The last few weeks I have had the privilege of picking up J* from her home for Bible study. J’s life looks a lot like something you would watch on a soap opera.
Her father is addicted to heroin. But before her father became addicted, he had three strokes and was holding on to life by a mere thread. J escaped her own addiction to heroin just a couple of years ago. She used to work in a strip club – being pointed at, stared at, laughed at…picked but never chosen.
Everyday we choose things.The first time we picked up J for Bible study, she had been bawling all day. Her three-year-long relationship with her boyfriend had ended just a few days prior. Her car had been stolen and “junked” a week earlier. Not only that, but J also told us how she severely missed her two kids, whom she hadn’t seen since Christmas. To top it all off, on her way to my car, she dropped and broke her favorite cup!
J is fighting for her life. She is fighting to be chosen. But here’s the cool thing: J is chosen. All the women working in the adult entertainment industry are chosen.
The first day we picked up J, she shared a beautiful truth with us. She said, “Girls, even though all of this stuff is going on in my life, I know that we are sinful. We don’t deserve for the sun to rise again over us. We don’t deserve to take our next breath. But He [Jesus] gives us the opportunity anyway. The opportunity to wake up to a new day, a whole new host of opportunities.”
“We don’t deserve for the sun to rise again over us. We don’t deserve to take our next breath. But He [Jesus] gives us the opportunity anyway.”What a thought. She didn’t think God owed her anything. She was simply happy for what God had given her – breath in her lungs and the sun over her head.
Everyday we choose things. Some choices are simple, even no-brainers. Others are life-altering. Should I push snooze for an hour? What milk should I buy? What should I wear? What music should I listen to? Am I going to read my Bible?
My friend Andy once told me, “giving people a choice gives people power.” Jesus gave us the choice to choose Him. Sometimes we choose things over Jesus. We choose to lie, cheat, steal, wish our grass was greener, lust, the list goes on and on. BUT everyday Jesus still chooses us.
Day after day, Jesus chooses us, even when we don’t choose Him. J has chosen Jesus through shattered cups, shattered relationships and shattered dreams. Jesus is choosing to redeem J’s story, and J is choosing to allow Him.
Jesus gave us the choice to choose Him.Sometimes God works best with broken cups. Kids are my broken cup. If someone were to hand me a skills assessment right now, I would not circle “write child-geared lessons,” or “plan games,” or “change diapers” or “chase down runners.” I would not have chosen to minister to 2-12 year olds.
But you know what? It doesn’t really matter. Most of the time what I have planned and what God has planned for me can feel completely at odds. This summer I chose to come to Louisville. I chose to say yes to working with crazy kids. I chose to see beauty in my broken cup. You see, I knew I loved people with broken hearts, but I didn’t know the best way to minister to them.
What I’ve learned is the best way I can minister to the women at Scarlet Hope is through working with their children at the Day Program. And so, I write curriculum and I make up games, crafts and activities. I put together summer school worksheets, even though the kids dread them. I even get the opportunity to help them serve our community through kid-sized service projects. I am so honored to be “Miss Molly” to these kids once a week.
Day after day, Jesus chooses us, even when we don’t choose Him.I have made plenty of mistakes. The Lord knows I have sinned. But He keeps choosing me. He keeps choosing my fellow interns. He keeps choosing the women of Scarlet Hope, and He keeps choosing J. We serve a God who died, so He could be chosen. I am so excited to watch these women actively choose Jesus no matter how broken their hearts or lives may be.
*J’s name cannot be revealed due to privacy rights.