Psalm 139:23

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of the everlasting."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Today as I was walking to my 9:30 class the beautiful leaves that have changed from green to red were falling to the ground all around me. The cool wind was hitting my face & for just a moment I remembered... my God made this! The seasons change just like life changes. There's a time for everything... new beginnings & new endings every day... God by His infinite wisdom gave us physical reminders of the new beginnings He gives us daily...

I am so grateful for the new beginnings in my life & for the doors that have been shut by the one who is in control. Time & time again God has given me new beginnings with the changes of seasons. So much has changed in my life in the last year. I refer to 2010 so often as the worst year of my life, that my friends have also been referring to it as a bad year. In many ways it can correctly be called a bad year... I lost ten people in the last year & experienced several other trials. However, in the last two months God has been blessing me immensely in the year of 2010. God has a funny way of doing things. Last September when I broke up with my boyfriend, I wanted a "new" beginning. I never would've thought by any stretch of the imagination that we would ever get back together. We were great friends, but nothing more. My Grammy told me a long time ago, "Let him go if necessary. If it is meant to be he will come back to you. If you doesn't , he was never yours to begin with." So this was how I made my decision... if this is who God has planned for me in some crazy way we will get back together. And that is exactly what happened!

As the seasons change in the world, seasons change emotionally and spiritually with people. A year later Curtis & I are completely different people then we were last year. Because we serve a God of healing, we are stronger then we were. We have learned tough lessons & we have learned most importantly how to give it all to HIM.... how to give up the fight. Curtis is better at this then I am. He submits to God's wisdom easily, I have to fight until there's nothing left & then submit. I am so blessed to have a man who leads me in submission to my Father. 

Today I am thankful for the blessings of 2010 & all the blessings of the last 20 years of my life. I am thankful that I have a Nanny & Papa that are still alive to teach & love their grandkids. I am thankful for my Grammy & everything she taught me in my first 16 years of life. I am thankful for my Grandpa & the faith giant he has been & the things he has taught me through how he lives every day in spite of the loss of his soulmate. I am thankful that my Daddy is still alive 10 years after his surgery & that God acted on behalf of our family so that we could grow up with him. I am thankful for my Mom & all the wonderful things she has taught me & done for me & all the sacrifices that have been made. I am thankful for a brother who is my best friend. I am thankful for my extended family, extra families, & Curtis' family. I am thankful for an Uncle, Aunt, & cousins who have always stood beside me. I am thankful for a boyfriend who stands beside me in my ministry & works alongside me as we work for the Lord in His kingdom. I am thankful for each & every person at Contact & the ministry God has so graciously allowed me to be a part of. I am thankful for the ministers & teachers that have grown, challenged, & shaped me. I am most thankful for a God of new beginnings & closed doors. He is always there showing me clearly what He desires for my life to be. 

Thank you Lord for my family, friends, church family, & all the blessings you poured on me in the year of 2010. Thank you for new beginnings & closed doors. Thank you most of all for an empty tomb & a risen savior. May you get the glory & the praise in this life & in the life to come. 

  There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:

  a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
  a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
  a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
  a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
  a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
  a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
  a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

In the last 20 years...

Well yesterday was my 20th Birthday... that's right... I'm leaving my teen years & heading onward to "adult" life. When I was younger I used to feel like 20 was so old! To be honest I still feel like 20 is really old! What is there to look forward to in adult life?... bills, responsibilities, real jobs, eating what's good for you instead of what taste good, & doing what you have to do instead of what you want to do. Anyway, I would like to share what I've learned in the last 20 years of my life...

1.) I have learned what a blessing it is to have Grandparents that support me in everything that I do! Yesterday morning my Grandpa called & sang happy birthday to me like he has all my life. He told me, "baby I have all the faith in the world in you!"  Even at 20, hearing him say those words makes me feel like I can accomplish anything. 

2.) I have learned that no matter what happens in this life I have a family that is always in my corner, always pushing me to be better, & always there to wipe the blood of my face when I get knocked down.

3.) I have learned that friends fade in & out of your life for different reasons, but God uses each friend to teach a new lesson about Him.

4.) I have learned that true love is not a giddy feeling, although it may be present at times, but rather it is being willing to stand beside the person you are with & walk through whatever life throws at both of you, while at all times keeping Heaven as your first & final goal.

5.) I have learned that the greatest teaching I will ever give in Children's Ministry will be how I live my life. "Shake & shine"

6.) When I was a little girl one of my Grammy's friends had built me a huge rocking horse. Being the little short thing that I am, my three year old self had a hard time climbing on it. Everyday my Daddy would make me try to get on the horse myself until there came a day when I could finally do it. He would always say, "kk don't quit!" Now as a grown woman (ahhh it's crazy to say that), I have an inability to quit at things I start.

7.) Growing up my Grammy always told me "smile at people. It will make them wonder what you are up to." I watched her do ministry for 16 years through her beautiful smile. Sometimes smiling through the pain is not only ministry but also healing all in it's own.

8.) I have learned that the most important thing I could ever do in my life is touch the life of a child.

9.) Through watching my Mom fight to give her 2 children everything they need I have learned true sacrifice. She has always put our well-being above her own.

10.) I have learned that it doesn't matter what people think about you. People can say things about me that are untrue & hurt my reputation, but I am the only one who will stand before the Lord & answer for my own life. In all reality the only opinion that will ever matter when it comes to my character is the One who created my inmost being.

11.) I have learned that love can be both the most painful & most rewarding emotion humans ever experience. 

12.) I have learned the truth of Jeremiah 29:11, as I have watched many times as events have had to happen in a specific order, place, & time to later bring about God's bigger purpose.

13.) I have learned that I truly can get through absolutely anything life throws at me if I am willing to just give up & allow my Lord to carry my burdens for me.

14.) I have learned that it is completely true that everything worth having is worth fighting for. 

15.) I have learned that prayer is for me.... He knows all of my words before one of them is on my tongue.

16.) I have learned that sin didn't kill Jesus... I did... I put him on a cross. I put the nails through his hands & feet & a spear through his side so that I could live as I please. Through this I have developed a new understanding of what He did for me on a personal level.

17.) I have learned the true value of hard work, be it in a job, in ministry, in the classroom, or in relationships.

18.) I have learned that in life rarely will I choose my circumstance. Things will happen that are completely unfair & I will have no control whatsoever over such events. BUT I can choose my attitude. I can choose whether people see God's glory or see my humanness through the pain.

19.) I have learned that the majority of the things in life I thought were important, in reality are of no importance whatsoever. In the end it will be the relationships that matter... my family, curtis, my friends, & my Contact kids, for these relationships are eternal!

20.) I have learned that in this life I should only have one goal.... to get to Heaven & take as many people with me as I possibly can. If I gain the whole world & yet forfeit my soul whatever time I was alloted on this earth is just a waste. 

All that being said... here's to another year... another year of laughing until your body aches, crying until there are no tears left, loving until it hurts, doing God's work in every way, & discovering what life is all about.

Lord for as long as you let this body breath help me to be about real life! Help me to be about eternal, rather then temporary, help me to be about others rather then self, help me to always look first to the cross, & most of all help me to give you the glory & the praise every day, in every circumstance, forever & ever. This is my prayer!
In Jesus Name,

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Today was a really hard day for me! I dreamed about my sweet baby girl last night. I've been missing her so much lately & seeing her was incredible! In the dream it was my wedding day. I was getting ready & for the first time in 8 months I was able to dress both of my girls! Their dresses were beautiful! They both looked so perfect. Lexi loved my dress! She used to call me "my kayla" & when she would get excited about something she would say, "Oh! Oh!". That's exactly what she said in my dream... "Oh, Oh my kayla's so pretty!"

Waking up from dreams about her is such a bitter stab of reality! For those of you who do not know, I have always wanted Lexi & Lindsey to be the flower girls in my wedding. I know that in light of everything it doesn't seem all that important, but it was important to me! It is devastating to realize that someday I will dress Lindsey & watch her walk down the aisle & she will stand with me, but her twin will not be standing beside her :(.

Anyway, I went through a time after she died when I was angry that she was gone & even more so I was angry with God for allowing it to happen! Anger is no longer my reaction. On days like today there is a pain that comes from so deep inside of me that I don't even begin to know what to do with it! In these moments I have learned to simply give up! I let myself cry... a lot, I look through her pictures, & talk about the good times & then I lay it at HIS feet. Giving my pain to the Lord is the only option I have! Anger didn't get me anywhere. Blaming my God for her loss doesn't give me Lexi back! It simply takes my hope. God did not fail because HE let Lexi die! Granted HE could've saved her. HE could've caused the bleeding to stop, but for reasons far beyond my understanding HE allowed her to come home instead!

I don't have an answer for why Lexi died & I never will. BUT my God is not any less good then when HE blessed us with our miracle babies on November 6, 2006. Is it fair? Of course it isn't! No three year old should suffer & die! God didn't intend for life to be this way!  Our bodies fail because of sin! Remember back to Genesis... HE walked with Adam & Eve in the garden. After Adam & Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit God put a limit on human life. Therefore, I can blame myself for the fact that people die & I can thank my God that HE loved me enough to keep death from being the end!

 If anyone who ever walked this earth deserved to have their prayer answered in the way they wished, it was Jesus! He was the only humanbeing to never fail HIS Father & yet God allowed him to suffer (unfairly) & die so that I can spend an eternity with HIM. Before I jump on the "God's so unfair for not answering my prayers" boat, I must recognize that the only reason HE even hears my prayers period is because HE unfairly gave up HIS own son to die upon a cross. In light of HIS sacrifice I have no stance for why my life is unfair.

So here is where I am today... I am accepting that God created Lexi to spend an eternity in Heaven with HIM. This world is simply a blink of an eye in the spectrum of eternity. As a Christian my only goal for children should be this.... that they spend an eternity with the LORD. Although next Saturday will be one of the hardest days of my life, as I will celebrate the twins birthday with only Lindsey, I am going to fight with everything in me to find strength in the Lord. I am going to strive to view this world through HIS eyes & realize that Heaven is where we all should be. Someday I will celebrate another birthday with the twins & this painful loss will fade to memory as all things are made right in the presence of my FATHER.

Thank you Lord for being so incredibly unfair to your one & only son for a sinner like me. Help me to look to the cross before I look at my loss. I want to submit to you! I want to give you the glory & the praise for the time that you gave me with Lexi & for the eternity that you will give me with her when my time on this earth is over. I was so blessed to have her, no matter how short the time was. Thank you for never leaving my side. Hold each of us in your arms of unfailing love this week! Give us your joy, your peace, & your love. Walk with us always.
In Jesus Name,

Monday, October 18, 2010


This month has been such an emotional month for me! Dates are constant reminders of Lexi's battle with liver failure, but also of Donna's battle with premature labor. I watched Donna fight so hard to deliver healthy identical twin girls. She gave up everything to make sure those girls had a chance at life. Three years later I watched as she fought for Lexi's life again! I never could've imagined that the fight would end in tragic loss! Today has been 8 months since Lexi passed away. That doesn't even seem possible!!! I have been teary all day today. 

My Birthday is three days before the twins Birthday... they were the best sweet 16 present anyone could've ever received. I fell in love with our girls through the window of the NICU & have only fallen more in love with each of them every day since. This year, because I'm off at college, we will celebrate my Birthday the following weekend, which happens to be the twins Birthday. My heart aches for Donna & Bri. I can't begin to imagine how you make Lindsey feel special & yet feel such huge loss over Lexi! Everything becomes ten times harder because Lexi is an identical twin. Everything that we will see Lindsey do, we should've been able to see Lexi do too. 

So many things remind me of Lexi! My cousin & I were at Target the other day & saw a set of identical twin girls looking at toys together. They looked maybe seven or eight years old. Maddi pointed them out & said, "KK look at those adorable twins." I stopped dead in my tracks & just stared at them... I couldn't help it. I'm always taken back when I see identical twins & realize that our baby girls won't grow up together. All the emotions come flooding back & I feel as though the pain will never end while we walk this earth.

I don't know what to say or do or how to help any of us cope through this! I know that my God is a God of healing & today I pray ultimate healing over my family! I pray for strength for Donna & Brian & their children as they live through these painful days. 

Below is a note that I wrote to Lexi on Memorial Day... I read it again today & thought I would share it...

My Darling Little Lexi:

Oh my sweet baby girl! I cannot even begin to put into words how much I miss you every day! It seems like the longer life goes on without you, the worse the pain gets! I went to the park on Friday with your brothers & sisters while Mommy took Lindsey to the eye doctor. It was hard to only see four kids. Without both you & Lindsey there, the realization that life will never be the same grew bigger!

I know it’s been several months now & I should be moving on, but I don’t want to move on without you! I can’t accept that I will never see you again here on earth. I would give anything to hold you in my arms again! I never imagined that we could go from having two beautiful, healthy twin girls to only one. Every time I see identical twins my heart breaks! I wanted to watch you & Lindsey grow up together. I miss watching you both run around the house together & cause trouble. I would give anything to watch you guys make another mess or hold both of you at the same time. I miss your beautiful smile & your laugh! I ache to hear you tell me you love me! I miss dressing you & Lindsey alike & putting bows in your hair. More then anything I miss praying with you.

My heartbreaks every day about the things that I will never see you do… I will never celebrate another Birthday with you. I will never see you go to school. I will never see you turn 16 & drive a car. I will never see you go to prom. I won’t watch you graduate from high school or college. I will never get to watch, as you become a wife or a mommy. You won’t be the flower girl in my wedding with Lindsey.

I often find myself wondering who you would have been when you grew up. You were such a compliant, sweet, beautiful little girl. You had everything going for you! My heart hurts so much over the things you would have accomplished.

I know that you feel better & you are happier then I can even dream of being. I know that you are finally getting to play like a normal three year old because your belly doesn’t hurt anymore. I am so grateful that Jesus is holding your hand & your Father is giving you kisses until we see you again.

There were so many things I prayed over you during your short little life. I began praying for you when Mommy told me she was pregnant with twins & I began praying for you by name when we found out you were girls. Of all the things I prayed, what I prayed most often was that you would know how much God loved you & love Him in return. More then anything in this life, I wanted to be able to help you grow in Him & help you get to heaven. At three years old you accomplished my biggest dream for you. You finished the race marked out for you! I will never understand why you had to leave me so early! I will never understand why God wouldn’t heal you, when I know He could have. But I am confident that you are in heaven & that some day I will see you again. I think about heaven all the time! I cannot wait until I get to hold you in my arms again & you will lead me to my Father just like you did so many times while you walked this earth. You are now & forever my precious baby girl! I love you most Lex!

1 Corinthians 4:18 “For we do not focus on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal!”

Monday, October 4, 2010

We believe in the RESURRECTION!

Wow! This is such a hard month for our family! October was the month when my life would become a whirlwind of out of control events & emotions! Last year on October 5th, exactly a month after the plane crash, my Aunt Tammy had a heart-attack. She had been battling lung cancer for quite a while. Mom told me that my Aunt had been placed on life support & I needed to come home right then. All the way home I prayed. I didn't want anyone else's answer on how to comfort my family... I wanted HIS answer. I had been reading 2 Corinthians at the time & what stuck out to me is that God is a God of all comfort! Throughout the book the Corinthians continue asking Paul for wisdom about the issues they are facing... people are immoral, people are being persecuted, good people are dying... why? Every time Paul answers, "Jesus died & rose again." On that day I walked in & spoke with my Nanny, who inevitably would soon be burying her second child. I told her that we can ask God why, but HIS answer will always be Jesus died & rose again & that answer was ENOUGH for whatever heartache we must face! That answer was all we needed to continue getting out of bed every day.

Little did I know that just a few days later I would have to take my own advice. At the luncheon before my Aunt's funeral I received a phone call that Lexi was bleeding internally & being moved to OKC's Children's Hospital. They simply couldn't get the bleeding to stop. When I walked into Contact yesterday morning that phone call weighed heavily on my mind! I remember the tears welling up in my eyes as I tried to communicate what Brian had told me. All I could say was "Lexi's been life-flighted to OKC. It's a very dangerous situation."Even speaking the words dangerous & our sweet little Lexi's name in the same sentence was heart-wrenching. October was the beginning of our tragic battle! As you know, Lexi would lose her fight with liver failure after receiving a transplant. I can't begin to describe how painful it is for all of us to revisit the dates of those terrible days!

As I have watched life both begin & fade away around me this year I have realized how blessed Christians truly are! Losing my Grammy to glioblastoma multi forme stage four brain cancer was my first faith stumble in my entire life! I was 16 years old & I couldn't grasp why God would allow good people to suffer.  Three years later, I have watched as my boyfriend buried his Daddy because of the same cancer. Glio is a cancer that takes the person from you long before they are really gone. They lose their ability to walk & talk. You lose them one precious piece at a time. It is a very aggressive & short lived cancer. Both Grammy & Doug died within two months of discovering they had Glioblastoma. By the time you find out... it's already too late. His Dad, like Grammy, was an amazing Christian person! He was kind, loving, & generous. He lived every day for the Lord & was an exemplary example to everyone around him. I feel so blessed by the short time I was able to know & love Doug. 

I have been amazed with both my boyfriend & his entire family during this trying time! None of them have wavered. They have held tight to their convictions! We share a commonality that few people share. It is not one that Curtis & I are glad we share in... we both would rather have Doug & Grammy back, but we are able to share this pain & understand each other in a way no one else does. I meet Curtis three months before my Grammy got sick. We worked together & he was always helping me get shifts taken care of so I could spend more time with Grammy. I do not think it was an accident that God placed us together during that time & brought us back together during Doug's battle. I do not personally know a single other person who has been through this battle besides Curtis & his family. Because of this I am so grateful that God has given us each other to share this painful experience with. 

All that being said, I have been asked countless times why I continued in ministry after Lexi passed away? My answer is the same today as it was before she ever got sick... I do ministry because Jesus died & rose again... I believe in the power of HIS blood, I believe in the power of the resurrection, I believe in an empty tomb, I believe in a Lord that is coming back & I believe in a God who makes all things RIGHT! Curtis & I have both had to learn that God's answer is sometimes "no" in desperate situations. HE didn't choose to give us miracles, & we both know that HE could have, but HE has chosen to turn the "no" answers we were given on this earth into "yes" answers when we reach Heaven! So from now until HE calls us home we will hold onto the answer that is enough for all the heartache in this world... we serve a RISEN Lord! This is why Christians are blessed even in heartache. We know that this world is not our home & we have hope of a new home & a new life with the one's we love. HE is a God of all comfort & HE has never left our side. We will be made whole again because of HIS power! My prayer is that others will come to know HIM because of the battles Tammy, Grammy, Lexi, & Doug all fought & that those of us left behind are a light in the dark places in this world.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

True Faith is a Never Ending Journey

True Faith is a Never Ending Journey
After being in the Church for almost twenty years I have finally learned that being faithful is a lifelong process! Faith is not based on one experience, but rather on several experiences throughout life. When we are young children we simply accept the faith of our parents. As we grow our faith must become our own. We either develop our own way of thinking or just walk away from faith completely. Nevertheless faith is a continuous journey in which we are growing and changing every day. All our experiences combine to give us an authentic relationship with God.
As a young child my faith was based on tradition. I knew nothing different then going to Church three times a week, reading the Bible, and praying every day. It was simply a part of life that had been passed down to me. For as long as I can remember my parents would read the Bible to me every night and say prayers with me before bed. They would always pray, “Dear God, thank you for one more day to spend together.” I still catch myself beginning my prayers with that statement. On the rare occasion that we would miss Church we would have Church as a family, and I always got to “preach.” I thought it was the coolest thing in the world to be sharing with my family my own thoughts on the Bible. Now looking back we joke about how God was making it clear years ago that He had marked me for ministry.
Even when we are young children our faith is often tested. For my brother and I that time came when our Daddy became very ill. My Daddy was in the hospital for nearly two months. On several occasions we were told that he would probably die. It seemed like every day he was getting worse instead of better. We went to stay with my grandparents while he was sick. My grandparents have always been my faith giants and they were exactly who we needed to be with during this difficult time. My Grammy had an amazing way of conveying God to us through every conversation we had. During this time she continually reminded us that God was big enough to make sick people well. Because of the storm surrounding our lives my faith became based on emotion. Many nights my brother and I couldn’t sleep and would spend the whole night praying that God would make our Daddy well again. Although he did get worse, he had a seizure because of an allergic reaction to the medicine he was given; eventually he was completely back to normal. Other then the scars on his stomach no one would know that he had ever been through such an experience. I was only ten years old at the time and my brother was seven. We were incredibly blessed to see God’s amazing power at such young ages.
Although I always loved the Lord, I honestly had been given a pretty easy faith walk, because I had such an amazing family to encourage my spiritual growth. Shortly after my sixteenth birthday, I came to the realization that I could no longer live through my family’s faith, but my faith would have to become my own. On February 9, 2007 our family was informed that my Grammy had brain cancer that was both inoperable and incurable. Not only was she going to die, she was going to die very quickly. My heart was breaking to the point of unbearable belief! Instead of being strong I curled up in my Grammy’s bed and let her hold me while I cried for what seemed like hours. When I finished crying she made me promise her something, she said, “Kk promise me win or lose you will get up and you will praise Him!” I wiped the tears from my eyes and promised her I would praise God no matter what happened.
            During the next two months my faith became all about intuition. I was desperate for an answer, any speck of hope that God was going to work in a miraculous way on behalf of our family. I had read Mark nine and I constantly prayed that God would help me with my disbelief. I felt like He wasn’t doing anything to help us. He was letting my Grammy, a woman who had worked her entire life to spread His word, suffer. It made no sense that He wouldn’t intervene for someone who had faithfully served Him. There were many hard questions that I continually asked the Lord. After her death I finally came to the realization that He was big enough to handle my hurts. He already knew my heart; it was no secret to him that I was disappointed in His plan for my Grammy. Hiding my pain from the only one who could heal my heart would have been absolutely foolish! Although I still miss her terribly, I have been able to thank Him that he allowed me to experience the death of a loved one. I worked at an inner city church this summer, and I was able to have a conversation with a young man who had recently lost his grandma to similar circumstances. It was a huge blessing to both the young man, and myself to be able to discuss what Christians do when we experience such heartaches.
Even after all of those experiences, my faith was still lacking something. I had yet to realize what God had done for me on a personal level. I began working at Contact Church of Christ in May of 2009. Working at Contact Church completely changed my faith in ways I never thought possible. When you are working every day to help others grow in their walk, you become more and more aware of what your own shortcomings. I was forced to deal with how disgusting my own sin is. The more I tried to teach the kids about the Lord the more I learned about having an authentic relationship with my Lord. For the first time I realized that I was the one that put Jesus on the cross. I killed him so that I could live my life as I pleased, consequently making life harder on myself. Once my heart was truly broken over my sin I was able to make changes in my life so that I could walk closer with my Lord. I was truly experiencing the most authentic reality of who my Lord is and what He desired from my life during this time.
As always, after going through a time of being on top of the mountain, one must return to the valley. Six years ago I began babysitting for Brian and Donna Alt. They had moved in across the street from my parent’s house. Looking back I never could’ve imagined where life would take us. When we met they had two children, Logan (4 years old), Lauren (2 years old), and Donna was pregnant with their third child, Landon. Brian and Donna quickly made me a part of their family. Throughout my high school years I spent at least two nights a week with their family. During these six years we were blessed with three more children, identical twin girls, Lexis and Lindsey, and the baby of the six, Leland. Our family was finally complete!
On October 8, 2009 Brian called to tell me that Lexi was bleeding internally and would be flown to Oklahoma City’s Children’s Hospital. When Lexi was a year old we were told that she had a liver disease. Although the problem never got better it hadn’t gotten worse and she remained relatively healthy for the past two years. In October we were informed that Lexi was now in full liver failure and would need to be placed on a transplant list. I cannot begin to explain the whirlwind of emotions our whole family experienced while we watched Lexi fight for her life! Over the next several months she would endure countless surgeries, hospital stays, and a liver transplant. On February 17, 2010 I celebrated my eighth year as a baptized believer. Growing up I had been taught that the decision to commit my life to the Lord through baptism was the biggest decision I would ever make. Eight years later I was reminded of how important my relationship with my Lord truly is. I was praising Him like I never had before because just six days prior Lexi had received a liver transplant! I believed with everything in me that He was working out a miracle for our family and that someday Lexi would share her story of His miraculous power. While she was in the hospital she told all her nurses that God put a new liver in her belly. Little did I know that twenty-four hours later I would question everything about my faith? On February 18, 2010 Lexi went to her heavenly home. For as long as I live I will never forget that phone call! Even today there are times when I go back to the hopelessness, the brokenness, the feelings of emptiness that came from so deep inside of me when I was told that my baby girl would no longer walk this earth with our family.
For months after Lexi’s death my faith became about reason. I questioned absolutely everything! If God was so good why did He let Lexi suffer? Why does He let our family experience such terrible pain on an every day basis? Why would He give us a liver just to take her away? What was the point? I fought with everything in me to discover a reason. I wanted an answer! Everyone kept telling me that her death was the best answer to her problem, but I wanted to know why. To be completely honest, I still want to understand why. Sometimes I feel like if God would just tell us somehow the pain would be less, but deep down I know I’m just fooling myself. No matter what His answer was I would still continue to miss her every day until I’m able to see her again. Reasoning doesn’t fix anything in our faith, because God’s reasoning is beyond our understanding. Because He is immortal and we are not, we cannot even begin to tap into His thought process. Instead I must accept that He is God. He is in complete control. He is behind and before and nothing happens without His hand. There are times in life when He intervenes and there are times in life when He does not, but all the time He is at work.
After our family experienced such tragic loss I struggled with whether I should continue working at Contact again this summer. I felt so inadequate because of the way my faith had been shaken! Praying about it constantly, I finally came to the decision that I would continue to work at Contact. My Grammy had told me a long time ago, “In hard times you don’t get to quit ministry. It is in the midst of hard times that you push ministry into overdrive,” and this is exactly what I planned to do. Somehow, some way, I was going to continue to teach children about the Lord. I couldn’t have been more blessed through spending another summer at Contact! Working with the kids truly put a fire back in my soul. Watching the kids grow in their walk with the Lord is one of the greatest joys I have ever experienced! They have taught me so much more over the past year then I could ever possibly teach them. I thank God daily that He has placed me in the ministry at Contact and is willing to use someone that is a complete mess to convey His word.
Often growing up in the Church we tend to believe that being faithful means that we always trust the Lord no matter what storm may be encompassing our lives. We go to Church, we sing the right songs, we say the right things, we pray the right prayers, but do we ever really tap into what God truly desires from us? Having a relationship with God is much messier and individualized then the Church tends to teach us. Anytime I question God or His motives I deem myself as being unfaithful or unbelieving. I have a difficult time realizing that God can accept all of my doubts and questions. I would even venture to say He encourages us to bring our questions to Him so that He can grow us and change us to look more like Him. I do not think faith is simply based on reason, emotion, intuition, or tradition, although it is a combination of the four, true faith is so much simpler. True faith is a daily decision to want to know Him more. Some days we are stronger then others, but every day we have the opportunity for a relationship with the Creator of the universe. Today I can look at my faith journey and see God’s fingerprints at every part. He has never and will never leave my side! I look forward to my continued relationship with Him while I walk this earth and I also look forward to the day when I will meet Him face to face! Until then I pray that He will use me to bring others into a relationship with Him. My only goal is to get to heaven and take as many as I can with me.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Missing you baby girl!

I'm missing you so much right now my sweet baby girl! I miss your smile, your hugs, your kisses, your sweet voice & your precious demeanor! The start of this month has been hard. Last September was the last month before I knew you were sick. Your battle has been on my mind a lot lately! You fought so hard baby! You had a courage & strength inside of you that few people who walk this earth ever discover. Linds keeps telling me that you are coming home soon. My heart aches when she says that! I wish more then anything you were coming home. I miss my twins! I miss watching you two play together. Life is so different now. Not a day goes by when I don't think of you! The memories of you make me smile! You brought so much joy into my life. You and Lindsey truly are the best birthday present I have ever received. I can't wait to see you again someday! I know that our separation is only temporary. Someday we will all be together again in the arms of our Abba Father. Until then I will carry you in my heart! You are now & forever my precious baby girl! I love you most Lex! 

2 Corinthians 4:18- "For we do not focus on what is seen, but what is unseen for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal!"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

You are ALWAYS enough!

I moved back down to school yesterday. The idea of moving back to school was really hard for me to handle this time. When I moved last year I left 6 beautiful children. I never thought that I would move home to only 5. Our lives have changed so dramatically! Even decorating my room was difficult. Last year pictures of Lexis covered my desk as well as scriptures that I was praying over her during her battle with liver failure. This year I made a picture board that includes pictures of my whole family & my best friends. I have 3 of my favorite pictures of Lexi on it...

I love the top one! She was such a silly little girl! She was always making me laugh. The one of the twins is my absolute favorite of those two! It really captures what it was like having twins. They were inseparable! There were so many times that I had to clean up the kitchen cause they spilled the soap, or got into the lotion... my favorite was when they squirted an entire tube of toothpaste all over the bathroom floor! They were a mess, but they were my little messes. The last one is my last picture with Lexi. It was taken two weeks before she passed away. I had driven home in the middle of the week because I was going nuts without being able to hold her! I can't begin to describe how hard it was to know that she was sick & also know that 90% of the time I wasn't gonna be with her. Donna went out with her mom & sister that night & gave me one last night with Lex. When I kissed Lexi that night she told me she would always be my baby girl! I treasure this picture, as well as the words she said to me that night. 

Before Lexi died I had a complete trust in my Lord. I truly believed that He performed miracles & that prayer changed people's lives. From the very moment I received that phone call that she was gone my whole perspective about God changed. I didn't stop loving Him, but I stopped believing that He really acted in our lives on an every day basis. My problem was never that I didn't believe in God's goodness, it was that I knew how good He was & couldn't understand why He didn't help us! Looking back months later I am beginning to realize that my first perspective about God was not wrong! I was completely correct in believing that He is good, He is holy, He is love, He is all powerful, & He is in complete control. I was in the truest & purest form of worship I have ever found myself in while she was sick & even after she passed away. I knew that I could not handle this alone! I needed God to carry me! He was the only one who could help me. In the last several months I have said things in prayer that I never thought would ever come out of my mouth. On countless occasions I have accused God of not doing His job & His response consistently has been "I'm big enough Kayla! I can handle your hurt, your doubt, your questions, your anger! Throw it to me & let me hold you!" 

My verse while Lexis was sick was "Be still & know that I am God," that being the reasoning behind my blog title. I had no option other then accepting His wisdom & today I am in the same position! I can stay angry & heartbroken forever. I can choose to quit living & only focus on the tragedy. Or I can choose to GET UP! I choose the second one. As hard as it is, this week I have finally accepted what it means to "Be still & know that I am God." It doesn't mean that I will have the answers to the problems of this world. What it does mean is that I can choose to accept that there are things in this life beyond my comprehension. God can work in things even if they weren't in His plan. I will never believe that He planned for Lexi to die, but I do believe that He is carrying our whole family & slowly the pieces of our broken hearts are being put back together. 

The other night I was singing songs with Lindsey & Leland before they went to sleep. When we got done singing Lindsey prayed "Dear God, thank you for mommy, and daddy, and kayla, and lexi in heaven. Help me be a servant. Amen" I was in awe of her young faith! She summed up what it means to be a Christian ... help me be a servant. A servant lives for his/her master. Today I choose to continue living for my Lord. Even though our loss was huge, He is enough! He is bigger then the pain! And someday we will rise with the Lord & all things will be made RIGHT! Until then I will be still & know that He is God. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I used to carry you in my arms, 
Now I carry you in my heart.
I loved to fix your hair with bows,
Now all I have to fix is a stone.
I don't know why you left me!
There's so much I don't understand!
What I wouldn't give to hold your hand again.
I miss you more then I could ever explain
The pain is so great I can't even describe!
You were my little miracle, but only for a short time
I prayed the day would never come
I never wanted to say goodbye
But the world keeps spinning & life goes on.
Whether I want to or not I must move on.
You stole my heart & life will never be the same.
Don't you see? There is a part of me that remains with you!
So dance with Jesus until we meet again & hold that piece of me in your pretty little hand.
Someday I will join you & then & only then I will be whole again.
Until then I hold onto precious memories left behind.
For the truth is, love is stronger then death.
Our relationship will never end!
Though time goes by & life goes on you will remain mine!
Forever & always my precious baby girl!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This week one of my Contact girls was looking through some of my pictures of Lexi. She began asking questions about what happened during her battle with liver failure. She said, "You've handled this better then I would! It's cool that you can talk to me about it and not break down!" I didn't really have a  response for what she said. Her perception of me is so different then my own. All that kept running through my head was "I don't handle this well! I break down all the time! I just refuse to cry in front of anyone! I cry at her grave, in my room, in her room, & in my car...when i'm ALONE!" I don't have some amazing strength that everyone seems to see in me. That is rather other's perception of the situation. 

When Lexi passed away my worst nightmare became my devastating reality. Her death has changed how I view so many things in this life, but especially how I view my relationship with God. I have learned the hard truth that God allows and disallows different things for His purpose. It has absolutely nothing to do with me! There is nothing I can do to change His mind. Giving some miracles while taking others home will never make sense to me, but I TRUST Him. He is the one that was, and is, and is to come, and because of that I can honestly say that even on my worst days I know that He is taking care of Lexi and that He is healing those of us left behind. When I question why a three year old had to die, time and time again He has reminded me that He did not create us to spend a life here, but rather a life in heaven with Him. Death exist simply because we live in a broken world! 

I will never fully get over losing Lexi! There will always be a hole in my heart! Every time I see twins I will wonder why we don't have both. I will always feel like I was cheated out of seeing her grow up. But I will also always know that this is NOT the end! My relationship with Lexi did not end when she took her last breath. I trust that Jesus is preparing a place for me and someday I will join Lexi in our permanent home. One of the most beautiful things God has ever given us is free will. I get to choose how I will perceive the loss of this precious child. I had no control over whether she lived or died, but I can control how it effects me and those around me. From now until He calls me home I am going to choose to accept what happened. I am going to find a way to bring glory to His name because of Lexi's life. God is a God of life, NOT death, and because of this, I rejoice in the life she had here and the life she has now!

2 Corinthians 4:18- For we do not focus on what is seen, but what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal!

Lex, I'm missing you so much right now! I've cried a lot this week! I even dreamed about you last night, which just upset me more. Dreaming about you is just a tease. I almost feel like I can see you again, but the whole time I know that I am only dreaming. Reality is that I cannot see you on this side of eternity. Landon starts school tomorrow. I can't believe he's old enough to start school! I used to wonder what it would be like when three of you were in school & three of you were at home. Now it just breaks my heart that only two are left at home. I wanted to see you go to school with Lindsey! More then anything I miss seeing you play with her. I miss putting you to bed together. Every time I put her in bed I look at your side of the bed and picture you laying beside her. I can't wait to see you again! I can't wait until we walk in heaven and you tell me everything you've done since you've been there. More then anything I can't wait to hear you say that you love me again. I'd give anything to hear that now! You are still my baby girl! I love you most! 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's in a Name?

This week I have been on vacation with Lexi's family. We are staying with Donna's sister in Oregon. It has been such a great week as a family! The kids have spent time with cousins, aunts, uncles, & their Grandma. It is wonderful to see them all laughing & having a good time. But I can't help but look around & realize we are short one precious baby girl! When we drove to the airport Saturday afternoon my heart hurt because there should not be room for me in their Suburban. Lexi should be in that car too! 

Last night one of Lexi's cousins had a friend over. His mom was meeting all the kiddos & told Lauren that she had a friend named Lexi who was a lot littler then Lauren. As I watched how Lauren responded to hearing that name my heart sank! I absolutely hate hearing that name! When I hear Lexi my mind is flooded with memories. On good days I am able to remember the times she was well, her laugh, her smile, the little things she said to me, & her precious little voice. Other days are not so great, & I remember the pain of her battle with liver failure. Even still, there are times when I go back to that moment Brian told me she was gone, the hopelessness, the emptiness, the brokenness all comes pouring back & there is a pain so deep inside of me!

As I think about the effect Lexi had on my life, the effect her life still has when I hear her name, I am reminded of another name that changed my life, the name of my precious Lord! Jesus life also changed my life! This past Sunday had been five months since Lexi went to heaven. While I worshipped my Lord my mind was overwhelmed with the sacrifice He made. Because He came & lived a perfect life in a human body, died on the cross, & rose again, I have salvation! I will spend an eternity with my Lord, because a man named Jesus took the nails for me.

On my way back from summer camp with my Contact Kids one of my girl's was looking at a picture Bible. She looked up & said "Miss Kayla, why did Jesus have to die with two other people?" I was able to discuss that Jesus died with thieves, because they were sinners & He was dying for our sins. While discussing Jesus' death, I saw myself in the thieves being crucified with Him. I have been a thief! I have taken things that weren't mine to take. I have walked outside of the will of God. I have followed my own path, rather then the Lord's. And even still He looks at me & says, "Today you will be with me in paradise!" I have no way of knowing when my day will come, but I do know that there is immense power in the name of my Lord & savior Jesus Christ! Praise God that there is power in His name & power in His blood! Someday I will walk with Lexi again. Until then, I hold onto my Father like never before!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I don't want none of that!

So many exciting things have gone on at Contact lately that I have had a hard time deciding what to write about. Working at Contact I have been blessed enough to meet with all kinds of people. One particular situation stands out to me right now. About a month ago... yes I'm behind in updating... we had a mission group from Chickasha working alongside us. We decided that one of our mission projects would be to go downtown & hand out cookies to the homeless. Our hopes for the day were simply to start conversations with people who are generally avoided. We split up into groups. I took Judith O'sborn, Joel Osborn's (better known as Big O) daughter with me.

If you do not know Judith you truly are missing out on a relationship with one of the best ministers I know. This little girl has an incredible ability to get inside people's lives & by doing so, she touches hearts for the Lord. Anyway, we took our bags of cookies to the bus station & sat beside a young lady. I fully expected Judith to be intimidated by the whole situation, but she wasn't at all. As we shared with this lady, she began to tell us that she has been unable to keep a job because she suffers from schizophrenia & had just been diagnosed with hepatitis C. We continued to listen to her story & asked if we could read the word with her. About this time another man sat down with us & started sharing his story. He was in some legal trouble for various reasons.

After sharing the word with these two individuals I asked if I could pray for them. The young lady asked that I pray for the Lord to heal her from Hepatitis C. I will never forget what happened next. The man sitting beside her jumped up & said "Don't touch me! I don't want none of that!" Watching this all take place, my heart broke for the women. I couldn't help but wonder how many times in her life she had heard, "I don't want none of that!" The statement alone took her humanity & her dignity. The man stood on the other side of me. He held my hand as Judith & I held hands with the young woman & went into the presence of our Lord. After we walked off Judith asked me if we could catch Hepatitis C? I told her I wasn't exactly sure what the disease was, but I didn't think we could catch it. At this moment I was so in awe of Judith's young faith! She had no idea what this disease was & yet she still reached her hands out & touched this woman anyway. She had absolutely no concern for herself!

I have not seen the young woman we met at the bus station since that day & more than likely I will never see her again. I will never know whether God brings healing into her life on this earth, but I do know that I saw a glimpse of eternity that day! I saw a small portion of the love of the Father being poured into a woman who had not experienced His love on a regular basis. 

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the Good Samaritan. I have taught this story several times at Contact from the aspect of what it means to be the person who helps the Samaritan. But on this day, I viewed that story in a whole new way. I wonder what it felt like to be the Samaritan laying injured on the side of the road watching people walk by who wouldn't even give you a second look. What would it feel like to know you are in need of help, know that you would not receive it? The humility must have been beyond unbearable for this poor man! Examining this story countless times, I can honestly say I have been every person in that story. I have been the person in need of help, I have been the person willing to help, and shamefully I have been the person that saw the person in pain & passed them up because I didn't want to touch them. On that day I was forced to face the truth about my own walk. The sad truth is that if there has been even one time in my life that I have devalued someone that was created in the image of God, I have also devalued my Lord. I have been a pew warmer. I have been the Christian that had the answers, but it didn't affect my heart. But today I write this blog with a different set of eyes. I write from a heart that has been broken time & time again by the pain in this world. And I write from the reality that God created each of us to be the hands & feet of His son regardless of who He is asking us to touch. We do not have an option to sit back & allow opportunities to pass any longer! Just like the lady at the Bus Stop, there is someone in your path that needs someone to meet them where they are at. I encourage you to let go of the worldly standards you are held to & simply love like He first loved you. You will be changed, the people you come into contact with will be changed, & ultimately eternity will be changed. Praise God that He chooses to bless us by working in us & through us.

Matthew 10:38-39
And anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lessons Learned

I have learned so many hard lessons about my relationship with my Lord through Lexi's battle with liver failure & through her death. To be completely honest, I wish I could've learned those lessons another way. But if I have learned nothing else about God from this horrible tragedy, I have learned that HIS grand design in life is not to please me. I was created to glorify Him! If I truly believe that God is who He claims to be, I have one option in this situation... submit to His wisdom. Submitting is not something that comes easy for me. Actually, I HATE submission! I like to be in control of my own life. I want to have the final say in how things are going to take place, but truly walking with the Lord means giving Him the first say, as well as the last. 

While Lexi was sick I remember staying up several nights praying all night long & begging God to move on her behalf. When she first passed away I was so angry that He had told me no! I felt like everything I had ever believed about God was a lie! But as I reflect on what Jesus did on the cross, I am reminded that He too asked the Lord to let this cup pass. God's answer was simply, "No, I cannot allow this cup to pass because I have a bigger purpose." Almost 5 months later I can honestly say that God did act on behalf of Lexi... it just wasn't how I wanted Him to. In the garden of Gethsemane He answered His only son with a No so that some day I could enter into an eternal home with Him. And on February 18, 2010 I was told that God's answer was no. Just like Jesus' cup of agony did not pass, our cup of anguish would not pass either. We were forced to say goodbye. 

Although, I do understand the purpose behind Jesus dying on the cross, I don't understand why Lexi died & I probably never will. What I do understand is that my God is not a God of chance, but rather a God of precise planning. He has a beautiful plan in spite of tragic loss. I believe with everything in me that there will be people who come to know Him simply because of Lexi's life & for that I am eternally grateful! Until I get to see my Lord face to face I am going to choose to submit to His wisdom & accept His plan. I am simply a tool in His hand. I may set a path for my life, but I have to allow Him to direct my steps. From now until He calls me home, I am going to strive to give Him complete control!

My sweet Lexi, do you know that in three years you taught me more about God then I had learned in the 16 before you were born? I think about you every day! I miss seeing you & Linds play together. I miss praying with you & kissing your sweet head. I thank God for you every day! I could never have repaid you for everything you gave me in those short three years. I can't wait to walk with you in Heaven. I love you most Lex!

1 Peter 5:6-7
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

Friday, June 18, 2010

I Will Carry You

It has been four months since Lexi passed away. This past week my mind has been flooded by the memories of her battle with liver failure. While she was sick I prayed so many things out of complete desperation! One specific day stands out to me right now. I remember calling Donna to check on Lexi because I was driving back to school at the end of my Christmas break. She informed me that Lexi was getting worse. At this point she had developed a severe infection that was not getting any better & would once again be flown back to St. Louis. When I hung up the phone I began to sob uncontrollably! I remember screaming at God. "Lord heal her! You can fix this! Just snap your fingers & give her a new liver! End our pain! Stop allowing this! Please God help her! I'll do anything! Please!" As I drove my mind was flooded with the possibility of losing Lexi. I didn't want to let myself think about that. Instead, I continued to tell myself that Lexi wasn't mine. I love her with all of my heart & she as well as everyone else in her family had become a precious part of my family, but they have become mine because God placed them in my life for a purpose. I began to quote Psalm 139 to myself, reminding me that God had knit Lexi together & had a specific plan for her. My role in this difficult time was to trust Him to take care of His child. I was beginning to understand that although this precious little girl that I loved with all my heart had a terminal illness, she was also the little girl that God loved with all His heart, a little girl that He had created to spend an eternity with Him.

I was so desperate for a sign that God was going to heal Lexi & allow her to live a normal life that I would read the stories of the miracles He performed in the Bible over & over again. I read of the Father who brings his child to Jesus in Mark 9 & prays "Lord I believe, help me with my disbelief." This is where I truly was! I believed with all of my heart that He would heal Lexi whether it be on this earth or in her permanent home, my struggle was the disbelief I felt. I had a deep desire to control the circumstance! I wanted to make her well! I wanted my plan for her life to be God's plan. When we received her liver I was convinced that God was finally answering our prayers for healing. This horrific battle would soon be over & I would enjoy watching Lexi grow up into a Christian woman. A week after she received her transplant my hopes & dreams were shattered! I have never been so crushed in spirit as I was when I received the phone call that my precious baby girl had gone to heaven. All the words left my body & I fell to the ground & sobbed! So many things were going through my mind. I remember feeling as though I was having a nightmare. I kept telling myself "This can't be real! Wake up! This isn't happening! She got her liver!" As the next several days went on & I came home to be with her family the reality that I will never hold Lexis again on this earth became evident. Everything I had ever dreamed of for Lexi had been shattered!

Since losing Lexi so many people have commented on the strength they have seen in all of us, but to be honest four months later my emotions have not changed much! I have spent this entire time trying to convince everyone around me that I am okay with this tragedy, because I love the Lord. I've always viewed ministers as the people who always have it together & I felt like I had to live up to such a standard. I had to keep it together in the midst of tragedy. I've spent the last week at summer camp with my Contact kids. As always in ministry, your faith gets tested. A set of 7 year old twin girls went to camp with us. One of the twins wears glasses & the other doesn't, like Lexi & Lindsey. They also have blonde hair. One of the twins was in my cabin. I had met these girls a year ago & told them that our family had a set of identical twin girls too. Not knowing any different, Hailey, asked me how our twins were. Before I could answer one of my other 7 year olds, Cathleen, said "Lexi passed away this year. She had a bad liver." Then she turned to me and said, "Miss Kayla, you aren't so sad anymore! God is making you better! I remember when you cried while you prayed in front of the Church before Lexi's funeral." My response was, "I'm sorry you had to see that Cathleen." She went on to say, "You had to cry! I remember when you prayed you said you wanted to praise God even though Lexi died." 

For the first time since Lexi passed away I have come to the realization that it is in my brokenness that God's glory shines! And because of that I can be real about my pain! The reality is that I do not have it together at all! I miss Lexi so much! My heart aches about the things I will never see her do! Every time I put Lindsey to bed I can't help but look at the left side of her bed & realize that Lexi should be laying there beside her. But I serve a God who has never allowed me to walk on my own! He has always carried me through the things I cannot do on my own & once again He is right here saying "Kayla, I will carry you!" Even though it will always be hard to look at Lexi's side of the bed & see it empty, the empty space she left in their bed reminds me of an empty tomb that was left by my Lord. There was a day when God gave up His child to die upon a cross & three days later a tomb was found empty. Because of that empty tomb someday I will hold Lexi again! When I put Lindsey to bed the other night she said, "Lexi's in heaven! She not want to come home cause she loves heaven!" I started to cry & Linds said, "Kayla, not cry! Your body will wear out too & you can be with Lexi in heaven." In the past week I have thought so much about the words Lindsey told me that night. She is right! Lexi doesn't want to come home! She was not created to spend a life here, but rather to spend a life in Heaven with her Father. Until I get to join Lexi in my heavenly home I will strive to trust God to carry me through this loss. He will carry me through the pain, the questions why, the longing for what used to be, & the desire to change our circumstances! He is my rock & my salvation. In Him my heart is fulfilled!

Psalm 73:23 "Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, & afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh & heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart & my portion forever."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Let God Brag On You

Wow! What an amazing week at Contact! There has been so much going on that I haven't even had time to blog lately. The kids get out of school June 2nd, so we are busy planning our summer camps, activities, small groups, & various house studies. God is blessing the work at Contact tremendously! 

Our staff was blessed by an opportunity to have lunch with Park Plaza's staff, as well as a few others, including a group from Little Rock Arkansas & the McMillon family from the Memorial Road Church of Christ. I was so encouraged by the excitement everyone brought to our Church! I was blessed to grow up at Park Plaza with many examples of how to do ministry. Park Plaza has supported me every time I step out into the mission field regardless of where it is. I could never thank them enough for gambling on me & trusting that God would be at work in spite of my faults.

After our staff meeting I had a small group Bible study with one of my girls. We are reading the book "A Search for Significance." I have been so inspired by the depth of insight that our girls have into a relationship with God. They truly do convict me & teach me new lessons every day. Today I was studying with one of my fourteen year old girls. Ron talks a lot to people about how our kids walk around with boxing gloves. They are so hard-hearted & always ready to fight simply because they have seen things in this life that we could never even imagine. This fourteen year old has the biggest gloves i've ever seen! She can't admit that there are things in her life that hurt her so instead she emotionally shuts down & becomes bitter & angry! We talked today about how being who God wants us to be requires not being angry, but instead expressing our emotions in a healthy way. I asked her what she hates the most about her life. She replied, "Kayla, I don't even have a bed to sleep in at night! I sleep on the floor with a sheet! I hate it!" I can't imagine how difficult it must be to not even know where you are going to sleep at night. It has to be so painful to have no stability whatsoever.

As the night went on we discussed who God is calling us to be & how to get closer to Him. I asked her to pray over us. She prayed "Lord, help us to reach out to hurting hearts & help us to stop looking for people to brag on us! We want to let you brag on us!" What a beautiful reminder that we are not to be of this world, but simply in this world. Too often we make stupid decisions because we are looking for the approval of those around us, rather then our Lord. From this day forward my prayer will be that God teaches us to allow Him to brag on us & that we will not search for anyone's approval but His. Her prayer convicted me to the core! There have been so many times in the last year that I have asked myself if I am really accomplishing anything with this young woman? But days like today remind me that life isn't a snapshot. I cannot decide that one failure gives me the right to walk away. God starts over with me daily & I have to start over with my kids. He is doing amazing work in the life of this young woman. Boxing gloves & all, the ability to love him & love others is still in her. She has an ability to lead that far exceeds any ability i've ever dreamed of having. These mountains of success are such a recognition that He is at work in every opportunity He gives us. It is such a blessing to watch as He changes hearts & allows us to have relationships with hurting people.

Today I was asked why I love my job so much. There are so many things I love about Contact. There is not enough room in any blog to fully describe the way my life has been changed forever through working at Contact. However, what I love about Contact the most is that I am given the opportunity to love the kids where they are at, not where I want them to be. Most often when I begin working with the kids I want more for their lives then they want for their own. As time goes on I am able to watch as their plans for their lives become His plans & because they are His plans they begin to want something better. It truly is life changing!

Thank you again for all your love & support! I appreciate so much everyone's interest in what God is doing at Contact! It is an exciting time in the ministry He is doing here. We are a blessed staff & a blessed congregation! 

"If you do good people will accuse you of having selfish ulterior motives...DO GOOD ANYWAY!"

Ephesians 1:11-12 "It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone."