew. [After all, no matter how hard I try, I do NOT have it all together!] I am more of a hot mess then I was then, but His grace, well, it covers that too. My sin is continually being revealed and I just keep thinking one of these days He will give me a break! I guess it will all come, when we see His face, yeah?

At Mercy Ministries, I fell in love with Jesus and He continues to guide me in this messy life on earth. I have reason to rejoice, hope and testify--only because of Him. I long for the day when He makes all thins new, and yet in the meantime I am so incredibly thankful for a life that is no longer consumed in myself, a life where I have the option to choose life over death. An option to share it with others consumed by death too.

Without my time at Mercy, I am quite certain I would not be on the other side of the world, burdened for needs and confusion of this broken nation. Without the Jesus I came to know through my time at Mercy, I don’t think I would be alive today.

(Thank you to those faithful women of God who serve with this ministry. Each of you have imparted wisdom into my life that still impacts my walk with the Lord today. And of course, my family and friends still on this journey with me--I am so thankful for you. Mercy sisters, we are blessed and I pray each of you would know His grace is sufficient [so boast all the more gladly in your weaknesses] today!)
Sarah, so thankful for you!!! 

And if you feel like reminiscing with me...

On Celebrating 3 Years of Mercy! [Mercy sisters and sister in need of Mercy, this one is for you!]

On Celebrating 2 Years of Mercy!


No comments:

Post a Comment