Tuesday, April 2, 2013

unimaginable difficulty

In my daily devotional this morning, Ann Spangler was talking about finding God in the midst of darkness. In her prayer at the end she said, "Father, I thank you that even the darkness is not dark to you. In the midst of unimaginable difficulty, you are always up to something good in the lives of those who love you."

That phrase "unimaginable difficulty" resonated with me. Lately I have been dealing with a deeply personal hurt. Compared with the woman in the story, the last survivor to be pulled from the World Trade Center, my story seems small. But I believe the Lord doesn't mind. I think no matter the situation, it can be difficult to someone. For the woman in the story, her unimaginably difficult situation was being buried alive. For a friend of mine, it's finding out at her 20 week check up that her baby girl won't live more than a few hours after birth.

Whatever it is for you, we must remember that God is here, He is with us, and He will never let us go. The darkness is not dark to Him. The unimaginably difficult is not unimaginable nor difficult to Him. Whether we see it or understand it, He is working all things for our good.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
~ Psalm 139:11-12

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Psalm 121

The Lord will keep you from all harm - He will watch over your life. The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.      ~ Psalm 121:7-8
God hasn't lost me or forgotten me. He knows exactly where I am. He has called me to step out and go once again. But I am not going alone, He will be right beside me. God cares about me and wants good things for me. He watches over my life. He knows the intimate details, the mundane, and the secret things. I can walk out with confidence that He is with me guiding my steps.
Thank you, Lord, that you care for me and that You keep me from harm. Guide my steps for all the years of my life. Amen.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


A few weeks ago, I posted on Facebook about my word for the year. I've never had a word for the year. Last year I had a song for the year ("Give Me Jesus," the All Sons & Daughters version), but I've never picked one word to focus on for the entire year.

I first heard about this idea in an article written by my new favorite Boundless blogger, Ashley Boyer. (You can read it here.) Ashley chose the word "steadfast" as her word of the year last year. I'd never understood the meaning of that word. As she described the reasons why she chose it and shared some verses that have given her strength throughout the year, I began to think it might be a good word for me. She says:
It’s a reminder that I can react one of two ways when circumstances throw me for a loop. I can choose to take it in stride and keep my eyes focused on the Lord, remembering that He makes me strong and steadfast. Or I can wallow in my emotions and spend too much time being on an emotional roller-coaster.

Wow. I'm kind of ashamed to admit how often I ride the emotional roller-coaster. So in an effort to get off the crazy, emotional coaster, I will focus on this word.

steadfast- fixed in direction; firm in purpose, resolution, faith, attachment; unwavering

Just for good measure, I found a verse to go along with my word. 
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.          Isaiah 26:3
If you picked one word or phrase to focus on this year, what would it be? For those who've already chosen a word, what is it? What made you choose that particular word?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Every month we meet with someone in the leadership of Cru for a meal. We share lunch or dinner, usually in their home, and they share stories of their time with Cru and what they are doing now. In October we went to the home of Ken and Ann Cochrum. Ken is the Vice President of Global Student-Led Movements, which basically means he is working to grow the student ministry around the world. His team has found around 60 countries where there is not a student-led movement. Of those 60, they have picked out 6 countries to focus on for the next 8 years. One of the countries is Norway.

As soon as he said that, a bell went off in my mind.

Norway? That's one of the countries represented at Epcot. I visit that pavilion every week. There are Norwegian interns that I have the opportunity to interact with every Friday.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Cru was trying to reach the college students of Norway. There were college students from Norway working at Disney. This was perfect! 

The Disney ministry team recognized the awesome opportunity they had to reach entire nations through these interns. Some of the interns would return to very influential positions at the end of their year. If we could reach them while they were in America, where you are free to talk about spiritual things, then we could possibly send them home to influence their countries for God.

I had felt the Lord's pressing on my heart to focus on the interns from Norway and France, countries with traditionally hard soil for missionaries. At Epcot I had the opportunity to build relationships in a more spiritually-friendly environment. After hearing Ken and Ann talk that night, I knew God was confirming that calling in my heart.

The only problem was I hadn't made any friends in Norway. The Norwegian interns were really hard to talk to and I hadn't had any successful conversations with them. Until a few weeks later.

At the Thanksgiving Feast, I was helping pick up interns from Disney. When I got to pick-up area, there were 3 Norwegians girls waiting for a ride. God was so good! We hopped in the car and headed to the church for the feast. We talked and got to know each other a little. I sat with them during dinner and we traced some Thanksgiving turkeys shaped like our hands. It was fun. The conversation was easy. I knew God put Linn, Elise and Emilie in my path that night.

I got their numbers and found them on Facebook. We've been talking about hanging out sometime soon. A couple weeks ago, I went to see a movie with Linn and one of my friends, Erica. We had fun, but we didn't have a lot of time to interact. After the movie, Linn actually suggested that next time we could go out to eat or do something where we could talk. I can't even tell you how excited I am!

Please pray for Linn, Elise and Emilie that their time at Epcot would be fun, that their hearts would be open to spiritual conversations, and that we would be able to work out time this year to hang out. Pray also for me that I would have the courage to bring God into our conversations and that God would give me the words.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

the 25th year

The title of my blog is a reference to this year in Orlando, but it could just as easily be about my 25th year of life.

Last year, I turned 25 on the 25th. I was in Slovakia at the time, and I think I annoyed everyone around me by constantly saying, "25 on the 25th! I'll be 25 on the 25th!" Nobody was able to forget my birthday, even if they wanted to.

Whenever you turn the same number of years as the date of your birth, it's supposed to be a big deal. There are many names for this- star birthday, diamond birthday, golden birthday. Whatever you call it, it's supposed to be this most amazing year of your life so far.

Everything was all set up to be an amazing year. I had no idea how awesome and action-packed it would be.

Last year I lived in 3 different countries on 2 different continents. It still blows my mind that I have lived in 2 hemispheres. I also lived in 2 different states in the US. It was pretty epic.

God moved in ways I never imagined. He took me to places I never thought I'd have a chance to see. He took me into the desert so I would learn that only He can give living water. He made me answer the question- "Do I love Jesus more than this?" He made me question what the "this" was in my life. 

He didn't leave me in the desert. He lovingly restored me to the garden. Through the whole process, I was able to answer the question with a "YES!" It wasn't always a happy "yes" or a loud "yes." Sometimes it was all I could say in the midst of tears.

I wouldn't take back a single thing that happened last year. I learned so much about myself and about my God and about my worth. 

God loves me no matter what I've done. 

I don't have to try so hard to earn His love. He freely gives it.

God is always working- if not in my life, then through my life to work in someone else.

I am worthy of pursuit by a Godly man, and that Godly man is worth waiting for.

As long as I am following God's leading, then I am right where I am supposed to be.

Yes, Jesus is worth following and, yes, I love Him more than all this- even more than my life.

This year I am looking forward to even sweeter times with Jesus. I know there are so many areas in which I need to grow, but my focus this year will be in learning how to be still. I want to learn to sit quietly in His presence and hear His voice. He's doing big things around the world and I don't want to miss them!

So here's a toast to another great year! Cheers!

What has God been teaching you this last year? What are you believing Him to do this next year?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Y'all. God is so good. I hope you know that. 

Today at work I had the pleasure of emailing 4 of my friends who are on STINT in Eastern Europe, and telling them that I will be taking care of them this year. I can't even tell you how excited I am to be working with STINTers and with this team. They are such delights. These are the people who have walked with me for 2 years- in the good and the bad, the expected and the unknown. They know what I went through and consider me an asset to their team.

I did not originally think that I wanted to be on this team. I understood that I could sympathize with the STINTers, but I still didn't want to do it. God slowly changed my heart this summer and my excitement grew to overflowing. I am blown away with the opportunity I have been given. I know God is going to use this group of servants in amazing ways, and I get to be a small part of it.

God is so good, y'all.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

putting on a show

God is so good. Not just some times, but all the time. He knows exactly what He's doing. He has a plan, and we may not always see it until afterward but it's there.

I'm not very good at support raising, but it seems something I am destined to do for the rest of my life. Most of the time I start out trying to do it myself. I believe that God will provide, but I work at it like God needs my help to find the support. Every time God has to take me to the point of despair, and then He puts on a show. He says, "You've worked hard enough and gotten almost nowhere. Now it's my turn." Then BOOM! Here's $1000 in one day. BOOM! Here's a gift for the exact amount you had remaining.

Next Thursday I'll be heading to Orlando, FL. I'll be packing as much as I can into my car, along with my mom, and we'll be driving across the South. For the next 10 months I'll be living and working in the Sunshine State. God is going to do big things, and I hope I can get out of my way long enough to see Him put on a show or two.