Together We Can End Slavery . . . Again!

Follow in the Footsteps of Giants Or Fear-Lemmings Will Lead You . . . down


Lose Your Why, Lose Your Way

2 Ways to Find Your Why, and Wrap Your Arms Around It

 I lose my why sometimes—my emotional-why—the heart of why I do anti-slavery work.

When that happens I am tempted to switch careers, get a good-paying job and give money to Free The Slaves (and use the extra cash to buy nice clothes so I can be admired—I want to wrap my arms around that).

Problem: We’re influenced to want weird things, like male approval; even ten-year-olds want to be sexy.

The last generation wanted weirder things: To be sexy AND prudish. Women spoke breathy and coy, while tisk-tisking their men if they got too playful and rowdy.

The ideal woman of the 50’s wore high shoes and lipstick when cooking dinner, while presenting her virtue out in front like a tight sweater over a pointy, seamed bra.

If she didn’t like that ideal, she faked it.

Let’s NOT fake it.

Find out if you are living your dreams or just conforming to someone else’s idea of a good bra.

Get emotional.

How did you feel when you started social justice work? Did you feel like the star of an action movie? Do you ever get to the scene where you wrap your arms around your love? Know your true love—your why.

1.       When do you defy Gravity?

When do you tip your head up to think? What ideas make you raise your eyebrows or lift your arms in conversation? Notice body language.

The Anti-gravity Quiz:

What do you take in that creates lift?

a. Books? Conferences? Twitter feeds? Blogs?


b.  Sharing ideas? Linking arms with others at the front of a new movement?

What do you give out that creates lift?

a.  Teaching and awareness? Raising support?


b. Working with a team on a project? Promoting it together?

If you picked the a-answers your why is cause-orientated.

If you picked the b-answers your why is community-oriented.

Take the Gallup Strengths Finder Test and get even closer to your why.

This is my why:  I want to be like Abraham Lincoln, and Mother Teresa—I want to make a difference; I’m cause-oriented. Sometimes that’s heavy.

Like last September.  There was this goal: Rent a giant coach bus, fill it with participants for the RIDE for Refuge.

2.       When Gravity doubles its pull

I woke up to fear . . . for days. I wanted to jump out of bed and get to work (that’s my top strength). What-if questions followed me, weighing me down. Fear doubled gravity’s pull.

Going Primal

Wake up routine: alarm clock, gasp, hurry— I had to quit it. So one morning I didn’t jump out of bed. Instead, I rolled over, so my sinking stomach pressed on the mattress; I pretended I was a  baby (seriously); I tried to relax till I felt the way babies look–boneless when sleeping tummy to tummy with a parent. I call this infantile response, going primal, because it sort of is. God, help me . . . please.

I had to trust for a few minutes a day or I was led like a lemming to jump off a cliff in a frenzy of what-if questions. That’s Perfectionism—I didn’t know I was one, but I am. If you would rather give up than fail, you might be a perfectionist too.

I quit following lemmings. I follow in the footsteps of giants. I follow my true love.

Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Follow them and you will see that they experienced failures, hard ones. Failure is part of the journey I need because of where it takes me—to my weakness, and my why. 

We are not trapped; we are free, fortified by our strengths and perfectly  fit for this cause. In fact, we were made for such a time as this! (cue confetti drop, release helium balloons) WE are God’s action plan. We are the first responders to the primal cry of the one in captivity.

The two-in-one answer to The Why-Question: BECAUSE WE CAN. That is, we can, if we can hear the call. And there is nothing like  fear to tune up my ears.

“The whimper of exploited children are a roar in the ear of the Master Avenger”. (paraphrased from THE MESSAGE, James 5:6).

Can you hear that?

About Marilyn Luinstra

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Lisa

    Thanks, made me think a bit more about how and why I can make a difference. Perhaps not even far away but close to home.

    • Marilyn Luinstra

      Hey Lisa. What we do close to home is huge. It’s what makes multiple efforts in multiple communities so exponentially powerful. I’m in Kincardine. You can connect with me directly at I’d love to hear from you.

  • Pamela Black

    What a horribly terrifying, horrible reality–I am a perfectionist! On most days I would rather quit, than fail. Fear boxes me in. Thank you for such a potent, timely message. I needed these words.

  • Marilyn Luinstra

    Hi Pamela. The threat of failure is a haunting presence, it follows me–closely. Thanks for sharing. Love your honesty. “Fear boxes me in” I understand that. May I ask, did you find my site on Facebook?

  • Kurt

    Oh, I see you’ve met. Pam Black, this is Marilyn. Marilyn, Pam. You two seem to have a bunch in common.