Love Extreme

So I know... I have been a horrible blogger lately. I'm sorry for that! There is so much to say to "catch up" with the past few months. However for now I'm not going to go back to that. For now I just want to share one cool story from our Mega Event called Love Extreme that we had yesterday in Arequipa.

During the morning we had a women's conference (which was amazing in and of itself). After the conference I was waiting for my friend Katie by the bathrooms that were around the corner from the conference. A woman came up to me and asked me about a retreat that Extreme is having for women in a couple weeks. So I started to tell her about it and then told her I could get her information and would love to call her and come visit her this week. She said ok and started to write it down. And then she started telling me how she was sick. How she struggles with alcohol and how she gets drunk a lot because it makes her forget things (she didn't say what), and she can't stop drinking. She said she actually goes to a church but is too embarrassed to tell her pastor or anyone else there. That her brothers and sisters don't know and that she's a single mom. She started to cry as she was telling me this. She said she wants to stop but can't. At one point I just gave her a hug. My friends we hugged for over 45 minutes. And it was a good strong hug. We both prayed out loud off and on. She was weeping for most of the time and I had begun to cry as well. Right there in the middle of this hallway we just held each other and prayed and cried together. At one point my arms started to shake from holding them there for so long and my legs hurt from standing straight that way. And I just prayed in my head for God to give me the strength because I was not going to end that hug until she wanted it to end. Those were His arms holding her, not mine. When the hug finally ended she just kept thanking me and I kept telling her that this is God's love. That He loves her and wants her to be healed. He wants that for her life, he wants to comfort her and help her and hold her.

At some point during that another friend Brittany walked by and she waited for me (Katie had taken off already). When the lady left I went and sat down next to Bri and I couldn't talk. I just started to cry. My hands were shaking, whether from the effects of the hug or the experience I don't know. I finally managed to say "That, that right here, that is what I was supposed to do. That is my call. THAT is why I wanted to come back to Peru." Bri just said "I know. And that lady knows that the love you showed her was real and was coming from someone who could understand pain."

Yesterday was not meant for me. And yet with this one experience I was blessed beyond anything I can even explain. Praise God. What an amazing day.