The moment(s) when everything changed.

Life changing, life defining, life altering moments are for me points in time that I want to remember, cling on to and never lose the feeling when you know things will never be the same.

First let me take you back 13 years ago when I got my heart broken, completely broken.  My very safe, very middle class, my very new Christian life was blown out of the water when my friend Peter asked me to be part of a team to go to Romania. I go, of course I do, and there is where I meet him.              photo

A guy called GG who lives literally in the sewers, on the streets, who trusts no one, who barely looks at any of us and has had to survive more than any of us will ever have to imagine and who breaks my heart into pieces – the scars on his arm were only part of how devastating his life was.

He changed everything – a moment when everything changed.

I stood on a tram with a team I was just getting to know and I wept and God takes everything, everything and changes my comfortable safe dream to a dream where I know nothing will ever be the same again.  In those sewers 13 years ago, with those street kids, I have never felt more alive. My heart broke because they were made for better things, they deserve dignity, they deserve to be loved, to feel safe and not have to sell themselves or their possessions to eat and survive.  The broken, the poor, the marginalized are who I seem to fit with because I know God sees them as His children, worthy of love. He feels the same way about us. The abused, the hurt, the rejected and the ones who need Jesus the most, I get.  I am there, sign me up.

These kids had no care of what house I lived in nor what dinner set I owned nor what car I drove.  They blew my middle class dream out of the water and created a brand new one right there in a place that stank of everything that Jesus never wanted for these precious lives.  I would go back in a heart beat.

These stories are not just on the Romanian streets….all of these and more are right here, on our streets, in our schools, in our towns, in our cities.  You just need to look.  God wants to use us to tell a broken people that it was never supposed to be this way. God wants to tell a broken world that He wants to fix and repair all things. Will you join me and be part of what He wants us to do?

I believed for a long time my past, my brokenness, my pain was because God allowed it so I could help others. Totally crap.  I heard a talk recently that opened my eyes to this truth.  Jesus never intended for us to have a life of brokenness, hurt, abuse or pain. He has wanted from the beginning of our lives to have a life of wholeness, not broken, twisted or bad –  it just, for some doesn’t happen that way.

I wouldn’t change much about that trip but this I would change, I would tell all those street kids that would listen that life was never meant to be this way.  This is not the way it was intended to be.  God created us to live life to the full and to have a full life.  He never means for us to be hurt and broken.

What he does though He begins to take all broken fragments and all the broken pieces and put them back together again – one by one. He gives us His Spirit  and He uses His people – His love and their love hand in hand.  For me,  He revealed His Son to me and when I finally surrendered all that I was, He began to work through the Father’s love and the Spirit’s power.  My life screamed of a life that needed Jesus.  Once He showed me who He was He then brought people into my life who didn’t play games, hurt intentionally, or want something in return but people who showed me I am worthy of love, friendship and healing.  He uses them one by one to heal the brokenness, to soothe the sting of the scars and to instill courage and bravery.  He uses them to show me that this is how it was meant to be. These moments; each of them life defining and life changing.

The brokenness is still there, and it could be there for a while, but in my craziness and in all that I have there is hope.  Hope that I can go tell a broken world that you were made for more than this.  I want to scream it has loud as I possibly can.  To bring hope, courage, love and Jesus.

My dream for my life changed that day, and now it’s a simple dream, a dream that I will make a difference to one person. That I can show them that my God, my Jesus intends their life to be a life lived to the full. The brokenness was never supposed to be there but it can be fixed – fragment by fragment.

photo (1)                                                                             photo (2)

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