girl on fire

Soooo… I woke up this morning ready to set the world on fire and so far I’ve only managed to fill the kitchen with the smoke of burning onions!

I’m maybe just a little distracted!

girl on fire

 

I’m coming down from our Plugged{in} girl’s event where I got to experience an entire weekend of doing my most favorite things in-the-whole-wide-world with some of my most favorite people in-the-whole-wide-world.

It was spent in the company of about 50 girls from 6th to 12th grade along with 25 more women committed to sharing the love of Christ with our little sisters. So many of you wrote saying you’d be praying for this event and I thank you– your prayers were felt and experienced.

Plugged In Collage

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It was fun!!! Good Gospel Fun. I wore a tutu and got RAH-diculous. We sang, played, prayed and shared from some deep places. It was a sweet time of Acts 2:42 community fellowship and the Spirit of God was moving throughout the event.

 

Me and AnnieAnnie Downs joined us for a third time and y’all;  she is the real deal.

So gracious, patient and KIND.  I watched her with girl after girl: remembering their names, looking them straight in the eyes, taking time to chat, laugh and sign a book or tee-shirt.

She opened her Bible and her heart before us,  baring her soul and shared story after story of her crazy life with Jesus. There wasn’t an ounce of pretense or showmanship–she was and is just Annie; one of us and an honorary Plugged{in} hometown girl for life!

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I love this event but not because it’s now an “annual” something we do in the name of Jesus for the girls. That’s HUGE…but it’s not the sum total of it for me. It’s because we let the girls know right from the start, Who they need to see and why: Jesus, because He is the answer to all of the questions we have as women in this world.

 

It’s an entire weekend of mentoring as we show and tell by example how to worship God in Truth and immediately make a way for that Truth to bust down the walls, cliques and any assumptions they may have held as they walked through the door.  As women from churches across the community, we model servanthood beyond the four walls of our own memberships and then encourage them to do the same in their homes, schools and community .

 

We take them to serve places around town committed to meeting the needs of others:  the soup kitchen, the clothing and food closet, a special needs facility and the local crisis pregnancy center.  In this world of mass-marketed entitlement, it’s so helpful for them to find the joy of serving others NOW and to see the great value of living outside and beyond their own comfort zones.

 

The addition of the Sole Hope project this year was tremendously helpful to show them how even as teenagers, they can serve a community half a world away. Scissors, blue jeans and giggles were flying all around that room as these ladies jumped into this project up to their elbows and eyeballs! They were more than thrilled to spend almost two hours cutting 41 pairs of shoes for the children in Uganda.

sole hope PARTY

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All of this is good but for me personally,
this event strikes a deeper chord within my soul.

 

I’ve shared before how broken I was at this age. Although I met Jesus at the age of 13, so much of my home life was in shreds and shambles before and after. That brokenness seeped into my bones and marrow affecting a lot of my decisions for years to come. It would take a long time before I’d recognize, understand and really receive the love of Christ.

Lack of direction, discipleship and shelter for my soul left me over-exposed to the elements of this world for a long, long time so that even though I would grow up as a woman, many wounds remained unhealed in my little girl heart.

 

Reality says there’s nothing I can do to turn back the clock and fix what was broken in that little girl’s life. There will be no proper justice to replace what was damaged, lost or stolen. However, Jesus has provided the means for the deepest, most complete healing there can be on this side of heaven.

 

In it’s own precious way, by serving and ministering to and with these girls and young women from my own places of need and brokenness, I am able to be raw and honest with them.

  • I’m not afraid to look into the eyes and see the hurt of the one from the home as broken as mine was.
  • I can taste the fear of the one who’s been bullied and badgered…who is lonely and alone.
  • I can feel the pain of the one who thinks she can never measure up in her own eyes or the eyes of others, fearing failure and exposure at every turn.

 

With each Gospel moment of embrace, each word listened to and shared, every tear and moment of Christ/Self-discovery, I am able to stop the clock, reach back in time and love on that little girl from so long ago.

Jesus meets her there too. He picks her up, holds her close, wipes her tears, kisses the boo-boos away and sets her on her feet again. I’m healed and healing. Precious stuff.

 

Spiritual advantageI think this was God’s plan all along.

No…not that He ordained the abuse and pain but that He knows how to take the brokenness, scarred places and even my poopy messes and use them for His glory.

We sang together, “He makes beautiful things out of the dust….beautiful things out of us.” (Gungor)

And that’s the ticket. I am his willing dust being made more beautiful… smoldering and ready to set the world on fire, one girl at a time…starting with me.

 

Join me?

 

 

on fire,Lorretta signature

 

****linking with Emily, Holly, Jennifer, and Nacole 

 

 

 

23 thoughts on “girl on fire

  1. Loretta,
    You are a girl on fire with God’s love 🙂 What a truly beautiful way to serve these girls and to engage them in serving others….what beauty God is weaving out of your painful past…Thank you!

    1. Process, process….and more process but in each moment of process–as threads are untangled in one bit of my life, there’s a weaving and a Grand Weaver standing behind me waiting for more thread to be placed in His hands. I’m glad you can see this too. Bless you Dolly!

  2. What a redemptive story God is weaving out of your painful past,Lorrretta! I can identify so much with wanting to witness beauty coming from ashes. This, “I am able to stop the clock, reach back in time and love on that little girl from so long ago.” is so lovely and my heart’s desire too as I seek to live more fully and freely in Christ. The girl-child within aches and I ache to hold and comfort her. Maybe, in time, I will see all that you see now. Praise God for using your brokenness and scarred places for His glory!Thank you 🙂 x

    1. Oh JOY! I am so glad to see you here! Listen, I’m not going to even TRY to pretend that this healing process has been easy. But, at the risk of sounding cliche, it’s been so worth it. I spent many years in fear and frustration. Once I let go of my desperate grasp on bitterness, self-pity and demands/expectations for justice and released them to be absorbed into the wrath, justice and love found on Christ’s cross, only then did the healing begin to take hold of my life. It’s been more recent than most people know. But…again, so worth it.

      1. Lorretta, you are such an inspiration to me and to all who walk this path! I thought healing was done and dusted a few years ago when forgiveness was reached at last, but God is revealing more areas that need His light shone on them. Repercussions affecting my marital relationship are the hardest to deal with yet the most urgent. Thank you for helping me on the way. Bless you 🙂 x

  3. Loretta, I love your heart. It shines through BRIGHTLY here. I can imagine you are a healing presence for so many of these girls. And this bit right here, “In it’s own precious way, by serving and ministering to and with these girls and young women from my own places of need and brokenness, I am able to be raw and honest with them.” YES. And Amen!

    1. Oh Missy, thank you. I think that the best, most realistic view of true healing God can provide. It’s also pretty good at killing any roots of bitterness that may have sprouted along the way. thankyou for visiting me here today.

  4. Healed and Healing. Bless you Loretta for seeing the glory of His process in you. Praising God for the reciprocal nature of the blessing spreading like wildfire among those girls. This was so inspiring. Thanks for sharing! Found you today at Coffee for Your Heart.

    1. Oh yes. The glory of His process. I call it the “ING” factor: we are forever and always growING, and developING, and learnING. And my friend, I see so much of our Father in your eyes. I have a feeling we’d have a lot to share if we had the chance. IN FACT, I recall seeing your tall and elegant self at Allume but I was so overwhelmed by being in the building with so many “animals” of my kind!!!! I”d like to do another..smaller..conference and I hope you’re there. Bless you.

  5. ” JESUS HAS PROVIDED THE MEANS ” Like a great big self initiated hug from our Savior. You know what I mean… those hugs that we never have to ask for. Thank you my buddy.

  6. Loved hearing about Plugged In! What a beautiful event and what a beautiful YOU! It just, I don’t know how to say it quite right, makes me gush happiness? when I see someone shining in the place they were once broken. Sharing your life and heart with these girls. Ya just reflect him well Loretta. Psst… I love that Gungor song! XO

    1. The best part about Plugged In is that it’s possible to recreate this event ANYWHERE. You are such a tremendous encouragement to me. I love your voice so much. And to sing, sing sing….you did so good girl.

  7. I LOVED this post–you have such a way with words! And I especially loved how you discovered you were able to give these girls the things you wish you had known/realized as a girl. You are changing lives!

  8. “With each Gospel moment of embrace, each word listened to and shared, every tear and moment of Christ-self-discovery, I am able to stop the clock, reach back in time and love on that little girl from so long ago.” I love the phrase- I am able to stop the clock. Those are sacred moments. love you , Lorretta and love your words.

Welcome to the discussion!