Sunday, October 26, 2014

Plans

"God has a plan for your life."  How many times have you said and/or heard that?  In fact, God said it Himself.  
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I was reflecting on my life as a missionary, specifically how I got here.  The winding path my life took before I moved here has been filled with wrong turns, reversals, wandering lost in the dark (well, I still often wander around lost...) and, of course, times when I followed the straight and narrow path and made some right (correct) turns too.   Did the Lord lay all of that out before I was born?  If so, I have some questions for Him. 

We had a sweet team here last week and one of the team members shared her testimony. Jasmine shared her story one evening and we had a fiesta with the safe house girls one night.  Their stories are similar, all harrowing and horrific...up until now.  Was their abuse part of God's plan for their lives?  Did He really lay all that out for them to experience all those horrible things?

It is easy to talk about God's plan for our lives when things are great or a young person's potential is obvious.  It is easy comfort to say, "Don't worry, God has a plan for you.  You'll get into college/get a job/find a loving spouse..."  It isn't so easy when you hear the stories of these beautiful young women. The stories that begin at age 2 in some cases or of the young girl who hasn't celebrated her 9th birthday yet. 

As I reflected on all of this, I began to think that God's plan is one of redemption.  He knows the twists and turns, some our choice, some not, that our lives will take.  I believe His plan is to redeem each twist and turn.  He knows what will happen and has planned the way He will redeem it.  

As I celebrated my birthday with the dear safe house girls, shared an evening with Jasmine and the team member, and sent the girls into paroxysms of laughter with another Spanish mistake (I described a future male visitor as naked instead of balding)  it is perfectly clear to me.     In the words of one of the girls, "I am a young woman with a great desire to get ahead, I know that God has brought me here for a purpose. Right now I do not know what it is, but every day God guides me step by step.  "  What the Lord said in Jeremiah 29:11 is true.  He has given each of them hope and a future, filled with love and joy.
 
Another member of the team spontaneously dances with one of the girls at the fiesta!

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