"Even though you might not see my life changing what you are doing is changing me. Just to know that someone cares enough to come out here for us, nobody does that, not even our own families."
It's not a word for word quote but it's as close as I can remember. I've met N several times before and we always have a good connection with her. She told us last night that she'd been out there three years and that we had been with her all those years. She was grateful.
N is addicted to drugs and alcohol. She has given up everything to feed her addiction. She feeds her addiction so she can stay in the game. She is scared, desperate and heart broken. She knows the Lord and cries out to Him. She was in tears almost immediately and asked us to pray for her. She knew facing the truth was hard and our presence was causing her to do that but she wasn't afraid, she was comforted, because God called her worthy, beloved and was relentlessly pursuing her. And in that moment I'm reminded of the same truth, and comforted with her.
I don't know if N will ever be completely free this side of heaven. I pray that she will and won't give up hope but honestly, I don't know. But I do believe she'll be in heaven with me. If anyone grasps the gospel, it's N. She knows that she is undeserving and ensnared by sin. She knows that the only way she can stand in the presence of God is through Jesus, that she herself has nothing to offer. This, is the message of the gospel. And it's slow and sometimes unseen but the Lord is working, drawing her in and changing her heart.
It's easy to grow tired and weary, to focus on our own circumstances and want to give up and then we run into N and others like her and I'm reminded how incredibly privileged we are to do what we do. To walk the same streets week after week, to be the one to celebrate with God's beloved, to mourn with God's beloved. God intertwines each of our lives with many others and every relationship is an incredible gift. Some take longer than others to form and require more effort but all of them are a gift.
As you go through your days, look for God in the midst of your interactions with others. He is there, longing to reveal Himself to you. He's there in the extraordinary and the ordinary. He's there in the darkness and the light. He's there in times of faith and times of doubt. Everything around you will change, but God's love and pursuit of you will always remain. Even though you might not see it, He is there.