A year ago I would have thought you were crazy if you told me I’d be moving to New Orleans, Louisiana. I was a city girl who was not ready to give up that title, even though New York and I had a love/hate relationship. I do credit the “Big Apple” for teaching me a lot of life lessons. It gave me tough skin and I’d eventually grow up much faster than I’d anticipate. From almost falling into the subway tracks to recovering from a major surgery, graduating college, landing a couple of cool internships, stalling twice in the middle of Harlem, kickstarting my backpacking adventures abroad, volunteering at Hillsong Church NYC, and the list could go on and on.
And then life happened. After finding out a bad report from doctors I made a positive decision that this wouldn’t be the end of my life but that I needed to remove myself from the negativity surrounding me. To be honest, I really didn’t know what that would look like but I made some quick decisions that eventually would leave me packing my things, hitting the road and taking a very long drive down to New Orleans. I left the current work and the “success” I thought I achieved all behind to a place unfamiliar. It was time to fulfill God’s plan for my life and not my own. I’m learning that we can’t compare “success” to what the world paints. A surrendered life is truly a successful life in Christ.
Fast forward to now being in Nola getting acquainted with all things jazz, festivals, po’ boys and crawfish! Most recently, I’ve been involved with a ministry that helps feed and clothe those in and around the heart of the city, that is the French Quarter. It’s been an honor to join alongside those who just have a heart for people and share the love of Christ to our street friends. Every Wednesday we prepare food like red beans and rice, chips, fruit, dessert, and water from our donations throughout the week. We gather near the riverside as we enter into prayer and then we begin making our walk with wagons full of food, toiletries and clothes.
For me, this was a stepping out moment. I’m the very person who’d ignore people on the streets in New York, just too caught up in my own life to feel much empathy. Funny to see how the Lord can turn that around. Now I’ve come to learn and make friends with these individuals. I get the opportunity to learn their stories like why they started living on the streets. Some waiting to get onto “the list” for an apartment, retired veterans, orphans, addicts and more. To me, these are the very people my father embraces, loves and recognizes.
Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
Our street friends asking for prayer and our team giving them a word of encouragement.
Sometimes the earth likes to unleash it’s pure glory when we are out feeding. From angels showing up in pictures, rainbows showing His promises, what I call demons trying to manifest in human form, it’s been a very supernatural experience which makes me more confident in knowing God is in the midst of beauty and chaos.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do in life but it may not seem like the normal thing to do? What if I told you that what’s waiting on the other side might be something you would have never dreamt. All it takes is that first step and that first “yes.” I promise you that no matter what it might look like, trust His plan for your life.