My Heart and I Wrestle Sometimes...by Amy Wilson

God does works in my heart that I don’t always understand. A few years ago, for the first time in my life, I had a great desire to make an impact on the world for Jesus. You know, like outside of impacting my own kids or teaching/counseling little ones at the school I was employed at, or even serving at Valley Church. I figured this desire could only mean I needed to go on a mission trip… at the very least. Granted, I also tried to convince my husband to get a job overseas, sell everything and live in an RV or take the whole family to a developing nation and in each case do some sort of work for the cause of the Lord. So what I am saying is that I may have a tendency to be a bit, mmm, spur-of-the-moment.

Thankfully, my husband, Wes, balances me. We pray about important decisions.When I was younger, I would just make decisions and hope God was really there when I arrived. Now, I’ve learned to slow down and listen, to make sure that my decisions are wise, and to make sure that God is really leading in that way. Since my dear husband has never felt a call to move to a developing nation even after all of my prodding, I can be pretty sure it was my own idea and not His. So short term missions it was, right? But there was the big problem of who would watch my kids. We tried to fabricate many ways to make it work, and I’ll spare you the details, but it just didn’t work right now. Sure, I could just do it and it would “all work out” but when I really listened to God, it wasn’t my best yes.

Thankfully, I believe in the God who has perfect timing and knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows that we are part of a body and that each member has his or her own strengths. He knows my strengths and He knows my many less-developed areas too.  I do believe I will go on overseas missions eventually, but He will lead that decision. So that’s how I ended up involved with a home-based business called Noonday Collection.

Noonday Collection is a business that uses fashion to create meaningful opportunities around the world. This company is knocking it out of the ballpark with global impact. You see, the artisans who supply Noonday Collection products are from 13 developing countries and they handcraft all of the jewelry and accessories themselves. Noonday provides a marketplace for these artisans who are able to build their own businesses and strengthen their families.  They break bonds of poverty by empowering women and by creating well-paying jobs. They are in Peru where my family sponsors a child, they are in the same Indian city that Valley Church members serve yearly, and they are in Ethiopia where my dearest friends received the blessing of their adopted child. I became a Noonday Ambassador almost one year ago and wow, I am overwhelmed by God’s greatness in letting me be a part of the Noonday story. And did I say, I get to be a part of that… right now. It is not my time to move across the ocean, but it is my time to learn, pray, and serve people groups I’ve never met. In return, I hear victory stories of families being reunited, of people receiving healthcare for HIV, and about women being educated and valued.

But there is more wrestling in this heart of mine.

I feel burdened again as I start to follow along with the development of Dorothy’s House here in Des Moines. Dorothy’s House is an organization here in Central Iowa created to help teen girls who are recovering from sex-trafficking and severe sexual abuse.  Maybe you’ve followed along as some of Valley’s own members set out to raise funds through the Okoboji 200 in June, a 200 mile bike ride/relay run to raise funds for Dorothy’s House and for a recovery house in Nepal. Or if you attended Coffee, Chocolate, Chat last month you were able to hear from representatives from Dorothy’s House directly. God was stirring my heart to do a Noonday Collection fashion show. Once I heard about Dorothy’s House I knew that it needed to benefit them in some way. I prayed and things came together. I was in contact with the ladies in charge of Dorothy’s House, a friend stepped up out of the blue to assist, and the ladies of Okoboji 200 started expressing interest in helping out. I was led to a company called Elegantees. They design elegant shirts, dresses, and skirts out of t-shirt material, thus the name. The clothing is sewn in Nepal by a group of women who are recovering from sex-trafficking. They will also donate 15% of their sales to a designated non-profit. That seemed like a good pairing with Noonday Collection for a Fashion event.

So as I wrap this up, I would like to invite you to this one-of-a-kind fashion show. We will do a runway/learning experience featuring Noonday Collection jewelry, accessories and Elegantees clothing. 15 % of both Elegantees and Noonday Collection sales will go to Dorothy’s House. This is a great opportunity for you to purchase items for your summer/fall wardrobe and make a difference in the lives of women in our community and around the world. A Dorothy’s House representative will be there. Fashion for Freedom is a FREE event on Thursday, July 30th; 5:30-7:30pm at the West Des Moines Community Center located at 134 6th Street in Valley Junction. Hope to see you there!

One more thing: regarding this wrestling heart of mine.

I am learning to embrace this heart of mine. I remember thinking that something was wrong with me for not feeling “settled." I’ve been joyful and content, but not settled. But then I remember that this place on earth is not my forever home. The things I “own” are temporary. The experiences I have are fleeting. Even “my” husband and children are really HIS. If I were to be comfortable and complacent in this life, perhaps it would be a sign that I have stopped being sensitive to the Holy Spirit working in me. So to my dear heart, wreck me and make me sensitive to God’s plan.

Amy Wilson and her husband, Wes, have been attending Valley Church since 2008 when they first moved to the area. They have three children: Eliana, 9, Jacob, 7, and Coralei, almost 4.  Amy has worked in the Army, in education, as a stay-at-home mom, and now a Noonday Collection Ambassador and an instructor at DMACC. She is in her sweet spot when she has adventure and fun in her life, followed by rest and recuperation. Join Amy and other Valley Gals for the Fashion for Freedom event on Thursday, July 30th; 5:30-7:30pm at the West Des Moines Community Center located at 134 6th Street in Valley Junction. Hope to see you there!