th (3)Have you ever looked back over your life and laughed at how the dots have connected through the years?  Do you see how the many hats you’ve worn have led you to where you are today? I found myself doing this yesterday.

It’s really ironic how I ended up walking life with girls who are survivors of human sex trafficking, lobbying for better laws to protect them, and speaking as a voice for hope on any platform God gives me.  I remember when I started doing research for Rescuing Hope I thought I’d research, write a book and move on; like anyone could just move on after learning of this horrific crime. Never in a million years did I see myself camped out on this issue, giving my life to it and the girls who have survived. God; however, God knew all along.

When I look back over my life, I realize I have had several titles or jobs that have prepared me for the very place I am today.

  1. Friend: From a very young age, I would befriend anyone. I hate the thought of someone being left out or feeling unwelcome. I will talk to anyone, whether it’s the checkout clerk or the person I pass on the street.  If I see you, I’m probably going to talk to you.  I am drawn to people who are different from me and don’t shy away from asking them questions about how or why they’re the way they are. My children have been known to cringe when I ask the worker at Starbucks why she has gages in her ears and how large she wants the holes in her ears to get.
  2. Cheerleader: I was a cheerleader in junior high (I just told my age here) and high school.  I was louder than anyone else on the squad (that’s not a surprise) and I cheered my team on until the buzzer went off, no matter how desperate the score looked. Afterwards I was notorious for giving the “You’ll get them next time” pep talk on the bus ride home.
  3. Teacher: I’ve always loved teaching. When I was in preschool I would line my stuffed animals up and hold class.  I volunteered in the church nursery, babysat, and was a summer camp counselor, all before I graduated from UNC Greensboro with my degree in education.  I loved teaching school. There was only one reason I left the classroom and that was to teach my own children at home.
  4. Mother: For me there is no greater privilege than being a mother. I have been blessed with two incredible children. I always wanted more, and the Lord gave them to me, just through other means.  I’ve “adopted” hundreds of kids through the years and loved them as my own.  I answer to “Mama” when called on by more than the two children I birthed.

When I think about the skills necessary to walk alongside a survivor of human sex trafficking, I see how the Lord prepared me for the task.  Hebrews 13:20-21 says,

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

While I never knew I would be serving survivors of human sex trafficking, God knew.  He knows all things [Luke 10:22]. Nothing is hidden from Him [Hebrews 4:13].  He knew and He prepared me in advance.

First and foremost, victims of human sex trafficking need a friend; a person who will accept them as they are and love them as they struggle to find who they want to become. They need a cheerleader to encourage them along the way and not give up when things look bleak.  They need someone to teach them things they missed out on while being held captive, whether academic lessons or life lessons. They need two arms to hold them, a shoulder to cry on, and someone to love them as only a mother can.

Take a look back down memory lane. Focus on the jobs you’ve held, roles you’ve served, and experiences you’ve walked through.  Henry Blackaby would call them markers. How do they all connect? What have they been preparing you for? If you’re having difficulty answering those questions, why not ask Jesus? According to Ephesians 2:10, God’s done some pre-planning in your life too and He’s eager for you to walk in your destiny.