ProblemDo you answer your phone when you don’t recognize the number calling? I tend to let those roll to voicemail. I assume if it’s someone who needs to speak with me, they’ll leave a message. I it’s a telemarketer, I won’t have to talk with them.

This Saturday morning as I was walking through the farmer’s market, my phone rang. I looked to see who was calling. While I didn’t recognize the number, I did notice it was a number that had called me multiple times over the past two weeks, so I answered it.

Good morning, Susan, I hope I didn’t catch you at a bad time.”

Immediately, I recognized the voice. It was a woman I’ve known for years. Our children have grown up in school and church together. Her daughter is the same age as my son. The next words out of her mouth rocked my world,

I’m Amanda, you know, Amanda from your book. I’m her. My daughter is in the trade and I don’t have any idea where she is. I can’t find her. I’ve tried. I want to get involved in the fight. I can’t help her right now, but I want to help someone. What do I do?”

Almost four years ago when I started off on this wild ride with the Lord of researching and writing Rescuing Hope, I had no idea of the many twists and turns this journey would take me. I never anticipated I would have this type of conversation with a friend.

That’s what happens when you say¬†yes to the Lord [Isaiah 6:8]. Just as God did with Abraham, the Lord takes you up on your yes and you never quite know where you’re going or what you’ll be doing, but you know the One leading you [Genesis 12:1].

Sometimes the pathway we find ourselves walking down isn’t one of our choosing, like the sweet mother who called me Saturday morning. We have an opportunity to wallow in our situation or make the best of it. Joseph didn’t exactly have a peachy life. In fact, things for him just seemed to go from bad to worse, yet Joseph chose to make the best of a bad situation [Genesis 37:22, 28, Genesis 39:1, 19-20, Genesis 30:23].

Romans 8:28 reminds us,

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

I used to work with a guy in college named Guy [I promise I’m not making this up]. Whenever anyone would state we had a problem at work, he would say,

Nope, what we have here is an opportunity!”

The situation and the circumstances around it did not change, but his outlook on it did. He didn’t see a glass half empty. He saw a glass half full.glass

What your facing depends more on your outlook than your circumstances.

The sweet mother on the phone knows her daughter is out there someone, trapped in the sex trade. I cannot imagine the nightmare she’s living through. It could be crippling, if she allowed it to be. Those are awful circumstance, but instead of allowing her circumstances to render her helpless, she’s chosen to rise above them and help those she can reach.

What circumstances have you found yourself in today? Is the glass half empty or half full?