This page has moved to a new address.

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose: February 2013


Writing the Next Chapter

Photo Credit:Unknown 

Self-Discovery 101

On my recent mission trip to Guatemala I learned so much about myself. I learned I could walk farther than I thought possible. I learned that sweat, though stinky, can smell like a sweet perfume if it is made in service to the King. 

I also learned that I am able to do what He has called me to do. 

The Rub

Sometimes we know what our purpose is, what our call is, but we do not walk in it. This leads to dissatisfaction and overall unhappiness with life, and sometimes with our relationship with God. At least, I know I have felt this way. 

You see, I knew I was called to "preach beyond the hills" (a personal word I received when I was just sixteen). I knew I wanted to be a missionary since I was about 19, but I thought I had either "missed it" or God had changed His mind about using me since then. After all, a lot had changed for me. 

I got married. I had kids. I had an affair. I did not have a completed degree. I was "just" a blogger. I am overweight. The list goes on.... Jon Acuff says in his best-selling book Quitter "sometimes living your dream is an act of recovery more than of discovery." (sic) 

These things are only part of my story. Not the whole of who I am., or who I was created and called to be. Yet, I let them stand in the way of doing everything God has called me to. 

I am a writer. I know the work there is basically this: butt in chair and type away. This is doing the work of a writer, I am a mother, I know the work there is multifaceted and includes being a chef, taxi service, disciplinarian, loving listener, quality time maker and so much more. I am a wife. I know the work there is being a confidant, a lover, a friend, a cheerleader, a shoulder, etc. 

I walk and function in all of these callings on my life, but neglected the call I heard as a kid.

Sometimes we disqualify ourselves before the game has truly begun. TWEET THAT

The Truth

The truth is I am called. Jeremiah 29:11 tells me so. I am usable, because Romans 8:28 says that God can use anything and everything, even the bad stuff, to bring Himself the glory through us. Ephesians 2:10 says I am His masterpiece called to do good works. Isaiah 55 says God is in covenant with me, and the nations are given unto me. This is the Word of God breathing life into me, and the voice of my Father leading me. 

"And that same Christ gave these gifts to people: He made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to care for and teach God’s people. Christ gave these gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger.This work must continue until we are all joined together in what we believe and in what we know about the Son of God. Our goal is to become like a full-grown man—to look just like Christ and have all his perfection" Ephesians 4:11-13 

"What we have to learn to do is lean into the things that hold is back, to move through the pain and push forward." 

I felt held back, I felt bad about myself, and I felt justified in my excuses.  I was my problem, not any thing else. So when I felt prompted to take a step unlike any other I have ever taken in my life, I knew that I could no longer be held back. I am called to missions and I will serve where I am called. 

I could not stand on the sidelines letting life and my call pass me by any longer. I want what ever mantle God trusts me with and that means I must obey. 

After all, God is the author and finisher of our faith and He is starting the next chapter for me. I want to be on the same page with Him. 

The Next Step

The next step for me was applying as a leader candidate at Adventures in Missions. This group is the one that lead the Wrecked Vision Team to Guatemala. It is doing some amazing work. I have been interviewed and invited to attend candidate training camp in April 2013. I will travel to Georgia and see what God is preparing me for. 

This is a scary, yet beautifully exciting thing for me. 

I cannot do it alone. Here are four ways you can help: 

  • Pray for me - as I embark on this great new leg of my journey. 
  • Support me - going and doing does cost money. Even Jesus had a ministry account
  • Like My Page - I have a page on Facebook just for all things missions related. There you can get updates and share encouraging messages.
  • Subscribe - to this blog. Updates and stories will come here first and foremost.  

Thank you for all you do to advance the kingdom of God and for me. You are a great group of readers and I would not trade you for anything. 

Join the Conversation: 

What is next for you? 

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,


The Value of an Apology

"Humility" by Will Felix 

I Hate Apologizing 

Even when I know I was wrong, and an apology should be offered, my body has a visceral reaction to the act of  saying "I'm sorry, please forgive me".

My pulse quickens. My face flushes. My palms sweat. My stomach ties up in knots.

It is not a pretty sight.

Recently I said something in jest.

It was not an offensive thing, and it was not a harsh thing. Most days, I would laugh at my wit and move on. Yet, this time I couldn't. This time my Dad was telling me to apologize.

You see, words have power. They hang in the air and in people's minds when they think of you. I have a tendency to think I am funny. God was reminding me that sometimes (most times) my thinkin' is stinkin'!

So I had to write an apology email. One to my pastor and one to my mentor, both of whom were present when I made my little quip. It does not matter if I get a response. It does not matter if they forgive me. What does matter is I obeyed my Father, and secondly, I learned a small bit of humility.

Why We Hate to Say "I'm Sorry" 

The short answer is pride

Who really wants to be told they are wrong, much less admit it voluntarily? Not anyone I have ever met. 

We will miss the mark, make a mistake or just be plain wrong sometimes: this is part of what it means to be human. So, humility brings our pride down a  notch and lets us be vulnerable in the moment. It may not feel good, but there are benefits. 

We Get it Wrong - Again 

We confuse humility with humiliation. One is a good and Godly quality to have, and one is embarrassing and shameful. If we humble ourselves then humiliation never comes. It is only when we are continuously prideful that humiliation comes. 

God's word says "Pride ends in humiliation, while humility brings honor." Proverbs 29:23 

I do not know about you, but I think a heartfelt and quick apology (as much as I hate to do so) is better than being called to the carpet later about the same thing you could have apologized for in the first place.

Better to be humble now than humiliated later. TWEET THAT

The Benefits of Getting it Right

There are three key benefits to humility (or meekness). People who are humble: 

People who are humble make better bosses and employees. People who are humble divorce less, and live longer. People who are humble are kinder than other people and give more selflessly. 

These are all amazing things to have in life. But if we seek humility for the things humility can get us later, we are missing the point. Living as a more humble person allows us to be pliable before God. 

God longs to mold us into His image. 

Humility puts us in the position we need to be, bowed before our Father, as He chisels out the rough places and sculpts us into the work of art He designed us to be from the very beginning. 

Join the Conversation

Do you find it easy or difficult to apologize? 


If you like what you read here and want to get more great content, then click the "Subscribe to our Newsletter" link below. Fill out that short form and confirm your subscription by checking your email. It is as easy as that! I won't sell your info and I won't spam you. Oh- and I will give you the PDF version of my children's story "The Gardener and the Sapling" for FREE. You can print it up and read it to your little ones, or share it with someone you love. The message in it is timeless!

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Wrecked and A Beautiful Mess

I Had Faith...Kind of....

Photo by Stephanie May  copyright 2013
I heard the whisper. That still small voice the Bible talks about. God. So when in my heart He asked will you go, I said...maybe...and if. 

I will be honest, I was scared. I was overwhelmed by the logistics of what a missions trip would mean: to my finances, to my family, and to my heart. I threw out a fleece. I said "If I am supposed to go then..." and filled in the blank with conditions and proposals. 

Since God is faithful, He met the conditions..... and then He went up to the line of my need and stopped. I walked onto a plane to travel to another country with only $80 to my name and my passport. 

Photo by Stephanie May copyright 2013

Stripped Bare

When I got to the hostel, I noticed the razor wire on the fence and walls. I felt God prod my heart and begin to tug on the wire I had wrapped around myself. 

I heard that small voice once more whisper. I began to break. Open. I began to open myself before a God who already knew what was in my heart, He already saw what a mess I was, and He began to to pour into me His heart. He began to wash me clean of my pain so that I could see the pain that needed healing in others all around me. 

"Clara" Photo by Stephanie May copyright 2013

People like Clara, who sat crying, staring into my eyes, holding onto my hand and kissing my arms asking me to pray for her. She suffered dementia and the only clarity I saw in her face was when she called out the name of Jesus. 

Left in an orphanage for old folks, the place was full of men and women who were abandoned by their families. My heart broke. My Father's love poured and I felt His heart for the lonely, the lost, and the forgotten. 

Rehoboth Home for Children in Guatemala Photo Credit: Stephanie May copyright 2013 

I saw joy in the eyes of kids, like this one, who had been saved from a life of abuse and neglect and sent to a place where he thrives in the safety and love of men and women who have hearts after God's own heart. 

"For sure, I tell you, because you did it to one of the least of My brothers, you have done it to Me." Matthew 25:40

Marlon Photo Credit Dayna Bickham copyright 2013 (the date was set wrong on the camera- sorry) 

I heard a story of hardship and hope and people who society devalued became treasure before my very eyes. Marlon scavenged for trash to make a living, but God has planted a dream in him, and He has plans bigger than Marlon's circumstances. 

The Call Confirmed

Me and members of the team look on as kids play. Photo Credit: Katie Axelson copyright 2013
As I experienced these people, the country, the work God was doing I began to hear God calling me out of my comfort zone and into the fray of His calling. 

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." Luke 4:17-18 KJV
I begin to see that He was calling me to love more freely, to give more deeply and to speak more openly about His love for His children. 

I will never be the same. 

At the end of it all, as I worshiped the Lord with my friends and fellow travelers, the Lord brought forth a beautiful word: "We are beautiful messes". This struck me like a bell tower striking midnight. 

I was a mess, laid open and bare before my God. My spirit stripped bare before Him. He loved me anyway and wanted to use me to show His love to others. 

Others may not "get it" as my friend and fellow traveler Alene Snodgrass writes about today, but I do. I get that the pain and brokenness of the world cries out for answers. I cannot adopt every child I see who needs a home, and I cannot give money to every cause, but where I am, no matter where "there" may be, I can be the hands and the feet of Jesus. 

I can love by feeding the hungry when I see a person in need. I can go an extra mile and walk with someone that just needs to tell their story to someone who will listen. 

I can. 

You can. 

Before this trip, I worried about the hows and the whens of it all. Now, I just long to go again, and love again, and do again: not for the experience of being in another country, but for the chance to show Jesus to the world - one person at a time - to live in the tension - to dive into the fray. 

Won't you go

Join the Conversation

Have you ever been "wrecked" by an experience that left you breathless and knowing you will never be the same again? Tell us about it: leave a comment below. 

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,


The Scandal of Grace

"Dennis the Menace" Copyright: CBS TV 1959

There is Always One Kid

Yesterday I ran into a young person that hangs out with one of my girls. I am not fond of the kid, and he and my daughter know it. He has not shown much respect for my daughter or me, but she still remains friends with him, so I am left with conflicting emotions about him.

When I saw him, I do not believe he saw me. I could have ignored him and said nothing. I could have looked at him with a withering "MOM look". 

Instead I said hi and ended up having a five minute conversation with him. I was polite, even friendly, and I thought the whole experience went well. 

When my daughter found out, she first of all wanted to know all about it. When I was done telling her, she said, "I thought you hated him, why would you talk to him?" and my heart broke a little. 

The Old Me...

The old me would have sent him an ugly look, and a snarled Elvis-like lip curling snarl. But the new me, the one Jesus has been making from the inside out for the last 13 months, just saw a kid that needed to know what love looks like. 

I am no saint. I cringed inside. What mom wants her child to have friends that pull her away from God? Not this mom. But I cannot deny that Christ died for all, even the kid I do not like. God loves us, even the one that makes your blood boil. 

We All Have The List

There is a list of people in our heads. We may not even know we have the "list", but we do. It is filled with names of people like Hitler, Dahmer, Bundy, and Gacy. Horrible men who defied God and man. These men killed at will and perpetrated some of the most horrible crimes known to man.

In addition to these kinds of men, our list may include the crazy sister-in-law that makes everyone miserable, or the parent who treated us badly, or the ex husband or the kid in the neighborhood you don't like, but the list is there. It is filled with people we do not like and we have a hard time applying grace or mercy to. In fact, if you had to imagine a Hitler that was radically saved and on fire for Jesus, would you have a hard time accepting that? I would. I do. 

This is just an exercise to prove a point. Grace is scandalous. God forgives and loves beyond our ability. 

The people we do not like, God loves. We are called to love. Not just to put on a form of godliness, but to love beyond our dislike and beyond our emotions. 

The Scandal of Grace 

I cannot imagine being a Christian in Saul of Tarsus's time. He was on a hunt. Christians were radicals, they were dangerous. They flouted and espoused grace and love, and ignored the law. This was who Saul was hunting on the day he traveled to Damascus. He meant to imprison, and to kill these people. He meant to uphold all he was taught. 

Can you imagine being Ananias? Can you imagine the faith and trust it took to see what God was doing in a man like Saul? 

This is the scandal of grace. Knowing that people like Hitler and Saul deserve one thing, but can have another. There is a gift, freely given by God, that can change everything...forgiveness. love, mercy, all wrapped up in one name: Jesus. 

So how do we proceed from here? How do we reconcile what we feel would be just, with what God's grace can do? 

I don't have all the answers. I just know, that if God can love me: a sinner, an adulteress, a liar, a hatemonger, then He can love anyone. He can do anything! That is the scandal of grace. 

Join the Conversation

Have you ever struggled with showing someone grace? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. 


If you like what you read here and want to get more great content, then click the "Subscribe to our Newsletter" link below. Fill out that short form and confirm your subscription by checking your email. It is as easy as that! I won't sell your info and I won't spam you. Oh- and I will give you the PDF version of my children's story "The Gardener and the Sapling" for FREE. You can print it up and read it to your little ones, or share it with someone you love. The message in it is timeless!

Subscribe to our newsletter

A Special Note: 

Hillsong United has a new album. "The Scandal of Grace" is a new song on that album. Download it here

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


What it All Boils Down To: Obedience

A Kiss From God

Sometimes there are moments so special, so amazing, they take your breath away. Sometimes those moments are share-able and sometimes they are just love notes from God. A way to show He cares, He sees, He approves of and loves you. 

I had one of those moments yesterday. A love note, wrapped in an email, from someone I have never met. Her name is Sabrina. She had a dream of a Barbie that looked fine in the box, but was in a state of brokenness. The dream made such an impression, she knew God was trying to show her something. So, when she awoke, she googled "my brokenness" and discovered my blog, complete with Barbie and a title about brokenness.... 

Then she discovered my book, and got that too. 

This isn't about another book sale. This isn't about another blog subscriber. This isn't even about me.

This is about God's faithfulness to His kids. 

Taste and See

 "O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trust in him." Psalms 34:8 

In the desert God supplied the Children of Israel with manna from heaven. This met their basic need for food. It was a sign of God's love and faithfulness to His children. The Bible is full of stories of God's love and provision. 

Here is another one about a woman named Ruth. She was a widow, not even a Jew, and she left all she knew to serve her aging mother-in-law and accompany her back home. She was lonely, poor, and practically homeless. Yet, for Ruth, God provided favor and blessings and a second husband. Through this provision- generations and generations later - God supplied the earthly  lineage of Jesus. Jesus was a gift for all people. Freely given, and the perfect sign of God's love for us.  

I guess what I am getting at is this. We think God's provision is just about us. Sometimes it is.Sometimes it is about meeting a need, like hunger. The manna in the desert met that need. Sometimes, and probably more often than we know, it is about setting us up for provision so we can in turn, be a conduit for God to provide something for someone else.

It's not about us! 

This is the Lord's faithfulness in action. He set up a blog a little over a year ago, in an unknown corner of the world WIDE web and one of the things it did was meet a need for a woman in San Antonio named Sabrina. Did that have anything to do with me? Yes and no. 

The Power of Obedience

Yes, it had something to do with me. It is after all my blog and my book, but that is where things get tricky. It doesn't have anything to do with my talent, or my ability. For without Christ I can do nothing, "but with God all things are possible.

It boils down to obedience. 

When we obey the voice of the Lord, that small whisper that prompts us to do the uncomfortable thing, the hard thing, the impossible thing, we give Him the room to work in our lives, and unbeknownst to us, in the lives of people thousands of miles and many generations past us. 

I obeyed 13 months ago and began a blog and this weekend, someone I never met, received the encouragement they needed for their lives. This is how God works. 

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8 NIV 

He provided for the children of Israel, and He provided for Ruth, and He provided for you and I. God is not like man, He does not change or waiver. He works the same today as He did thousands of years and hundreds of generations ago: through people

Someone once said to me "We cry out for more of Jesus, but sometimes what we really need is to give Jesus more of ourselves."

What have we got to lose? What has the world got to gain? Surrender and obey so you too can taste and see that the Lord is GOOD! 

Join the Conversation

What is God whispering to you about? Leave your comment below. 


If you like what you read here and want to get more great content, then click the "Subscribe to our Newsletter" link below. Fill out that short form and confirm your subscription by checking your email. It is as easy as that! I won't sell your info and I won't spam you. Oh- and I will give you the PDF version of my children's story "The Gardener and the Sapling" for FREE. You can print it up and read it to your little ones, or share it with someone you love. The message in it is timeless!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Wrecked: When God Slams Into My Brokenness

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Meet Holy Spirit Barbie

I hung up the phone with her and tried to quell the panic attack beginning in my mind. 

I had just invited someone I had very little in common with to be my mentor. If I had not felt God tell me to do this, I would wonder if I had gone mad. 

She is like Holy Spirit Barbie. So beautiful and Christ-like you want to play with her, but God is already busy moving her around and blessing her with a "Dream". Or so she sometimes seems to me. 

I know this is not the case...not really, but my skewed opinions of myself projects onto her more value than I give myself and I know this is just one of the things God wants to change through this relationship. 

At this invitation I now will enter the realm of accountability and change. On the surface this sounds honorable and noble and completely benign. In my head my "self" begins to scream one long "Noooooooo!" 

The problem is this new mentoring relationship will begin to peel back the layers of all the things I have held onto most of my life. "My" identity will be exposed and I will have to truly choose to either hold on to the old version of me or welcome the changes that will come. 

Let's Examine This

Unpacking the fear I have, I turn it over and examine it. 

I have been asking God to change me into His image for over a year now. He has been faithful and done so much. Why then, when He prompts me to foster a new relationship that will allow someone I admire speak into my life on a regular basis, do I suddenly want to run as fast as I can in the opposite direction? 

I do not fear the result. I want to look more like Jesus. 

I do not fear the time it will take, I have plenty of it.  

I fear the pain. The pain of letting go of the lies I have chosen to believe about myself for years. 

I fear the ugly. The ugly of mid-metamorphosis.... no change from one thing into another is pretty. With this relationship there will be someone there, up close, seeing all those ugly bits of me I have tried to keep hidden. 


On my recent trip to Guatemala, God spoke some powerful things, and one of the things He said was this: 

"How long will I have to convince you that you are chosen? Stop it! Stop with the defensive comments and let down the wall you hide behind. Stop it!" 

With those words, spoken through someone I now consider a friend, I wept. I actually bawled....ugly public.

Immediately after that word, someone else said this: "I feel like God is saying 'Tell her she is my favorite and she can't say anything snarky about it'"  

"Snarky" is how I describe myself. So I knew this was God and when God exposes your mask, it begins to get! 

I was wrecked by God's love slamming into me and challenging me to let Him have my brokenness.

Obedience is Better than Sacrifice

That night I just soaked it in, or tried to. Some things God lets marinate before He holds you to walking through the Refiner's fire. I thought I was doing better. I thought I had pruned out the snide and snarky comments about myself. 

After I hung up from the conversation with my new mentor, my best friend - who was with me - turned to me and said "This is a good thing. I am glad you are doing this, because while you have been "better" about not putting yourself down as much, you have still done it and that is disobedience." 

Slapped in the face by the Holy Spirit. That stung. 

The truth is this is more than just "changing a bad habit". This is open heart surgery. I could go through the motions and learn to have more decorum, or speak less harshly about myself, but as long as I still think the same way, it would all be just another mask I put on. My heart would be the same. 

God is faithful to finish what He began in Guatemala...of this I am certain. The Word says in Philippians 1:6 (AMP) "And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you."

Join the Conversation

Do you have a mentor? 


If you like what you read here and want to get more great content, then click the "Subscribe to our Newsletter" link below. Fill out that short form and confirm your subscription by checking your email. It is as easy as that! I won't sell your info and I won't spam you. Oh- and I will give you the PDF version of my children's story "The Gardener and the Sapling" for FREE. You can print it up and read it to your little ones, or share it with someone you love. The message in it is timeless!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Send in the Clowns: An Act of Recovery

Photo by Dayna Bickham

My Pity Party

Just over a week ago I sat on a fountain, sharing my story with a new friend in the heart of Antigua, Guatemala.

This mission trip was a long time coming, and God had sent me on the most circuitous route to get there, but there I was.


I doubted myself, I doubted God, I doubted my call, I doubted my abilities, and I doubted my heart.

Doubt sucks the life out of you. It steals your joy. Sitting on that fountain, I was completely self-absorbed and focused on myself.

Totally not where God wanted my focus - at all.

I was supposed to be listening for His voice and looking through His eyes. To see the heart of the Father, we have to look for His children. Since I was not looking, God decided to send in the clowns.

Ladies and Gentlemen....

The sound of this cry "señoras y señores, hoy en día para su entretenimiento, artistas de rendimiento impecable", which means "ladies and gentlemen, today for your entertainment, artists of impeccable achievement" caught my attention and brought my self-absorbed story telling to a halt.

Soon, I saw the bright shining and very made-up faces of three beautiful children. They began to act out a slap stick play full of comedic timing and over 400 lines of dialog. The oldest "clown" was about nine. The little fellow pictured here was about five, and the other was about seven.

They were amazing artists, full of passion and purpose. They were creative and focused. They came to entertain and entertain they did.

I gave them a few dollars. I took a few pictures. I thought that was all. But then, as they faded into the crowd, and my mind began to focus again on myself, I heard God whisper.

You are.... 

I had wondered why I was there. I had wondered if I was qualified. God reminded me that 13 months ago my heart cried out to Him because I wanted to help other missionaries. His answer was to give me the idea for this blog. I did not understand it then. I thought that a small blog in a remote corner of the world wide web would reach a few people, but did not fathom the fullness of God's plan.

In the last year, He had groomed me and moved me and yes, even set me up, to be in Antigua at that moment, and had I not spent the last year learning to write and seeking out people like Jeff Goins, I would have never learned of the opportunity to go to Guatemala. I would have been on my couch in Texas watching the 49ers lose the Super Bowl.

Instead He whispered "You are a missionary." 

My heart began to recover a dream in that moment. One I thought I had lost with time and bad choices years ago. I am a missionary.

"Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me." Isaiah 6:8

 When We Don't "Get It"

God is in the business of redemption. He redeems us, our dreams, even the time. I did not understand 13 months ago how a blog was an answer to a prayer "Lord, help me to give more to missions." I did not know that the pain and the struggles of sharing my thoughts and prayers and devotions with you would lead me back to a dream that I had as a young girl. To be honest, I had forgotten I had the dream...until that moment in Antigua.  

God excavates what life buries and He reclaims us for His purpose...even when we doubt. 

So if you find yourself in the middle of a journey, and you can't quite see the destination, don't worry. Trust God. He is working all things together for your good and His glory. 

Join the Conversation

What thing has God redeemed for you?


If you like what you read here and want to get more great content, then click the "Subscribe to our Newsletter" link below. Fill out that short form and confirm your subscription by checking your email. It is as easy as that! I won't sell your info and I won't spam you. Oh- and I will give you the PDF version of my children's story "The Gardener and the Sapling" for FREE. You can print it up and read it to your little ones, or share it with someone you love. The message in it is timeless!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


What I Learned From Discomfort

An older man sits alone in a nursing home for abondoned seniors. 

The Journey

There is something about abandoning all you know: your home, your friends, your comforts, your expectations, and hopping on a plane to travel to another country and let God wreck you, let alone. doing it with 20 strangers and a writing guru from Tennessee. 

When I said yes to myself and to God about a missions' trip to Guatemala, I knew God had something for me, but I never imagined the reality of what a trip like this would mean. 

I wrote this on the airplane ride to Guatemala: 

" For me, all I have wanted is to be broken and pliable, yet somehow I always fell short. I've had moments- glimpses of what a life broken open at Jesus' feet looked like, but the perfume of a broken alabaster jar never quite reached my nostrils. 
There are miles and days to go on this trip. The discomforts have been few so far. I know there will be more moments...that grab me, shake me, and dismantle me further. I long for them. Those moments are the raw unadulterated moments which strip away the layers of me and reveal the work God designed me to be in the first place." 

Whispers from God

No one wants to be uncomfortable. We will reach for food, alcohol, drugs, sex, or anything else we can to make "uncomfortable" go away. We live in a society that equates uncomfortable with "bad" and spend our lifetime avoiding it. I hid behind a snarky attitude and self-deprecating humor. I thought these hid my insecurities, but in reality they highlighted them. I was living behind a defensive wall and trying to tell people about freedom in Jesus. No wonder my message was not as effective as it could have been. I was not living it. 

But, discomfort is what rattles around and confronts our defenses.  Discomfort slams into us and begins to open our eyes to the world- to the hurting, the lonely, and the dying. So when God whispered "You are a fly trying to teach people to live like giants" I knew I was in for some discomfort on this Kingdom Journey to Wrecked.... and I knew that everything would change. 

The Moments of Discomfort

You may ask yourself what could happen in three days that can so radically change everything? The answer is not short, and it is not easy. If I told you we roamed a city and asked for the eyes and ears of Jesus, you may think, "and?..." but that simple act started a process similar to a chemical reaction in my heart. I began to see there were people. like me, crying out for something more. Like a kid who studied for the test the night before, I knew the answer, but could not recall much past the A, B, C's of "the answer is Jesus". 

So the team from Adventures in Missions began to set us up for real moments that tested us in ways that I never dreamed. We visited a city dump where over 6,500 plus children lived and where their families eked out a life by digging through mountains of trash and selling what valuables they found there. Society calls them scavengers, and God calls them tresoros, or treasures. There I saw Jesus moving and living.

In the faces of people, God's holiest creation, I saw spirit and worth. 

Then we visited a children's home where kids are recovering from neglect, abuse, even malnurishment and we played soccer, basketball, and blew bubbles. Simple things, but taking the moment to play with these kids reminded us "let the little ones come to me" meant more than a Sunday school story. It was a command. 

We visited other ministries and other places. Places where I saw lonely people neglected and hungry. Places where the physical act of holding a hand and wiping a tear were enough to show the love of Jesus. 

These moments slammed into me. They stripped me bare and left me raw. I questioned God, why am I here, and in the faces of an old man with no teeth and the sweetness of a woman with dementia I found the answer.

I was there to be Jesus- to be his hands and his feet. 

Love Has No Barriers  

My Spanish is abysmal. I understand only a small amount of what is said, and then I still get lost. Yet, love never gets lost in translation. Love does. Love is. Love multiplies. Love lives. Love strips us of our defenses and leaves us standing in the presence of God. 

My life will never be the same. What happens from here out, I do not know, but because of this trip, I now know the complete love of Jesus. I have seen it: in others as they laid hands on infants screaming in pain and loneliness, or as they held a young man with cerebral palsy as he cried in pain and frustration.  

Love has no barriers, and it is the only answer to the discomfort we feel. Love soothes and love acts. Love changes everything. 

Join The Conversation

Have you experienced uncomfortable moments that left you questioning God and yourself? How did you handle them? 


If you like what you read here and want to get more great content, then click the "Subscribe to our Newsletter" link below. Fill out that short form and confirm your subscription by checking your email. It is as easy as that! I won't sell your info and I won't spam you. Oh- and I will give you the free PDF version of my children's story "The Gardener and the Sapling" for FREE. You can print it up and read it to your little ones, or share it with someone you love. The message in it is timeless!

Labels: , , , , , ,

The Journey of Promise: My Wrecked Vision Trip Begins

Tomorrow I take off for Guatemala. Photo Credit: Creative Commons

The Time is Now

Tomorrow I will rise at 3:30 in the morning, don my traveling clothes (you should always wear something that hides stains well when you travel and that does not wrinkle) and drive an hour to the nearest airport. Then I will get on a plane, travel across the US and after a couple more planes and hours of air time, I will arrive in Guatemala. 

My journey may culminate tomorrow, but it began long ago. 

The Call

When I was 16, I went to church camp in the hills of Texas. It is beautiful country and our church services were outside. There I experienced God in the most intimate of ways and there I "heard" (not as a physical voice, but a clear direction of the Spirit) God say this: 

"You will preach the gospel beyond these hills." 

Now, over twenty years later, with lots of life (the good and the bad) lived in the in-between, I am going past the hills of Texas to preach the gospel. I may not have much to say, mostly because I do not speak the language, but actions speak louder than words, right? 

I will bring toothpaste and hugs to an orphanage and a children's story to a hospital, and not much else but the love of Jesus via a broad smile and a boisterous laugh. 

Gospel means truth, and the truth is I do not know what is waiting for me on this trip, but my expectation is that God has an experience of a lifetime planned. 

The Promise 

There are a few scriptures that I always seemed to gravitate towards. Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10, Romans 8:28 are the main ones. But today, as I hold in my heart the wonder of what God is doing I cannot help but think of this: 

"I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise will always be in my mouth. I praise the Lord— let the suffering listen and rejoice. Magnify the Lord with me! Together let us lift his name up high! I sought the Lord and he answered me. He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to God will shine; their faces are never ashamed. This suffering person cried out: the Lord listened and saved him from every trouble." Psalms 34: 1-6 CEB

God promises are yes and amen. I know that He has delivered me and He longs to do the same for you and for the people of Guatemala. I am honored and humbled that I get to tell people about Him, His plan for us and His loving kindness to the ones who suffer. 

Join The Conversation

 Here are a few ways you can join with me on this journey: 

  • Pray - pray for safety, a move of the Spirit, salvations to take place, provision, and peace and continuity within the Wrecked team
  • Read Along - I and many of the people going will be blogging through the trip. Join us by reading along. If you are not subscribed, then join the blog newsletter now so you do not miss anything! 
  • Give - The costs are still accruing for this trip, and my goal is still not yet met. If you intended to give and just never got around to it, it is not too late! Give here

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,