Updated: Jul 8, 2022
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” ~Cynthia Occelli
I ran across this quote today and sat with it for a long time. We often think of the effects of trafficking and exploitation as complete destruction. Relationships, families, hearts, minds, trust, faith, love - all aspects of a person crushed under the weight of the evil around them. But the truth is that the women we see every day are not destroyed. They’ve been traumatized, degraded and transformed by the lies and abuse they have endured. And yet, they survived. They were able to push forward to get to a place of safety where they could begin the process of healing and restoration.
The great irony I pondered today is that it is only when God does his work in a woman that she becomes completely undone. Only when God begins to seep into the cracks and crevices of her shell does she completely break open. And when those insides spill out, it can look and feel like complete destruction.
This afternoon I sat on a lawn chair and watched a woman write out her anger with a marker onto some plates and then smash them to bits on the driveway (we bought the plates at a thrift store - I promise we won’t be asking for new dishes). The whole process looked like destruction - anger, tears, pain, shards of dishes scattered everywhere. And she was undone. But as we talked, as her pain and anger and history spilled out, and as I swept up the broken pieces in the driveway, I could only think of hope and joy and promise. God is breaking her open, not so that he can put her back together again, but so he can create something completely new. A creation that bursts out with beauty and fragrance beyond what any human being could imagine.
It is hard to watch our women crack and crush. Sometimes it does look like complete destruction and we wonder if they will break through the dark soil that covers them and allow God to bring forth beauty. And often, sadly, they don’t break through while they are with us. They may peek - they may put forth a stem or a few leaves - and then the light is too much and they retreat. But the work God does in them, no matter how long they are with us, can never be taken away from them and is only the beginning of what he can do.
And when they bloom, it is beauty beyond compare.
By Laura, Program Director