A girl from Atlanta

I drove into the city this morning for a work video shoot. On the way down, I listened to one of my favorite podcasts from Passion City Church. In it, Pastor Louie Giglio shared how anxiety had been a story for much of his life. He joked that his dad was an Olympic Gold Medal worrier and that he caught the same genes.

We shot our first take in front of the Millennium Park bean (I didn’t realize it is actually named Cloud Gate until I had to get a video permit to film last week!) and as soon as we started, a petite blonde girl about my age came up to us with a baby in a stroller.

“Are you guys believers?” she asked. “Yes!” we said, smiling and we introduced ourselves. “I’m Lindsay,” she said. “I was walking by and felt like God wanted me to come over and pray for you. I heard you say the word ‘God’ in your video but I wasn’t sure if it was in a positive or negative way. But I felt like God asked me to come pray for you and for whatever you’re doing today, so I came over — even though I was totally scared.”

“I’m new at praying out loud,” she said. “I stumble over my words a lot, but I’m trying.” And she started to pray for us. After, we asked her where she was from. “Atlanta,” she said. “I actually go to a church called Passion City and my husband leads worship at one of the satellite campuses.”

“I was just listening to a Passion City Church podcast on my drive down here!” I excitedly exclaimed. “That’s incredible. What brings you to Chicago?” I asked.

Lindsay was diagnosed with a form of pre-cancer in her cervix. After doctors found abnormal cells in her uterus, Lindsay opted for treatment from one of the leading holistic medicine doctors in Chicago. “I come up to Chicago every five weeks to visit a doctor for treatment,” she shared. “I’m confident that I’m getting better.”

Throughout the morning, our film crew asked people their thoughts about society’s biggest issues today — racism, immigration, gender identity and more. We asked Lindsay if we could ask her some questions, too. As we wrapped up, Lindsay asked, “Could I share with you how I began a relationship with Jesus?” “Yes!” we said.

“I was actually sold into the sex slave trade when I was 19,” she said. “Well, not sold, but misled into it. I was brought to Florida and it was terrible. There was a pimp and everything. I wanted to escape, but I was afraid. One day, a woman gave me a card on the street that said, ‘God has not forgotten about you.’ I knew this was a turning point and I got out of it. My family didn’t want anything to do with me when I returned home. They thought I wanted to be a part of the sex trade. I felt so alone. I think sometimes God lets us be alone so we realize he is all we really need. I joined a church and that’s where I met my husband. We have three children. God rescued me. Now, I’m hearing God’s voice and His Holy Spirit prompts and I am trying to follow every day where he leads. That’s why I came up to you guys.”

After exchanging contact information and praying a bit more, we departed. I stood there, amazed. I know some people call things like this a coincidence, but I cannot help but see God’s hand weaving things together. I am so thankful for Lindsay’s courage to reach out because she was easily the best part of my day.

There is nothing in the world like feeling God prompt you in your gut to love someone in some way. You get the nudge. Your heart starts to race. The worry creeps in. Anxiety. What if? What if it’s awkward? What if I say the wrong thing? But when you do it — when you make the phone call or give the hug or start the conversation — there’s no rush like it. Even when you don’t see the outcome. Even when you stumble over your words. Even when you feel ill-equipped. When you finally realize that the God of the universe asked you to be a part of his plan to bring His Kingdom of love to someone on this earth and you actually gave it a shot, you get a glimpse into the breathtakingly beautiful abundant life that Jesus invites us all into.

And it is so worth it.




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