Hope once lost now stands renewed.

I wrote this post last night, and sat on it all day trying to decide if I should share it or not. Last night I hit a wall of despair at the overwhelming reality of human trafficking. This morning I woke to a new day, and encountered love and grace at every turn. I decided to post this, because I think it is good to be reminded that the fight for justice is a fight, and it can get messy. It is okay to acknowledge that. But like any good fight, when we get knocked down, we gotta pick ourselves up and throw another punch…

It started today as I stared at the perfect little hands of my friend’s two week old baby. Precious hands, innocent hands. His whole body so fragile, desperately in need of protection. The thought came before I could stop it. “He has no idea what kind of evil is in this world.”

I felt a profound sadness in my very core, as I considered that every child starts out needing protection and we have failed to protect so many.

It slipped out again over dinner, as I made a comment about serial killers targeting women in prostitution. Taking a nice family dinner down a much darker road.

The it I am referring to is the darkness I have chosen to open my eyes to, the one I haven’t forgotten from the moment I chose to no longer be in ignorance, the one that sometimes crosses the threshold of normal life and reminds me that knowing the truth just sucks sometimes.

It means that when I see a new born baby, despite my joy, I am reminded of a story where a women’s new born was taken form her arms, before she had even left the hospital, and sold to an illegal adoption agency. The mother was told her child died.

It means that when I sit and eat my regular dinner, and conversation is totally neutral, I can’t help but open my mouth and remind everyone that there is something much darker happening behind the scenes.

It means when I go to get a manicure, and I see the nail technician has a faded tattoo of a guys name on her arm, I can’t help wondering if this guy was just a boyfriend, or if he was a pimp. I remember all the other tattoo’s of names I have seen on the arms, or necks, or breasts of girls branded by their pimps so everyone would know who they worked for.

I hate that I know these things.

I hate that in the dark of the night, I lie awake wondering what happened to that girl who came looking for help, five months pregnant, desperate to escape her abusive pimp, but who one week later went back to him. The one who looked me in the eye and said, “I promise I will stay away from him, for the sake of the baby, I promise I won’t let you down.” Already though, I knew enough to know that she was making a promise she couldn’t keep, a promise I would never have asked her to make, a promise I wanted to believe, and am now left wondering about.

I hate that when you read this post, you too will be made uncomfortable, reminded of how dark the world of human trafficking is, enough to taint our comfort and ruin our dinner.

And yet, what would light be without darkness?

Would we appreciate spring, if we did not pass through the gloom of winter?

Can I truly celebrate freedom, if I have no concept of what it means to be shackled?

In the world of fighting slavery, there is a conscious decision to focus on hope.

But the opposite of hope is despair. We need to despair at the evil that is slavery if we are to turn around and hope.

Hope;

Synonyms:
noun.  expectation – expectancy – expectance – trust – promise
verb.  trust – expect – anticipate

Hope shines brightest in that moment when we despair, when we look forward and we see only darkness, when we feel like laying down in the fight, when we believe that all is lost…

It’s that moment (yes I am about to do this) in LOTR II, when they ride out of Helm’s Deep knowing that they are outnumbered, and the word’s of Gandolf echo “Look to my coming on the first light of the fifth day, at dawn look to the east.” (you know you love that I just quoted that); and you look up as he rides up and dawn breaks (I avoided a ‘Breaking Dawn’ reference there), and the tides turn, and hope once lost stands renewed.

That feeling of light suddenly piercing through, of reinforcements joining the ranks, of someone else picking you up and whispering “just keep going forward”. It is the realization that it is not over yet. The expectation that my actions do matter, the anticipation of seeing change, the trust that we are not alone in the fight.

Hope is the celebration of what is to come.

It’s too late for me to turn back and pretend that I am ignorant to the world’s injustices. But it’s not too late to decide how I will let this knowledge shape me.

I can let it rob my joy and kill my spirit. Or I can allow it to give me a reason to celebrate all the more those moments that are good. “Be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” Human Trafficking sucks. Sometimes I wish I could forget the things I’ve seen. Being part of bringing just a little bit of hope into the world, even if it means looking into darkness, is worth it, because nothing renews our hope like knowing that one person has experienced freedom because we were willing to try.

This morning, someone prayed over me that I would keep seeing the beauty in this world, whether it’s in the cry of a new born, or a magnificent sunset. It is a process, sometimes we have to fight to see beauty in the broken, but it is worth it.

Where do you find hope and renew your spirit when the trials of this world get you down?

Comments
13 Responses to “Hope once lost now stands renewed.”
  1. This is a powerful post and I connected with every word. I was so close at one point in my life to being like those young girls branded by their pimps. Only by the grace of God did I escape that narrow path. I’ve seen too many women walk into it unknowing, mistaking that abuse for love and protection. Please continue writing and letting people know the ugly and dark side to this underground slave trade that is killing and abusing women all around the world. In our own backyards…

  2. Paulina says:

    Yes dear Saskia, it is a about balance.A continual struggle for most of us. We must never forget that it is Jesus who died on the cross and not us. His burden is light. He is for YOU and also concerned about YOUR life. Receive the good gifts that come from Him. He uses you, but He is ultimately responsible! Just some encouragement from an older woman😉

  3. Mama Mieke says:

    Psalm 139
    7Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
    8If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths,a you are there.
    9If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    10even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,

    11If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
    12even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

    Love you, Mum

  4. chelan says:

    Thank you for sharing. Found on FB and was happy to read this. Really well thought out and written. 🙂 Last year God allowed me an opportunity to be a part of arranging for a friend of mine who was once trafficked and enslaved and tattoo’d with her pimp’s street name… to have her tattoo covered with flowers and a white butterfly in flight. It symbolizes her growth and her new freedom. No more will she look in the mirror behind her and see his name – his symbol of ownership. I praise God at the thought of it every time – that now she is free, but in the most fundamental sense of the word.
    Every day she’s got to make choices – how to fight the evil that feeds the industry, how to live beyond fear, how to trust Jesus, how to heal a little more, pay bills, make a difference for those at risk, and how to hold on to hope when it seems to have lost its grip & slipped away. But she is a survivor in the truest sense of the word & I pray that she will not give up using her 3 year long helpless experience in the sex trade, to help keep other girls safe. To educate. To make this world a better place for her 5 year old son.
    I have those moments all the time, like the one you had getting a manicure. I’ve ruined my husband with them too. But he’s ok with it. These thoughts and wonderings & awkward dinner conversations with friends will fuel discomfort, which will light fire to more change. Which will set ablaze this earth with more action. And with that, the illegal industry of sex slavery will be exposed and slowly burned to a crisp.
    That’s my dream.

    Thank you for sharing.

    ~ Chelan
    Stop Child Trafficking Now ~ Portland

    • justsaskia says:

      Hi Chelan,

      Thanks so much for sharing that story and connecting. I think covering their tattoo’s with something beautiful is definitely an amazing way to bless them. I think your right, it is hard to make people uncomfortable, but that is the only way we will begin to see the desire for change. If we are comfortable, it is easy to continue living our own lives and turn away from human suffering.

      Glad you read and commented!

  5. Melody Davis says:

    Wow. This struck deep. Human trafficking is something that makes me feel soooo sick to my core, yet something that I need to investigate more. It’s on my heart… These children, women and men are on my heart. Your writing spoke to a different part of my life, but opened my eyes again to the reality of his world. Thank you for sharing.

  6. gemmarwilson says:

    This is EXACTLY what I needed to read tonight. Thank you.

    The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness CANNOT overcome it.

    xx

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