Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Leaving The Comfort Zone

A few weeks ago at church, the pastor said this: "God will never use you in your comfort zone, but will comfort you when you choose to live for Him..."

When I was in junior high, I was doing something to further God's kingdom. I was part of a social justice team through my youth group that got together every week to talk about justice issues and to plan ways to help with them. We planned 30 hour fasts. We organized competitions for Samaritan's Purse's shoebox campaign. We read the news. We discussed how God called us to relieve suffering... I felt like, and I was, an active member of God's family.

Then I got to high school, and I became comfortable. Somehow I lost my drive to help others in tangible ways, and sat back and watched other people do it. Maybe I felt I didn't have time; maybe I was just too proud to humble myself and give my time to something bigger. But neither are good excuses. I stopped fighting injustice, and I started becoming apathetic. I still cared about the less fortunate and the abused and the hurting... But I stopped caring to the point of action.

I nestled into this comfort zone even further when I went away to university. New friends, new opportunities, new ways to spend my money, new temptations. I had moments where I wondered to myself, "Where did that caring girl go?" ... But as it is with apathy, my thought train never got chugging any farther than that.

Then God intervened in my life last summer and blessed me with the opportunity to lead a small group. I knew I was looking for something more, and ended up developing from leaders to good friends to best friends to for-real being together with the love of my life, David.

We spent mid-August until the end of April loving each other from long distance, in cities 3 hours apart from one another. And as much as we cherished that season because we grew so much by being apart, there were definitely unbearable moments where it just felt impossible to be away from one another for one more moment. In the midst of one of those instances, I cried out to God, "Lord, give me something MORE to focus on!" And being the wonderful and knowing Father He is, soon after, a friend of mine posted a link to the trailer of a documentary called Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. Wanting to see the whole thing, I checked out their website, and in a Spirit-inspired moment, I fired off an email asking to host a screening of the movie in Edmonton. I kinda thought, "They probably won't reply... But whatever, I'll send it anyway." I like to think that gave God a good laugh. ;)

Days later, a girl named Heather emailed me saying she had got my name from Exodus Cry (the organization that created Nefarious) and I knew at that second that God had now given me a task. This was my 'something more', and I remember sitting in my chair laughing out loud because I was so stunned to have heard an answer so quickly, both about the movie, and from God! (I'm glad He doesn't always work on our schedules... Sometimes we're actually way behind Him!). Heather and I met in the next couple weeks to start planning for our first screenings, and actually just showed the film to pastors in Edmonton two weekends ago. And this Friday we'll be screening the documentary at my home church in Calgary! (So... If you're interested, shoot me an e-mail!).

I've always felt that God gifted me with writing, and I wanted to start this blog to put that talent to use, to share my thoughts and ideas about how we can combat trafficking both locally and globally, and to inspire others to action. Friends and family, I hope you'll follow along in this journey with me, through prayer and actual help when I need it. I'm blessed to have lovely friends who are providing baking for the screening on Friday. Not to mention the endless support David provides... He's heard many a rant from my spurting mouth; bless him. But as God continues to move in this abolitionist movement, I'll have more and more opportunities for your support. I'd love to hear from you if you'd like to chat or learn more about what you can do to combat human trafficking, or some other issue that lights your soul on fire.

Is human trafficking a comforting passion to have? Absolutely not. A lot of the testimonies, articles, books, and movies I invest my time into learning from now make me sick to my stomach. They make me need to get fresh air to stop myself from exploding at the injustice of it all. But I know this is where God is going to use me. This is also where God is going to comfort me when opposition arises.

So I'm officially leaving my comfort zone of apathy and publicly sharing with anyone and everyone who happens to read this that this is my calling, and extending the invite to join in this movement of the Lord's beautiful Kingdom coming to earth and relieving the suffering of so many whose bodies are being exploited. Together, let's break the chain-like bondage that traps so many women, children, and men in modern-day slavery.

"Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." (Luke 11:2)

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