Long before becoming a mother I had a passion for justice, a heart for the poor, and a desire to see the Church infused with identity and purpose and holy ambition. But after becoming a mom I discovered an avenue to hone some of those passions with a bit more purpose and intention.
We were approaching Mothers Day 2011 and my husband was in Papua New Guinea (PNG) on outreach, while I stayed home with our one-year-old son. I was pregnant with our second son, exhausted, overwhelmed, and lonely. While counting down the days until Ryan returned, I felt incredibly sorry for myself that I wouldn’t get breakfast in bed or a cute hand-made card that year.
I was new to the mom gig and in need of as much encouragement and validation as I could get. (Understandable, right?) But somehow in my mind this translated into a sense of entitlement. (Yikes, that’s never a good thing.)
As I poured out my woes to Jesus from the bottom of my well of self-pity, He reminded me of a shocking statistic that I had recently learned:
1 in 7 women in rural Papua New Guinea die in childbirth.
I thought about the women from the areas where Ryan and our team was working and it didn’t take me long to be jolted out of my selfishness. Surely these women weren’t as self-absorbed as me, lamenting that Mothers Day would come and go without fresh flowers on my table and a sparkly clean kitchen.
Instead these women were hoping and praying and crying out to God that they, their sisters, their friends, their daughters, and their babies would survive childbirth.
Purpose is born out of revelation and passion
Out of that season of revelation was born a new passion for maternal health in the developing world. The more I began to understand the needs and opportunities, the more convicted I became that these precious women need a voice.
And why couldn’t I lend mine? I thought.
Through a few little campaigns on my personal blog during the last two Mothers Days, the girls and I have been able to raise thousands of clean birth kits to help the women of rural PNG give birth safely. The birth kits are only part of the solution, but they are a critical part, especially for women like Bokoro – a woman who’s birth I attended during my last trip to PNG. (Would you believe that she gave birth in ankle-deep mud? And that this is not at all uncommon in villages like hers?)
But more than just rallying some clean birth kits, this whole thing amplified a drive within me to not only see the needs of these dear mamas being met, but also to see women around the world find purpose and passion as they reach across borders to help one another.
Now you have to understand, I don’t have a big name blog with a massive following… and I also don’t have “expertise” in this whole area of maternal health. But I didn’t let that stop me. I used what I had at my fingertips and let God carry it forward.
A few rocks can make all the difference
Little shepherd-boy-future-king David did that too. When he faced Goliath all the odds were stacked against him. Yes, he had some experience fighting beasts in the field, but he certainly didn’t have any actual battle experience.
What he did have was a faith in God, a conviction for what needed to be done, and a few little rocks in his pocket.
And that’s exactly what you and I need to ask ourselves – what are the rocks already in our pockets?
For me, some of the rocks in my pocket were my connection with PNG through our family’s work with YWAM, my little blog and some wonderfully faithful and compassionate readers, the unlimited power of social media, and a firm conviction that if a few of us banded together we could make an impact into a specific area of need.
That first year my hope was to rally 300 birth kits by the end of the year. A few days later that goal had been obliterated, and by the end of the month we had collected about 2000 kits.
Last year our figure hovered somewhere close to 10,000.
The best part? All of these initiatives are fuelled by regular women across the globe (connected online!) who are knitted together by our willingness to identify with moms who are less-resourced than we are.
God has a plan for you
I’m telling you this, friends, because you have to understand that God has a way of weaving together our passions and talents and resources in ways that we would have never thought to consider. He helps us find our niche, yes, but in doing so he also wants to help others find theirs and address the needs of the world. He works simultaneously on all of these levels to see his dreams realized.
How do we find it?
I believe we can take some cues from David:
- Look in your pocket.
- Identify your rocks.
- Present them to God with the intention of sharing them with the world.
I know it sounds simple, but that’s the whole point. It is simple. Everything we have has been given to us in order that we might share it with others.
Nothing is wasted in the heart of God. He just doesn’t work that way.
Every experience we’ve had, season we’ve walked through, interest that’s developed, gift that’s been bestowed, personality trait we possess, dream on our heart – it’s all for something.
There’s a lot of need out there, friends. But for every need there is more than enough resource and gift and hope and creativity within the Body of Christ to address it (and then some).
So here’s my challenge to you:
Identify your rocks. Present them to the Lord. Ask Him to show you an opportunity (which is often a need that you can already see around you!). And then try something – lean into God as you step out in faith… and throw those rocks!
Remember David as he set out with a few rocks in his pocket. We all know the end of the story. And it’s good friends. It’s really, really good.
Friends, does your life have purpose and passion or are you in need of fresh perspective in this area? If so, I encourage you to ask yourself today, “what are my rocks? what’s already in my hand?” and then spend some time with the Lord – the author of your story – asking Him which direction you’re meant to throw them.