It was a hot humid summer night, you know the kind, where your clothes stick to you and we had just arrived in New Orleans for our missions trip. We were standing outside and in that place I prayed the prayer that would change the trajectory of my life forever. It was July 2000, that night was the night I prayed that God would break my heart for the things that broke His. That night my heart was broken for those all around me. Those who were hurting, it was like a caught a glimpse of all those around me through His eyes.
As someone that is a thinker, to feel an overwhelming rush of feelings and heartbreak for those around me definitely changed me. I had been serving in church before I went on my trip, I loved serving others (I am a doer), but I did it because it was needed and I was raised to do things that need to be done. That night though, something changed in me and serving was no longer just because it was needed.
I remembered this night earlier this week, because I was sitting in a room with our Congo ministry describing how we got to be in that room. Now I knew that I needed to tell the most recent version of the story in that meeting but my mind wandered back to the moment when I prayed the prayer that broke my heart for the hurting and the lost. As I was remembering that moment and how much of a change it brought, God quickened my mind back even further, to the friend that invited me to youth group with her all those years ago. Even though I was raised in church, that youth group is where I began my relationship with Jesus. That friend had a Nana, you may have read about her before (she came and picked me up for youth group). I think about how much God ordained each individual interaction along the way, and that without each one of them the outcome would have looked very different.
Today, I work as a social worker, I spend time with the hurting, the lost, those that have a special place in God’s heart. The times I spend with each person, I pray that I am able to be Jesus with skin. That I can show them His love. However, the heart for the world has only increased, the dreams have grown exponentially. I look at all that God has done in my life and now I am compelled to share with others His transformational love.