“So, Kristen, what happens when you’re tired of doing this?” she asked the heavy question as she pointed to the picture of the teen moms at Rehema House hanging in my living room.
I sucked in my breath. I couldn’t decide if I was shocked or offended or a little of both.
We had been having a heart-to-heart about the latest challenges and the overwhelming magnitude of living out the mission of Mercy House.
I thought about the sleepless nights, the heavy burden, the inadequacy. The exhaustion of a God-sized yes.
The question caught me off guard.
And it stung.
Not because she didn’t have the right to ask it, but probably because she did.
She was a dear friend who had walked through heaven and hell with me in the past six years of starting Mercy House.
Maybe the question was so hard because the question was so necessary.
Because honestly–the deep-hard-to-admit truth is I’ve been tired of doing this for years.
I took a deep breath and looked her square in the eyes and said those exact words.
“Maybe you should quit. No one would blame you. You’ve done a lot and you’re only human,” she replied.
This week I’m in Kenya to tell new stories of 7 more pregnant teen girls who’ve recently been rescued, to try and find 61 new monthly sponsors for our latest teen moms and their babies at $20 a month, to fill the 11 Fair Trade Friday memberships that were canceled on my flight across the ocean just yesterday.
I’m here to remember how to keep going.
Today I learned what it feels like to hold a miracle. The tiny baby girl, appropriately named Blessing is the result of a 31 week botched abortion performed on a teen girl who wasn’t given any other options.
But God always has a plan.
Even when we want to quit, especially then.
How many challenging marriages and hard parenting seasons and difficult jobs and acts of wild obedience have worn us out and begged us to walk away. Let’s face it, sometimes quitting is easier. But often, digging in and pushing past our weariness is where we meet a holy God that says, Come unto me and lay your burden down.
And then He fills our arms with Blessings and says this is why you must not stop.
“I refuse to give up. I won’t quit,” I said firmly to my friend that day in my living room.”
“Good,” she replied. “That’s exactly what I was hoping you would say. Now give this to God.”
Maybe you’re bone-tired, weary in your yes, your commitment to stay. Don’t give up. Please.
My friend was brave enough to ask the question and God help me, I’m brave enough to continue. Because you just never know what blessing is counting on you to keep going.