author ● sojourner ● mother artist

author ● sojourner ● mother artist

When You Want to Change the World

If I were to give this summer a name, it’d be The Thinking Summer.  My head has been a constant jumble of hypothetical situations, evaluating life choices, and asking questions. Big questions.

After my husband and I made the decision to leave Louisville, we began talking about our regrets. All the things we had expected to do and how we had hoped our lives would take shape when we first settled into Louisville. Toddlers, pregnancies, full-time jobs, and part-time school changed most of that mixed with our own lack of motivation and excuses.

As we made packing lists, we made mental notes of what we wished we’d done differently. How we wished we had gotten into deeper fellowship within our community group(s) and been more involved in our church. We talked about how we had hoped to get to know our neighbors and not just the Christian ones.

I talked about how I wanted to get involved in local ministries organizations, like Necole’s Place and Scarlet Hope, that come alongside women to support, encourage, comfort, and share the hope of Jesus and how I didn’t follow through.  I put in a volunteer application for Necole’s Place, but when no one contacted me I left it at that.

As our moving day grew closer, I began reading through the epistles noting the way the church interacted and cared for each other along the way. And I noticed just how little my own life, and much of the church I saw, did not reflect what was written in those letters.

Would moving be a new opportunity to peel back layers and truly share each others joys and burdens other than the 2 hours at community group?

We decided this move would be an opportunity to change our lives.

We talk about living sustainable and self-sufficient. As we pull out our copies of Encyclopedia of Country Living, The Backyard Homestead, and the cob house dream gets a dusting, we end up on topics like buying products from fair trade, fair labor, and slave free companies. Which has brought up even more conversations on the conflicting demand for low cost products and jobs in America.

{I told you my mind is a swirling melting pot of thoughts and ideas.}

I made a solo trip to the beach, pulling my novel out of the dusty corners and giving it a well-deserved revision. As I’ve sat to meld a life out of words, a quiet passion rises in me…getting louder and louder with each day.

This work in progress is molded by forced prostitution. As I write and create this world and its women, I am overwhelmingly burdened knowing that forced prostitution and sex trafficking are very real. While I’m delving into my character’s mind, I very aware that across the world there are women and children being forced, drugged, and imprisoned to have sex to fill someone else’s lust and pockets.

I can’t just write about it.

I have to do something. And when I wake up at night and pray for those facing the horrors, sometimes I cry out, “God, you could stop it all if you wanted to. You could make the hearts of every trafficker and John repentant. You could do it. Just end it.”

But then I hear the words,

“What if I want to end it through you?”

I watch documentaries, read articles, hear stories, and research statistics and organizations like the International Justice Mission, The A21 Campaign, Love146, and others.

We don’t have the extra money to give to those already working for freedom. If we did we would.

For now I’ve taken up my needle and thread to weave words of hope and pray as each stitch pulls over and under. I tell myself, Maybe if I make enough of these I can sell them and donate the profits to someone already fighting the good fight.

But I don’t want to be content being the far away change. Not anymore.

Turns out Charlotte, North Carolina, just a 20-30 minute drive from our new town, is ranked 8th in the US for trafficking. With multiple highways and interstates, Charlotte is an east coast hub for trafficking and a hotspot between Washington, DC and Atlanta. I’m learning about local organizations working to educate people and stop trafficking.

This is where I may go off the deep end. Even though the US is a primary destination for sex trafficking, there are few aftercare programs for rescued victims–domestic or foreign–of sex trafficking.

So I crazy-wonder,

What would it take to open up a residential aftercare facility for those rescued from sex trafficking?

I told you I might be going off the deep end.

This is the point friends and family begin to call and say, “Now, now, you’re getting ahead of yourself. You two just need to settle down, buy a house, and set aside some money to send your kids to college.”

Eh. I’m not so sure the American dream is where it’s at.

We’re out to change our lives one uncomfortable, awkward step at a time.

And maybe, just maybe, we’ll change the world the world in the process.



5 thoughts on “When You Want to Change the World”

  • Jessica, your dad forwarded the link on this post b/c I am going to India with a team in December to work with a ministry that is freeing girls from the sex trade there. He says that you will be a wee bit busy with a newborn by December, thus not a candidate to join us but I will be happy to gather what information that I can on how they operate if you like.

  • Your “swirling melting pot” is powerful. If God calls you, do it! One of my favorite authors says, “Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us, of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service and honor of God supreme will find perplexities vanish, and a plain path before their feet.” I love that. I really believe it is supported by Scripture. But “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5) That is what the Lord is always reminding me.

    I appreciate your challenging posts.

    ~Sheila 🙂

  • I know your heart in this. I want to DO, but think what. A friend of mine just did some ministry in Atlanta in this very area… is her blog. I believe she posted about it.

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