Today is a guest post by my friend, Chrystal Evans Hurst. I think you’re really going to be encouraged by it; I was!
I always thought that I wanted to be a mom.
I remember playing “mommy” with my siblings and enjoying being in charge and the director of all activities for those little people in my care.
I always thought that I’d be good at it. I envisioned June Cleaver’s well-kept home, Claire Huxtable’s patience, and Aunt Bee’s wonderful cooking. I thought I’d handle all of my motherly responsibilities with ease.
I always thought that it would be easy. How hard could it be to feed a baby, change a few diapers, or chase a two year old? How difficult would it be to help with homework, drive the mini-van, or participate in the PTA?
I always thought motherhood would be a piece of cake.
I didn’t think that it would drive me insane to read the same story hundreds and thousands of times. I didn’t think that I’d sweep the kitchen floor only to find minutes later that somebody decided to toss the snack bowl of cheerios onto the floor. I didn’t know that I’d have to choose between getting things done during nap-time or catching up on a few Zzzzz myself.
I didn’t know how tired I would be or how overwhelmed I would feel or how often I’d realized it was 3:00 p.m. and I still hadn’t showered.
I didn’t think that I’d have colored so many doggone coloring pages being a woman with college degree or that I’d have learned how to make play-doh because it just didn’t make sense to keep buying stuff that never fully returned to the container.
I always thought motherhood would be easier than what my experience has shown it to be.
But I also didn’t know that I would find such joy in kissing my child’s soft cheek over and over again. I didn’t know that those middle-of-the-night feedings would become some of my favorite memories. I didn’t know that my heart could love so hard.
I didn’t realize that loving smiles from me could help form my child’s self-esteem. I didn’t understand that being behind on laundry didn’t matter so much when that time was exchanged for more time together with my babies on the coach with a good book. I didn’t know that taxiing my kids around would let me be privy to their hearts and minds and they chatted with friends and teach me who they were becoming.
I didn’t realize that motherhood would be one of the hardest and yet most fulfilling things I would ever do.
I may be great at it sometimes, and struggle at others. I may be losing my mind in one minute, and full of joy in the next. I may feel like I’m living my dream one week and then on the weekend wondering when I will emerge from the twilight zone.
But what I thought I knew about motherhood or what I thought I could be in my mothering doesn’t matter so much.
What matters is that I AM a mom and that it WILL be hard and wonderful and messy and marvelous all at the same time.
What matters is that I’m here now, mothering. And while I’m not June, or Claire or Bee. I am me. And that’s all I need to know.
I’m my kid’s mom. And that’s good enough.
Chrystal Hurst is writer, speaker, and worship leader in addition to serving as the chief executive operating officer in her home as a wife and mother of five. She is a self-proclaimed “geek” and bibliovore, who is actively seeking help for her addiction to Starbucks, sweet tea, and chocolate chip cookies. Chrystal blogs regularly at Chrystal’s Chronicles.
Chrystal also just came out with the book, Kingdom Woman.
In Kingdom Woman, Tony Evans and his daughter, Chrystal Evans Hurst, remind women of their calling from God to be free, delivered, healed, and to have hope. The authors bring insight that encourages women to correct distorted perceptions and understand who they really are in Christ—never settling for less because they are connected with the One who gives them hope. A kingdom woman is called and empowered to live a life of victory through Christ!
Take a look at the book HERE!
In fifth grade my teacher made the class watch Roots.
And it was that year because of that teacher that I was convinced that any type of injustice because of race, any idea of race superiority, any notion that it was okay to demean another because of the color of their skin, became vile to me.
The very thought of men and women and children being ripped away from their homes and forced, violently, to become slaves, leaves me gutted.
Quite a few years later, at a used bookstore, I stumbled upon The Slave narratives. I was again transported to a world of utter darkness and perversion. Reading the stories of real-life slaves made me hurt deep.
And it made me mad.
I felt angry that such injustice not only existed, but was common place. But of course it was, because deeply embedded in the very soil of our beings is sin, a very nature that opposes God by default. And in opposing God, we are opened to a host of dark things, some which sprout and some which stay buried deep. But they’re there, in all of us. And this epic battle of good and evil that we can’t fully understand is raging, and we’re in the middle of it, trying to live and find hope and not fall too hard. But the fight is on.
The freedom of African slaves was a monumental victory for good. I thank God for the men and women who fought for and secured freedom for the shackled. I thank God for the voices and the movements and the interventions…for the doing instead of just praying or hoping.
Oh God, make me a doer.
But now friends, there is more doing that must be done.
Right now on our watch little boys and girls are being sold and abused. On our watch.
It’s happening now, and it’s happening to not just a few “unlucky” people. And it’s complicated and hidden and confusing, but the fact is there are millions of slaves in our world, right now.
God, that’s an overwhelming number, isn’t it? I mean, I can’t even wrap my mind around it, and so I just go on about my days and don’t think too much or too hard about it. Because I can’t. It’s far away and I’m here and I’ve got kids and a home and a Bible study to lead and books to write and…
And then I look at my little boy and my little girls and I think how far away is really right here in my arms. I hold my little ones and somewhere some mother isn’t holding her little ones because some pervert is instead.
Oh God. Make me a doer.
Show me God, what can I do?
Laura told me her story…
“It’s a story that doesn’t involve a Jason Bourne, Mother Teresa or a superhero. It’s a story, instead, of failure, fear, isolation, and the very, very ordinary.”
Laura told me about living in South East Asia as a missionary with her husband Matt and their small children. And then she told me how a partner in the field told Matt about a suspicious bar that displayed pictures of young girls taped to the back wall under the guise of an orphanage. Laura and Matt called organizations specifically working in counter-trafficking in the area, but they found no one willing or able to go in and check it out.
Finally, two of Matt’s friends said they’d go, if Matt went with them.
“None of them had ever visited a strip club before, none had undercover or military experience. Just three ordinary men – with kids and wives and their favorite football teams.”
They went into a brothel on their first undercover mission.
“…girls stood on stage with numbers pinned on the shoulder straps of their skimpy dresses.”
After processing that mission, Laura and her husband questioned that if the need arose, would they send him out again?
They had this question at the forefront of their minds because they found out that while there are policies set up for victim rescue, there was very little being done to actually find and rescue victims of sexual slavery.
“People like to talk about trafficking, but not a lot of people actually help.” They were told.
But they couldn’t shake the thought, “What if it were our children? Wouldn’t we want someone to figure it out? Wouldn’t we want people to go looking for them?”
They decided he would go out again, that very week.
People told them he shouldn’t go alone, so he would ask others to come, but no one would.
“And we got it, we did. There are a million reasons why upstanding moral men don’t belong in strip clubs. A million. There are marriages, triggers and dangers. There are reputations to protect and pitfalls to avoid. There are entire organizations whose work might crumble if they sanctioned undercover work in brothels.
We couldn’t get passed the idea that maybe there was a noble reason for a good man to frequent a brothel, after all.”
So he went.
“And then the girls entered. A line of ten. They wore short skirts and high heels. Their long, straight hair, dark and beautiful. Each had applied white face powder and fake lashes. China dolls.
‘Would one would you like? You can have two,’ the Mamasan said.
It felt like a slave block…
The auction block with half-naked Africans had morphed into a line-up of barely dressed prostitutes. This was still happening. And it wasn’t 12 million this time, it was 27 million. And this was my generation, my watch…
Young boys delivered to pedophiles. The virginities of teenagers sold for a premium. These were the realities that became threads in the fabric of our lives, woven into our everyday. And the more the stories came to light, the more resolved we became to invade the dark.
Rescue needed to be more than a trendy, dramatic word. It needed to become a reality.”
Oh God, make me a doer.
“Friends, we’re on the field and our faces are painted Scottish blue. And William Wallace didn’t yell for his men to keep thinking about fighting for justice, didn’t call them to wait for the answers to come in a convenient time and place. Because vague doesn’t call soldiers from the ridge and onto the battlefield. Waiting doesn’t rescue children in brothels.
Justice is in the hands of the ordinary, and if rescue is going to come on our watch, we need an army of passionate, committed people to bring it.”
Friends, let’s bring it.
Let’s be doers. Let’s help to rescue these boys and girls. We can do this.
If you want to help, head here to learn more and to donate. You can also follow along as I learn first hand about human trafficking. I’ll be going to SE Asia with The Exodus Road in April. Learn more about that trip HERE.
My husband and I are supporters, and we’re hoping to do more…to go, to do. But for right now, there is this. There is our team. There is rescue on the horizon.
Love, Sarah Mae
All quotes are from the book The Exodus Road by Laura Parker.
UPDATE! I’m going to SE Asia with The Exodus Road this April (2016)! Read all about it HERE!
Search and Rescue FAQ here.
Read about Exodus Road in the news.
Photo Credit: Slave Auction
“Holiness is not about getting right and wrong perfected, but it’s about living in the Light, living without anything hidden.” Bill Thrall
I had a friend text me recently and ask if I would be her parenting mentor.
I laughed to myself and texted back, “Sure, but it might be the blind leading the blind!”
Ever since her text, I’ve been thinking about parenting and what I could offer her, what I’ve learned, and what has been helpful for me as I do my best with my three babes. I’m not great at teaching and training my children, I get impatient and irritated too easily. I don’t spend enough time with them at bedtime, and I’m not as fun as I’d like to be with them. But there is one thing that God has impressed upon me that I try to impress upon them, and it is this:
Be in the Light.
Don’t hide; never hide.
Your ugly is never so ugly that you can’t be loved or forgiven. Also? I’ve got a lot of ugly of my own. You aren’t alone.
You’ve also got a whole lot of beautiful, because you were created in the image of God.
You are loved no matter what. Nothing you could do could change my love for you. On your best day or your worst day, I love you the same.
Nothing you could say or do could make me love you more or less.
You can always talk to me, about anything; approach me with confidence, because I’m on your team.
You are pleasing to me because you are my child.
You will mess up, and you’ll do it a lot, but that’s okay. I mess up a lot, too. We’re in this together; it’s why we need Jesus.
We need Jesus.
You and me both, kid. Because we will never get “it” right in this life. There will be loose ends and trouble and sin swirling all around us, but if we hold onto Jesus, we’ll make it.
A million times you will mess up, and a million times I will forgive you. And please forgive me, too, for my million mess-ups.
If we carry on in grace, and stay in the light, we can do this thing called life. And we can do it fairly well.
So there it is, my big parenting advice. It’s really all I’ve got. But I think it’s everything, because it’s how the Father loves us.
“…to all who did receive him [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12