Halftime: 1st Half Reflection

It has been 5 days since Jake and I left Florida and 5 days until we return. It is amazing what can be learned in 5 short days…

I wanted Jake and I to come to Boston before we went to Guatemala. Since originally we were going to leave for a year and I hadn’t seen my family in about 4 years (Jake was here for a week last summer!), I wanted to spend some time with my family, but I wasn’t sure if it would happen because of my limited finances. About a month ago, I mentioned to my dad my desire to come up and he offered to buy our tickets. This was a true Blessing from the Lord in so many ways.

The last time I was here, there was a heavy load on my heart. I had come back with such animosity, such anger and bitterness because of the memories being in this state brought back. I spend little time with my family using the excuse of my best friend’s wedding. I knew what I was feeling was wrong, but I just couldn’t help it: I had run away from here for a reason and all those memories were hitting me all at once. Fortunately, the Lord allows such times to open old wounds we had covered for so long, because the only way He can heal them is if they are exposed.

So many things have changed since that last visit. The past 4 years have included unemployment, 4 mission trips to Guatemala, a change in career and a much-needed hiatus from dating. Throughout the 4 years, it was revealed to me why I had been placed on this earth to do. (We are all called to bring Glory to God, but we are all called to do it in different ways!) Mine was to be a voice for those struggling with abuse, abortion and adultery. I have led 3 groups in a post-abortion Bible Study and I pray I can become more involved in being a voice for the millions of babies and their moms!

In addition to the discovery of my ministry, I have been able to release anger and bitterness that was holding me captive. I have grown in a deeper understanding that although bad and traumatic, my past was nothing that caught the Lord by surprise. He handpicked every single experience specifically for me; the good and bad ones. Even the ones that He wouldn’t have wanted for me, but knowing the paths I would take, He made them all work. There was no need for me be angry or hold my family responsible.

In 4 short (yet long) years, I have been freed enough to come back, hug and love on my family like I have never done before. I have even been freed enough to consider moving back here…I said “consider”! 🙂

Amazing how in 5 short days, I was able to see all of that…I’m excited to see what the next 5 days will bring!  However, just because huge strides have been made, doesn’t mean there isn’t any residue still lingering, so please keep Jake and I in your prayers!

Seeking & Receiving

I am the God who gives and gives and gives. When I died for you on the cross, I held back nothing: I poured out My life like a drink offering. Because giving is inherent in my nature, I search for people who are able to receive in full measure. To increase your intimacy with Me, the two traits you need the most are receptivity and attentiveness. Receptivity is opening up your innermost being to be filled with My abundant riches. Attentiveness is directing your gaze to me: searching for me in all your moments. It is possible to stay your mind on Me, as the prophet Isaiah wrote. Through such attentiveness you receive a glorious gift: My perfect Peace. – Jesus Calling

Seeking and receiving seems easy enough, so why do we make it so complicated? Why do we think that we are to work a little harder, do a little more, shine a little brighter? This relationship we have with Christ has NOTHING to do with us or what we feel we have to be! It is ALL about His Love, His Character and His desire to shower us with His Peace. All He asks of us is to be aware of the His Presence and receive what He has to offer.

The following was sent to me. I love it because it reminds me that as a Christian, I am not called to “be“, I am only called to recognize the One who is!

When I say that ‘I am a Christian’, I am not shouting that ‘I am clean living’.
I’m whispering ‘I was lost, but now I’m found and forgiven.’

When I say ‘I am a Christian’ I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not claiming to be perfect.
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say ‘I am a Christian’ I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a simple sinner who received God’s good grace, somehow!

You Prove Me Wrong

Fresh tracks of tears upon my face
Trace the pain I can’t erase
I shut the door and lock myself in
I try to hide the shame I feed
Bleed the source of my disease
I don’t think love can go where I’ve been
There’s just no hope that I can see

You prove me wrong, you prove me wrong
When I’m fighting for my broken heart
I tear my whole world apart
You prove me wrong, you prove me wrong
You see the me that no one does
And you show me at last I can be loved

Swallow the memories that hurt
Burn the pages and unlearn
This mask I wear I’ve worn for too long
You found a way through my regrets
Spread the light to guide my steps
Out of darkness to where I belong
I can’t fall when you carry me

You prove me wrong, you prove me wrong
When I’m fighting for my broken heart
I tear my whole world apart
You prove me wrong, you prove me wrong
You see the me that no one does
And you show me at last I can be loved

I thought there was nothing left
I thought all my hope was dead
You brought me to life
Your love’s become the air I breathe
You mean everything to me
I am finally free from the lies

You prove me wrong, you prove me wrong
When I’m fighting for my broken heart
I tear my whole world apart
You prove me wrong, you prove me wrong
You see the me that no one does
And you show me at last that I am loved


Follow You into the World…

In the summer of 2010, I returned from my first trip to Guatemala excited and knowing that is where the Lord was calling Jake and I to be. My first 2 trips to Guatemala were spent in the city of Zacapa. The friendships I developed there are ones that are still very dear to me! It is where I felt the Lord calling me to serve.

I initially thought it would be smarter to spend a summer in Guatemala and then, if all went well, Jake and I would move there. Well, as time went on, I got in the way and started making my own plans. Zacapa became Guatemala City and a summer became a year. I continued on this path and the Lord was with me the entire way. He even Blessed the fundraisers I had and softened hearts to financially sponsor us.

When I went to Guatemala this past November, I met some amazing people and really felt like the Lord was confirming that is where we needed to be. Our plan was to move in February of this year (as in last month), but during that trip, I felt like it would be best for us to move in June when Jake finished his school year instead. This was a great direction because it allowed me the opportunity to speak at church about something very near to my heart; abortion. I was also to facilitate my third Post-Abortion Bible Study, which we are in the middle of now.

I have also had the Blessing of beginning a relationship with my wonderful boyfriend, Brian, who not only has shown me how much God truly loves me, but also encourages me to be the Godly women I was created to be even if it is serving in Guatemala.

As often happens with huge plans like this, plans have changed, but it so happens, the change of plans actually brought Jake and I back to the beginning, to the original vision I had….

As of today, Jake and I will be flying out on June 12 and returning on August 8. We will be staying in Zacapa, with a dear friend and her family. I will be teaching English at the school where her mom is the principal, Colegio Evangelico Elim. There are no specific plans for Jake as of yet, but he could very well be my aide in teaching the students English. I pray this will also help his Spanish dramatically.

Although a short time period, when we return, things will be different. We will be looking for a new place to live as we will be giving up our apartment at Shepherd’s Village. This will allow another single parent family to benefit from the beautiful apartment we have been Blessed with since mid 2009. In addition, I will also be looking for a job; my current position is a temporary assignment and will end in late May. This leaves a huge prayer request for when we return in August. This is where you can “join” us!

In addition to your prayers, we prayerfully ask you to consider financially supporting us. Your prayers and financial support will help us with the following:

Guatemala Summer Expenses:

  • U.S. Storage for Household Items (2-4 months): $135/month
  • Airline Tickets (already purchased): $1,200
  • Missionary Medical Insurance: $260 60-day family plan
  • Meals: $2,500
  • Transportation: $500

Transitional Cost Back to U.S.:

  • Housing Placement
  • Job Placement
  • Living Expenses (i.e. rent, utilities, gas, car insurance, meals, etc.): $6,000

*Please note all bold line items are actual costs. Non-bold items are estimated costs.

Thank you all so much for your constant prayer and encouragement!!

Gotta be honest…

The week before last I was really struggling because I felt like the move to Guatemala wasn’t moving as I thought it should be. I felt like the plans and funds were not just falling into place. During one of my morning devotionals, I asked the Lord to speak to me; to please let me know what was going on…when you ask the Lord to speak, be very careful because He just may say something you weren’t expecting or even didn’t want to hear.

Jake’s attitude and grades have been slipping lately and anything I did or said just made it worse. The fighting between us was escalating so much we were having a hard time saying anything without it becoming an argument. I figured it was the difficulty of having a teenager and the hormones raging within him.

In addition to all of this I was feeling like the lack of progress on our move was a sign of some sort. On the morning I asked the Lord for direction, I knew He was telling me that although the plans I had made were good, they were not His. That morning, I didn’t get a clear answer as what to do, just that what I was doing was in line with His will. So, I prayed and I asked for counsel and prayer from people whom I knew would be supportive, encouraging and honest.

The consensus was the same…I should consider only going to Guatemala for the summer. Most said that mission boards are very firm on not allowing teens in the field. They believe it never works and can ruin the testimony of the missionaries on the ground in that country if the teen reacts poorly. This was not what I wanted to hear. I was planning on going for a year, but I guess that is where my planning took over and I did not consider what God has planned.

I shared the news with Jake and his immediate reaction was non-reactive, but as the week goes on, I can see a change in his attitude. He seems less angry, nicer, like a load has been lifted from him. He seems relieved in some sort. Albeit, his grades still need some improving, but I pray that will come.

This obviously changes things: Prior to leaving in June, I will have to put all of my stuff in storage and possibly line up a place to live and a job for when we return in August. Things I wasn’t planning on doing this soon, but I know if it is God’s will, it will be okay.

I ask that you keep Jake and I in your prayers. Specifically, for Jake to improve his grades and attitude and for me to continue to walk on the path Lord has for us, not the one I lay out. Please pray that we seek Him FIRST in all we do!!

Thank you all for your encouragement and support!!