Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I will fight.

I had a dream last night that I was in Kenya again.
The sights and smells and flavors were so real.
The faces and smiles and hugs and laughter.... so real.
Waking up is always the hardest part.
The dreams are the easy part, but realizing they are over never gets easy.
My heart STILL longs for that place. Maybe more than ever.
The dreams are more real. The waking up more difficult.
God has given me the smallest bit of HIS love and HIS passion and HIS hurting for Africa.
He has placed in me HIS burning for the father and motherless. HIS desire to seek justice on their behalf.
A year ago the statistics were just statistics. Just numbers on a page telling me how many children were dying, how many were left to raise themselves with no parents, how many were malnourished, mistreated and left to die. A year ago the numbers were shocking, but they weren't impossible to forget. But after only two weeks in one of the world's poorest nations, I am forever changed. Those numbers on a page now have a name. And a story. And a smile. And a laugh. And a voice. And suddenly it's become personal. Their story becomes personal. Their struggle and pain becomes personal. Their impossible circumstance becomes personal. The fact that they were left to fend for themselves at the age of four becomes personal. The fact that they've gone days with no food becomes personal. The fact that they've watched their friends die due to lack of simple and basic medical care becomes personal. It becomes personal.

So, I fight.

I join with God, with his heart for these little ones, and I fight for more. I fight for justice. I fight for hope. I may only be one, but I have a mighty God on my side, and it only takes one.
God has given me faith to see a nation reached and a nation restored. It may be a lofty goal. Some may call me foolish, but I would argue that often the foolish are the ones used to do the mighty.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

So this is the new year...

I'm a big "reflector".
I love to celebrate.
Looking back, seeing where you've been, what you've come through, what God has done, how He's shown up in your life.
It's my favorite.
THAT is why I love this time of year. How incredible is it that we get to start a brand new year over after 365 days? I love that. I love the definitiveness of it. 2012 is over. And I get to reflect, look back, celebrate, enjoy what God has done this year. And let me tell you, it's been QUITE a year!
This year I:
- Spoke at a Sexual Assault Awareness gathering
- Added to my tattoo collection
- Stamped my passport for the first time
- Ran a half marathon
-Made some INCREDIBLE friends
-Went to tons of amazing concerts
- Started Crossfit
-Over came HUGE obstacles in my walk with the Lord
- Traveled across the world and had my life irrevocably and indescribably changed.

Without a doubt, my trip to Africa topped my list for this year. My life was changed. My heart was broken, in a way I NEVER knew it could break. God showed me his love, his compassion, his joy, his heart in a way I have never experienced. I'm an absolute changed person because of my trip. I now am part of a family of 28 that is scattered all over the US. What we experienced together is something that will forever bind us to one another. There aren't words that express my gratitude.
I say it every day.
THANK YOU for Africa.
THANK YOU for my time there.
THANK YOU for the people I met on the trip.
Thank you for Leah 
I am changed.
I am bold.
I am passionate.
My heart beats for Africa.
My heart cries for Africa.
I'm grateful for every experience. Every child. Every smile. Every tear.
I'm thankful for the way my heart is broken and filled with joy all at the same time when I remember my time there.
I'm thankful for the way I can bring those experiences and pains and joys with me into this life, and I can share all that God did and is doing.
What a year it's been.
2012, I loved you. I loved every beautiful, heartbreaking, tearful, lovely, joyful, confusing moment.
2013, I can not WAIT to see what you have in store for me. And for the nation I love.
Images by Freepik