Wednesday, September 22, 2010


This is a video of us attending a Haitian church service! We were told that Haitians didn't approve of dancing..haha!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Light on a Hill: Day 1

The home with the big green yard is Light on a Hill

Morning comes early in Haiti. The sun wakes up around 5:30, and so do most Haitians. Since electricity is a luxury, not a standard convenience, people utilize the daylight hours as much as possible.

Our first morning in Haiti was on a Sunday. The medical team went off to a church nearby, but because of transportation conflicts, we were to stay at the compound, hold our own worship service, and then leave for Light on a Hill, which is where we were to spend the remainder of our time in service. Worship was great. Justin, the younger guy from the medical team, had talked with his dad and was going to spend the week he was in Haiti staying with us. He would see his team during the day as they would commute to Light on a Hill to perform medical services to the community there Monday through Wednesday, but would spend the night there with us while they went back. After our little service, we loaded our bags back up on the Land Rover and headed up, up, up into the mountains of Carrefour to a little place called Diquini, where the church plant called Light on a Hill is situated.
Justin, whom we affectionately called "Number Nine" because he was our ninth team member, and Reggie reading the Bible on the roof.

We passed roadside markets on the way, most just people with their wares spread out on the ground. There were huge piles of clothes, mostly donations that were not being used. I bristled a little at this..but think of the good the money could do them. Some of the things they can't use for themselves could help them to feed their family. That old shirt you never wear can do much more good there than sitting in the back of your closet. We climbed steadily up the mountainside, passing homes of all variety..stone, sheet metal, tent. Many of the homes had UNICEF tarps stretched overtop to compensate for roofs lost during the quake. People were walking up and down the hill, many carrying things on their heads, such as big water jugs or baskets of produce. I really rival their balance and neck muscles!

Light on a Hill was, not really a surprise, because I had no idea what to expect, but like nothing I could have imagined. It is a big house built of concrete, two stories tall but very wide, and with a flat roof that has lots of room and a great view. The back yard is on the edge of a big hill, and you can see all the houses/tents below straight to the ocean (or bay) with mountains to the right. There is a big front yard with trees and grass and a gate stretching all the way around. Right outside that gate is a tent city, which is a community made of mostly temporary tent shelters. These people are waiting for new homes to be built because they lost their homes in the earthquake. There is no electricity, no running water. It is utterly different than anything I've ever seen before.

Also outside the gates is the church. It is a simple, open structure made of bamboo poles and covered by blue tarp. This is where services are held Sunday morning and night, and several nights throughout the week. They use the generator from the house at Light on a Hill to provide electricity for light and the sound machines.

There were tents set up around the main house at LOAH. These were for the young men who were a part of the church plant, those being discipled by Pastor Junior, who is in charge there. They also housed the translators, Anel and Reggie, who would spend each day with us as we served in Haiti.

Anel and Reggie

The pastor at Light on a Hill's name is Junior. He is all of 27 years old. His dad is still a practicing voodoo priest. When Junior became a Christian, he was kicked out of his house, and his parents told him they wouldn't pay for his schooling. Junior told them that God would provide. He moved out, and was adopted by a missionary family who paid for ALL of his schooling. He trusted in the Lord, and the Lord provided.

Me and Pastor Junior

The girls and I set up pur cots and mosquito netting in our downstairs room, and took in the beauty that was Haiti. The next day was going to be hard work, but with God's hand in it we knew it would be beautiful.

Friday, August 20, 2010

On Haiti and God

The Cast:
On July 24 I boarded a plane bound for Port Au Prince, Haiti with seven other people from my church: Erin: a 26 year old woman whose life is devoted in service to the Lord and who needs to get a record deal; Josh:31, a goofy Chris Farley type who loves God and a good laugh; Julian: a twenty year old Malaysian kid who takes both his walk with the Lord and the English language literally; Luke: Eighteen and bright, but got lost in the airport within the first 20 minutes; Karen: a forty-eight year old mother of two girls, one of whom is expecting her first child.This is Karen's first mission trip, also; Mike and Amanda: a married couple in their mid-twenties. Mike is an elder at our church and loves baseball and playing the drums. Amanda is sweet and pretty, and teaches physical education at a private school. She will also kick your butt on the volleyball court any day. Then there's me: 30, still working in a restaurant and finally going for a degree in Christian counseling starting this semester. Hilarity and tears were sure to ensue.

The plot:

On January 12, 2010 a devastating earthquake hit the already impoverished nation of Haiti, which is the western third of the island called Hispaniola in the West Indies. Haiti has an interesting and violent past: they are the only nation besides the US to gain independence from outside rule and they also dedicated their country to Satan two hundred and six years ago. They are the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, and this beautiful island is now broken even worse than it was before and seems literally to be God-forsaken.

Some of Haiti's history as taken from:

1492 - Christopher Columbus lands and names the island Hispaniola, or Little Spain.

1496 - Spanish establish first European settlement in western hemisphere at Santo Domingo, now capital of Dominican Republic.

1697 - Spain cedes western part of Hispaniola to France, and this becomes Haiti, or Land of Mountains.

1801 - A former black slave who became a guerrilla leader, Toussaint Louverture, conquers Haiti, abolishing slavery and proclaiming himself governor-general of an autonomous government over all Hispaniola.

1802 - French force led by Napoleon's brother-in-law, Charles Leclerc, fails to conquer Haitian interior.


1804 - Haiti becomes independent; former slave Jean-Jacques Dessalines declares himself emperor.

The next two hundred years of rule are very tumultuos: leaders are deposed or killed, new dictators rise up or the people elect leaders..but it doesn't seem that they stay in power very long.

This year:
2010 January - Up to 300,000 people are killed when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hits the capital Port-au-Prince and its wider region - the worst in Haiti in 200 years.

US takes control of the main airport to ensure orderly arrival of aid flights.

2010 March - International donors pledge $5.3 billion for post-quake reconstruction at a donor conference at UN headquarters.

2010 July - Popular anger grows over slow pace of reconstruction six months after quake, aid workers report.

The website I referenced above also claims that approximately 90% of Haitians practice voodoo. Every single president in Haiti has practiced voodoo. The spiritual darkness is very in-your-face and overwhelming. People worship evil. It is a scary place.

The first thing I noticed as we were flying over the Dominican Republic after our layover in San Juan, PR was the tiny rash bumps coming out on my right arm. I hadn't even set foot on Haitian soil yet and I had somehow caught an infectious disease already. I also took in the deep green of the DR, and then the barrenness of Haiti as we flew over parts that had been deforested.

Normally, when I've flown in the past, I love to take in all the buildings and beauty of the place I am descending into. Not so this time. There were no skyscrapers, no city waiting for us. We got closer to the ground and saw tiny lean to houses and desolate farm land."What have we gotten ourselves into" was the question at the front of my mind, but I was here for two weeks, like it or not. I hoped I'd like it.

The departures "warehouse" is the only way I can describe the place where we went through customs and picked up our bags. One huge room with people swarming all around. It was an airplane hangar, now that I think of it. A huge, undecorated airplane hangar. We left out of a huge garage door and ten men tried to pry our suitcases out of our hands saying "Let me help you". They practically wrench your bags away from you and then demand to be tipped for their "service". Luckily, we had been warned about this and answered "No, mesi" a hundred times. Only Erin's bag was won into the hands of the "skycap" and he got a couple dollars.

We were met by three missionaries who had come in Baptist Land Rovers to pick us up. One of the missionaries, Kim, was my roommate for four months in Richmond and helped set up all the details of our trip. We threw our bags on top of one of the vehicles and waited as the two missionary men, Parker and David, went to fetch the other team they were picking up; a medical team from Illinois.We waited with Kim, catching up on her first three weeks in Haiti, and saying "no" to people begging through the fence around the airport parking lot. About forty minutes later, the medical team, minus one bag of equipment, was loaded in the other Land Rover and we set off for the main compound in Port-Au-Prince. This is where we would spend our first night.

The compound was a large gated piece of land down a side street in the city. There is a small house with an office, kitchen, and two bathrooms, and tents dotting the property, which is where the teams that come in to serve short term stay. We set up our cots and sat awhile, then ate a delicious dinner of rice and beef, mangoes, bananas, and a delectable soda the likes of which i have never had called "Fruit Champagne". It is orange in color and fruity and vanilla-y in taste. Loved it. After dinner we reapplied our various forms of bug repellent (I used Deet 45), we gathered around the picnic table and sang worship songs. It gets dark very early in Haiti (around 6 or 6:30) and the sun rises at about 5:30 am, so we used flashlights to see our song books and Josh played his guitar. A young guy by the name of Justin who was with the medical team joined us. His team was comprised of his Dad, who is a dentist, and other people all over the age of 40. He is 19, which is way closer to our team's demographic than his.

We were all beat from long night and day of travel, so we willingly went to bed early that night ( I'm guessing around nine). I settled into a tent with Erin, Kim, and another missionary named Abby. I could not find my earplugs anywhere, which slightly concerned me, but I figured I was so wiped out that I could probably sleep through anything. This turned out to be an incorrect hypothesis.

That first night I was awakened by the sound of voodoo drums. It was dark, and all that was between me and the great outdoors was the thin tent fabric. I knew the voodoo people weren't in the compound, but I have no idea how close they were. It was a chilling sound. My heart began to beat very loudly and I knew I needed to just pray and pray and pray.

God brought Psalm 23 to mind. The psalm about God protecting His sheep even through the "Valley of the Shadow of Death", and that we are to "fear no evil". As I prayed, God comforted me with the fact that although I was in a place where there was some decidedly scary and evil things taking place, I was safe in His care. He protects those He loves. I was able to fall back asleep, and slept peacefully through the night.

More to follow..

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Matters of the Heart

"We are more able to stop the sun in its course or make rivers run uphill as by our own skill and power to rule and order our hearts" -Puritan John Flavell

I have trusted God with my life. I know that Jesus came two thousand years ago to die for my sins, and I know that only through that death and resurrection will I be able to stand righteous before God. So, I have believed. My life has changed direction, and I now desire to be like Christ. I have relinquished power over my dating life, my heathen lifestyle, and my day in and day out activities. Christ is my focus. God's kingdom is far more beautiful than anything I can obtain by my own power. I am a Christian. I am saved, and I am secure.

I have made it through big time temptation, and I have been declared victorious.So, why, WHY, do I lose my temper when I don't feel like I am being respected? Why do I get so easily annoyed and impatient with people, and why am I anxious when I don't have a good night at work? I don't feel very Christ-like when these things happen. In fact, I feel so ugly on the inside that I wonder how in the world can I be regenerated? But, I know I am..I have seen my desires change and I have seen my life re-orient to be lived for God. So, where is the disconnect? Am I faithful in big things but not in the small?

God has been working to reveal some answers to me in this area of my life. It has been really frustrating..not matter how many times I say "ok, I'm not going to complain today because that's not being a good witness" or "I am going to love people no matter what today", it never seems to work. I can hold it together for a little while, but then I just end up not being able to keep it up and I feel horrible about myself. Like a failure.

So enter book: "You Can Change"(God's transforming power for our sinful behavior and negative emotions)" by Tim Chester, who co-authored another favorite of mine, "Total Church". I would like to share a couple of key quotes I have come across so far.

"Our Christian lives began when we received the Spirit by believing in Christ crucified, not when we finally managed to observe the law. It's foolish to think that we can now take over finish the job through human effort. It's not just that trying to live by laws and disciplines is useless- it's a backwards step-which ends up undermining grace and hope."

"When the crowd asks Jesus what God expects of them he replies "This is the only work God wants from you. Believe in the one he has sent."

I think I finally understand this! It is not just believing He was God then, or in the future, but trusting in His power to metamorphasize ME- not by my strength but by the continual realization that I am completely dependent on His strength and grace- EVERY DAY- Believing in this SENT one- I know He is Lord- but I have been so disappointed in my heart- it yearns to be like Christ but fails miserably- I need faith in everyday things- HIS power- mini-miracles of victory and surrender only by the working of the Holy Spirit. This is freedom. This is "the only work" God wants because it is the only way- we will not change from our own efforts- it is IMPOSSIBLE. I have been trusting in God only for outcomes, not for the day-in, day-out grind of Christian life. I have not asked, not continually, for strength and wisdom in the million small decisions and reactions I face everyday-the decisions and reactions that shape bigger days and the way that others see Christ through me. I have realized my ineptitude on a grand scale but neglected to address the gross selfishness and dissatisfaction in them minutia of life. I thought I could handle them on my own..but I CAN'T. Not like Christ. I can only do them my way.

So, it is time to address my heart. It is time to see where I am not loving God, where I am not believing his Word..because if "ALL THINGS" work together for the good of those who are loved and are called according to his purpose (Jer 29:11), then I need to trust God. I believe that He rose from the dead, but I don't expect that He can help me be kind to those who are not kind to me. I believe that He has the BEST plan for my life, but that complaining is okay because I don't deserve to have a bad day (surely, THAT can't be in His plan). My sin here has been abiding with small rebellions and also with unforgiveness..for myself and for others. My heart is at its core legalistic and as long as I haven't been "sinning" I am doing ok, even though my attitude may stink. But if I do mess up, boy do I feel it. I haven't understood grace, or the fact that I am at best a wretched sinner and can't be like Christ on my own, not only as I have acknowledged on the big scale, but in the tiniest upsets or interactions..I need GRACE. I need it for myself and for others. I need to understand that I'm not a sinner because I sin, but I sin because I'm a sinner. It is a fatal disease, and until I leave this earthly vessel I will be struggling against it. The evidence of Christ in me is that I AM fighting.

I will let you know how it goes..praying big-time for Christ's intercession in every detail, and seeing myself fail in the meantime.. hold on for a bumpy ride as I say goodbye to legalism and learn to trust God with ALL of it..

In the meantime, I thoroughly recommend the aforementioned book. =)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Here I Am

Hey blog friends! I just saw that is has been almost three months since I last wrote. It is beautiful here in Virginia..warm and breezy but not yet HOT hot.

I have been living downtown for about three months now and it has been good. I like waking up in this historic city and seeing all the VERY different people walk past my front porch. I live on the bottom half of a converted duplex. The house was built in the early 1900's and has some great original features, such as beautiful(after lots of cleaning and glossing) hardwood floors and high ceilings and huge sliding room separators/doors. The roof of the house has cute daisies tiled into it. I love being able to walk to the parks here, which are just at the end of my street. The architecture (when maintained) in this neighborhood is beautiful and makes me imagine all the different eras of people who have lived and loved in this city, walked these same streets as I do now.

There are definitely some shady characters close by. The next of our street is government subsidized housing. My roommate and I overheard from our front porch two men talking about an incident where one guy had been stupidly flashing his gun around. We haven't personally had any troubles with the neighborhood so far, and we can actually see the police precinct from our front windows,so it hasn't been too bad.

The reason I moved downtown was to be a part of the community my church is in. It takes me less than 3 minutes to get to the school where our Sunday services are held, and I am much closer to many of the congregation. While I have not been as great at hospitality as I had hoped, we have had some good times here and I love waking up "already here" as I was driving downtown so frequently when I lived in the West End of Richmond.

My walk with God hasn't been the best lately, because I just haven't *wanted* to spend time with the Lord, or think about what He wanted in my life. I was in what I feel is a mild depression, just generally grumbly and sad for no real reason other than the fact that I feel "less than" sometimes, because I recently turned thirty and do not have the career I want or the husband I desire or money get the picture. I was not being satisfied in the Lord, who tells me that I have every good thing if I have Him. I am CHOSEN and loved..and yet I struggle with doubts and makes me really frustrated. I have been able to be open with the women in my community and have asked for prayer and I feel as though I am coming out of it. It's important not to isolate even when you feel like it, because you need people to speak truth into your life. The goal is a restored relationship and right view of who God is and who you are because of Him.

It was really brought into perspective for me last Sunday when a friend we have been reaching out to for about a year came to our church for the first time. He is of a different faith, and it would not be easy for him to come to Christ, but we have been praying it all the same. As I sat next to him and heard the words of LIFE being spoken clearly, the joy that welled up in my heart affirmed that THIS was true satisfaction. Seeing others reconciled to God through Christ's sacrifice and and substitutionary atonement. For him to come to Christ would be the ultimate joy..there was no need to feel upset about circumstances or shortcomings in my life because Christ is at work to bring life to the dead. And He lets me be a part of it. This is what life is about. The gospel.

If y'all could be praying for me, I would appreciate it. At the end of July, I am going with seven others from Aletheia Richmond (my church) to Port Au Prince, Haiti! We will be building concrete housing and running a Bible day camp for kids. Pray for God to prepare our hearts and the hearts of those with whom we will come into contact with. Pray for support needs to be met, and for this trip to change lives. I already know it will change mine. I hope all of you are doing well and resting in the fact that Jesus Christ is Lord over all. Love y'all. I will leave you with some recent pictures..

New Zebra Hat!! Been on a safari kick lately!

This park is in the heart of downtown Richmond, atop a hill that overlooks the city

My friends totally made me think they'd forgotten my birthday but they threw me a big Second Twenty-Ninth Birthday Surprise Party at my own house! Tricksters!!

We asked our friend to share his culture so he brought traditional food from his country and we wore the outfits he had brought us back from his last visit home! So much fun!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

His Eye is On the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Civilla D. Martin

Friday, February 12, 2010

Scary Prayers, part three

*For the full story, please read parts one and two*

We were finally talking about it! Oh, my Goodness!! And it wasn't even February yet. God was so good..he knew I would have been on pins and needles the whole time, waiting for this man to get up the nerve to come to me. I waited for his answer; scared, but excited. And it came..

"Well, as long as it is clear to you at least that I am not pursuing you."


Ok, talk about your heart sinking into your shoes. I think mine hit the floor, crashed through the wood, and torpedoed into the couch in the basement. I felt numb, and kind of like I wasn't awake. This couldn't be happening. I forced myself to respond.

This was all via text message. He tried to call me, but my friends had people over so there was no place I could talk, and quite honestly, I didn't want to talk to him. I told him that it had been confusing. He asked what he could do or not do to clarify it. I decided it was now or never, so I told him that I did have feelings for him, that I thought he was an awesome godly man. I said that I wouldn't have chosen to like him ( never really been into younger men, plus he has lots of schooling ahead of him), that I did care for him. I also said that I would be ok because I wanted what God had for me.

He texted back and said that he didn't want to hurt me or mistreat my feelings. That he valued our friendship and wanted us to remain friends, which was why he was NOT pursuing me, because he is a "hard person to get along with". He said that he thinks we make great friends, but that we would not be compatible any other way.

I said "ok".

And I sat in silence on the couch with my best friend and another girl who was visiting. They asked what was going on, but I couldn't talk about it. I told my friend that I needed wine. Then I said, no, I don't want it. But then I changed my mind again. I thought maybe having a glass of wine would help me speak out loud the unspeakable devastation that I was feeling, the feeling of my world being turned upside down. So I had a glass of wine. And then I had three more. I got drunk. But I didn't cry. I honestly didn't mean to drink that much..I was trying to stop up the hole that was growing in my chest, trying to make sense of everything without losing my mind.

This was unthinkable! I couldn't even wrap my mind around it. I went to bed that night, and when I woke up, it was still true. He didn't want me.

I knew I would be in the fact that life goes on..yada yada yada. But it just didn't make sense. How could everyone we knew see us as a couple? Why was he the only one not on board? How could I have been so wrong about EVERYTHING?

I felt rejected. I I had been sailing with a clear destination in mind, but this big storm came, sank my ship, and left me in a place I had never even wanted to visit. And there was no way back.

One thing sustained me.. God had answered my prayer! The very same day I prayed, God answered. So, it was the opposite of what I wanted. The fact remained. God was involved. He heard my prayer, His hand was on the situation.

I had asked God to take it away from me if it was hindering my relationship with HIM, the almighty Creator. And I know that it was. I thought about that man far more than I should have, and it affected everything. I wasn't in the Word as much, my prayer life SUCKED, and I wasn't worshiping God. I was worshiping the idol of a relationship. I couldn't help it. I really couldn't. It was not in me to love God fully when my thoughts were wrapped up in this man, although I tried and I prayed and I cried about it. I asked for strength, but I was never fully surrendered. I held on to the relationship with both hands, and God had to tear it away from me.

I am SO glad he did. Not because I think less of the guy. He is awesome and I love him dearly. But because I CAN'T do anything about it. God has clearly shown that He is in control. This is where I get to see God working. In my brokenness, I rejoice in His sovereignty. This is amazing! There is so much joy in realizing how inadequate I am in running my undependable and treacherous my heart is..and how His faithfulness covers it all. He disciplines those He loves! How grateful am I to be counted among these!!!! I will most likely give an update in my next post, but what I want to leave you with is this..

I am where I want to be. I am drawing closer to God. I know Him better through this. He is good. I can trust Him. It is one thing to say with your mouth that you trust God. It is easy to say when things look great. But when they suck, when they are all going wrong, it is pure joy to be able to praise God!

I am being refined.

I am being made more into the likeness of Christ.

This is my heart's greatest desire.

It hurts.

33-36Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It's way over our heads. We'll never figure it out.

Is there anyone around who can explain God?
Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?
Anyone who has done him such a huge favor
that God has to ask his advice?

Everything comes from him;
Everything happens through him;
Everything ends up in him.
Always glory! Always praise!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

Scary Prayers, part two

*Please read the previous post below for part one of this story*

So.. January 31. I was praying about HIM again. This time it wasn't, God, please be first in my affections, but let me love him too. I knew that once February rolled around, I wouldn't be able to think about anything else, so I asked God to give him boldness to speak to me about "us", this secret word I had been treasuring in my heart for the past six or seven months. I had been good. During the time he had dedicated to the Lord, I did the best I could not to spend time alone with him. I had girls praying for both of us to have integrity and to put our relationships with God before any earthly relationship. But I will admit, that when his Facebook profile picture was of the two of us on a mountain with him reading to me out of the Bible, it thrilled me. When I found out that one of the elders at the church (his MENTOR, to whom he TALKED) had high hopes of us getting together, I knew I was golden. But I didn't let on to him. I'm sure he knew on some level, but we were just friends. Y'all, we have the SAME COUCH. I couldn't believe that it was all finally about to come together.

So, ok, I was praying. I prayed for him to talk to me about it, and I also prayed for God to take this relationship from me if it was detrimental to OUR relationship. Because, you know, God first. I didn't want a man at the expense of my relationship with God.

That night, he texted me. We texted back and forth for about an hour, and then, I said something that he took the wrong way. He said it sounded like something you would say to someone you were dating. I definitely didn't mean it in that context. He then said that maybe he was overreacting, it's just that someone from our church had asked him earlier in the week if he was pursuing me.

My heart stopped. Ok, maybe not, but I got really nervous. It was go time. So I wrote back, "People have asked me about you as well."


Romans 11:33-36 (The Message)

33-36Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It's way over our heads. We'll never figure it out.

Is there anyone around who can explain God?
Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?
Anyone who has done him such a huge favor
that God has to ask his advice?

Everything comes from him;
Everything happens through him;
Everything ends up in him.
Always glory! Always praise!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Scary Prayers, part one

Have you ever prayed a scary prayer? One that put your heart's desires and your sense of security at risk? On the last day of January I prayed such a prayer.

So I have been keeping it on the DL, but I have fallen hard for a man at church. Only my closest friends know (and they know EVERYTHING) that for the past 7 months or so this man has been on my mind and gradually earned a place as one of my dear friends.

Here's the catch (and with me there usually IS one)..he had taken a vow of NO DATING for an entire year. We started hanging out in May, I believe, and since early June my feelings for him have been growing. He is a Godly man, devoted to a life's pursuit of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has a missional heart, and I respect so much about him. He is also pre-med at a local university. He may or may not be four years younger than I am.

I knew he was unavailable until February of 2010, so this gave me the opportunity (forced me) to just be his friend. We have hung out so many times in the past 6 months, and the more I got to know him, the more I decided that he was "The One". There are certain aspects of his character I have been praying for God to mature, but all in all I could see us being a great team for God..we both want the same essential things in life, and though we argue like little kids at times, I knew with hard work and God at the center, that a relationship between us could work.

The only thing that kept nagging me was the fact that I thought about him SO much. I would be trying to pray, and I would start daydreaming about something he said to me (or the motorcycle ride we took in the country). I prayed and prayed for God to be first in my affections and my thought life, but it wasn't happening. Since I saw God moving in our relationship,(through answered prayer and different affirmations), I didn't crack down on it like I should have.

I confided in close, Godly women for help and advice. My friends told me to continue to pray about it, to be his friend, but not to get my hopes up. He showed interest, but I definitely read into things as well. I am a typical woman who likes to analyze EVERYTHING. We hung out almost every weekend (in groups).Eventually people started to ask me where he was when he wasn't at a function, and several people have asked if we were interested in each other (ok, more than everyone who knows us). This really confirmed things for me. As his time grew closer that he would be able to date again, I was nervous, but I was also confident. He has said things to me that you don't say to "just a friend". He asked me to go to the movies (he had already seen the movie, and he forgot to invite anyone else). The way he looked at me sometimes..There were definite times when I felt him pulling away, but as a man who was supposed to be focusing solely on God, I knew he was just keeping himself in check. Even my friends were less guarded with their encouragement. I was getting excited, reading books on relationships and praying for God to bring us together.

So, back to the scary prayer part. As I said before, one thing had nagged me throughout this whole process. While I feel more ready for a healthy (finally) relationship( and I really do..I feel I have really realistic views of what love is now more so than I ever have before), I still spent the majority of my time thinking about him. So on January 31, I prayed a scary prayer. I asked God to give him boldness to speak to me about our relationship, and I also told God that if this relationship was hindering my relationship with HIM (God) that I needed him to take it away from me.

God answered. I will tell you how next time.. dunh dunh dunh

Monday, January 18, 2010


I am still living with friends. My new place will be ready soon, and I wonder what God has for me next. This has been an amazing couple months. I believe that God has grown me immensely through this time.

I LOVE my privacy. I love personal space. So it was not the easiest thing for me to pack all of my belongings and put them in storage, and squeeze the 'necessary" into one bedroom. I admit to being a bit depressed as the two week waiting period for the new place kept getting pushed back. Now, over two months later, I can say that I am thankful for this time.

I got a great opportunity to be a part of the Massie family. Chris and Julie took me in once before, when I first moved to Richmond, and they are so gracious and giving. I have gotten to know my "nephew" Spencer and I can say that I am pretty much in love. He is the funniest kid ever. I have had the chance to save some money, which has been a huge blessing. And I have gotten to see what it means to be a part of a family, not just worrying about my own agenda. It has been trying at times, but I love it. I will be sad to leave.

I am most likely going to be sharing my bedroom in the new place because I have a sister from church who needs a place to stay while she is waiting to move to the Dominican Republic to work with Haitian refugees in July. This will be a challenge also. I am excited about it. I want to be more like Jesus, and this is His way. To give of yourself.

It's been a couple months of me dealing with the loss of things. Loss of privacy, sleep (My room is next to the room of an adorable loud little baby), most of my CDs (my whole case is gone from my car), my entire set of keys fell in the snow before Christmas somewhere downtown..some little things, some not so little..led to a big pity party. I was not focused on others, just on me and my "don't haves". Couple that with the fact that I am doing all of this to move downtown to be closer to church and I have never lived in a truly urban place in my life.

WHAT AM I DOING? It's crossed my mind. All I can say is that through this time God has showed me that it's okay. It's okay to lose things that I feel I need. Life goes on. I am still here, and when I put my focus back on the Lord, on reaching out and loving others..I was absolutely fine!! I am not grumbling anymore. I am happy. I am content. This year is going to be an exciting one..

Philippians 4:12
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Oh..if you have time check out the page I created for my friend Bekkah..she is an amazing woman of God who needs some help getting to Uganda so that she can work with the orphans.