Defining Moments or Defining Choices By Joy Brooks
I recently had coffee with Joy Brooks, where she shared her ministry and her passion for praying to stop child slavery and trafficking. I’m so glad to have the opportunity to write a devotional for her Prayer for Freedom campaign in September. I asked her to guest on my blog and share what she does.
Joy is the author of “How to Pray for Justice and Change the World.”
For the last several years I have worked with “Prayer for Freedom” raising awareness about human trafficking, assisting victims and survivors to rebuild their lives and asking people to pray for the end of slavery.
During September “Prayer for Freedom” will be hosting a prayer and fasting campaign called “PF 21.” We are asking people to join in us to pray for an end to slavery around the world. I believe this will be a defining choice for many people to take the time to pray for freedom for people around the world and who knows maybe it will be your defining moment as well.
In Andy Stanley’s book, “Defining Moments” he explains a defining moment: “A defining moment is when you come face to face with the truth about your life that invites you to change the way you live. A defining moment demands a decision on the your part. And once you reach a defining moment, regardless of the choice you make, your life will never be the same.”
Many times I have heard speakers talk about defining moments. I can almost imagine the fog coming out from the train in a scene from a movie, or the moment when someone saved a child from being hit by a car through taking the impact themselves. Don’t get me wrong, that’s amazing, and impressive to say the least. But I can only remember one instance in my life where I had a defining moment. It was not impressive in any way and right after I went out to eat with friends then went right to sleep.
It was in 2009, I heard Gary Haugen founder of “International Justice Mission” a human rights non-profit talk about injustice around the world. He told the story of a young girl from India who had been rescued out of sex slavery. This young girl knew that other girls were still trapped so with no thought to herself or safety she revealed to the police and the workers with International Justice Mission where they could find other girls. Because of that girl they were able to find over a dozen other girls and bring them to safety and freedom. After he shared this remarkable story he went on to say that “we” the church are God’s answer to injustice and you are Gods answer to injustice.
A light switch got turned on inside of me that hour and from that day I have prayed for the end of slavery everyday. And I have asked others to pray with me to end slavery.
Many people might say it was a defining moment in my life but it was a defining choice. I still had to choice daily to pray, to move and give up my comfortable life, career and friends. I had to seek God daily to know how I could help and what I could do to end slavery. Still to this day I am making defining choices that could bring a defining moment in time to my life and the lives of others enslaved.
As in most things that are worth doing, it’s hard, challenging, complex and not easy. But those are the defining moments when I choose, I will follow though, I will fight for freedom, I will not back down and I will live with courage. Those are the moments that define us, not one moment in our life. Everyday decisions that can bring us closer to God, to our family, to giving love. Defining choices, to choice God’s way and not our own.
“My choice is you, God, first and only. And now I find I’m your choice! You set me up with a house and yard. And then you made me your heir!” (Psalm 16:5-6 The Message).