This post begins a series of posts written by beautiful women who have real stories of God shaking them up and working in their lives. Beck is a blogger friend of mine and I can’t tell you how much her post below resonates with how God has worked in my life. I hope that as you read, you too are encouraged, inspired and mostly I pray that if God touches your heart to join her on her journey that you joyfully obey. Come back every Friday for the next couple months to hear another story from another woman just like you. And don’t forget to enter my giveaway for Lisa Chan’s short film, Be Still.
Last fall my family made a transition to a new ministry, a new home, in a new state. It was a big move. As I began this new season I sought God’s plan for me. But I felt led to ask in a different way than I had in the past.
“Show me your heart,” I asked God. “I want to know you more, what breaks your heart, what do you love? Will you give me eyes to see?”
And he answered, boy did he answer! The last year has been different than any other in my spiritual journey as God began revealing his heart. I expected him to teach me about righteousness or allow me to glimpse his holiness. Rather it was his love he talked to me about. Sure we all know God is love but this time he painted a picture in bold colors unlike anything I had ever seen.
He reminded me of the depths of my sin and need and that he has redeemed me, not as a slave or a servant, but as his child. He showed me he loves people I couldn’t fathom him truly loving. Sure I thought he pitied broken people or had compassion and mercy on them but truly a heartfelt love? (I’m embarrassed to admit I’m a recovering pharisee, so that challenged me!)
As he taught me more about my adoption into his family he opened my mind to understand that he wants his followers to express that adoptive, inclusive love to others. Through a series of God events he brought my attention to the sad situation of neglected, unwanted, disabled children and adults in many Eastern European countries, specifically Serbia. In the past these children have been malnourished, left alone for hours in cribs, even at times tied down, all because they have disabilities. There are not enough hands or money to go around for their care. My heart broke. Jesus and I cried together for these wounded ones.
Part of the lesson of love God is teaching me is that love sees. In the past I would never have looked so closely at the pain of these orphans I felt I could do nothing about. But that’s changed. I looked at their pain and grieved it. Then I asked what I could do. Because that’s another lesson I’m learning, not only does love see, it also goes.
So for the past several months I’ve been planning a crazy trip to be present in the lives of forgotten people. The mission board of my denomination, while supportive, has been unable to help me. And I haven’t found any mission organization directly involved in the care of these kids and adults. But I’ve heard the heart of God say go. He’s there with the suffering asking me to join him. In mid-October my best friend from college and I are boarding a plane to Serbia and going. A mental institution just outside of the city of Novi Sad, called Dom Veternik, has welcomed us to visit and learn more about their needs!
The transformation in my heart hasn’t stopped there. God has shown me people he loves everywhere; across the street, on the side of the road, in the mall. And I’ve begun inviting them to my home and to my church. I hardly recognize who I am any more (neither does my husband!).
God desires holiness of his followers but he also expects love. It’s how we’re known, our calling card to a broken world. If we are rooted in the heart of Jesus we shouldn’t be afraid of the mess and sin of the lost contaminating us. No, our holiness should purify them. Our love brings them up close and personal with the Living God and neither of us are the same again!
That’s my hearts desire, to be Jesus to the forgotten and disabled of Serbia. If you are interested in finding out more about my trip to Serbia, and how you can be involved, please visit my website Beck Far From Home.
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:12
Beck Gambill is finishing her first novel, “Sisters”. She blogs, homeschools, mentors, is passionate about serving those suffering around the world, and believes connected community is the best way to live. You can connect with her on Facebook or her blog.