As I continue to research and study sexual exploitation - God continues to expand my heart in ways I didn't know possible. He continues to open up doors and ways for me to get involved. Whether it be contacts and new friends in Nepal or the After Hours Ministry here in L.A., it has been so life-giving. Sometimes in Seminary you can feel like such a waste of space - too much learning and not enough applying and doing. My heart just explodes with overwhelming love for those caught up in the sex industry. Sometimes it is hard to put into words the incredible passion God has given me. And sometimes it is hard to find enough action to put into practice the incredible passion God has given me. But daily I surrender and trust that He is leading me.
A couple weeks ago I got inked. That's right. With a message that I think is quite powerful and really portrays what I am all about. The entire reason I exist and am on this planet.
My mom is not a huge fan of tattoos. But she is a huge fan of me. This is my second tattoo and I knew that telling her about it was not going to be easy. I was right...she was not that happy. I told her a bit about it and then sent her the above photo. This was her response:
"Makes me proud of your passion Julia. You are really in this all the way aren't you? Tears are running down my cheeks as I think of you and your future. Fear of what your future might hold as well as excitement of what changes you may make in lives through your work. My heart is full of graditude to God for a child like you. Go and make a difference Julia, tattoo and all, you have my blessing."
I can't even begin to express what a gift that email was from my mom. She gets it. She might be a different generation - and she might do it differently - but she is entering into my heart and my passions and she gets it. I would not be the person I am today, I would not have a heart for the things that break the heart of God, if it were not for my parents. They are the ones who (for better or worse) gave me the chance to see the world beyond myself and experience a God who doesn't always fit so nicely inside the four walls of our Midwestern mindset. And I'll never be the same.
And they'll be beside me the whole way...
I love you mom.