Sunday, July 26, 2015

Letting Go of the Old and Embracing the New

We've been back in America for 8 months now.

 Our whole family struggled through adjusting back, but I would say and I think Matt would agree; I took it the hardest.

This is pretty normal for me, I just don't adjust easily to new things.

On one hand I love new things and crave change, but when it comes to living it out, I tend to have a temper tantrum and cling to my old ideas of what is good.

So when we came back I struggled and I cried, A LOT.

Change means loss and loss is painful. Letting go is painful.

I was 9 years old when God told me I was going to China to be a missionary. For so many years I fought that and then after finally choosing to say yes to China I then had to wait for the right time. I was 24 when Matt and I moved our two small girls across the ocean; Sydney was 2 and a half and Aubrey 3 months.

I went expecting huge things, but was sorely disapointed with our less than spiritual lives. I learned how to speak Chinese, how to ride the bus and hail a cab. I took my daughter to school and picked her up. I learned how to cook and where to buy butter. Really though, my life wasn't anything special.

However, after time passed I began to see all the huge things God was doing; in me. I was growing, changing and maturing. I became more of who I was meant to be in China.

So when God started showing us that our time there was over, I felt heartbroken. It felt so unfinished. It felt like we hadn't completed our mission; whatever it may have been.

Sometimes we have to let things die if we want to see new life.

And so in these last 8 months I've struggled to let China go and make room for what is next. China left it's mark on me and whenever I think of it I'm sure it will bring sweet memories.

The thing I didn't realize back 22 years ago, when God first spoke to me, was that China was just one of the chapters, not the whole book.

And so now we are moving on to another chapter of our story. This chapter begins in Colorado Springs, where we'll continue to work with YWAM.

God has led us to this place and we go with peace and excitement knowing that our adventure continues. Only God knows what's in store, but I have come to the place where I can let go of what's behind and take hold of what's ahead.

We have three more weeks here in Rapid City and then we'll be moving. We're still not sure of where we'll be living so we would appreciate prayers for God's perfect provision.

Thanks for sharing in our adventure.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Anger; My Enemy

I have struggled with anger.

I don't think that that's a statement that a lot of people make openly.

And why not?

Because it's shameful. It's a reminder of how broken we are and most the time we don't like to be reminded of our brokenness or our failures.

We would rather keep those sides of us hidden in the dark, away from attention and what probably most of us believe will be oncoming judgment or rejection.

So we don't talk about our faults, instead we keep them hidden away from the light, when the light is the one thing that will bring us healing.

Anger started rearing it's ugly head in my teens, but any time I had an explosion I was drunk or on drugs. So I was convinced it wasn't me.

Then I got married at the young age of 20. Twenty years old; I was a baby. I knew nothing about real life or marriage or the pressures that Matt and I would face.

Lucky me.

Anger didn't take long to show up.

Marriage has a way of exposing those broken places in us, doesn't it?

I remember that first bad fight about one or two months in when I threw a spoon across the room and it got stuck in the wall.


Anger can be like being drunk. You cause so much destruction and then it's like you wake up out of a daze shocked at the scene around you.

I battled my anger alone for a long time. Always making excuses, always telling myself that it was normal, although I knew it wasn't.

It was like I had a little red button that said "don't push" and if it ever got pushed you had better get out of the way.

I grew up around rage and seeing it in myself was painful.

The pain I was capable of causing shocked me. I couldn't believe that this was me.

It was a very painful time.

But finally I started talking.

It was hard.

It was hard to talk about who I was behind closed doors. It was shameful, but I was sick of hiding this dark secret.

It didn't come out all at once or with one person for a long time, but I slowly started revealing my struggle with anger.

I began to dig into a deep place in myself: a place that was filled with a lot of pain and the more I dealt with the pain the more the anger lost it's control over me.

I've come to believe that anger is just a disguise for pain. That red button the one that said "don't push" was actually pain.

Bringing my struggle to the light was the best decision I have ever made because darkness loses it's grip in the light.

Conquering anger has been a 10 year battle for me, but I can SEE the freedom that I am finding. I can see the healing that has happened in my heart one day at a time.

I know that the journey isn't over, but I have found the tools to help me walk in freedom.

Some people might wonder why the heck I would share such personal things on such a public forum. Well I share because I was there and I know the darkness, I know the feeling of hopelessness that can be so all consuming. Feeling alone really is the worst feeling in the world.

I have found hope and freedom and I want to let others know that there is hope. Maybe your struggle isn't anger, maybe it's porn or fear or depression or self hatred or any other thing that steals your joy.

I want to encourage you; TALK TO SOMEONE. Find someone to share with. Even if all the voices in your head tell you that they will condemn you, judge you, or reject you. Fight against those voices and share your struggle with someone. Maybe a friend, a parent, a pastor, but share with someone.

We weren't meant to journey alone in our struggle. We are all struggling with something, so whatever your struggle is you need to know, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

In the end though I believe the only one who can offer complete healing and freedom is Jesus. I would have NEVER found freedom without him.

Isaiah 61
"He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners"

God is the one who longs for you and me to be free from our broken hearts and the darkness that tries to take control of our lives. So turn to someone, but ultimately we need him to intervene on our behalf; which he promises to do when we invite him.