Monday, October 22, 2007

So far behind

So its been a few months since I last wrote, but its not been because nothing has been happening. In fact, its been because so much is happening its been hard to find the time or energy to record my thoughts. Thank you to everyone who has been asking for an update...and now its time, and read on through, b/c the best part is at the end :-)

School is so many levels of incredible--incredibly rewarding, incredibly exhausing, incredibly difficult, incredibly fascinating. Even after 1.5 semesters, I know numerous drugs, can place catheters, give shots, do a physical exam, clean bottoms, bathe people in bed, chart like a champ, and wear clogs with the best of them. If I have lost touch with you over the past 5 months, I apologize, but if you only knew how difficult its been academically, you might understand. I hope you do...

I'm involved in an amazing church called the Summit. Its in Durham and the Lord is using it in incredible ways to bless this town and bring Himself much glory. Through the church, I get to play a lot of music and lead a girls bible study for nursing students. Its awesome to be able to find ways to serve God while being a busy student and to find such joy in the work despite being beat most of the time. If you want to check out the church, the website is, and its well worth it. The Lord was very gracious in taking me to that church, and giving me a bit of a family there.

Finally, I would like to say for the record that I am no longer, I haven't gotten married, but I have met an incredible man for whom I care deeply for and am really excited to know and walk with. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord, right? And Chris is certainly a gift. He demonstrates great grace and patience with me, and he exemplifies to me the ever-pursuing love of God. I couldn't ask for a more honest, dear, kind, passionate man of God. If you are a prayer, then pray for us, that we would honor the Lord and seek first His kingdom.

So that's about it for now...a lot has happened since the big move in May, and its not been easy, but it has certainly been good. I look forward to writing again soon...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The big move

Its pretty cliche to say the God moves in mysterious ways, and I hate cliches. Instead, I think saying, "God is wild and when we get caught up in that wild things start to happen," is perhaps more appropriate.

This year my church's "vision" is open hands. Its an unspoken vision of a people with hands wide open to God and whatever He calls us to. So as I try to walk out this vision with a wild God, I find old things being left behind and new, often unexpected, things being placed in my hands.

I have unexpected friends, like Chloe, a 4 year old love muffin who wears jeans under her skirts and soaks up the things of God. Then there's Sue, my adopted auntie who asks me the hard questions, says that which very few take the time to say, and prays as boldly as any woman I've ever known. And of course Becky, Nicole, Maggie, Michelle G, and Jodi--my beloved Highland girls who laugh and cry and talk about boys and God, and who are willing to die for His name's sake. There's Lynn and Michelle S who love me and don't want me to leave and who share their families with me. All these people I didn't know a year ago--people I can't imagine life without--unexpected blessings placed in open hands.

And now I have an unexpected future. Just a few weeks ago I planned on finishing nursing school Aug '08 and moving back to Asheville to work off the debt I would incur during my year in Chapel Hil. But God is wild and my hands are open, and things have changed. Now I know that UNC hospitals will pay for me to go to school in full if I agree to work for them for 2 years following graduation, which means I'm guaranteed a job at a great hospital AND I won't have any financial debt. Yes Lord, I see what You have placed in my hands. That certainly cannot be ignored. So instead of 1 year in Chapel Hill, its now 3 years there. I'm trusting He knows better than I concerning my future, and I'm asking Him to prepare my heart for such a transition. Leaving Asheville is far more permanent now than it was just 2 weeks ago. But He is faithful to His children, and I think I'm almost ready. Asheville is one of those things I have to leave behind.

So with open hands I walk, and as His word is lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, He leadeth me. This wild, untamed, amazing God prepares me to go and He leads me to the places He wants me to be--unexpected places with unexpected challenges and unexpected joys...I think those are the best kind.

Friday, April 06, 2007


Tonight I "sorrowed". I mean I really let it all out.

I am sad, as betrayed by my red eyes and stuffy nose.

Close to 2000 years ago a man among men died willingly on a cross, bearing the transgressions of the world. He was a man of sorrows, the ultimate sacrifice, and the King of Kings.

Bearing the cross was not easy for Him. Death was not quick, or painless, or simple. That day was bloody and wretched. The skies darkened, much like the hearts of those He died to save. The temple veil was torn, and that which separated the world from God's presence fell to the wayside. It was finished.

In light of that, as God makes me more like Jesus with great patience and grace, I shouldn't wonder at why dying to myself is so painful. I shouldn't wonder at God asking me to give things up...things that are good...for His name's sake. Jesus gave up His very life for the glory of the Father and the redemption of souls. What God asks of me pales in comparison...and yet it still hurts. In a way, I mourn those things, and in my weakness I wonder if its worth it.

Is it worth being single?
Is it worth going overseas?
Is it worth leaving my beloved Asheville for school?
Is it worth building up treasures in heaven instead of on earth?

These are real questions I ask and stumble over and fumble over in my head.

And still, despite the pain of the sacrifice, by grace I take up my cross and follow Him. And He reminds me of a few things. He reminds me that through the cross Jesus found great reward and full satisfaction and the fullness of life. He reminds me that death is what brought Jesus back to the Father. He reminds me that His plans are good even when the goodness disappears behind sorrow. He reminds me that His love endures forever. He reminds me that its going to be worth it.

And so, in sacrifice, hope remains. In sacrifice, grace remains, and I keep walking.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Oh ye of little faith

Nine months ago I made a major decision. After dislocating both my shoulders, having surgery, losing my job, losing most of my money to pay for hospital bills, moving home, breaking up with the man I thought I might marry, forgoing my four years in Spain, and crying more than a person probably ought to, I decided sought the Lord in prayer and decided to go back to school for nursing. After a bit of research, I learned that UNC had a 14 month BSN program for students already holding a Bachelors degree, and I only needed 4 classes to meet the required prerequisites. So I made a major decision.

I moved to Asheville, signed up for those classes at the local community college, found an amazing church, and applied to UNC--only UNC--as I truly believed that is where God wanted me, so I tossed my Duke and AB Tech applications and finished all my UNC stuff at the 11th hour. Then it was all in their hands...and ultimately, in the Lord's hands.

After applying, I learned some things about being accepted into this its really competitive--really really they only accept 30 its one of the hardest program to get in to...and I started to lose hope.

I started to forget how God had led me. I started to have little faith in my abilities and in His. I started to think of what I would do if I didn't get in, and the only thing I could come up with was to cry.

I was so afraid to hope that I'd in get because the disappointment of being rejected would be so overwhelming, and I was done being overwhelmed.

So while everyone was telling me, "Oh, you will get in, don't worry," I worried.

Then a few days ago, on my way to the doctor's office, we stopped by the mail box and there was a letter from UNC. With trembling hands I opened it, and my stomach dropped.

"Congratulations!" was the first word I read, and I knew it was all good. Immediately I thought, "I am of little faith." My acceptance into UNC proved that I can trust God in how He leads me, which is an awesome thing. His plans are good...but it kind of sucks that it took this to get me to believe that.

When I look at my life now compared to 9 months ago, I see why He took all those things away. He had other plans, and this was the only way I would see them. His ways certainly are not my ways, but they are good ways and true ways and they have a purpose.

So I'll be moving to Chapel Hill the first of May after my classes here are finished, and I'll be starting school May 15, all because of may my studies be through Him and for Him and to Him. That's the only way I fly.

Friday, March 09, 2007

My favorite Psalm

If You oh Lord kept a record of sin, oh Lord, who could stand?
But with You there is forgiveness, therefore You are feared
I wait for the Lord my soul waits and in His word I put my hope
I wait for the Lord, more than watchmen wait for the morning
More than watchmen wait for the morning
Oh Israel, put your hope in the Lord
For with the Lord is unfailing love
And with Him is full redemption.

Psalm 130

When I get a little money, then I might get this as my next tatoo...but in Hebrew, around my ankle...I can't wait.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Often I've heard this verse, but this morning, I want to delight in God not for any other reason but to please Him, that He would rejoice over me with singing because He likes it when His kids spend time with Him.

This weekend I spent at home with my parents, and at the end of our time together, my mom said, "I'm not ready for you to go!" That made my day, and it seems that somehow I made her's as well.

I think maybe its similar with God...that He likes us to be around, to talk to Him, to delight in Him, and He doesn't like when we go.

So Father, may these melodies rise up to You! May I leap off the walls to get to You! For You are good...and Your love endures forever.


Monday, March 05, 2007


Often quoted, "There is nothing to fear but fear itself." True or not, its an interesting concept, and while its nice to think of an easy life void of fear, it certainly is not a reality for me.

When I look back at my life, I see how fear has driven me away from God and into a net of false security that lies in my controlling everything and not taking chances. In light of that, my prayer for the past months has not been that I wouldn't be afraid, but that I would be brave in the face of fear.

Fear won't ever go away because new situations arise, unpredictable things will occur, and the unknown is frightening. However, one's response to said fear is what matters.

For example, I know that moving to a Muslim country is not the safest move and not the move that will "make" my career as a nurse. Its a scary move that might even lead to death. I tell people where I want to go, and they think I'm crazy. I know I'm not crazy, and I'm not stupid. I know the risks, and I know there is reason to fear. I mean, really, who wants to be lashed for not following Allah (or for consuming alcohol, or for showing your ankles...)? And I'm sure that at one point or another I will be afraid, even very afraid.

However, through God's grace, I can make it. I can live out the truth that to live is Christ and to die is gain. I can look fear straight on and not be overcome. In Him, I can be brave. For Him, I will be brave, and the peace of God which trancends all understanding will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

There is a woman in the book of 2 Kings, simply called a wise woman of the town of Abel. David's army seiges the town trying to find one man, and this woman stands up to the general of the army for the sake of the people in that town, giving them the one they want and saving the lives of many.

Twice she is called wise and is said to speak with wisdom. She speaks to a man of great rank, putting her own life on the line. It would be like me walking up to General Swartzkopff and telling him I'll get him Bin Laden if he'll just stop the fightening in Afghanstan. I mean, who does that, right? Yet this woman did...and I can't forget her. She has no name, but a legacy as a wise, brave woman who interceded for the innocent.

My prayer is that I will be that brave, that wise, and that willing to stand in the gap for justice. I hope, by grace, I will have that chance, and that I will crush fear under my feet...for the sake of the gospel...for the sake of God's reputation...and for the sake of people's lives.

Friday, March 02, 2007

I'd rather die...

I went on a date this past week and it was awful...we got into a huge fight, he said some pretty mean things, and I realized something. Praise God I realized something.

I realized that I'd rather die in an Arab country for the sake of Jesus then spend my life settled here in the States in a comfortable, stable, normal life. I don't want a house, I don't want a nice car, I don't want a picket fence...granted, a dog doesn't sound half bad, but I certainly don't need one...and sure, I'd like a husband, but right now I'm not willing to forsake my dreams of serving Him overseas for a guy. I'm not! And while I enjoy the company of men very much, I only have one life, and I can't take a husband into eternity.

My friend Chris showed me a video he made from his trip to Uganda, and in an interview, a Ugandan man who just turned his allegiance to Christ sent a message to us here in America. He said that his country has no food, no money, no jobs, no peace, but because Americans came to tell them about Jesus, they have peace. He said he knew God through them and was set free, and that we must continue to fund people to go and tell others about Jesus. His country needs people to tell them about Jesus.

What an awesome message to send us, right? I hope we listen...

So I'm finally to the point that God's call to go overseas far outweighs anything else--any other dream I have.

Truly, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

My prayer is that the truth of this verse will consume me, and that God's Spirit would guide me in deciding where to go...that I wouldn't be swayed by fear, that I would be driven by love, that I would count all things loss, that I would pray...

That I would go...please God, send me.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I woman I be

There's this new band called Rocco Deluca and the Burden, and dang if I don't love their music. Its hip and emotive and passionate...all things that make good music, right?

And they have this song "Colorful" that you can hear on my myspace page ( if you want to check it out. Basically, the song is talking about a girl, and he says of her, "You're the most colorful thing that I've seen."

I hear this song and my heart just explodes, and I want to clap my hands and say, "Yeah!"

Why? Why do I react like this to a simple, albeit sweet, song?

Its because I want to be that girl. I want to "make no excuses for the way I carry on." I want to make people as happy as this song makes me. I want to be a sweet guitar lick, a catchy melody, and full of the same passion as Rocco has for this girl. I want to take people by surprise and be an open book, while still remaining a little enigmatic. I want to love and live and learn and take chances and seek truth and speak wisely. I want to make people laugh, and I want to make people think.

In a sense, I want to be colorful...

And that begs the question why? Why do I want to be colorful?

I think its probably because the Lord is the most colorful thing I've seen, and I want to be like Him. He is sweet melody, full of passion, surprising, enigmatic, wise, loving, full of life (or life itself?), truth, provocative, beautiful, gorgeous, and He brings great joy.

This song makes me want to dance, and so does He, like no one is watching.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Oh what a feeling...

Valentine's generally evokes thoughts of love, flowers, jewelry, candy, and, for some, suicide. For those with love lost, love unrequieted, or no love at all, Valentine's Day screams, in big red candy letters, "LEFT OUT!" That's always a good feeling, right?

As I thought about Valentine's Day, I'll admit that my heart ached. It ached real hard for someone to love and for someone to love me back. I layed on the couch in my church's prayer gallery and cried...then I got in my car and cried...then I got in my bed and cried. Everyone in my life contemplates what Valentine's dinner they will cook and how many roses to buy for the one they love. One guy even asked me, "If you were married, what would you want for Valentine's Day." To which I responded, "A husband with a little more tact."

While they plan and shop, I walk around and wonder if I'll forever walk this path alone, knowing full well that no one is running around shopping for me, nor I for them, and it breaks my heart.

So while I lay in the prayer gallery last night and mourned the unmet desires of my heart, I picked up a hymnal to sing praises, for even praises through tears are still praises, and God says that He inhabits those and I needed Him right then to be near. So I sang, song after song after song...and then I came to one of my favorites. As I sang through the verses, one line struck me as if I sang it for the first time, "Content whatever lot I see for 'tis my God that leadeth me."

I am not content being single. In fact most days I hate it, and on Valentine's Day I hate it even more, but I want to be content and trust that He does indeed lead me, and that His plans for me are good, and that He will finish the work He has started here, and that He is writing me into His story, and that He loves me deeply and hasn't forgotten me. I want to be content, but I'm not.

And when I cried that out to Him, when I finally confessed, "Lord, I hate this," He was crazy. He said, "I have not forgotten you. I am Jehovah Roi, the God who sees. You are remembered by me." Dang...

I was reminded of Hagar, kicked into the desert and left alone with her son. That is when God revealed His name to her, Jehovah Roi, for He saw her. I was reminded of the words spoken to my heart a month ago--that I am to fly in great freedom. No matter how frightening or lonely or difficult it might seem, I am to rise on wings like eagles. I was reminded by the God who sees...and I knew that I would make it.

So while my vases, candy jars, and ring finger remain empty, my heart is full. Sure, it hurts, I ain't gonna lie, but I can fly, and I will fly...I will.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Move it

So recently, something happened that I've been praying for diligently and without an answer for over a year...but the answer has arrived, finally.

It all started years ago when I said in prayer, "Lord, I don't think I'll ever go to Africa." Like, me telling God that He wasn't calling me there somehow waylaid my fears that He really might call me to that place...that huge, terrifying, dangerous, amazing place. After that, I couldn't escape the dream (or nightmare) that I would one day go to Africa.

Then I was a documentary called the Invisible Children, which captures on film the struggles and horrors of war-torn Uganda and its smallest victims, thousands of children who daily live in fear. I couldn't ignore ignore this is to ignore the call of God, which asks, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Oh that I might have ears to hear.

If Jesus calls us to care for orphans and widows, for the silenced and "un-advocated", then someone must answer that call for those in Uganda, and when I look at grace--God's amazing, glorious, great, perfect, unsafe grace--I am compelled to act.

The prayer that was answered took me from being moved to tears to being moved to action, perhaps best expressed by Arthur O'Shaughnessy:

We are the music makers
And we are the dreamers of dreams
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams
World losers and world forsakers
On whom the pale moon gleams
Yet we are movers and shakers
Of the world forever it seems

And so I find myself moving, by grace, towards a place of complete surrender in total freedom. I can fly and nothing will pull me down. May I be a music maker, a dreamer of dreams, a world loser and world foraker, on whom the pale moon gleams!

How is it that surrender feels so free, and that which used to frighten me is now the one thing I cannot escape, and it thrills me to my soul.

And so I will rise on the wings of eagles, for the Lord has not forgotten me, and He hasn't forgotten Africa--we have this one thing in common, and to this one thing I will I am Lord, send me.