My church is doing a sermon series entitled "Outlive Your Life". I've written about this a couple of times, focusing on how this might possibly look for someone who lives on a very limited budget or is in general overwhelmed by going big with the whole thing. I couldn't help but think about this idea yesterday, when I was able to spend a little time with someone who is outliving her life on the other end of spectrum--all out and big time.
I met Crystal several years ago during our brief stint in Kansas. She was on staff at the same church my husband was working at, and he was always very impressed with the content and quality of the work she did there as a graphic artist. In the past couple of years, Crystal has publicly acknowledged a long term addiction to pornography, which led to other sexual behaviors including masturbation. She began leading recovery groups and workshops, and realized that there were very few resources available for women who were addicted to pornagraphy. That eventually led to Crystal becoming the founder and director of a ministry called 'Dirty Girls Ministries', named in part from the idea that this is such a shame-based addiction, and so many of the women/girls feel dirty and broken from it. She has even written a book about her story of addiction and healing that is set to come out in April. I am so envious of this! I have always wanted to write a book, but Crystal actually made it happen, while continuing her full time job at her church.
OK, cool story, but how is Crystal living her life in such a big way? Well, in a total act of big faith, Crystal has resigned from her church job to devote herself to Dirty Girls Ministries full time. This means no guaranteed income, no benefits, no structure or 'security' in her job, but she is convinced that God has called her to this and has big plans for her and her ministry. This led to how I got to see her yesterday. A local university flew Crystal in to be the speaker at their weekly Chapel service, based on an article the university president had read in a recent New York Times article about her. She was able to talk and share some of her story, and she was brilliant. She said she was nervous, but I couldn't tell. What I do know is that she spoke truth to about 800 students about freedom that is found in Christ, regardless of the struggle or backstory each listener brought into the service yesterday. Crystal doesn't know what tomorrow holds in regards to money or influence or interviews, but she has a firm conviction and knowledge about WHO holds tomorrow. And because of that, she is ouliving her life more than just about anyone I know.
You should check out her website http://www.dirtygirlsministries.com/ and her Facebook page as well, especially if you or someone you know is struggling with pornography/sexual addictions. It really is one of the best resources out there right now. Is this not your particular area of struggle? Check it out anyway, and really consider giving financially to her ministry, which is officially a non-profit organization. This would be a small way to outlive your life by helping Crystal outlive hers. Either way, God wins.