She's ridiculously beautiful. Europeans tend to be I think. I met her backstage at Fashion Week, she was a volunteer like me. She's here in LA for a few months to learn English. She must learn quickly because she speaks really well.
She asked me about my life. What do I do for a living? What is a missionary? Why don't I get paid? Why do I care so much about the models? Why do I care so little about fashion?
Why am I trusting Jesus when I can't even see Him?
I was able to share my story of how He healed me of bulimia. How He freed me from getting my value from others and deriving my worth from guys. I shared about how He has been working in my family, giving me a new identity, and filling me with vision for the future.
I also let her know that its not always easy. I still struggle often and am frequently left crying out for God to come through, again.
She hadn't heard much about God before but after my story she opened up about her precious best friend who recently committed suicide, after an agonizing battle with an eating disorder. Her other best friend is getting healed of her eating disorder after her "recent encounter with God". Marieke was not sure what it meant to trust God, but she knew she was interested.
So this past Sunday we drove our big shuttle bus an extra hour to pick her up and take her to church with us. It was beautiful. She was so excited to spend time with us and hear stories from the other Christians about how God has taken care of them. Right before we went to church she shared, "I think you are all so brave for trusting in a God that you can't see. I want to trust Him but I am just afraid that He isn't real."
Then at church something amazing happened. Marieke met God. She didn't know how to describe it in words but all she could exclaim to me was "I feel like a different person! This morning I woke up and everything was just the same, now I feel hope... I feel God!"
Marieke is a magnificent disciple of Jesus now, praying and reading His word. Her life is so valuable, it is an encouragement to me that boldness in Christ really does change lives. I am so grateful for my new sister and friend, she is such a gift.