I took the advice of one of my teammates and intentionally put myself in a position where I would be uncomfortable so that God could use me. I decided to work in registration here at Mission Arlington. I was scared to do that initially, because I knew I would have to communicate with a lot of people, and that’s something I struggle with. At first, I was still really scared. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or go help them. It got to the point where I didn’t have a choice, because all of the other people were busy.
A woman had walked in. I handed her a clipboard and explained to her what she needed to do. She kept saying: “I’m so sorry. This time of year is rough. I’ve had a bad morning.” I helped her find a seat, and when she finished filling out the paperwork, I went over to verify her documents. As I was looking over birth certificates and other things, her eyes were just glowing as she told me about her kids and the stuff they like to do. She explained she had nine kids, and only three are still young enough to live in her house.
Then she started to talk about her 11-year-old daughter. She told me that because of self-harm habits and attempted suicides, her daughter spent time in and out of psychiatric wards. Her mom wanted to get the girl something nice for Christmas so she would “maybe want to stay.” I realized she wasn’t just talking about her daughter staying at home. She was talking about how her daughter doesn’t want to stay on this Earth at all. That broke my heart so much. The woman began tearing up at this point, and she looked at me so solemnly, saying: “Can you just keep my baby girl in your prayers? I don’t know what I would do if I lost her.”
I asked her if she was comfortable with me praying with her right then, and she said that was OK. I asked if there was anything else that I could pray for, and she began to tell me about many of the other struggles she’s facing with her family. She can’t work, her husband just lost his job, and she missed her renewal for food stamps. The only gifts she was able to get for Christmas were for the three kids in her household. She was so upset, because they didn’t even have a Christmas tree up, because she had gotten injured and couldn’t do it. She was broken and overloaded and just exhausted.
I took her hands and prayed for her, hoping that she would find peace and comfort in Christ. I prayed she would not to trust the world, and that God would provide for her like we knew he could. I prayed that her daughter would be healed mentally and physically because of her love for Jesus, and that God would bring someone into her life to disciple her and lead her toward him. After we were done, I talked with her a bit longer until she was called away. I was so encouraged by that woman and her trust in God. She left there knowing God would take care of her, and I’m confident he will.
Serenity Harris, a student at Tyler Junior College, served with Go Now Missions at Mission Arlington.