I used to think life was about the big & bold moments. As a little girl, I would always wait for the big holidays and celebrations, counting down the days until I could throw confetti or open presents. As I grew up and became a Christian, I found my hopes would rest in the “God Moving Mountains” moments. I would highly anticipate the miracles- burning bushes and fire coming down from heaven. Maybe like some of you, I was sorely disappointed when God’s voice wasn’t in a booming thunder, but instead in a gentle whisper.
In my wide eyes and hopeful heart, I had forgotten that God is the God of the mustard seed. He is the God of a small light that shines into big darkness. He is also the God of a very special, humble baby born of a virgin in a manger. These are not the moments in faith we like to think about often. It’s easy to forget that they are the very moments that are miraculous on this side of heaven.
During my time at Fashion & Compassion, I have learned this very beautiful and important lesson.
While working in women’s empowerment and praying for reconciliation of a city, a nation, and a world, it can be easy to get caught up in hopes for big moments. Sure, I am desperately asking the Lord that trafficking would be completely abolished and that no woman would ever see another day where she would be abused or mistreated. I am also clinging to the desire for God to get rid of all racial divides and pains that create broken hearts for many. I have big prayers for big moments, and I won’t stop praying these prayers until I see these things come to pass.
However, it is becoming more evident that many “small moments” are truly the miracles that knock me off of my feet. If you’re too caught up looking for the big ones, It can be easy to miss what the Lord is doing right here and right now to answer our prayers.
A great example of this is when last year an artisan lost her home due to a fire set in her apartment complex. Over a hundred refugees in Charlotte were displaced to sleep in an elementary school gym, while the city worked on a solution. This artisan came to Jewelry Project on Friday with fears, pains, and uncertainty. I was uncertain. I wanted to promise her that everything would get better and that she would have a safe place for her and her children. I wanted to give her the “big” answer. But I had nothing. So we prayed. We must have spent several minutes in prayer and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. You would have thought we were in heaven because several languages covered this sweet woman and her family with prayers. When I opened my eyes, a basket had appeared in the center of the table. And in that basket were coins and dollars the artisans had decided to collect during the prayer. It was enough money to get our artisan through the week.
Many of the ladies couldn’t even speak the same language as our artisan in crisis. They had no idea what she was going through, but their faith, the connection they had as women, and the desire to empower one another gave them the inspiration to give of what little they had to her. THIS was a “big” answer.
And many more moments like this happen every day. We have seen miracles when an artisan decides not to pick up a bottle when she was tempted. We have seen miracles when an artisan has been honest about her grief in a group setting. We have seen miracles when two very different artisans, of completely different backgrounds, come together and become friends. We have seen miracles when an artisan applies for her very first job and clicks “submit” on the application. We have seen miracles when an artisan stands up and shares her testimony of strength. We have seen miracles when we sit together, stringing beads, and realize that love for God and one another is stronger than anything we could ever choose.
I can’t really explain it, but I have come to love the small moments. I have come to believe in them. Many of you may know that my season as a Fashion & Compassion employee will be coming to a close at the end of this week. The Lord has opened a door for my future education, and I am so blessed to be walking into deeper training for a life of ministry. And while I am heavy hearted to be saying “goodbye” I am grateful for each and every staff member, artisan, volunteer, and partner. For they are the women who have taught me, you only need to have a little flicker of a flame to cast out darkness. You only need to have a small mustard seed to produce a big garden. If you truly believe that the God of Miracles is on your side, small faithfulness leads to big miracles.
"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."- Matthew 13:31-32
I leave this ministry believing now more than ever that the big prayers I have will be answered. It allows me to celebrate and worship in the mundane, or what may even seem normal. Little things ARE worth celebrating & so I leave on a note of celebration and I encourage you to do the same. If you are heartbroken about the state of our world, don’t worry we are too and the Father is all the more. But we don’t give up hope. We look for small seeds of faith, and small flames and we call them to grow!
One day, we truly hope and believe that all women will have justice, peace, and restoration. Until then, we keep living for the small miracles and ask you to embrace & encourage them for the women around you as well.
Love & Gratitude,
Please join us in Celebrating all that Anna has contributed to the lives of literally THOUSANDS of women by writing a note or a prayer in the comment area below…