I have had the privilege, thus far, of working with some young women who have been mistreated, abused, used, embarrassed, and humiliated in their life time. Now they are taking the necessary steps to rebuild their lives with the help of a community of people who want to see them progress and move forward. Working in the space with these ladies is so intimate and sacred but when we leave the space, they immediately disconnect and the window that was once open for a moment in time, shuts instantly for their own protection. It is as if you only have an indefinite and fragile length of time to share the gift of God’s grace, which is a by-product of His love. It is such a precious moment; and I want them to know that I am not there to harm or condemn them, but rather take part in their journey with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. With God, I have an opportunity to be a vessel and help restore their trust and faith in life through our relationship. Without trust, their can be no reconciliation. When we are limited in how much we give and receive because we fear being hurt, it is difficult for anyone to go into the depths of our hearts to have truly intimate moments with us; for us it may be too painful. When people are so used to being condemned and hurt by people that violated their trust, the last thing they think is that someone whole-heartedly wants to be their advocate. Jesus does not condemn us. When the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus, they used a woman who committed adultery as their bait; but Jesus’ response was not what they expected: They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more” (John 8:7-11 New Living Translation). Jesus may not care for all of our choices and decisions but ultimately He loves us; but what happens quite often is that we connect or open the window for a moment to get what is needed from God or others and then we close it tightly, shutting everyone and everything out. We are essentially, in our minds, protecting ourselves from hurt or heartbreak. Sometimes we do not realize that when we shut out or numb ourselves to the bad, we end up doing the same with the good things. Our hearts become hardened to the point where God’s face is hidden from us. We cannot see or hear from Him to receive His guidance. “but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 English Standard Version). I continue to realize more and more in my walk with Christ that people help me grow, even when the experience is not so great, I am still able to learn from it. We cannot walk this walk alone. At one point there were very few people I trusted and I thought if I get closer to the Lord, I can eliminate having to deal with people altogether. Haha, Boy, was I wrong! When God places people in your life that you do trust and that can hold you accountable it is for a reason. This is a person that you can build a relationship with that has your best interest at heart. This type of connection and communication helps us understand further or have an earthly example of what it means to communicate with Christ daily. It does not replace our time or relationship with Him but mainly gives us an example of how God wants to interact with us on a daily basis If we want to continue to progress in life, though we have been hurt, we must learn to trust and be in the fellowship of people who can help bring us closer to God daily. It is not easy but it is necessary.