I am appalled at how inwardly focused I am. At how self-focused I am. I really believe the issue facing many of us does not have to do with a lack of self-esteem, as I so often hear; rather, it is the temptation to be overly self-focused and think only of ourselves. I’ve been discovering that having this self-focus leads to insecurities, but taking my eyes off of myself leads to confidence.
Tonight I came home (from a wonderful girls night in!) and started to feel really lonely and sad. It was overwhelming. I was like, “Man, during the day I can be all passionate and independent and firey, but at night I just can’t handle it!” Maybe it’s cause my boyfriend and I broke up a couple months ago and I only now have time and brain space to process it. I don’t know.
But it suddenly dawned on me that the loneliness that felt so overwhelming to me was only a drop compared to the ocean of loneliness, fear, and hopelessness which I can only imagine must be experienced every moment by girls sold into human trafficking and prostitution. I am so self-focused on my own little problems that I forget the big picture, and how good I have it compared to the rest of the world. It just broke my heart again.
Lately I’ve really had this on my heart – these young women sold into human trafficking. Ever since watching the movie “Taken” (truly powerful movie with Liam Neeson!), I’ve had this in the back of my head, just an awareness of what has been happening in the world around me while I was so clueless. I mean I knew it happened somewhere sometimes, but it didn’t seem real to me, and I didn’t realize how huge that horrible business is. Recently I read the book “Vanish” by Tess Gerritsen, and I couldn’t put it down. It was a novel, but it had some statistics and facts about the sex trade in it, even here in the U.S., and it was shocking.
Check out this moving video on the sex trade that my friend Ashley showed me,
“Beautiful Slave” by Take No Glory:
So on Monday night I was at a Bible study and they challenged us to spend 5 minutes each day praying about a certain injustice that was on our hearts. So I started praying about human trafficking. Today as I was praying I just had to find out more information, and was shocked to discover how much of this is taking place within our own country – I’m talking estimates of 100,000 minors right here in the U.S.! I know so little about it, but so want to get involved. And I’m praying – for the people helping these girls escape, for the people helping the girls heal afterwards, and for the girls themselves.
If you want to find out more info, check out these websites: International Justice Mission, End Human Trafficking, Polaris Project, and Love 146. And read the stories. These are real girls, just like me, only living in a fear and darkness unlike anything I’ve ever known.
Funny thing is, as I took my eyes off of myself and started praying for these girls, my loneliness vanished. I have to stop looking at my drop and start praying for their ocean. My biggest problem is how self-focused I am; the more I get my eyes off of myself, the less keenly aware I am of my own troubles, and the more in tune I can be with what is going on in the world around me – knowing how to pray, and asking what more I can do to help.