August / September 2015 - Vol. 81
 Broken and Beautiful
“It is true that God’s love and strength are made perfect in our weakness
by Chelsea Duff

I came to Detroit last summer with a lot of hurt and brokenness which I didn’t think I could ever be freed from. I had accepted the fact that it was something I just had to deal with. Seeing the people who live in Detroit; from Sister Judie to the youth we worked alongside, to the homeless and the people in the soup kitchen, God revealed to me some of his perfect love. He showed me that he loved every single one of his children and he was calling me to love them as well. Though, I had to learn to be loved first before I could show love.  I saw how much Sister Judie loved her “treasures” and every volunteer that entered her kitchen. I saw how the other members of the 12-step meetings loved each other and were so quick to call each other on. I also saw that the other people in Detroit Summer Outreach (DSO) loved me. 

Through lots of prayer and being aware of what was going on around me in Detroit, God began to heal the brokenness in me so that I could accept love. I noticed a dramatic change in the way I felt about my past, I felt whole again, I felt loved. I realized that I had not felt truly loved by people outside my family in years. Since then I have grown in this new found love. It has been difficult at times, but I have learned to trust God.  Sometimes I have my doubts but through it all I remember the love He showed me in Detroit and I know that I really have been healed. 

DSO team
Detroit Summer Outreach Team

This summer God has called me back to Detroit. He even changed my plans for the summer for me to be here.  I know that he has a reason for me here this summer. Recently he has been speaking to me about joy: Isaiah 55:12 says “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” God has been showing me how to be joyful and I know that He wants to restore my joy this summer.  I never realized that I was missing “joy” but seeing the people around me, I know that I am. Many of the people here have much less than I do materially, but their joy from the Lord is much greater than mine. I have been struck by how grateful they are with so little.  It is true that God’s love and strength are made perfect in our weakness. God is showing me that I need to humble myself, be meek and let him have control as so many of the homeless I have encountered here do. God’s work in me is not done. I know that there is much He still wants to do this summer and I look forward to discovering what it is.  

See other recent stories from Detroit Summer Outreach and YouthWorks-Detroit:
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