I am acutely aware that my life story could have been the story of any of the women we walk beside in Precious to God. My mother married at 17 just to escape the pressures of her family. Within months, it became clear what a mistake she had made, as my father, an abusive alcoholic, regularly covered her in bruises. It took seven years before she had the courage to leave him and start a new, better life with me and my sister.
Among the stories shared by the women in this ministry are stories of parents and boyfriends in addiction, giving drugs to these women, starting them on their own downward spiral of addiction, abuse, neglect, often prison, and exploitation. The ones we walk beside had the courage, like my mother’s, to say “Enough,” to undergo rehab, to move away from old neighborhoods, to leave destructive relationships. For the women in Precious to God, something else made the difference between another failed attempt to escape their circumstances and real change: the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture says it this way: 2 Corinthians 5:17, “When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!”
For the women in Precious to God, the struggles are not over: often there are steps taken backwards, missed opportunities to meet for encouragement and Bible study, bad choices leading to more struggles and pain. But, in the messiness of their lives, I also see a hunger to know God, to embrace His forgiveness and love, to understand the power of prayer, to learn the truths of His word.
Consider the words of this song by Bill Gaither as a testament to what Christ has done and can do today for all who bring their brokenness to Him:
Something beautiful, something good
All my confusion He understood
All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife
But he made something beautiful of my life
If there ever were dreams
That were lofty and noble
They were my dreams at the start
And hope for life’s best were the hopes
That I harbor down deep in my heart
But my dreams turned to ashes
And my castles all crumbled, my fortune turned to loss
So I wrapped it all in the rags of life
And laid it at the cross.