The world says that doing anything we crave is what freedom looks like. After some sobriety, I’ve realized that meeting my needs the way God intended is actually freedom. That other idea is bondage.MVF Participant
In my time at MVF, I’ve learned that God is always with me, that He has always been with me, and He will never leave me. I’ve found that when I fall, relapse, and run from Him, I am much quicker to return to Him, instead of living in a place of defeat. Additionally, I’ve grown in understanding that my feelings are valid. I know they aren’t always truth, but I have learned it’s okay to feel what I feel. Most importantly, I’ve learned the value of relationship, presence, knowing others, and being known.MVF Graduate
This fall, I got the opportunity to be part of the wedding of a man I walked alongside and mentored as he walked toward sexual wholeness. He and his wife are starting their lives together, even though that seemed an impossibility to him a few years ago.
So rejoice, O sons of Zion, And be glad in the Lord your God; For He has given you the early [autumn] rain for your vindication … Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten … Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, And there is no other; and My people will never be put to shame.
God is amazing, and I get to sit and watch him redeem, heal, and transform people. It’s an incredible privilege and challenging at the same time. As a ministry, we are called to be a voice for God’s heart and reflect that to people who are deeply wounded by neglect, abuse, rejection, and other wounds. The understandable byproduct of those traumas is various destructive behaviors: homosexuality, promiscuity, pornography, codependency, and others. God likes to bring beauty from the ashes of our destructive choices.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed … To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
Along the way, we get to see some of the external outcomes (fruit) of God’s work in individuals lives:
freedom to experience emotions, understanding true identity/value/worth, restored hope, empowered, intimacy with Christ as an important aspect of healing, intentionality in life/choices/behavior, safety, restored marriages, engaged fathers and mothers, healthy relationships and intimacy, authenticity, peace, freedom, restored/new vision for the future, creativity being expressed, walking in God’s plan for their life, and more.
It’s an amazing list! Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be sharing some stories with you of what God’s been up to in people’s lives through MVF. To start with, we have a collage of a few stories, some of which you’ll get to hear more from in the coming weeks.