I have diligently begun each day physically with open hands, not gripping, clenching, or holding onto anything; wide open palms asking the Lord to teach me something new. Recently I’m learning that healing comes through divine faith.
Valentine's Day was celebrated this year at the Learning Center with a few students passing out bougainvillea petals, others exchanging notes of admiration, and even more students simply meandering about telling one another why they love and are grateful for each other. What a gift!
That evening, I was blessed to introduce and share Galentine’s Day with a couple of the girlies! Galentine’s Day is a day to celebrate with the girls and women in our lives whom we love, value, respect, and treasure so deeply. It was such a precious evening spent giggling and sharing stories. About half way through feasting on pb&j sandwiches, mangos, and chocolates, one of my sweet students abruptly (and quite out of the blue) announced that Jesus has saved her from sexual abuse on three separate accounts. Immediately, silence fell within this little cottage where we ate. Before questions could even be raised, she unexpectedly jumped into a series of stories of how her Savior has in fact “rescued her from rape.” As she was spilling her heart out to us, the only thing I could think was: How could you let this happen, God? Why would you let this happen? As soon as she was through giving the depths and details of each incident, she quickly looked up, smiled at me, and said, “He saved me. He is good.” Still speechless, the only thought I had now was: Miracles do happen. She is brave. Although, I know there is still much healing to be had, I also know that her strength is immense and our God is bigger than this pain.
Later that night, as I was washing dishes and reflecting on our dinner, I was reminded of the mother in the book of Matthew chapter 15.
In this passage, a Canaanite woman is desperately falling at the feet of of Jesus, crying out for help. She’s shouting for healing for her daughter who is possessed with demons. Jesus’ disciples want nothing to do with her, telling Jesus to “Send her away!” (15:23). The first time she asks, Jesus declines her request but that doesn’t stop her. I can’t help but wonder why Jesus, our loving Jesus, reacted and responded the way He did, telling her: “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs” (15:26). This woman’s daughter is suffering and her life is at stake, and yet Jesus has refused to do anything. Maybe He was testing her, or maybe He was trying to teach her to understand his true mission for being there, either way, this evokes an extremely raw, honest remark from the mother: “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table” (15:27). This woman displays such meekness and credence by telling Jesus that she’d graciously acquire any uneaten scraps of his supernatural power that may enter her life (like dogs eating crumbs from children’s food underneath a table). She expresses enormous courage by refusing to take no for an answer, and Jesus sees this! This account concludes with Jesus saying to her: “‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed at that moment” (15:28). Jesus miraculously grants this mother’s plea for help because she has shown great faith.
I am learning and longing for faith like this woman. I am falling at your feet Lord, hands wide open, ready to receive. I am this mother begging Him to drive out these “demons” - these demeaning, shameful, degrading thoughts that have stemmed from past abuse, and now have produced self-loathing and self-doubt within these girls who sit around my table. I am this mother refusing to take no for an answer, pleading for intense healing in their souls. I am learning to have divine faith that these girls will be freed from these inner thoughts and stand firm, knowing and truly believing they are loved, seen, cared for, cherished, adored, liberated, and created in the perfect image of God. So I look to Him, palms turned up, seeking restoration in these hearts. We have faith that You are here and You are healing.
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