What a busy week it’s been.
My brain has not stopped to rest. My heart feels as if it’s about to break into a million pieces. And my body just wants to do MORE. I want to help MORE. All of us feel this way. My friends/teammates are all responding differently:
Prudence is having dreams in Russian, which is interesting since she doesn’t speak it.
Alise keeps crying out of love, anger and empathy, which just makes me love her more.
Makeda is making up stories about addictions she doesn’t have.
Michelle keeps beating me up to prove a point… and I love it.
I want to collect all these babies and their Mama’s and just take them home with me.
Idelette carries more and more bags everyday and keeps buying fruit from vendors.
That was right before Michelle took me down.
This evening, we spent some time in the Youth Center talking to teenagers. Maria talked about the hiring process for employees in the US. The kids are brilliant. They had some really great questions, and honestly… if I had a business and they were legally papered to work in the US, I would be the first to hire them.
One of the girls who was asking the most questions was sitting right next to me.
Meet Anastasia. She’s 21 and studying at the University. Isn’t she beautiful?
Her English is better than some Americans and her questions were filled with intelligence and hope. Then she said something that made my heart sink:
“I’m not so smart… but if I stay at a job and work hard, could I get an increase in pay?”
Not so smart??? This girl is BRILLIANT! You could see it in her eyes and in how she listened. But how could I say anything? I didn’t even know her.
In that moment, I prayed:
“Lord, speak Your truth into her heart. God whisper who You’ve created her to be into her ear and let it travel to her heart to stay. Block the lies of the world that have hurt her, and change her for Your glory. Let her know she matters. Help her believe!”
After the program, she turned towards me and we started chatting. She shared a little of her story and we talked about working hard for what you want but staying balanced. After a bit, she asked me a something along the lines of: “How do you stay balanced? I get home from school and work and I just feel empty!” I’m sure I said something brilliant (of course), but the only thing I remember specifically was that I thought she should write. Like how I blog, she should write and allow her feelings, ideas and discoveries to be spilled out onto the page. She seemed to cling to that idea.
Photo by PrudyChick
Then I said: “Anastasia… when you said you were not so smart… you know, that’s absolutely NOT true. In talking to you and watching you, you are SO intelligent, smart and beautiful! You can’t say things like that to yourself.” She agreed and said, “I won’t say it again!” As we continued talking, I thanked God for that moment and hoped she heard the truth about herself.
As she asked more about why I blogged, I began to share Brian’s and my story of Restoration. Never did I see any judgment in her eyes. Just understanding. We are not who we were yesterday when we choose who we are tomorrow. We continued chatting, and the crowd around us grew. Before we knew it, the rest of my team was talking to Anastasia. 10 women, pouring into 1. Then she said something profound:
“I am going to change the world. I think that we are something special. We are not our parents. We will do something better!”
We found out later that 3 years ago, she was a very different girl. We weren’t told any details, only that she went thru a very dark and sad time… and that it’s a miracle she’s alive and here with us today.
Alise cried. Prudy commented that my words may not have come at a better time. I felt amazed. Honestly, just humbled that I got the opportunity to meet such a bright and wonderful young woman. I’m glad she wasn’t taken from this world 3 years ago because she blessed me tonight by letting me remember God’s grace for what it is… AMAZINGLY MIRACULOUS.
And today, He is just as real as He’s ever been. God is still in the business of miracles, and I believe we’re watching one in the works.
Anastasia’s gonna change the world, folks. The truth is… we ALL can. One day at a time, one choice at a time. I’m truly humbled and privileged to know her.