Passion - noun 1. Strong and barely controllable emotion. 2. The suffering and death of Jesus.
Passionate would be a description that most who know me would say about me.
I am one of those crazy people that is passionate about everything I get involved in, part of it is my tenacity…. My refusal to give up has taught me how to keep moving forward in the face of my many failures. It’s easy to be passion filled for things that you are gifted in or genuinely love and enjoy. But there is a God burning passion that you can’t run from and find any peace. When God ignites the flame in my heart for something He has planned for me, most often I feel ill equipped, unprepared, not necessarily gifted in or even is it something that I enjoy. Yet, there is a deep longing and desire to follow His leading, a call to obedience that I have learned is best not to ignore if I want peace in my soul!
I’d like to share with you one of the ways that God has lead me to His passion for my service to Him. Keep in mind that He has called me to many things over the years, some have been things that I have a natural gifting or talent for, but not always….
My latest experience started with dreams of women and children being abused and sexually assaulted… Horrific dreams that would cause me to wake in the middle of the night with vivid visions of nameless faces that I was compelled to pray for, for their deliverance and safety. This went on for over a month on almost a nightly basis. One morning, while getting ready for a women’s bible study conference on spiritual warfare, I looked in the mirror and said “Lord, I don’t mind being called to pray for those you put in my dreams, but YOU need to show me what I should/can do about this! YOU are giving me a passion for these people, I want to be YOUR hands and feet…”. That day at the conference the offering was for victims of sex and labor trafficking. One local pastor spoke about her group The Alabaster Gift, which was attempting to open a local Drop-in Center for such victims. Well, God pretty much handed me “what can I do about this?” , on a silver platter. The short version is I connected with this is amazing pastor and woman of God, joined their prayer team and one year later I am involved in training to be equipped to work at the Drop-In Center which will open next month. God is even allowing me to use my talents of decorative painting to help turn the space into a welcoming, beautiful and peaceful place for those who will come for healing.
This is not a passion I would have chosen! It’s a realm I would have preferred to believe didn’t exist…. However, it’s very real and happening in my own “backyard”. I am learning so much about grace, HIS GRACE. HE is equipping me and showing me the many ways in which my life and experiences have prepared me for such a time as this.
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, Let us stop with Spirit.” Galatians 5:24-25 This scripture immediately follows “The Fruit of the Spirtit”, let our passions be by the Spirit more than our own desires.
The teaching from the conference on Spiritual Warfare has been pivotal in this time of preparation, as you can imagine, the enemy is not happy about The Alabaster Gift Drop-In Center! It’s been said that working to stop sex/labor trafficking is like working at the gates of hell, you will feel the flames…. I must say that my God is greater…. I will not fear and where HE leads, I will follow!
*The Alabaster Gift Drop In Center is a community for women currently or previously involved in sexual and/or labor exploitation. The mission of TAG Drop In Center is to provide a safe haven for women to seek emotional, mental, spiritual and physical renewal. We desire to give women the opportunity to form personal relationships within a safe environment, identify individual care needs, receive connection to support services and utilize life skill and educational opportunities. Developed primarily to function as a bridge to complete holistic recovery, the Drop In Center will allow women the opportunity to have ownership of decision making in their lives and to understand the process of full recovery including transition to the appropriate long term services.