As we lay down the right to our own agenda, and ask God to partner with Him and His heart to reach the lost, we find that the love we experience is far too great to keep to ourselves.
My team was staying in the suburb of Windale, just south of Newcastle, and we regularly spent time at the local park, playing with the kids and making friends with the locals.
One day while we were at the park, I walked over to the mum of one of the kids who had come to play with us, and asked if I could sit with her. She warmly welcomed me to join her, and began a friendly conversation. As she enquired about the diversity of our YWAM team, I explained we were a group of students spending time in Newcastle, Townsville, and Papua New Guinea for the next few months.
What this woman saw as a huge coincidence following her recent trip to Townsville to ‘find herself again’, I knew was quickly turning into a powerful appointment with God.
As we moved past friendly conversation, I asked Sarah* about her life story. I felt there was something significant about where she was in life at this very moment; something out of the ordinary.
After explaining explicitly that she never talks to anyone, and has a messed up life, I encouraged Sarah that I genuinely wanted to hear her story.
In that moment, Sarah’s life suddenly had value to a total stranger and she was moved to tears.
She began to unravel a story filled with depression, addiction, assault, and isolation. She was trapped, but eagerly desired a life of purpose. There was something in her spirit that couldn’t accept the thought that her broken circumstances and harsh realities were all she was made for.
Sarah was passionately pursuing something greater, something that would fill the holes in her heart and cover her with the love she never received in this world. And in an instant, I knew God had lead her to the park for this moment – to encounter the One who had been relentlessly chasing her with extravagant love.
“I think what you’ve been searching for is right in front of you, you just have to say yes.”
All of the walls that were up around Sarah’s life were instantly shattered. She recognised the pursuit of God over her life, and the truth that He had to be who He says He is. I sat with Sarah as she invited God into her life, boldly claiming her valuable worth in the eyes of The Father, and the truth that her family is worthy to be saved. She experienced the joy of the Holy Spirit for the first time, spent sweet moments with God repenting for decisions she made that broke His heart, and determining to turn away from addiction. We then began to talk about recognising God’s voice and Sarah began thanking God for all of the times He had spoken to her in the past, pursuing her in love even when she didn’t recognise Him.
That day Sarah’s life took a 180 degree turn.
She experienced the love of God that meets her right where she was at – not expecting a cleaned up, false version of who she really was. I have never witnessed such a powerful transformation in a person’s life before.
Sarah walked to the park as a victim of poor upbringing, addiction, depression, anxiety, and assault, but left totally free of every single stronghold through the power of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross.
by Audrey Walters
YWAM Compassion DTS Staff
*Name changed for privacy