I sat on the plane heading home while musing over the events from my second trip to India. As with everything in India, the country where half my heart lives, it was a lot. Processing would take some time.
While I was in Calcutta and Siliguri, I listened and heard the stories from:
- A woman beaten by her husband for coming to our Christian conference.
- A teenage girl who had been taken out of school and promised into a marriage with an unknown man.
- A worship leader who as a young girl had been told over and over again by her father that she was unwanted and unloved.
- A dying old woman who had just found the grace of Jesus.
Their stories, along with a personal encounter with God that broke my heart wide open for a lavishing of His Love, left my heart tightly woven with His. Replacing my former numbness, a complex mix of emotions washed over me- grief over the devastating suffering, overwhelm with the vastness of needs, love for each dear soul I encountered, and joy in the redeeming work of Jesus I’d seen.
The listening and feeling left me aching but strangely alive.
For the first time in a long time, my Spirit felt responsive to God’s Spirit. He’d broken through just as my faith was slipping, showing His work in the midst of great brokenness in ways that left me hopeful.
Scrunched into a tiny space in a metal tube flying through the darkness, I remembered, and as the memories of the trip flooded in, I pondered. What’s next? Into the void of uncertainty, the Spirit whispered, “There are hurting women in the US too, Amy.”
In that moment, I knew that it was time for the next step. It’s wonderful to listen for greater understanding of different perspectives. It’s amazing to move from numbness to the vibrancy of feeling God’s heart beat. But neither of those first steps are enough. Next, we prayerfully take action. We step into the “doing.”
The Obstacles to Starting
Knowing that it was time to act was scary for me because of the obstacles I saw before me that felt huge. There were:
- So many needs
- An overwhelming number of possible choices of where to invest
- A feeling that was ill-equipped to do the good I wanted to do
Have you felt the same way? I believe that every Jesus girl has the desire to do a little good in this world, but the problem is that it’s hard to figure out where to start.
In the next few posts, I’m going to take you with me as I found a place to start, and I’m going to give you small steps to take so that it all seems do-able… because it is!
Every week, I’m also going to recommend a podcast episode for inspiration. Each contains an interview with a friend of mine who took one small step and then another into doing good where God called them. I hope their stories fuel you to start thinking about your “do” in our series of steps…
Listen –> Feel –> Do –> Speak
In the meantime, what have you been hearing as you listen? What have you been feeling as you engage with your world?
Grit ‘n’ Grace Episode of the Week
Gathering People for Good at Your Table Cary Heise, this week’s “Seed-Sender” guest, has always been a people-gatherer. Now she uses this gift to draw people around a table for great good. Instead of down-playing your gifting, what if you identify and start to leverage it? If you’ve been unsure of how to step up into your calling, this episode will spur you on and inspire you!
Note: Don’t let the “big-ness” of what these gals are doing intimidate you. Not everyone is called to start a non-profit (I haven’t!), and each of the women I’ll highlight started with small steps. Just like us.
Another Little Note
I hope you’re all loving the changes to my website! We launched it last Friday with some new features, so I hope you’ll click over and look around. We listened to you, and hopefully your emails are much easier to read now, too!