Life has entered turbo speed with kids in school and church planting and working…haven’t written as much as I have wanted to.
This past week, I was driving over to Abilene (about 2 hours away from us) and as is my habit, I was listening to podcasts on my way. I follow Shawn Bolz’s podcast and I have listened to every one. Basically, he interviews inspiring people asking them about their “God journey”. Every episode is inspirational. This particular episode was with Harmony “Dust” Grillo. Click here to listen.
Let me start this by sharing a little of a testimony. Many moons ago, I met a girl (we eventually became friends) through my sisters who was a stripper. She attended high school with my sisters. This is a few years after we all graduated high school. I’m not clear on the details of how she came to our church. I think she was hanging out with some church guys (they were not yet men but they should have been…seems to be the way things go these days) who weren’t really on a Christian journey at that time but they all grew up attending church and were close friends. Again, I am not sure about all the details but it was shady. Yes, I said it. They were going places and doing things they shouldn’t have been doing. She came to church and as we are prone to do, the sisters adopted her and tried to “fix” her. We loved her (our heart was in the right place). I still love this woman. She is smart, funny, charismatic…someone I like hanging out with. At that time, we knew about deliverance but we knew very little about inner healing. In hindsight, God had been walking me through so much inner healing but I didn’t have the tools to make it simple for others. My answer was simple, “pray more, pray often, pray harder”. God does answer prayer so it’s isn’t a bad method it just doesn’t work with that well with unchurched people because they do not understand what that means. After a few months, we told our friend she had to stop stripping and get rid of all her stripper stuff and start dressing more appropriately, etc…all the “church girl” answers. She did what we suggested. She tried. She got baptized. She attended church regularly and hung out with us. She was involved. I’m not sure it stuck. I am still in touch with her but I’m not sure if she attends church. I always want to know why the “God relationship” sticks for some people and not for others. If I am involved in helping others, I want to know “how I can help others in a better way in the future?”.
Back to Ms. Grillo’s story. She has a background as a stripper and “call girl” (I haven’t read her book and I may be using these terms loosely). I do not want to tell her whole story because you should listen tot the podcast. How she came to the Lord is funny and sweet. She wanted to get a boob job. She was scheduled to get new, bigger boobies. One of her coworkers (also a stripper) told her not to do it. The co-worker told her that she got them, attended a ballet class, felt ridiculous and had them removed. She canceled her boob job and joined a ballet class. This woman had been molested and used by men her entire life…she didn’t go into details but ran away from home at age 13 because her mom’s boyfriend was molesting her. At the ballet class, she met a young Christian woman who became her friend. The young lady did invite her to church but the friendship was never contingent on her attending church. She started attending church on Sundays….even changed her stripper schedule to be off on Sundays. BUT SHE DIDN’T STOP STRIPPING. The church welcomed her and loved her on her JOURNEY. She said she actually began practicing abstinence while she was still stripping. Eventually, she describes a moment of walking into work and feeling naked for the first time (the Holy Spirit).
As a pastor, I want to reach these desperate women who have fallen into a lifestyle that is killing their souls. I want to reach people who have lost all their self-value.
I know in this scenery, I’m the church girl. They probably believe I have no way of relating to their lives. We all lose sight of our value at times. I may not have fallen into the sex industry….but for the grace of God.
Shawn Bolz added to the conversation describing some ministry he did when he and his friends went to the streets and how he met some high school friends walking the streets.
Both of them talked about letting people go on their journey with God.
I wondered about my friend. Did I love her well? Did she know God’s love through us? Did she understand how much God loves her and how He wants to be known by her? Does she know?
The thought crossed my mind….wow, we really have to trust God to be the Holy Spirit to these people. We have to trust that God is working even when we do not see with our eyes what is going on. We have to TRUST HIM.
Here’s the shortage. It’s hard to TRUST HIM with others when we are not TRUSTING HIM in our own journeys. We have to TRUST HIM with our spiritual walk; with our finances; with our kids; with our marriage; with our situations….
Our lack of trust in winning people who are far from God is an indicator of where our trust level is in our own lives.
If we want to win others, if we want to see the lost saved and changed then we have to increase in our faith and our trust in God.
TRUST HIM. He is for you. Oh, and that friend you think is soooo lost…pray for them, sto trying to control them; pray and trust God. He’s big enough to handle them and their situation.