I feel speechless and have for some time but I pushed through it tonight….I have wondered if it is the lack of sleep…. the lack of “overflow” that I have felt in these past 3 months after adding our sweet fourth child into our family. The Front Porch certainly has been anything but quiet and the opportunites have been plentiful – there was no “maternity leave” from the Front Porch so to speak…. only stronger boundaries for a time. There have been some amazing times and lots of kids to love on and relationships to maintain – a lot can happen in a week around here. One thing I wrestle with is how to articulate what goes on in my heart when I sit with some of these women and children. I am always blown away and humbled when these moms come over…. and keep coming…. and come when they have BIG issues or want prayer. My heart is heavy for them… they have REAL BIG stuff going on and often no where to turn where they feel is safe. I know I can’t save them… but I feel affirmed in what God has called our family to be with Front Porch Ministry and am amazed at the relationships He has helped us form with these women and the trust that we have gained over the past four years. It hasn’t been easy. I feel like we have gone from people just wanting something to “get by” to people being desparate for “life change.” It’s both wonderful and difficult to be apart of sometimes.
Tonight we had a mom and her children over for dinner to help her fill out a job application and instead she spent most of the evening sharing with me about her abusive relationship and the fact that she dances for money to pay her bills when she is behind. She is hurting and has so much shame and yet I feel the grace of God flow through me to share boldly with her that God will make a way… and it might not be easy… but it will be one step at a time. Through donations with Front Porch, we can help her keep her lights on and not feel pressured to strip in order to pay bills until she gets a job. We can pray with her and encourage her that God has a better plan for her life… that she is tired because she can’t do it alone and needs help…. she needs a Savior… we all do, we are all a mess without Him. Luckily there is one…. and He died on the Cross for HER and for me.
Just in the past 2 1/2 weeks, I talked and prayed with moms about their runaway children, domestic violence abuse, one mom working in strip clubs to pay her light bills…I have been to the domestic violence division of metro police to help a mom turn herself in for violating her probation, been to night court, day court and accepted phone calls from jail. Thom has changed locks to protect a family from a dangerous man and brought groceries and rides to school for kids whose mom is in jail. Life is harsh for some of these children and moms and they haven’t even touched the surface about what this is doing in their hearts….it is enough just to live through the cirmcumstances. No wonder many of them have shared with me about their anxiety or depression. One mom came over for prayer after hours earlier sitting on the couch with a butcher knife, ready to take her own life.
I feel like an unskilled social worker and I try not to “Take it home with me.” BUT I LIVE HERE!!! How can I not take it home with me. It’s real and these lives are real and they are hurting so desparately. I know I can’t save them… only Jesus can….and I am so grateful that He is a work.
In the meantime…I feel called. Called to be available… to answer the door…. called to speak boldly. And is not because I have it all together…. it’s only because I know where I find “bread.” Ginny Owens has a song that’s lyrics are something like… “fellow traveler let me take to the place where I find rest….fellow seeker let me show you where I find true happiness…. fellow traveler…. I know where there is bread…good bread…. come with me and sit at the table and you will never go hungry again.”
I love that song (even though I probably just butchered the lyrics). Nevertheless, It reminds me of whose I am…. not who I am. I am just grateful others want to know “where I find bread.” Who knows….maybe they will join me “at the table” and…”never go hungry again.”