For years, Abril led a life of organized crime, finding in the gang what she needed: acceptance, companionship, and recognition for doing things their way. Violence was a way of life. She had fallen in like many who take that path, through loneliness and a life with no other option since she was so young when she entered. Cocaine, alcohol, and men vices numbed the worthlessness she felt. To survive, she would rely on herself and her smarts.
But this tragedy of a story ends with a twist that no one expected and certainly no one but God could orchestrate. After hearing about the Princesa program with Breaking Chains through outreach efforts, she decided to apply. The interview went well, and she was accepted into the program, but her heart hadn't changed . . . yet. She should have been cut early for breaking program rules, but God gave Breaking Chains' leaders clear leading: "WAIT on this this one. Mercy."
Then towards the end of the 90 day discipleship program, before a major event, she fell hard again: drunk on the streets. But this time, someone cared. The decision was difficult and through labored prayer the Breaking Chains' leaders felt again: "WAIT. Mercy."
That night when the princesas were sharing testimonies, during deep prayer, her rebellious, proud spirit shattered. Finally, God's love had penetrated her street-hardened heart. For hours the tears melted her heart as she sobbed. She was transformed that night by the only thing that can do the job: God's miraculous Holy Spirit. As one person put it, "We witnessed a David and Goliath miracle in her. She went from the top of most likely to fail, to the top of most likely to succeed." Talk about a 180 degree turnaround. This was it.
And the story gets better; with the help of Breaking Chains, Abril was able to get a great location for her new business, and was even encouraged and supported by her mother when they set it up. But the best news of all is that she has a new location in the Kingdom of God with a new Spirit with in her.
I am reminded of Isaiah 43:19, "For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." Where we see an impossible passage, God sees the undeniable path. Again, this sister inspires me with her insufficiency and Christ's sufficiency.
Where have you felt the way was impossible in your life? When has God said, "WAIT" for you?
Esther's Necklaces celebrates the worthiness of each of those who are called daughters of the King with princess inspired jewelry which supports anti-human trafficking efforts in Latin America.