Friday, March 4, 2011

Georgia On My Mind

Specifically, Atlanta. So, the Lord did not call me to go to Atlanta with FCA this week but the city has not left my mind. If you read my blog regularly, or maybe even semi-regularly, you may remember that this year the Lord has been developing a new found burden in my heart for girls involved in sexual violence such as sex trafficking, prostitution, etc. And during my research I was astounded to discover that this is such a huge problem in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. Although I have never actually been to this city, it still blows my mind how I live in my own world oblivious to the violence going on around me. Just a few hours from where I walk the streets of my own town, whether at home or at school, unafraid for my life; with no thoughts of gangs, or violence, or without any knowledge or ability to fathom what some people are experiencing at that same moment. 
And lately I've been thinking about the age old question asked to college students, "What do you want to do after graduation?" And as an education major, I know that if God placed me in the classroom that that specific profession would bring me so much joy. But there's something else that brings me much joy I would not have much opportunity to do within the public school setting - sharing the gospel. Now yes, I could invite other teachers into my life and invest in them, but I would not truly be able to invest a lot in the children. And what about my burden and compassion for girls who experience violence in their every day life?
So, I'm beginning to pray that God would place me in Atlanta after graduation, with a teaching job, with community, but also....gulp....with the calling to labor for teen girls involved in gangs and sexual violence. 
oh. crap. 
This thought brings me so much excitement for the possibilities that could extend from that and the possibility of being involved in and supported in something I am so passionate about and compassionate for. BUT, there's always that other part of me, the part that wants to slap myself back into reality. The part that brings a million, legitimate questions to my mind: "What about my safety?" "What if I have to live in a neighborhood that sees a lot of this?" "Would I be able to reach girls involved in this lifestyle if I don't live in their neighborhood?" "My mother would worry herself to death" "What am I getting myself into?" "What if the school district I have to teach in that would provide me this opportunity doesn't pay that well?" 
All of these are legitimate questions which cause me to semi freak out a little. But all of these questions make me realize that yeah, it is OK to have these questions but it is also OK to not know the answer to them. But at the same time, that is not my role in this situation. That's God's role. It is his place, his role to answer those questions for me. In HIS time. And the reason He doesn't always answer these questions right away is because our response should be trust, worship, faith. I have a hard time trusting in God's characteristics at times. If God's response to my questions is that I should wait to know the answer to them, my response should be to trust in His sovereignty. My response should be that everything is God's intended plan and that His word promises me that He works everything for the good of those who call upon Him. My trust in His characteristics should lead to worship. The effect of trusting in His characteristics is worshiping Him because of His characteristics and worshiping Him for who He tells me He is and that He gives me the ability to trust in Him through the grace that He gave me and through the evidence of past covenants. God's word shows me that He keeps every covenant He makes with His people, in my own life God has kept every covenant, every promise He has made with me and therefore I am able to trust that He will continue to keep those promises and I am able to worship Him because I have seen that He is faithful. And all of this, leads to an increase in faith. The result of this is knowing more of God and who He is, furthering our relationship, and increasing my faith in a faithful God.