My Heart, My Voice
Hello to all the lovely ladies in the world on PulseWire!
I am not a writer/blogger at all, but whilst trying to write a short intro about me, this came out. So I have decided to share it.
In late 2010/early 2011 a very special cause came to my attention through a talk given at my local church. This cause does wonderful work to empower the survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation through education and employment. I immediately felt a need to support the cause and do anything I could to help them to raise awareness and funds to give beautiful girls hope for the future and a life of dignity and love. And from there, my heart is taking me on a path of learning and discovery I never dreamed I’d have.
Since doing some minor volunteering I have started to research and learn about women's humanitarian issues throughout the world - reading books and searching online and watching YouTube videos - and now I am struck every day by how most (not all!) of us in the western world go about our day to day lives, mostly in a shallow existence of selfish wants, materialism and overindulgence, whilst all over the world women are suffering neglect, abuse and terrors unimaginable to us in our comfortable homes with enough to eat and sometimes even more to spare, which we often don't even think to share.
Don't get me wrong, I am not a saint or out there making a difference in the world … the exact opposite in fact. I am living in that comfortable world of 'enough' with a great husband and a beautiful daughter. I spend money on meaningless things (shoes!) and then realise just how wasteful I've been. I can be selfish and judgmental. I get angry in traffic rather than being thankful I have a job and a car. I resent my housework instead of thanking the Lord that I have a nice clean modern house. But now I also feel something else - the tug of something inside of me telling me to do more with the life I have been given. I feel the urge to go and see with my own eyes the broken people in the world. I want to be changed by the firsthand experience of those lives, because I think that is the only way to really be able to shake off the wants and ways of the world and really truly live for something more. And I want to live for something more. I want to make a difference in someone's life. I want to give love to someone who needs it the most. I want to help feed people who don't have enough. I want to help sick people get medical care they can't otherwise afford. I want to see a girl learning to read and write, even though her community believes she doesn't deserve to be educated, and tell her she can do anything. I want to look into the eyes of a young girl rescued from the chains of a dirty brothel and tell her that her Father in heaven loves her and wants her to be free.
But I can't do any of that. In my life away from church no one does these things and most people think I'm being a silly girl and I hear things like 'Every awful story you read damages your soul piece by piece'. So I get that not everyone has a desire to live outside the box …. to leave the ‘cul-de-sac of life’ as Gary Haugen puts it in his book “Just Courage”. But … are they serious that I shouldn't read about the 12 year old girl sold into sexual slavery and dying of AIDS, because it upsets ME? I shouldn't learn about the appalling maternal mortality rates in Africa, because it hurts ME? Or the trauma and indignity women suffer from fistulas caused by obstructed labour, because it makes ME cry? I shouldn’t want to change these things? Well, here's the thing: I don't have to live any of those things do I? I don't have to wake up every day wondering if I am going eat today or not ... if I'm going be sold into slavery, beaten, raped, burned with acid or even if I am going to live or die. Nor do I have to wonder if these things are going to happen to my child, sister or mother. I can only read the stories of women who suffer so much pain to learn about the lives of our sisters in this world and any sadness I feel is not even one tenth of the trauma they live every single day.
I choose to read these things in order to give strength to that urge inside that I have to make a difference. The more I learn, the more firsthand stories I read, the more I want to get out and DO something. I understand my family & friends are just looking out for me, and they mean well, but I just wish I could explain in a way they'd understand why I don't care how reading these things make me feel, because I want to know about these girls and women in our world. I want to care about them and love them and I want to tell anyone who'll listen about them. I don’t want to live in the box anymore, going round and round the cul-de-sac of life and never doing anything of real kingdom purpose. And I don’t want live for money and material possessions anymore.
So while I am aware that with my limited resources, many responsibilities, and with still so much to learn, I DO have a voice and a means to shout out about the plight of our sisters all over the world. To take a stand and say ‘I want to make a difference!’ ‘I WILL make a difference!’, I do have access to social networking sites where I can share what I am learning and bring women’s humanitarian issues to the attention of people who otherwise wouldn't hear about it. If I can just get one other person to want to stand up and make a difference then that’s better than being quiet and doing nothing. I can also be careful what I spend money on and hope that one day I will be allowed to sponsor (a) child/ren and regularly donate to those organizations making a real difference out there, the ones I feel strongly about. I can volunteer whenever and wherever I can. I can keep learning and giving strength to that burning part inside me that is saying I need to do more for the broken people in our world. And one day, when the time is right, Jesus will lead me out to work for HIS army in a position HE will make just for me.