"God I'll do anything for you....anything!" Have you ever prayed that prayer? It's a scary thing to tell God that you would do ANYTHING for Him....what if he tells me to sell everything and move to Africa???? (Well I kind of wish He would tell me that!) Or start a nonprofit in the midst of being homeless with two kids and one on the way....hmmm....
I was at a desperate place in life when I prayed that prayer over three years ago. Life had literally fallen apart. Joe had lost his job, we had to move out of our lovely custom built home in the perfect neighborhood, and I found out we were pregnant with our third babe. It seemed like life couldn't get any harder. Where would we go, how would we get food on the table, and how would we pay for this baby when our health insurance left with the job?? It turned out to be a very dark time in our lives and the fight for light to enter into our darkness was just that, a Fight! I have come to realize lately that victory comes only after a battle has been fought. We often want that victory without the fight. That would be great in our realm of thought, but the Lord tells us, "we glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5
One night after we left our home and had moved into the in-laws basement I was laying in bed next to my shell of a husband with tears running down my cheeks. I felt so very alone, and confused. It was in that moment that the Lord whispered in my ear that I was not alone, that he would never leave me or forsake me, that He was my lover, my friend, my provider, my everything. He, in that moment, filled the void in my heart that I was longing for Joe my husband to fill, but literally was unable to. His joy became my strength, he clothed me with a robe of righteousness and adorned me with precious jewels. He said to me "You are Mine!" This was a turning point for me, and my ears we were now open to hearing his voice in a way I hadn't in a long time. And then he started talking, and asking me to live out the anything prayer I had prayed.
In the midst of what most would call chaos God called us to trust him and to step out in ways that seemed impossible!! But I was ready to do whatever he asked. I wanted more than anything to be in his will and to walk in His footsteps, because I knew that there was no safer place to be! In this time the Lord started to place dreams in my heart to minister to women in crisis. I had worked with women in crisis pregnancies and wanted to continue in that work, but do more. The Lord started to birth a vision in me bigger than anything I could take credit for, and he challenged me to walk this out in the midst of our storm. And so The Well was birthed right along with our third baby Alice Joy.
In 2012 I started meeting with other women to share my vision and gather a team to join me on this crazy ride! Well, some how they caught the vision and have stuck by me through the craziness. I am so very grateful for these warrior women!! In May of 2013 we opened our doors with a few diapers and some wipes, and women came. We opened our center with the idea that God was going to build this and he would guide and direct us, and He has never left us hanging! He has been so faithful to give us what we need when we need it. After being open for only two years we have opened a consignment shop called The Aspen as a way to bring in funding as well as offer a place for the community to gather. We also have come to realize that our fight is for women in domestic abuse situations, and joining with the one TRUE rescuer to help rescue them out of the situations they are are in. We have placed women in safe housing, gotten them into treatment, walked through the good and bad times with them, mentored them, loved them, and offered them a hope that only Jesus can give. We are also praying big prayers and dreaming big dreams to join in the fight against human trafficking. The passage we are walking out this year at The Well is Isaiah 61... "He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners..." It's an uncharted road, it's messy, and discouraging at times, but the victories are great!! Walking out God's calling on my life has only left me feeling more alive!
Since starting The Well we as a family have really seen how God is for us, and not against us. He knows what is best, and he has cared for our needs more abundantly than I could have imagined. It hasn't been all predictable or normal to the standards of society by any means, but He has always provided what we have needed and beyond, all the while keeping us dependent on Him. That's the place I want to be. Not sure of the next move, but knowing that it will be Great!
Surrender is an adventure. It's a bumpy and winding road, but the views are breathtaking. Come on the journey you won't be disappointed in fact I bet you'll finally feel ALIVE!