God cares about our story
You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. –Psalm 71:20 NLT
When Maite** was two years old, her mother died and because she never knew her father, she was orphaned at an early age. Maite’s young life was marked more by losses than gains.
A middle-aged woman and her son took Maite in and used her to benefit themselves. They worked her like a slave, abused her physically and the then-adult son repeatedly molested this young girl. Maite’s new life was no life at all.
When Maite was a little older, an internationally known ministry came to work with the poor in her area. Maite connected with one of the workers and told her of her terrible home life and begged to be rescued. The worker was committed to helping her and contacted the IJM Guatemala field office and informed a social worker of Maite’s situation. The three of them met and Maite bravely shared her story. The IJM worker leaned toward Maite and said “I have to do some investigating. I promise I will not forget you. I will do my homework and then come for you.”
One day there was a knock at the door and Maite was greeted by the IJM worker she had longed to see again. Maite was taken to live at a wonderful aftercare home where young girls are loved, nurtured, educated, and prepared to thrive as Christian women in society.
Time passed and Pablo, IJM Guatemala’s field office director made a special trip to meet Maite and the other 39 young girls who lived at the children’s home. Through hard work and God’s intervention, Pablo’s team tracked down Maite’s baptism record from a Catholic church. Based on that date they were able to get her records from a local hospital and secure a legal document declaring Maite’s existence.
When Pablo presented Maite’s birth certificate her hands went to her face and she started to cry, “Do you know what this means? This means identity! This means citizenship! This means rights! Not having a birth certificate steals your identity and repeatedly steals from you,” she said. Maite clutched it as though it was the most priceless treasure on earth. Maite has so much potential and now she has the means and rights to accomplish everything God has for her!
Maite’s life, her soul, her story…they matter. Her story has never been hidden from God, and neither has yours. Every nook and cranny of your existence, every accomplishment and victory, and every mishap and misstep, Jesus knows about them and loves you completely. You are treasured. God is the bond that ties us together. His love can fill us to love one another despite our vast differences. Allow your heart to be knitted together with theirs and to include people who long for the freedoms you enjoy. And for His name’s sake, press on, take risks and recover every shred of who God intended you to be.
*Excerpts taken from Susie Larson’s book, “Embracing Your Freedom”
**Not her real name