Just Lisa

I was at my therapy appointment (honestly, we all need a therapist) and I was talking about my future career options.   Basically, my uncertainty that I wanted to be just a fill in the blank.  And then my brilliant and amazing therapist (for real) told me to say it differently.   Not as an adverb, but as an adjective.  If you don’t know the difference (it took me a minute, too) here is the difference:

just |jəst|

adverb:  barely; by a little: I got here just after nine | inflation fell to just over 4 percent | I only just caught the train.

adjective: based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair: a just and democratic society | fighting for a just cause.

And in that simple (or incredibly wordy and weepy) exchange, I was no longer just anything and I was absolutely Just Lisa.  The air felt lighter and the pressure to have my career define my faith or my worth shifted away from what I do and focussed on who I am.

While I was on staff at a church, I had the amazing opportunity to work with people who are doing crazy great things in the world.  In a crazy turn of events, I was asked to write a blog for them about one the things I’m passionate about, justice and human trafficking.

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I can choose to be just Lisa, unsure, small, and barely able Lisa. Or I can choose to be Just Lisa, capable, smart and brave enough Lisa to share this post and my thoughts on things. A change in perspective (and semantics) can do amazing things.  What words do you use to define yourself? Do they minimize your abilities, or do they empower you to have an impact where you are?

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Restoration

Over the past couple of years, God has been placing people in my life who have done some amazing things.  Now they wouldn’t say that they are amazing, but I don’t think that they see themselves the way that I do. They have sacrificed SO much. Their time, resources, energy, security. They have put their faith into action.  And when people see them, they see Jesus.  It’s impossible not to. Last week you met Daryl via video.  He’s smart, articulate, and thoughtful. He’s also incredibly brave. He shared his story of adoption and what it looked like to place a child up for adoption. If you missed it, you can watch it HERE.

This week, you will meet the Burrows. Robyn volunteers with the Cottage Grove campus and getting to hear her story of adopting has changed me. It changed the way I saw foster care and the way that God pursues us. If you need to see how love wins, this weekend will be the perfect time to witness how Jesus uses us to bring restoration to a fallen, broken world.

Sometimes we think of orphans as abandoned children in faraway lands.  It’s easier (not easy, but less hard) to think of orphans being so far away…it’s difficult and expensive to change their lives.  Most of us don’t have plans to travel hours in a plane to pursue a child that doesn’t even speak our language. But the truth is, we have orphans in each of our communities. Right here, in our neighborhoods, in our schools, in our churches there are kids who have been abandoned and given up on and are desperately looking to belong and be loved.  We don’t have orphanages and we don’t call them orphans. We have foster care and if you are abandoned you become a foster kid. That’s harder to accept because that means that God wants us, Crossroads, to be a part of the solution right here at home.   His desire is that we pursue those kids:

  • Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of thefatherless, plead the case of the widow.
  • Psalm 10:17-18 Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.  Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.
  • James 1:27  Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
  • John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Each of us has a role that God created us to fill.   My prayer is that you come away from this series know what your role is in caring for the orphans of the world; both in faraway lands and right next door.   

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Lisa Adams
Director of Missions and Care 

Some next steps:

  • On the evening of September 15th we are hosting a Strengthening Families Roundtable at the Woodbury campus at 6:30pm.  It will be an evening to discuss adoption and foster care. Information will be shared regarding domestic and foreign adoption, foster care, foster-care-to-adoption, and ways that we can help families in crisis. You can register HERE.
  •  The monthly GOment is a diaper drive that is benefiting Safe Families. Safe Families seeks to prevent abuse and neglect and come alongside parents in crisis by placing children in volunteer homes temporarily. Through a network of host families including singles, empty nesters, families with kids in the home, and even families with both parents working. Kids are being kept safe and being deflected from the foster care system. Meanwhile their parents are given tools and support to restore stability in their lives and ultimately are reunited with their children. We will be collecting diapers throughout the month of AUGUST to show our support to the families who are demonstrating hospitality and love by helping children and their families in crisis.  Diapers that are new and unopened will be accepted at the Woodbury and Cottage Grove campuses. Sizes 3 -5 are the most needed.
  •  Serve His Kids  has set the dates for their fall trip to the orphanage in Reynosa, Mexico. The trip will run from Saturday October 11 to the 18th. There are two informational meetings at the Washington County Library in Woodbury. Saturday August 16th from 10:00 AM to noon and Saturday September 27th from 10:00 AM to noon. The team will serve and share God’s love with the kids at the Pilar Orphanage in Reynosa, Mexico!  Kids, education, sports, crafts, work project and more ministries.  For more information contact Rick Ross –rickross400@msn.com; 651-442-8314.