Honestly, can I tell you where I’m at?
Honestly, can I pull the curtain back?
Will you run if you see how weak I am?
If you don’t see the real me you won’t see what mercy’s done
If you don’t see my weakness you won’t see what love has won
If you don’t see the distance from the darkness to the son
you won’t see, honestly
Her mother named her Angel because she was born on Christmas Day and her mother felt she was an angel sent from God. However after just a few short years of life her mother and father left, abandoning Angel and her brother, leaving two small children to fend for themselves.
At 15 years of age Angel has been in 15 different foster homes and hospitalized numerous times from the abuse and neglect she has suffered from the people who were supposed to love, protect and care for her.
I met Angel during the prayer time at our BarlowGirl outreach event. She came forward for prayer and when I asked her what she needed prayer for she told me that God would giver her a home and a family to love her.
This child is so hungry to know love that at 10 years of age she willingly lost her virginity in an attempt to find that love.
Hearing that true, genuine love only comes from God, she gave her life to God and was baptized, but her emotional and physical scars remain.
She shared with me her struggles with eating disorders and showed me the scars on her wrists from cutting.
She told me that sometimes it feels like God doesn’t hear her prayers and she just wants to know that God loves her.
I was sitting on the edge of the stage, BarlowGirl was offering this time of ministry and I had to fight back the tears because this was not about how much Angel’s story impacted me, it was about how much this young girl needs to know, in a real and tangible way that her Heavenly Daddy loves her with all of His heart and that no matter what she has done, He alone will forgive her and restore her.
I reminded Angel that before she was born, God had her in mind and that He had a plan and purpose for her life and that He would use for His glory all that satan intended for harm.
Angel now lives in a group home because at her age, there are very few people who would be willing to adopt her.
Angel has been hurt so many times by so many people that maybe taking a chance and telling me her story didn’t matter; because if she was rejected, hey it’s happened before.
Angel came to me, and while she did not quote Vota’s lyric, she was saying “Honestly, can I tell you where I’m at?”
Angel shared openly with me because she, like so many others, want to find the real, true people of God who will love them and accept them where they are at and then stand beside them and encourage them on their journey of faith.
Having preached revivals and been a part of ministry events in various states I know sometimes we walk away from these prayer and ministry times and soon forget these stories, but I won’t forget Angel, I can’t forget Angel.
Not only does she need our prayers and love and encouragement, she needs a voice.
Too many people in the Church look at the things people have done and the things they’ve been through and they label them, just like the Lepers that Jesus healed, just like the woman at the well, just like the woman caught in adultery, labels are attached, not just by society, but sadly, by people in the church and it’s sad because in so doing people fail to show the love of God.
“Oh, you’ve done drugs, you’ve been divorced, you’ve committed adultery, you’ve been an alcoholic, you’ve done drugs, you’ve been neglected and abused, you’ve been in foster care, you’ve lived with someone you are not married to, you’ve had children outside of marriage, you’ve sinned, you’re a sinner and we have to put a label on you because you are a disgrace to society and to our church and we could never allow you in ministry.”
It’s appalling that this is how some people in some churches really are. It’s the Scarlet Letter all over again and it is not the Church’s place to expose anyone else’s sin. It is the responsibility of Christ Followers to simply love people and let the light of Christ shine before all people that they may come to see and know the grace, mercy and love of God in real and tangible ways.
I’m so tired of the pretense in the Church and I’m so tired of seeing people beaten up with their sins.
I sin, I fail, I make mistakes, and God has called me to love people, to share my story, the testimony that He’s given me with them and then to keep loving them and standing beside them because as the Church, as His people as The Children of God we MUST invest in the lives of people for the sake of the Kingdom.
Together we are called to build the Kingdom of God one person at a time.
God said that before we were ever created in our mother’s womb that He knew us and that He had in mind a plan and purpose for our lives.
Unlike so many in society and the Church, God does not see people who are “beyond grace.”
God sees people who are in need of a Savior and that’s why before the foundation of the world God set a plan in motion whereby Jesus would die for all people for all time for all of our sins.
As Angel told me her story, I could hear what grace has done. As Angel shared her heart, I could hear what love has won.
God is going to use Angel to share her story with young girls and women for the rest of her life and it’s my prayer that Angel can see that she already has a home in the family of God and that she is dearly loved by God and sees Him as her heavenly daddy because her biological parents may have given up on her and abandoned her but Daddy God never will.
He will hold her and all of us in His arms and protect us and care for us and forgive us and give us a testimony to share with everyone we encounter so that people can see and come to know just how great God really is.
But you know, I see this problem where people like Angel, like you, like me, are afraid that people will judge us based on our story; that they will label us because of the things we’ve done and so many people would rather keep the hurt in their hearts than risk more hurt in sharing it. I want to know and I want to hear what God has done in your life, where He has brought you from because God saved me from sin and myself and chose to call me for His purpose and His glory and I can’t thank Him enough.
We did not have a concert at our church on Wednesday, April 14, 2010. We had a Kingdom Outreach Event with the sole purpose to reach people with the love and forgiveness of God that is the good news of Jesus Christ. People came to Christ. People were released from eating disorders and from cutting and found mercy, forgiveness, love and hope through the body of Christ that chose to let the light escape and shine for Jesus in an ever hurting world.
We need more events with groups like BarlowGirl, Stellar Kart & Vota, not because of their performance, but because of the message behind the music, because God has called them and us to reach a generation for Jesus Christ.
Like Angel, you and I both have hurts and failures, disappointments and sin. But let me tell you, because of what grace has done and because of what His love has won, when I look in the mirror I don’t see someone who used to drink and do drugs, I see someone who is forgiven, who, like all other Christ followers is called to let the light escape from the holes inside my soul because if you don’t see the real me then you won’t see what grace has done and if you don’t see the real me you won’t see what love has won.