Friends, I’ve been overwhelmed in the best way by the response to my original blog, Bunnies, Virgins and Real Men. You all are amazing!! I can’t tell you how many have asked how they can help. We’ve had suggestions of other ways of raising money to help Katherine Stone’s family. One pastor and his wife offered their own home for however long it takes. Others have committed to pray for both Katherine and Dennis. We actually sent the blog to them separately. We haven’t gotten any response, but we wanted to make sure we did everything we could to get it in front of them.
I’m not even sure what to say or how to begin. I’ve gone from shock, to anger and horror, to having an uncontrollable urge to vomit as I watch the depravity of the human soul on full display. I’ve seen some things in the last 2 years that I’ve been working with Stripped Free. Things I wish I could erase from my mind. I’ve seen the demoralization and degradation of human beings. I’ve seen souls shattered and beaten down over and over again. I’ve seen a twisted and horrifying version of a “savior complex” that has left me shaking my head in disbelief. I’ve seen the depths people will go to in order to try to erase past pain and humiliation only to experience deeper levels of shame than they ever anticipated. I’ve seen the worth of a soul reduced to a dollar in some of the darkest environments imaginable. But I’ve never seen anything quite like this………
I want to grow. It’s not possible to just stay at the same place, so I’m always moving whether I recognize it or not. It’s more a matter of what direction I’m moving and growing? Am I growing closer to my Heavenly Father or further away from Him? Do I desire Him more today than I did yesterday or less? Am I seeking His Face or settling just to seek His hand and what He can do for me?
Can a woman in ministry experience a year of stripping? Should she even say such a thing or talk about a subject so controversial? As I sit here at my computer during the month of March 2015, I can without a doubt say, Yes, 2014 was my year of stripping. I’m sure I’ll get a few choice comments about this like I do every blog I’ve written about the Stripped Free Ministry and going into the strip clubs in Indianapolis to minister to the women there, but I hope you’ll continue to read on to make a very important discovery with me. I had no idea when Stripped Free launched back in April of 2014 that God was not only going to do a work in the lives of the women in the clubs we were going to meet, but He was going to do the biggest work in my own heart and life along the way. You see, Stripped Free is not just about the women inside the clubs, it’s about all women and that has become very clear to me over the past few months.
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
Do you have things in your past that you want to forget? I know I do. Poor choices, painful circumstances and tragic loss are just a few of the things we all experience that we would rather forget. But what about the pieces of our past that were joyful and brought great pleasure to our lives? The good old’ days as some like to call them. Do you want to forget those?
I find it interesting that Paul says there is one very important thing he does: he forgets. He forgets or neglects the things of the past and instead he pursues or chases the goal ahead. For many of us, it’s hard to let go of the past no matter how good or how tough it was. I know there are events that will always be lodged in our memoires, but I believe Paul is talking about dwelling in the past.
Where are we living? Are our eyes focused on the failures or successes of yesterday or on God and what He is doing today? God doesn’t want us living in the sorrows or the joys of yesterday. We each have a life that is worth living right now. He has something special for us in this current moment, but many of us are missing it because we are so focused on our past.
Both the triumphs and the tragedies of yesterday are done. There’s no going back. We must press on in this new year. There is too much life yet to live and I don’t want to miss any of it, so let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and what He is doing today in our lives. He is working and moving this very day and has a glorious plan for all of us!