"Don't give up on us!" Those words hurriedly exclaimed as we walked away from M several weeks ago impacted me so much that I actually wrote them down next to her name where I take weekly notes. When we approached her tonight she was walking away from us, we called after her and when she realized who we were she walked towards us almost as if she couldn't help herself, as if she was being drawn in.
"I remember you, you prayed with me and everything began to change," she said as tears filled her eyes. She began to tell us the steps she had made towards getting out of the Game for good and how she hadn't been out in weeks until tonight... She asked that we pray for her, that this truly would be her last night. We offered to take her with us but she said it wasn't safe then because her pimp was watching her and would come after her.
We exchanged numbers and assured her that we willing to be a part of the process with her as she continued to make steps towards freedom. She left us with the same plea as last time, "please keep praying and...don't give up on us."
Those five words are so simple yet so powerful. How many times in a day do I want to give up?
It would be embarrassing to say, but the truth is sometimes the battle seems too great and I feel so small. And then I think about how often I say those same words to God, "don't give up on me.I know I'm making the same mistakes over and over, I know I'm putting my trust in worldly things, I know I'm choosing my way over yours.... but please, don't give up on me." And He doesn't. He remains steadfast, immoveable. He loves without condition. He pursues relentlessly, He corrects with gentleness again and again. He comforts me. Teaches me. Waits patiently for me. He never gives up.
And though I look at the women we meet on Friday nights; the circumstances they find themselves in, the lies they have believed, the overwhelming destruction and sense of hopelessness and in my flesh I want to give up, by the power of God's Spirit I am able to press on and love as I ought to love...as my Savior has loved me. And when I am overwhelmed and it looks like evil is winning and the battle rages on... I remember my Savior, the One who has overcome the grave, the One who has conquered sin and death, the One who is alive, the One who has made a way and desires that none should perish but that all should have everlasting life. I remember that it is He who is fighting this battle, it is He who sets the captives free, it is He who makes beauty from ashes.
I know that you who are reading this are in the midst of a battle too (whether you know it or not is a subject for another blog) and sometimes you feel like you will never overcome and you simply want to give up. Don't. But DO, run to the one who HAS overcome, run to Him and rest in Him. He has called you to this place, in this time, for His purposes. He will carry you through to victory which you already have in Him. In those moments when you feel like you're not enough (be assured that you aren't) trust in the one who is, who lives in you and loves through you.
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Don't give up on us." M, a young woman enslaved to prostitution and seeking freedom