In November, I was sitting in the airport waiting for my flight home from a speaking event when I heard a familiar sound beside me. It was the crinkle of turning Bible pages. I glanced over and saw the most adorable woman reading intently, so I couldn’t resist.
“What are you studying?” I asked. (Don’t miss her picture at the bottom. You can feel her energy and fun, so you know you would have talked to her too! )
That question opened the sweetest conversation where my new friend Anna’s story of giving unfolded. It was so moving that I wanted to share it with you here.
The reason I love it so much is that Anna gave from what was already in her hands. She heard from God, looked down at what she had, and gave generously. Think you have nothing to give? Well, listen to Anna’s story and maybe you’ll reconsider. Please welcome Anna!
My sweet friends, as I have been looking toward the Christmas season I have found myself wanting more. MORE!!!!! Let me explain.
As part of my business with a beauty, health and wellness company, we release an exclusive holiday line each year that is specifically for gifts for the holidays. People love this and wait all year for these products to come out! They are luxurious. I literally groan when I put them on because they smell and feel so good.
So! Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t get excited about the Open Houses I have lined up to release them this year. This is an opportunity for people to come, experience, have fun, and shop to their heart’s content for their friends and loved ones. Such a great time and I couldn’t for the life of me get excited about it. The dates were set, the holidays are approaching, but I couldn’t send out the invites.
Finally, after wrestling with this for weeks, I got still and asked the Lord about it. “What is this Lord?? Why can’t I get excited about this?! Why can’t I send these out these invitations? Friends, it came to me so quickly why I couldn’t get excited. It was because it didn’t matter. I laid it down and walked away, trusting His timing with my planning.
Two days later, I was in my quiet space with Him praying about other things when what I needed to do hit me. And I mean an immediate knowing. At each of my events I would provide blank Christmas cards for those who attend to write letters of love and encouragement to girls that have been rescued from sex trafficking. Additionally, anyone who wants to can purchase gifts for these girls at wholesale.
I started deeply sobbing knowing this was of the Lord. I immediately reached out to a friend who has been working with these girls and shared what God had just put on my heart. Seconds later, she texted me back–at 6 a.m. mind you–affirming this prompting as she had just stepped into conversation with a global organization who rescues these girls. My friend has been working locally and is now committed globally and I had no idea. This is the invitation of God.
Friends, I was scared. I am a little bit scared. I immediately asked 6-8 close friends to pray for me as I step into what I know is a battlefield. I have been roughed up in the battle in the past, and a piece of me fears stepping back in. But, girls, so much more than the fear of the battle is these beauties–the fight for their redemption– and the invitation of God. So much more!!!
Will I ever know them? Only God knows. What I do know is that He has given me an invitation to tangibly love His crushed vessels. His tender ones. And I have a literal balm of Gilead and a platform I can use to get it to them. We are calling this Gifts of Redemption. I say ‘we’ because it is so very we. It is the we of everyone who steps in.
Today I want to ask you, will you give when you feel pause? Even especially when we feel pause in activities that are common to us? Will you be willing with me to give this pause stillness and ask the Lord honestly and openly, “What is it Lord?” Will you lay down your plan in trust of His? And with that, can He have your Yes with whatever He tells you?
And can I just remind you that His promise to us is always life to the full?? As I wrote this He reminded me of 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
This requires our agreement. This requires our yes.
I have to tell you that Gifts of Redemption has come out of nowhere for me. This has never been a heart burning passion for me. However, from the moment I said “Yes”, He has only continued to give invitation even deeper into the Yes, and I am experiencing more and more of life to the full.
This season, let us step more and more into the Yes.
Meet Anna… Wife to Ryan for 9 years, momma to two babies in heaven and two babies in my arms, the deepest of my longings is to say YES to Jesus every single day.
If you would like to be part of giving to Gifts of Redemption, please email Anna at [email protected] for all the details. She’ll even write a handwritten card to include with your gift!
Also, consider what’s in your hands. A talent? A small business? Some extra time? In some quiet–a pause– ask God how He might want you to give what you’ve already got.