Those 3 words were an urgent prayer I prayed 2 1/2 years ago when I first learned children were being sold for sex in this world; in MY world. At first, I didn’t want to believe it.
“The skeptic says, “This can not be.” The hopeful says, “There aren’t that many.” And the activist says, “Where are they and how can I make a difference.” (author unknown to this writer)
I was personally called an “activist” for the very first time in August 2008. The term, along with my name, was blazed across a headline in the Sacramento Bee (our local newspaper). When I first saw the headline, I was perplexed as to why the word activist was used to describe me! (I’m from the south and we don’t typically celebrate “those people”!) The Bee was reporting on the hideous crime of child sex trafficking in our city and the lack of homes for these young victims once they are rescued. I was included in the article because I had been passionately running around town telling anyone who would listen to me that “God’s people” were going to build a home for these vulnerable, invisible children – that they deserved a safe, loving home where they could discover their true identity and destiny. (It’s a wonder the reporter didn’t use the word crazy instead of activist to describe me!)
You may be wondering what type of impetus could cause such a radical transform from skeptic to activist. For me, it was simply a 3 word answer to my 3 word prayer. In seconds after I cried out to God “just do something” he seared my soul with these words, “why don’t you?” A profound silence cloaked my emotions. I truly experienced “time standing still”. And in that stillness, the entire course of my life shifted in seismic proportions. Though at the time, I could not have articulated that fact. Suddenly everything was so clear! I knew what I had to do; what I was called to do. It was simple. Hurting, abandoned, vulnerable children needed a home and I vowed to build them one. The thought became a burning desire and passionate resolve to see these children get what they deserved … a home! From that moment until this one, I have never once doubted this is God’s desire for these children. I knew I couldn’t do what I vowed to, but I totally believe that God could and would. That is how by faith, I began telling everyone I knew and everyone I met “we are going to build homes for children rescued from sex trafficking”. Yes, in the beginning people called me crazy! But I didn’t feel crazy … I felt alive, energized and confident it would happen – I just didn’t know how! When you believe something with all your heart, after awhile you forget to care what people think.
What a futile practice anyway! I wasted so many years of my life doing just that! Now I have this thing to do that is bigger than me, bigger than the trivial pursuits I sent most of my life involved in. I want my life to matter, to make a difference in the life of another. I am filled with a restlessness that makes me almost hyper! Time is moving at warp speed! If feels like the opportunity for me “to do something”; something significant in this world, for these kids is narrowing! I’m gonna be 50 years old this year!
Have you experienced it? That restless passion that often accompanies the age old questions “who am I and what am I suppose to be doing’! I would guess your answer to be yes if you are like the hundreds and hundreds of people I have personally met, spoken to and/or communicated with in 2009. Whether at Courage Conferences, Believe in Me Benefit Concerts or email correspondence, individuals have described to me over and over this same restlessness and sense of urgency I feel daily. Because of those many conversations, I have concluded we are a society, a people, united in our desire and desperate in our longing to point to something tangible, something concrete; dare I say something eternal and declare at the top of our lungs; “I was a part of THAT! I helped make THAT happen! Me, my life, I – made a difference!”
I believe God deposited those longings in each of us! I believe it is our destiny to make a difference in this world! While I am so determined to see children rescued out of sex trafficking and am so committed, along with everyone at C2BU, to build them homes, the overwhelming longing of my heart is to tell these children over and over again that they have value and a God-given purpose. I want to tell them they were created on purpose for a purpose. But that longing isn’t just aimed or limited to this precious population. I desire my husband, my kids, my friends, my neighbors and every single person that crosses my path to have the same revelation and realization. I long for YOU to know “you were created on purpose for a purpose!”
THAT reason was the entire reason Courage to Be You, Inc. (C2BU) was formed; to help people find their purpose! We believe in doing this, the world will be changed, one individual at a time. Our founding belief is that each and every human being is created by God “on purpose for a purpose” and discovering that purpose is the adventure of a lifetime! BUT (isn’t there always a “but”) it takes an enormous amount of courage to be and do all God created you to. Rest assured, courage is not a personality trait that some lucky individuals are born with! Thank God! For my natural tendencies gravitate more toward comfort, safety and security. I was thrilled when I discovered courage simply means action in the face of fear. “Just doing something” IS courage! Without courage – without doing something – there is no change in this world. There is no change in me. The desire to change the world, to impact the life of another is not a safe or cautious endeavor … it is downright scary!
On one particular day when my fears were paralyzing me, keeping me from “doing something”, God whispered these words to my heart. I ponder them daily …
“Fear does not come from me. BUT there are some things you should be afraid of”.
- “Be afraid you’ll fail too small for me.”
- “Be afraid you’ll settle for less than I created you for.”
- “Be afraid you’ll give up and quit too soon.”
- Be afraid no one will ever notice you were here.
These words help put my pitiful fears into perspective and keep me focused on what I believe God wants to do in and through me; in and through us at Courage to Be You! And He did so much last year!
2009 was an incredible year of breakthroughs, fulfilled promises and leaps of faith! Month after month, the ordinary become extraordinary, the mundane – miraculous, the natural – supernatural! It was truly a year of water walking and giant slaying! It was a year when God did “more than we dared to ask or imagine”. And it was a year he asked US to “do something”. I believe God is calling us all to be activists, to do something. Albert Einstein once said, “the world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing”.
I’d like to invite you to join us in 2010 and “do something” that will make a difference; that will change the life of a child. We invite you to be a part of something bigger than yourself. This newsletter and our website is filled with opportunities for you to do just that. What Can I Do?
Happy New Year. Jenny