Last Saturday I attended the NJ Human Trafficking Summit. I attended various breakout sessions and gathered information about efforts being made in the NJ area and the US at large to fight Human Trafficking as well as to hear a few survivor’s speak about their experience.
One organization works directly with survivors to help assist in their healing and also gives them the ability to learn a skill, making handbags.
If you would like to learn more visit their website: Unshattered
If you would like to purchase an item from their shop: Etsy
If you would like more information about Human Trafficking efforts in NJ: NJ Coalition
I remember hearing a story Joyce Meyer told about how back in the day she used to live as if she had no money. There would be a section of the grocery store full of rejected canned food. Most didn’t have labels. Most were dented. But because they were cheap she bought them. God opened her eyes to this one day when she opened a can of food at her home to eat or prepare and it was animal food.
I remember hearing this and feeling sad for her. Why would you choose to live this way when you don’t have to? Some people don’t have a choice. Some people live in countries where food is scarce. But she wasn’t living under the freedom of her Father’s provision. She was devaluing herself. She was scraping the bottom of a barrel that God didn’t ask her to.
I think this is a picture of how all of us can be. At a class I am taking at church one girl shared that growing up she had very bad acne. Nothing worked. She often thought about getting a facial to see if it would make a difference but always convinced herself it wasn’t worth the price. In essence, her painful acne, her unhappiness, wasn’t worth the price. Now, I’m not saying treat yourself to luxury all the time. I’m not saying rack up your credit cards just because you want something or feel entitled to something. I’m saying, often as women, we tend to devalue ourselves. Our spouse or boyfriend or kids come before us, our job comes before our health, our bills come before us, etc etc etc. And I don’t believe God sent His son to die for our freedom believing that we would continue to act enslaved.
I remember going through about a year of really unhealthy treatment to myself–by my own hand. I wanted so badly to get our of credit card debt that I skimped on groceries and anything else I deemed unnecessary. It’s a worthy sacrifice right? It’s just temporary. But nothing is worth more than your health and well-being. I’m still in credit card debt but I know God will help me. I’d rather treat myself well and even get a new shirt once in a while than be making myself sick with a back-breaking budget. Ultimately I want to live in the freedom of knowing God will provide all my needs. I’m doing the best I can, and I can’t carry the weight of life and bills all on my own. If God’s yoke is easy, I need to live in that revelation.
I encourage you to look at areas where you are not treating yourself well. Where, dare I say, you are still used to being a dead thing, and that you may need to remind yourself today, and every day, that in Christ you are alive. Why do we allow ourselves to behave as if we are a dead thing? That we don’t need to eat healthy because that debt disappearing is more important, we don’t need to get that canned veggie because we can get a mystery can of God knows what because it’s a few cents less. I mean really? We don’t need to live like this. We need to love ourselves. We need to love God. We need to love others. And we can’t do this if we aren’t behaving like we are truly…alive.