Prayer request!

(Julia Bracewell) #1

Hey friends!

Asking for some prayer from this community. I shared a bit my job in my introduction, so some might already know that I work as the women’s outreach coordinator at an HIV/AIDS Service Organization. The work environment can be challenging sometimes as my beliefs often feel the exact opposite of everyone here. The philosophy here can be summed up by saying “everyone should be allowed to do whatever they want, there’s no real right or wrong, do not say anything negative about anyone’s choices”. For example, some of my coworkers believe drug use is not a bad thing and there are no negative consequences. So around those people, you can’t even say that substance addictions are negative, or that you feel bad for someone struggling. (I mostly work with women who use substances, doing harm reduction work, so I find this belief absolutely nonsensical since we are all very aware of the results of a drug struggle). Most days I feel comfortable and happy amongst my co-workers and very much love getting to know them and honestly be who I am, but I’m growing increasingly anxious as one of my coworkers is quite anti-christian. I’ve shared my faith with many coworkers that I am growing more comfortable around, but I find myself afraid that once this person finds out she is going to be mean or confrontational. I really love this person, but am starting to feel like I need to hide my faith from her- which is not a feeling I want to have.

I know on a logical level that I don’t need to be afraid because God is with me in this environment and wants to do work here… but I still feel afraid. It’s sort of funny because before I got this job I had been praying that God will help me become a better sharer of my faith and make me more comfortable being open about my beliefs about unbelievers. I graduated from bible college in May so I hadn’t been “in the world” apart from my part time job in some years. Naturally, I then got a job here where the women doing the job before me ran “sex toy bingos” as an outreach activity to discuss sexual health at the local shelters. (We had a fun conversation when I told her I would be discontinuing those). So, I know I am here to learn. Will you pray for me in this? I want to have peace instead of fear.

(Josué Aparicio) #2

This sounds like a tough situation you’re in and I will definitely pray that you find a solution. I’ve had some past experiences that might be able to shed light that hopefully gives you encouragement.

I’ve experimented with drugs before and it took me a while to understand the negative effects of it. I didn’t care if it was bad for me because I liked how it made me feel. It filled an emptiness inside me by giving me happiness that was only temporary. I knew it wasn’t physically good for me but I didn’t care because I led myself to believe I was being responsible with it. I communicated with friends of what I was doing but I was never compelled to change because I kept hearing the same facts in the form of questions, “don’t you know that’s bad for you?”

As christians, we want to and need to share our faith and our intentions are good but our approach falls flat. Our approach needs to have empathy at its core, trying to understand the either side and imagine how they see it and why. Asking questions helps with this. The more you ask, the more you’ll understand. Uncover the intentions and why they view it that way.

My hope is that when this is done, they’ll ask you what your views on it and why. Give a thoughtful response that reaches farther than, “because it’s bad for you.” Everyone knows it is. That’s a common a belief. What we don’t share in common is our why’s and that’s where the most profound conversations can begin.

I read these words today by St. Francis of Assisi,

“Preach the word of God wherever you go, even use words, if necessary.”

Listen to a sermon by Timothy Keller that’s called “Eating with Jesus”. Really insightful and practical for how we should share our faith.

God bless you as you face this challenge in your life!

(Julia Bracewell) #3

Hey, thanks for sharing that! Yes, definitely don’t want to start from a place of judgment. Like you said, ask questions first and get to the root, then address. I think for people at my workplace, we try really hard to be non-judgmental and i’m all for that. My clients, most of whom are using drugs, doing sex work, etc. won’t come to us if they feel judged. But I think there’s an extreme end to that, where we decide not to judge and then take it one step further and saying nothing is morally wrong at all. And that’s where some at my work have gone. Not everyone, just a few. They would say drugs and sex work are great things and to express a different belief is damaging. Luckily this isn’t the stance of the organization, just something I’m exposed to in conversation. I’m just seeing the extreme end of these beliefs.

Ya its finding the common ground that’s key. I’ve actually been able to have some neat conversations in that regard. A little while I was talking to my supervisor and we got on the topic of faith and I had shared that its my belief in God and His love that leads me to love and has lead me to my work here. I told her that the number one command in the Bible is to love others and she was shocked. I also told her we’re commanded not to judge those outside the church and she was even more shocked and I think she was putting the pieces together in her head that they way she aims to live (loving everyone, never judging) is Biblical! She only knew Christians to be judgey and didn’t know the Bible said differently. So finding that common ground was a great avenue for sharing more about what Christianity is all about.

Also, love that St. Francis Quote! And thanks for that sermon recommendation. I just downloaded the podcast so I’ll give it a listen ASAP! :slight_smile:

(SeanO) #4

@Julia_Bracewell May the Lord Jesus protect you and guard you from all evil. May Christ give you wisdom to know what direction to take as you move forward and guide your path as you trust in Him!

(David Cieszynski) #5

Hi Julia,

God has put you there for a purpose, and you need to be you being Spirit driven. Also don’t try and second guess someones actions, instead give it to the Lord.

(Julia Bracewell) #6

You are right! Thank you!

(Trishka ) #7

Greeting Julia from South Africa. Well done on graduating from Bible college, that’s wonderful! Praise God!!!
I just wanted to say to you be strong. Remember that in the midst of the fire, that’s when our faith counts. Shadrack, Meshack & Abendigo, need I say more?? In the presence of GOD shame has to leave, fear has to bow & chains have to break. Easier said than done, I know!
Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”. Soooo, don’t give up, because it’s a promise!

  • Also the person that you are feeling afraid that he / she maybe mean to you… Just pray & ask GOD to deal with them. Because you can surely trust that a “spiritual smack”:wink:from GOD is all they need!
    GOD bless you & I will be praying over you for strength & wisdom!

(angelina Edmonston) #8


I experienced this same “feeling” when I was in a former neighborhood. The place had people who were involved in various beliefs, and were controlling regarding their beliefs. I have never experienced such a spiritual warfare where I felt fearful of sharing my beliefs- UNTIL THEN. I see this warfare increasing with the rise of TV that shows more false religions especially related to occultism.

I came across a teaching on youtube regarding spiritual attacks on the church. by a man named Morris called “stop tolerating Jezebel”. The exhortation to the church in the book of Revelations. I found this helpful as he spoke to church leaders.

We are not wrestling flesh and blood… Jesus told us what would happen in the last days. Many are calling evil good and good evil. Thank the LORD IS GREATER. And Jesus/ YAHShua WINS!!!

GOD did not give us a spirit of fear… but power love and a sound mind.

Be encouraged.