Bleeding heart

It has been exactly two weeks since my tired heart has returned to US soil. And I don’t know if I have recovered yet.

I have spent the past several months preparing to take a team to India for a short-term trip working with trafficking survivors. In reality, God has been preparing me for far longer, and He is still not done. For over 4 years, my heart has yearned to be on the front lines working with these women to help them reclaim their beauty and identity.

And God has allowed me to still be involved, has continued to open doors, and has challenged me with going back to school – all in preparation for what is to come. My time in India threatened to shake all of this loose, however, as I desperately wanted to stay and work with Rahab’s Rope indefinitely. But I am not ready yet, and this is maybe one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn.

Instead of encouraged and excited by the experience in India, I came home overwhelmed and confused. I was tired of talking about sex trafficking and did not really want to share what I had seen…again. This was not the first nor will it be the last time I have been exposed to this gruesome reality, left only to share stories that are not my own and hope to one day return to these amazing survivors.

I did NOT want to leave.

Even as I type these words, my heart is being ripped open again. I cannot seem to make the pain go away this time. My heart literally hurts when I think of these women. And not just the young girls I met in India, but the ones in Thailand and Cambodia, and the ones here, in the strip clubs in Charlotte.

Trafficking and sexual exploitation are everywhere. And now more than ever do I feel overwhelmed by what is to be done. There are so many that need help. So many that are crying out to be rescued. And here, here is why I am not yet ready to be let loose.

I am trying to be the rescuer.

In my own strength, I want to save these women. I run myself ragged and I get too emotionally invested. I hear their struggles and I want to fix it. But I cannot. God has given me this burden to carry, not to hold on to. He has asked me to care for these women, but that He will ultimately set them free.

I get it, but I am not there yet. So in the mean time, a battle rages in my chest. I know I have to let these women go, but do I trust Him enough to do so?

India

Isaiah 40:29–31

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

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2 thoughts on “Bleeding heart

  1. Hollis this is beautiful and your heart is too. I understand your battle….my squad mates would often tell me to get over my “save the world” mentality that tries to take it out of God’s hands and into my own sometimes. I am so glad you got to go to India though, and even though it is hard and exhausting to see this stuff yet again, our Father is continuing to use you and teach you in this realm. Glad to have a sister like you in Charlotte!

  2. Dear Hollis, We sympathise with you! It takes a while to get as far as you have got – realising that you can’t solve peoples’ problems. That is a very important truth to grasp, but for some of us (including me (Roger)) it is difficult to live it out. When we first started in Serbia we wanted to solve every problem we met. Then we felt overwhelmed, and started to think about solving the problems of just one group of people, then one family, finally one individual. It’s a huge burden that just frustrates and depresses us when we think like that. Of course we can help in measure, and for a while, but very rarely can we solve anything finally. The truth is that we can introduce people to the One who can “solve” their problems. (He may solve them by enabling people to live with, say, poverty or ill health. I guess that wouldn’t be His solution for the life-battered and trapped girls and ladies you meet.) It is a life-changing message we have. It is not primarily about solving our life problems, as I’m sure you realise, although that is very often the lead-in to a greater understanding of what Jesus has done for us. The message is God’s kingdom has come, and He invites us to leave our old way of life (a spirit/heart thing) and start to live in His kingdon in fellowship with Him, and with thousands of others around the world. I think many in the west believe we can live happily and meaningfully if all the material things are sorted for us. Fortunately, many people we meet have not swallowed that lie, and we see real joy in the midst of very difficult circumstances.

    I’m begining to ramble! The stuff that you are dealing with, and the girls you meet really churns me up. So I pray especially for you.

    With love from both of us, (athough this is mainly a reply from Roger) Rog and Sue.

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