Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Transitions.....Not Always a Walk in the Park

I believe we are called to missions, whether that means we work a 9 to 5 desk job or whether we are living in a straw hut in Africa; we are called. Missions often gets put into a box, in which people think it equals giving up your house and your "life" and moving overseas and learning a new language and set of cultural living standards. But I think think that when Christ called us to, "go and make disciples of all nations," He didn't exclude the nation that we are from. We are called to be missional in all aspects of our life, wherever He has called us to be. And let me tell you that is challenging.

Being on both sides of the spectrum now, I am beginning to see some differences. When you are supported and paid to do ministry full time, it's easy to take things for granted. Now that I am facing a 40 hour work week, spending my nights and weekends studying for class, and volunteering as an EMT every other moment in between, it's easy to ask God to take a backseat. Especially when your life used to look like weekly times of worship and intercession, bonding as a community of believers, helping a YWAM base administratively, and planning and leading outreaches full time. All that to say, it's been a bit of a slap in the face as far as transition goes. 

I know all things are in seasons, and this season won't last forever, but God has been challenging me to live life in the moment and not five years down the road. Because my days are numbered and I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I can choose to be His hands and feet today. 

I know this isn't my usual lengthy post, but I've only begin to really let myself process. So this is all I have for now. My prayer for myself and for you, is that we could make a difference in someone's life today, whether big or small. But that love would prevail, because in the end, love is what saves us, and love is all that really matters. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Life, in a new season, in a new place, in different's definitely not been the easiest of transitions. I apologize if this is brief, one of these days I plan on writing more about the emotional side of things and how the transition is treating me, but as for now, here is the backbone of what is going on in my life.

I have been back in Fort Collins for almost three months, those three months seem like years, as so much has changed and developed week-to-week. It became apparent to me that the medical field in Northern Colorado is one of the most competitive in the nation. That is both good and bad. Good,  because we have some of the nation's most excellent hospitals and healthcare providers, bad, because the jobs in the field are highly sought after and therefore you must be at the top of your game. So, I began looking for any work that would help me financially until something better came along.

I landed a job at an Aveda salon in Loveland working at the front desk. My job consists of answering phones, scheduling appointments, and checking customers in an out, as well as selling products. I took the job excited about the possibilities of building relationships with those that worked there. God has opened up several doors already for me to share about Him and the experiences I have had overseas and with YWAM. Although it is about the farthest thing away from a medical career, I know that God has been using me there, and I am grateful for that.

I also interviewed and tested for the EMT Reserves, which is Poudre Valley Health Systems volunteer EMT program. I was accepted into the program and just completed my orientation today and will be able to begin to do ambulance ride alongs and events starting next week. Poudre Valley and MCR hospitals really only ever hire out of this pool of reserves, so the more volunteer time I put in, the more I will be able to move up in the ranks and hopefully get offered a position sometime in the near future. I would love your prayers regarding this, as it is extremely competitive.

As far as school goes, I am taking three summer classes in preparation for Paramedic school. They are medical terminology, IV therapy, and EKG Interpretation. They have been awesome and I really love being back in school and learning more skills to add to my tool belt.

So there you have it, a very brief catch up on my life. I will hopefully be able to write another blog in the next week or two, going more in depth on how the transition is going. I do however want to say a HUGE thank you to those of you that have supported me in this transition period, I cannot even begin to explain what a blessing that was. It really relieved a lot of financial stress and uncertainty as I looked for work these past few months. And to those of you that are continuing on in support of future RescueNet deployments, I am also so grateful. Also, for those of you that have been praying, how I value those prayers. I know God's hand has been at work through so many things these past few months. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being a part of this journey with me. I never saw it as a one man show, but as the body of Christ moving together in a powerful way to impact people's hearts. Each of you are beloved members of my family.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Process...

The moving process is in full swing. I used to be able to pride myself on the fact that all my belongings fit inside a car, that everything else was excess and should be thrown away. Well this go around, I feel like I finally hit that age that got me thinking about all it takes to actually live in a home alone. It takes kitchen stuff, furniture, decorations, and on and on and on. No more borrowing my roommates this or that, at least for now. So about 15 boxes shipped and two car fulls later, I think I will manage to get most of it home.

Packing is a strange experience, and believe me I would know. In my time on staff alone I have moved five times, once to California, three times while living here, and once back to Colorado. The act of going through your stuff brings up a lot of memories, some good, some funny, some painful. This time it was a little painful, mostly notes and pictures from a past relationship that I needed to discard, but this time I experienced a new packing emotion: awe.

Awe. Such a small word that packs a big punch. My awe came in the form of reflection over the things that God has done in me and taught me in this place. Awe, that so many of you have been a part of this journey with me. Awe, that I am walking away knowing my Creator in a way that I never knew I could before I came. It's funny to think that all of this came while I was packing.

Two weeks from today I will begin my journey back to Colorado. With this transition comes a lot of unknowns. So I would like to ask for your prayers. The most pressing things are that I would be able to get on the volunteer EMT Reserves and then quickly after, get hired on as an EMT. In the meantime I am applying for paying jobs at various hospitals in the area in whatever capacity I am qualified for. I am also taking three classes that not only count as prerequisites for paramedic school, but are also useful in helping me get a job as an EMT. But the kicker is that I won't be an in-state student for a year, so I am having to pay out-of-state tuition. So I would really appreciate your prayers for provision in both a job and finances to help me cover school. I also want to be able to find a tight knit community to be a part of. I think YWAM is one of the most unique community settings ever, and will be really difficult to leave and adjust to living outside of that community. It's challenging but good to rest in the fact that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and desires to be my provider, if I only let Him.

Also I just wanted to say, that you guys are special to me. Really and truly.

Monday, April 9, 2012


What would it look like if there was no brokenness on earth? What would it look like if humans were incapable of hurting one another? How would relationships look if this were true?

I had a relationship issue come up that really hit me hard and it got me thinking about all of these things. I think the easiest answer is that the world would look a lot more like heaven, but then again what do we really know of heaven? It is mysteries wrapped within mysteries, the details are rather ambiguous. All I know is that in that moment of intense pain, I want so badly to be someone else. I want to cut out my heart and my memories and replace them with new ones. It's in that moment that I begin to understand why this world is so quick to turn to suicide, and divorce, and anger that puts up so many barriers. I begin to see how wars were started and how abortion became such a commonplace all begins with hurt and brokenness that snowballs into more and more and more, leading us down some of these paths.

But here comes the but......but then I am reminded that the one real positive of brokenness, is that it causes me to understand my utter dependence on my Savior. The One whom my very next breath comes from, the One who holds the keys to all things, the One who has my best interest at heart, the One who sacrificed Himself in such a gruesome way, taking on all our iniquities.

Do you know what iniquity actually means? It literally translates in Hebrew to mean that we are slaves to our sin, we are bound to it. Meaning that God, who is the very definition of perfect, chose to take on our slavery to sin as His so that we would know grace. That baffles me. No baffle is not the right word, if I even attempt to wrap my mind around that I end up on my face in praise. I am so undeserved. And yet, I have been freely offered this gift from my Savior. In my brokenness I remember that if I am so deeply loved by Him, that's all I need. And it's in that moment of realization that brokenness has to flee, because I have authority over it. Now I don't know about you, but that is good news to me!

And that brings me back to heaven, regardless of the details of what heaven will be like, I can't wait to spend eternity with the One who loves me so incredibly.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Moving On...

Here it is hot off the presses, my big news! No, I am not getting married, although that would be very exciting! I am however stepping down from being on staff with YWAM Pismo Beach.

Before I begin, I would like you to hear my heart. This is a big piece of news to drop in your lap, and so I want to share the process with you. Believe me it is just as strange, trying to write 23 years of life experiences in two pieces of paper. This however was not a drop of the hat decision, it has been something that I have been praying about for the past nine months.

I wish I could bring you in on each specific story, thought process, and detail that brought me to this decision, but that would take more paper than I own. So I would like to begin with a story, since those seem to explain things best.

About 20 years ago, I began to play doctor; we even have it on old family videos. I had a bag of plastic “doctor” tools that I carried around and mended my various family members with.

Fast forward a few years to college. It was there that I chose to major in biomedical sciences, continuing to pursue my desire to be a doctor. But I found myself searching and broken, unsure of the purpose of life and unsure that there was truly a God who loved and cared about me. I began to realize that school and dreams aside, I needed to make a choice; I either needed to be sold out for Jesus or be sold out for myself. He didn’t give me a middle of the road option.

So after a short mission trip to Mexico, and some solid conversations with an important mentor in my life, I made a choice to head to YWAM Pismo Beach to do my Discipleship Training School. It was there that my life was radically transformed, ruined for the ordinary in fact. I knew that I could no longer return to life as I had once known it.

As I have always been a lover of missions, the prospect of staying on staff became a reality. Here I was encouraged to dream big, so I took all of my passions for young people, traveling, administration, encouragement, injustice issues, music, and art and threw them all together and out came Project Sixty-One. Pioneering this ministry became one of the single most challenging, painstaking, and yet beautiful adventures I have ever been a part of. It taught me to take risks, to trust God even when it seemed impossible, and it showed me that in my weakness, God made beautiful things from the ashes.

But in this process my love for the medical took a backseat because I thought that without a degree, I was basically useless in that area. So I reluctantly set it aside and pursued other things, hoping God would give me a passion for something else. But I begin to realize that I was trying to turn away from a talent that God has gifted me with because it didn’t fit into the box that the world told me it should.

God has a way of reminding me that His ways are higher than my own. It was January 16, 2010 and I was sitting on an airplane that was taking me from California to the Dominican Republic, our pitstop before Haiti. I had never experienced a disaster situation firsthand, and in several moments I knew my life would never again be the same.

It was there that I was asked to clean wounds, and it was there that I prayed and wept over those that had lost so much, those that were walking testimonies of God’s grace. I remember thinking that even through all the language barriers, I could show the love of Jesus by cleaning their wounds. In those few short days in Haiti, God uncovered a world of possibilities; ways that He could use the medical talents He has given me to bring restoration to the body, but also to the heart.

In October of 2010, God opened up another door and I did my RescueNet training course in San Francisco. RescueNet, being YWAM’s international disaster relief team. Another piece was added to the puzzle, and I saw the possibilities unfold for medical missions.

This story comes to a rather important close in the summer of 2011. It was in the heart of San Francisco that my passions unfolded in full. During my Emergency Medical Technician, or EMT, bootcamp class, I never felt more alive.

On my first 12 hour hospital shift I saw a baby, a girl my age, and an elderly man die. I came to class the next day and told my instructor that I wanted to quit. As I sat there and cried, so did he, and when I was finished he began to speak truth into my heart. He told me that many get the opportunity to experience the joys of new life, but few get the opportunity to cherish in the sacredness of death. We talked a lot about the ability to bring peace and compassion into the most traumatic of situations for both the patient and their family. And we talked about love and how we can really be the hands of Christ in the medical sphere.

From there I was sold. I’m of the opinion that we too easily get bogged down deciding what exact, specific, perfect thing that God has called to, and in the process we forget what He has and wants for us today. I believe that verse in Psalms that says, “take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." One of the deepest desires of my heart is to bring healing, not just to the physical body, but to the heart as well. Of course, without God this is impossible, but with Him is promised to me in scripture.

After my EMT school, I realized I had come full circle. That little girl playing at doctor, is now a woman who desires to walk into the medical sphere and bring the love of Christ there.

And so that brings us to the present day. I have spent the last nine months prayerfully seeking God on what this reoccurring passion looks like. I also wanted to be responsible with this decision making process, knowing that flippancy isn’t something I strive for.

He has spent those months showing me that He was building a foundation in me while at YWAM Pismo Beach. Teaching me that my relationship with Him is more important than any grand ministry goals I could construct. He’s been showing me that it has been in this place that I have learned my identity in Him, knowing that I am loved and valued by the most high King. And it is through these things that I have learned what it means to love others.

It has been here at YWAM Pismo Beach that I have learned how to dream big, create a ministry, plan and lead teams overseas and in the states, disciple others, manage an office, lead various fundraising and administrative departments, teach, among many other skills. Not that I would profess to know it all, because I will always be learning and growing.

I have had the opportunity to go to seven different countries in my time here, doing outreach in various capacities. Some of which include, human trafficking, children’s, orphan’s, English studies, college, tribal, medical, and disaster relief ministries.

Looking back on it all I am amazed that God could send me on so many amazing adventures and my heart could grow and change so much in five years. It truly has been a season of building a foundation.

What’s next from here you may ask? My immediate plans are to move back to Fort Collins, Colorado on May 1st, 2012. I am hoping to get a job as an EMT for about a year, while taking a few courses at a local community college. I am then looking into a paramedic school in Denver. This schooling will be about a year in total. And from there I trust that God will guide and direct my steps as He always has.

So yes, I will be stepping down from YWAM Pismo Beach, but no, I am not finished with RescueNet. RescueNet, YWAM’s international disaster response team, does not require me to be on staff at a YWAM base to remain a part of the team. As this disaster response team only adds to my love and joys of assisting others medically, I have a strong desire to remain an active team member. This means that as disasters come up and deployments arise, I will be a part of as many as I am able.

What does this mean for Project Sixty-One (the short-term outreach ministry)? As Project Sixty-One is a ministry I pioneered, I have the capacity to take it with me. I already have some plans brewing as to how I can still keep it an active ministry while living in Colorado, taking teams overseas on short-term missions.

As for overseas missions, is this the end of traveling for me? I can, with a smile on my face, say that in no way is this the end of my time in overseas missions. I have a deep desire and longing to be going into the nations. And who knows where I might end up several years down the road!

So to all of you who have been a part of these last five years with me, I want you to know that I consider you family. It has been such a joy to have so many supportive people stand alongside me. You have been givers of your time, your prayers, and your finances. You also have been givers of your hearts. One of my most favorite things has been the emails and phone calls that I have received from so many of you. You have shared your joys, your pains, your fears, and through that I feel like we became the body of Christ. Lifting one another up in prayer and encouraging one another to keep moving forward.

I can say with confidence that you have made an impact not only in California, but in the nations. You have also been an instrumental part in impacting my life. Each and every one of you has been a part of my journey in discovering the fullness of what God has for me and the fullness of walking in His love and grace. So thank you for being not only willing, but excited, in walking through this season with me. It has blessed me beyond words and I will be forever thankful!

So herein lies a new chapter, one that will be full of many new and exciting adventures! My hope is that we can continue to be an integral part of one another’s lives in the years to come.

If you have any questions or thoughts about my transition, I would love to communicate further with you. Please feel free to email me at

Please be checking my blog for more information in the coming weeks. I will be able to expand and go into more detail on the moving process there.

Thank you so much for each of your hearts and investments in my life!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Leaky Pipes

I swear some mornings I think I wake up to God poking me and saying, "I hope you're ready for this one, because I'm about to teach you something." These would be the days I deem as bad ones. My desire to punch someone outweighs my logic and well, I have the tendency to shut down or be hypersensitive.

Let me tell you this morning's story. This morning I awoke to an abnormal noise coming from my bedroom ceiling. I could tell someone was in the shower upstairs and I could tell that the water was not going where it should be going. All of a sudden there was a rush of water through my ceiling all over my carpeted floor. Now I am no plumber or contractor, but I have a feeling that the broken seam that goes all the way across my ceiling dripping with water, is not normal. Not only that, but the majority of the water leakage was over the room's light source, meaning that our electricity is now compromised and not working.

So as you can imagine, I began to rush about finding towels, buckets, and my sanity. And then came the five minutes of anger, anger at my roommates, anger at my co-workers, anger at anyone and everyone that had ever set out to be a jerk at some point in my life. And this anger wasn't over the water, it was over things that have happened over the past several months, almost like a dam had been released. It was amazing how in the midst of the chaos, my brain could come up with examples of ways that I had been wronged.

Isn't it funny that we do that? Even in our full adult forms, we often have these real primal child-like moments that threaten to rear their ugly head and forfeit our polished and perfected exterior that we have learned to wear.

Today, I caught myself off guard in my reaction, and so I had to stop and think, what am I being taught right now? Now I realize this is a rather comical story, and you might think that I am the Queen of overreacting, which may be partially true. But, I learn in strange ways. So my nugget of truth came like a rush of water, no pun intended.

I have always struggled with patience, and the root of that comes from my desire to have control over my life and surroundings. So if someone isn't doing something fast enough or the way I would do it, I become impatient and usually take over. This has been a tough season for me, one that has required much patience. One that also is teaching me that most of the time it's better to keep my mouth shut rather than share my thoughts or opinions. Sometimes I think it would be easier if I cut off my tongue...

On another note, I wanted to share what I have been doing for the last four months here with YWAM. This has been a season of transition and so there has been a lot of waiting and praying and seeking the things that God has for me next. But that has left me time to be able to really dive into the day-to-day base activities. This is something new for me, because I am usually off doing some school, or training, or outreach.

Some of these things I have mentioned in past posts, things like leadership team and skate church and RescueNet. For almost two years now I have been a part of the base's leadership team, this team handles all of the legal, moral, and financial issues at the base. This has been one of the most challenging roles I have ever played while being on staff because I often feel like the bearer of bad news when something happens or a decision has to be made. But God has been really working in my heart and life, showing me the false assumptions I had in being a leader. Whoever told me it was all glam and fun, was full of it, because you carry a responsibility, it is scriptural even, but it is hard. All that to say, we have been re-structuring the entire base and its guidelines and operations for over a year now. So that is one thing that my time has been spent on as of late.

The other's are skate church and RescueNet, both of which you have heard me describe and explain many times. I know sometimes it's easy to wonder what people in ministry do when they are not up in front teaching or always overseas doing outreaches, but believe me it's a very busy job to keep a base functioning. It takes many hands, hearts, and brains.

As far as how you can be praying for me, I am speaking at a youth group tomorrow night from 7-9 pm and would love your prayers during that time. I will be talking about YWAM, missions, and the Great Commission. Also I am taking next week off to do a road trip up the coast to really spend some time away with God. I try and do this once or twice a year to get renewed vision and direction for upcoming things. So I would love your prayers that it would be a restful and rejuvenating time, with a lot of hearing from God.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Finding Content in the Discontent

We live in a world that is very much self-seeking, self-pleasing, self, self, self. The get it now and get it fast has turned young people, especially, into some of the most fake and self-centered people I have yet to experience. As much as I would like to exempt myself from the above statement, I am not exempt. Throw in my extreme drivenness and lack of patience and sometimes I can be the most ugly of them all.

I am in an interesting place as of late, one that I can't say I usually stay in for so long. And yet, here I am, several months into being consistently bitter and angry. At what you might ask, well yes, there are some specific things I can pinpoint, but I am ever quick to resort to anger at the drop of a hat for no apparent reason.

When I'm angry I don't explode outwardly, I am pretty good at holding back, but inside, I feel like I am holding onto a monster, one that is rearing his ugly head and breathing fire. Now I struggle with admitting to these type of feelings because I feel like many Christians have gone out of their way to tell me that I need to pull it together, I need to let it go, I need to fix it. But wasn't Jesus angry once in awhile? Yes, His anger was righteous, it was a secondary emotion that occurred because He loves us so deeply. But, as I am His, made in His image, I think it's ok to feel emotions. Not to drown in them, not to be consumed by them, but to feel them and work through them.

I am a pretty emotional person, I have been told I feel too deeply, that I need to grow some tougher skin. But I can honestly tell you that I don't grow much when I am content and just head over heels loving life. The seasons that I look back on that were the most incredible for growing deep roots, were those that I felt things, deep things, things that still make me wince when I think back on them. You know why? Because it was then that I knew that without God, I might literally crumble to ashes. It was in that moment that I understood that God literally gives me every breath, that life without Him is so incredibly pointless, it's like wandering around alone in a desert.

So, in this world, that is all about the now, I have begun to see that people are quick to get over everything and fast, because if you aren't living the happy life of the rich and famous, you must be a nobody. So we learn how to shove things under the proverbial rug, our hearts become cold, and we become distant to everyone and everything. We all become humanitarians, we do enough to feel good, and then we stop because we don't want it to cost us anything.

My heart breaks when I look around and see so many people that walk around with sky high walls around their heart. And then I think about myself, I have been hurt deeply, wounds that seem to always keep on bleeding, and so I have too become a master at resurrecting thick, hard, walls with barbed wire on the top.

And then I am reminded that love is one huge risk. To love and be loved is actually the most terrifying thing on the planet. Because the true definition of love is the one that Jesus gave, He came and died and rose again because He loved us so incredibly, knowing full well that so many would spit in His face and say they hate Him. I have spat in His face more times than I can count. He sacrificed everything. And even then, sometimes I turn my back.

So here I am. Living in a season where I am angry, trying hard to figure out why, to let myself ride with it and not shove it somewhere. And why? Because I don't want to be that girl that can't love sacrificially like I'm called to, I want to be that girl that gives and gives and risks and loves, knowing that ultimately, it doesn't matter if it's reciprocated or not.

Because I was called to love. Mark 12:29-31, “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”