As I was putting on my sneakers this morning, I caught sight of something that I tend to ignore. Attached to one of my laces is a small, bright orange safety pin with several brightly colored beads on it. It was given to me as a “prayer pin.” The idea of this simple pin is to act as a reminder; to catch my attention and call me to pray for the person that gave it to me, to lift up my friend in prayer. Interesting thing about this particular pin is that it was given to me several years ago by a girl who I came to love as my little sister, only to have her decide that she wanted nothing to do with me or my family who had also welcomed her as family. You see, there came a time when she wanted to make a choice in her life that none of us agreed with and we expressed our concerns to her as we felt a family that loves you should. It was not what she wanted to hear and with that, she stepped out of our lives completely.
Months after the fact I would wake up with her name so desperately on my heart that I would cry out to God in tears, not knowing why. I still don’t know why. I heard that she had a baby recently; I heard back and forth that she may have gotten married…but I don’t have any connection to her outside this single orange pin that is still attached to my right shoe.
I still pray for her as she crosses my mind, though I don’t know any specifics to lift up for her. But something today prompted me to remember the dreams that she had when I first met her. Her heart was so big and she was as mature as she was immature due in part to her background. She had to grow up when her mother abandoned her and her brother and sister in Russia. She had to make adult decisions when no child should about how to best care for herself and her siblings. By God’s amazing grace she was introduced to His love through a shoe box, distributed by Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. By His continued providence, she and both of her siblings were adopted into a family, together, and came to live in the United States. She wanted to go into missions, to help other orphaned children have hope and see the hope that God can bring, even in the darkest times…and now, she is still living in a small town in Florida with a very little baby and possibly a husband that has no understanding of what missions are or why someone would leave their comfort to fulfill them. But still I prayed for her heart. I prayed for her life, whatever it may be. And mostly I prayed that she wouldn’t lose sight of the dreams that God placed on her heart.
How many of us do that? We are given a dream, a vision, which is clearly only from God. But we let it filter through the realities of our lives and what we’re left with is nothing outside of the norm. It is no longer anything more than what we are already doing in our comfort zones. How often do we actually chase after those dreams, even when they don’t make sense right away, and get the opportunity to see God work in ways that are so far beyond what we can comprehend? How many dreams have I let go because I was afraid or comfortable?