Monday, August 10, 2009

warning, this is going to be a long one...

I have 4 kiddos with malaria and all 14 of us have an awful cold, tis the season in Uganda.
so I decided it was a perfect day to send Christine to her sister's (she is the only one of us that isn't sick and I would like to keep it that way), stay in our pj's, make some fresh squeezed orange juice, and pop in High School Musical for the kids while I cleaned my whole house top to bottom.

Funny, cleaning my whole house can actually make me feel BETTER. (yes, I inherited this from my own mother!) Its nap time now and I figured I better check in on you all and let you know what has been going on with us.

At first I wasn't really going to share a whole lot in this blog, but I decided that in order to be real, one must be vulnerable... so here goes. Tuesday, Ben left. Friday, my dad and my brother left. This morning, my best friends for the last 8 months, Joe and Melissa Terranova, moved back to America. This weekend, I thought my heart may literally break in half. It hurt physically.

Watching the man I love interact with my children and participate in my life was such a wonderful blessing. Watching him leave was much harder than I expected. I emailed a sweet friend this note a few days after he left:

"Ben left Tuesday. I am trying and trying and trying to praise the Father for the sweet time He allowed Ben to but honestly, my heart is just broken. In moments where I never before would have thought about him, driving to town, bandaging wounds, cooking dinner, reading at night, I now miss His presence. It hurts. I want for him to be happy. I want for him to use the talents God has given him! But selfishly I just want him to be here with me, to help me. I never before felt incomplete in my life here. His absence makes my life feel that way a little. I know that I need to cling to the promise that God is all I need to be complete but sometimes it is easier to talk the talk than to walk the walk. My dad and brother are leaving today, and Joe and Melissa, my best friends here are leaving Sunday. It feels incredibly lonely. I know though, that I wouldn't trade this lonely feeling for the days that Ben, Brad and Brad were able to spend here. It was undoubtedly more than I could have asked or imagined (look at their words on my blog!) and I know that their eyes were opened so much more to my work and my life and I am so thankful. SO thankful. He is GOOD."

It was a dark place there for a few days.

In some wonderful quiet time over the last few days, in praising while cleaning my beautiful, wonderful little Ugandan home, God has spoken an immense Peace to my heart. I am just so in love with Him, My Savior. He always has just the right words. Saturday He took me through my relationship with Ben, showing me how He has used Ben's awesome athletic talent to take Ben to the most perfect places, put him in the lives of the most perfect people, grow him in his patience and courage and strength, and ultimately create him as the Ben that I love. For the first time I didn't question how Ben would use his athletic talent for God's glory and saw how God had used that talent for His own glory in Ben's life. Why did that take me so long? He also spoke clearly to me that (of course) it IS His perfect plan that there is not a man in my life right now. I know in this stressful, sometimes just down-right hard life how easy it would be for me to quickly turn my dependence to a person, rely on him for my happiness and advice. Surely that is the last thing God desires for my heart! HE wants to be my lover, my happiness, my source of comfort and strength and wisdom. He has me right here without other adults who could ever take His place while He cements in me my full reliance on Him. Again, duh. So that's the Ben thing, for all those who were wondering ;) I will continue to support Him as much as I can from here and I know he will do the same for me. And we will just continue to trust in God's perfect plan.

Then there is the family. OH, how beautiful it is to see my American family and my Ugandan family under the same roof (come quick Mom!!). But there is always such a great sadness as they leave, that in my heart I know that my WHOLE family will never live on the same continent, will very seldom be TOGETHER in this life. I cannot begin to put into words the gratitude I have for my American family. I am not the only person who has laid down dreams for this ministry to be successful and for my baby girls to have a mother. As much as I have laid down dreams of living down the street from my parents, raising my children near their awesome grandparents, hanging out with my family, they have laid down their dreams for me and our live together. I saw the sacrifice in my dad's eyes as he kissed me good bye (tears flowing just thinking about his love for me!) My parents are the reason that I know what a Heavenly Father's love feels like. My family is the reason that I know how to love. I think of Abraham when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac. He must have had so many questions. Look what God gave him back though. Not just his son, but he continues to make him the father of so many nations. My parents and my brother did the ultimate. They loved me so much, they loved the Lord so much, that they let me go where His plan took me. I cannot imagine their great reward in eternity when they meet all the children, all the families, whose lives were touched because they listened.

It is undoubtedly the "thorn in my flesh" that I cannot be with my whole family at one time. It is my daily reminder that perfect happiness will come only from HIM and it will only come in Heaven. So I, we as a family, will continue to rejoice in His promises and the day that we all sit together at His feet.

Christine said to me Saturday, "Wow, they all loved you so much." It's true. Sometimes I wonder, "Why me?" Why did He chose me to be so abnormal? Why don't I just go to college and get married and you know... have a regular life? I could still love Jesus. Why this? And I am sure my parents and my brother and Ben wonder why, of all the 20 year old girls in the world, God would choose this one to move to the other side of the world. But I know why. I am probably the most well loved little girl in the whole entire world. That's why I am here. From those to whom much has been given, so much more will be expected. I am loved SO well. By Ben. By my parents. By my children. By my sweet friends. By all of you. It only makes sense that God would ask me to share that love across the globe, with children who don't know what that feels like, and I feel so incredibly blessed to do so.

The Peace that surpasses all understanding. Right here in my home, right here in my heart. No doubt it is pushed along because of your prayers. Thank you, thank you.

One more request: On Saturday on her way home from program, little Angela was in a bicycle accident. I happened to already be at the clinic with a few other sickies, when they carried her in covered in blood (she had cut her mouth. why is it that a mouth always seems to bleed so much more than necessary?) She has a few deep cuts on her face and lip, several broken teeth, and a very large wound on her leg. She is staying with us while we inject her with penicillin and pain killers (poor thing) and seems to be improving rapidly. Please continue to keep her little body in your prayers. Oh, and you can pray that we would get over our colds, although I really wouldn't mind one more day of cleaning... :)


findingourdaughter said...

God Bless you and your pure loving heart for God and His people. I will continue to pray for you and all those in your life, near and far.
Big Hugs, blessings and get well soon!
Angie in FL

Heather said...

You always amaze me. Know that I continue to think about you & pray for you & your family each & every day. What a blessing you are to so many!

Melissa Irwin said...

you ARE well loved!

Nancy said...

Praying, Katie! Keep on lovin''s what you do best!

Hugs and love, and prayers!

Nancy in CT

MaRia said...

Beautiful words!!! You always move me to tears!!! Get well soon to all of you.

Anonymous said...

It's exciting to see you go through the process of growing not just as a writer, but growing in the way you love our Heavenly Father and as a daughter of Christ. By far, that's the best post I've seen you write because it's good to remind people, myself included, that Christ will comfort us in times of vulnerability. Have faith and continue to do what it is the Lord has called you to do, Katie, and let no one put boundaries on what the Lord can or can't do when you are living in His name!!

Stephanie said...

Katie, Your words spoke to my heart this morning and I have tears in my eyes as I write this. Thank you for always bringing it back to the LORD. God bless you.

DanG said...

I have been reading your blog and I am truly impressed with God even more in his love for the nations! I love the fact that he doesn't bless us Americans because he loves us! He blesses us because he loves the world! You keep truckin... and I hope you start feeling better quickly. P.S. can you imagine all that Paul did as he ran all over the world making disciples and getting sick like us sometimes. Wow the trust in God some people have...

amy said...

Your honesty and transparancy are one of the many things I admire about you Katie. Thank you for your words that spoke to my heart this morning. Praying for God's healing hand on your family...and yes, I can relate to feeling better with a clean house!

"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory!" You are a beautiful picture of this truth. God will continue to honor and multiply your faithul obedience to him. God is stirring hearts and changing lives through you.

heather@it'stwinsanity said...

It is beautiful to read of your passion and love for the Lord. You are an inspiration to so many.

marybeth said...

continuing to keep you and all your family here and abroad in prayers. The Love your family has given -you are more than giving to all you meet and may God richly Bless you for this -always.
Hugs from america.

Addie Talley, Photographer said...

Katie, your transparency is so beautiful

drea said...

Thank your for your sweet transparent self. Cindy and I were talking the other day and we feel the same way on the other side of this screen as you do, heart broken. We are praying for you sister. You are loved. We know, because God says so, that He has plans to prosper you, to give you hope and a future.
I know that He will provide all you need. My heart hurts with yours.

Janell said...

God is good and therefore all He does is good. I have to remind myself of this daily. I'm sorry for your "loss" but it seems as though it has once again brought you to the throne. That is good. God will be glorified in all you do. Thank you for once again touching my heart and speaking truth.

Cassie said...

i mostly want to come visit you.

and while i wait for the Ok, GO! from my heavenly father i will continue to read your blog, and pray for you and your girls!!! What an amazing testimony you are to our generation of a life surrendered to Jesus!

Keep pressing on Katie.
love and blessings,
cassie in Bend Oregon.

Kristy said...

Thank you so much for sharing your journey, you will never fully know how much it has touched so many lives, including mine. You inspire me to look at life differently and see where God is leading me. It has been through watching your journey (and Gwens!!) that I have realized that God has really put a LOVE of Orphans in my heart since my very beginning and it is about time that I start to jump on that. Exciting times happening around here! For the first time in my life I am not questioning God and waiting till things in my life are lined up just right but instead plunging in feet first and following wherever He leads me. Exciting and scary!! Thank you for providing an example of what this looks like! You are being covered in prayer daily!!

Kari said...

Sweet Katie, thank you for sharing your heart, your life and your blog with us!! I'm deeply touched and moved every time I read about your love for God, Uganda and your children.
You will never know how many lives are touched here by you being there.
Thank you! We continue to pray & cheer you on!!!

The Ferrill's said...

Hi Katie...thank you for being real! It helps us pray more specifically for you! You really are SO LOVED and I love hearing how the Lord speaks to your heart while you're cleaning house! ;)
I love how in love with Jesus you are! You are learning lessons that for some of us it takes 38 yrs. of life to learn, honey!
Praying for healing for you and your girls....

Dawn said...

Your heart is amazing! I see HIS heart in you. I understand some of what you are going through as that is exactly what He pointed out to me as worked in China last year. He wants to be our husbands and wants nothing else to distract us from that relationship. You have been so faithful to do as He has called you to do. You are like the old woman who gave her last two mites. You have given it all. May He continue to restore your soul and bless you beyond measure!

Kat said...

Already I feel blessed to have come upon this blog in the last couple of days! You have tremendous things to say, and I admire how you are so humble and willing for the Lord to use you.
You are an inspiration not just to young women but to all Christ-followers to truly love God and let Him carry us where He wants us!

Diane and family:) said...

Katie and sweet Daughters,

Seems I run out of any words to say once I read your words, Katie:) Just know that our Father who hears my family pray for Katie, her girls, for Uganda, for the same Father who sees you and your Daughters, sees your Ben and sweet family in the States, continues to hear our joyfilled thanksgivings and continues to hold each and every tear that falls in sorrow.

I am humbled at the Body of Christ and so, so, thankful to stand in His Body alongside you and yours!!

Hope you feel better soon, although those jammie days are some of the best:)

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

God Bless all of your encouragement! I enjoy reading your posts....because you are real, because you have a REAL love, beacause you encourage me to be a better mom....thank you. Keep on praying for you and your beautiful children!!!

Anonymous said...

Katie,We met you when you were three years old. Your dad and my husband were best friends in high school. We too have a Katie, who is a Junior at Purdue. Our Kristen, 23 years old, is in the ministry with high school students in Colorado. We don't know you except through your mom and dad, but I will say this. We hear your love for God and His people in your words. May God bless you abundantly. May God give your mom, Mary Pat, and your dad, Scott, peace and hope. God bless you. Karen and Kerry Thomas, Fort Wayne, IN

Renea Lynch said...

You proclaim your blessings abundantly. Remember also, what a blessing you are to others. I've only had the fortune to 'meet' you through your posts, but I think of you often and keep you in my prayers. YOU are one of my blessings. :)

Love said...

oh, katie! praying for you, your family (in america and uganda!), sweet angela, and all those you love & serve there!

thank you so much for sharing....for choosing to be vulnerable. your words are such blessings. tears fell down my cheeks thinking of the imagery of you laying down some of your dreams to answer His calling and your american family doing the same.

how i pray that i will always do the same. that each of my 4 girls (and all of our future children!) will do the same. and i pray that our girls will know just what you said about being complete in Him. amen. praying that for you as you wait for His leading.

with many prayers and blessings from northwest indiana!!

(my girls still pray for you and sometimes still say, "you mean the one that might be hugging on our brothers, mom?!") =)

Sarah said...

Thank you for being so open. You ARE loved! And honestly, your being loved by your family inspires me to love my own children with the love of Jesus even more.

Blessings and prayers,

Jewels of My Heart said...

Am praying for all of you and will be lifting up little Angela as well.
Thank you for sharing your heart.... you are as always glorifying the Lord and He will honor that....
God's peace and healing.

Stephanie @ It Is Well said...

Thank you for deciding to be vulnerable. There were words in this post that I needed to read. Praying for you & your girls & for a speedy recovery!

Amy said...

Isn't it just like the Lord to reveal truth to us at just the right moment? His purposes stand firm (despite how we think they should be accomplished sometimes!) and His love for you - your family in UG and your family in the US, is beautiful. Asking God to continue to cover you all with His love. Looking forward to hugging your neck next month. :) Amy in Cincy

Anonymous said...

Wishing I could be there in a minute to help you clean!

Renee said...

Love you, Katie! Your discerning heart has found its way back to the Source of ALL comfort, and I am thankful. I pray that His Spirit will continue to fill and empower and comfort you and that the love of the Father will continue to pour through you to whoever He brings into your life. That Love has certainly spilled out on me through you! I will keep you and your family (both here in the good ole USA and there with you in Uganda) in my prayers! You are truly loved!!

Aimee Cait said...

Katie, Katie, Katie.
Holy moly, girl. My heart is aching after reading a great deal of your blog. (Couldn't very well stop after the tears started rolling.) My name is Aimee, I live in Memphis. We're the same age, but I feel like you live in a completely different universe than I do. The life you live... your daily reality... jeepers. I am so in love with your beautiful family, your sweet girls with their gorgeous smiles. (I'm sitting here thinking about how much I would love to do exactly what you're doing -- wondering if I have even an ounce of your patience or your immense faith.) Your faith is so challenging, encouraging, jaw-dropping. As I read one of your posts, I just started praying that God would fill me with love so that I could lavish it on the abandoned, the broken, the naked, the hungry. You've completely changed my idea of what one is capable of when fully relying on Jesus. I'll be praying for your family and you especially... God is doing some truly incredible things through you, and that has to be exhausting, to put it mildly.

This has left an impression on me, wow. Y'all will be on my mind all day, I can tell. Take care and be blessed.

Aimee Gwaltney

The Hattons... said...

Your writing and life amazing. Thank you for your sincerity and speaking to me again, through your trials and lessons. God is so faithful.

Julie Pederson said...

My husband, Gary, works for your dad at Beecher. He forwarded me a video today based on your ministry there in Uganda which so touched my heart. What beautiful faces you get to look at each day. They are so very pure and full of joy. They glow...must be the Holy Spirit. You are a very special young woman and you have blessed me and challenged me today. I've been homeschooling our two youngest children the past five years and we have had the opportunity to read so many biographies of various missionaries and heroes of the faith. Your story reminds me of some of those precious women we've read about....Lillian Trasher working with orphans in Egypt; Gladys Aylward working with orphans in China; and Amy Carmichael working with girls in India. You are following along in some pretty wonderful footprints. We will follow your work and be praying for you. How wonderful for my children to know that God's work which they have read about in these women's lives who lived long ago is continuing today in the life of a young woman who listened and obeyed His voice and his call. My 9 yo son, Jacob, has felt called to be a missionary since he was four, and I have so wanted him to feel "connected" to present day missionaries. You have taught me a great lesson today as you shared your struggle with dependence on earthly relationships when God wants most to have us utterly and totally dependent on him. God bless you as you bless those around you. You are a daughter who I know makes her daddy proud...your earthly one AND your heavenly one!

Love and Blessing,
Julie Pederson
Parker, CO 80134

PS....Have you read about the life of Lillian Trasher? I'd love to send you a biography if you haven't. Here's a little from the beginning of her story:

"Lillian's wedding was less than 2 weeks away that June day in 1910 when she sat listening to a missionary speaker. As she listened, the voice of God spoke to her 23-year-old heart with unmistakable clarity: I want you to go to Africa. Lillian's fiancé, a fine young minister, had not heard this call. But Lillian could not deny it. She broke her engagement. With no promised support, except the assurance she was in the will of God, she made a reservation on a ship scheduled to sail for Egypt that fall. "

You can read more at:

This is the website for her orphanage in Egypt which she started almost 100 years's one of the world's largest orphanages today.

brittany said...

great entry :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your willingness to share your life with the world. I sit at my desk at work with tears running down my face. You are a source of inspiration and strength for me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your honesty, may God comfort you as only He can!

You ARE in so many people's prayers...I cannot fathom your love, it is beautiful to behold!

Your life and testimony have already been an immense blessing and course changer for me...

May He be glorified in our lives now and forever...

blessings sweet sister,

Linda Custer said...

I so understand your heartache over Ben. It is very cool that you can give it all to God. I know you are human though and that you "take it back" and worry over it more than you probably should. Our God loves you and Ben more than you love one another. Trust him for the long term and let's see what happens. You are storing up your treasure in heaven and that's what this life is all about. Who needs toilet seats?!? Keep focusing on the Kingdom and let God worry about the rest. I will pray for you.

The Ferrill's said...

Oh Katie! I know I've already commented...but in my devotion this morning the Lord gave me some sweet encouragement and I want to share it with you! This is from August 11, Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost for His Highest"
""And he saw him no more." 2 Kings 2:12

It is not wrong to depend upon Elijah as long as God gives him to you, but remember the time will come when he will have to go; when he stands no more to you as your guide and leader, because God does not intend he should. You say - "I cannot go on without Elijah." God says you must.

Alone at your Jordan. v.14. Jordan is the type of separation where there is no fellowship with anyone else, and where no one can take the responsibility for you. You have to put to the test now what you learned when you were with your Elijah. You have been to Jordan over and over again with Elijah, but now you are up against it alone. It is no use saying you cannot go; this experience has come, and you must go. If you want to know whether God is the God you have faith to believe Him to be, then go through your Jordan alone.

I couldn't help but think of your courage and strength as you rely on God alone right now! There is more to this devotion; you can read all of it at In all your spare time....ha ha ha!

Sorry so long, Katie! I almost emailed this all to Gwen to give to you, but then I said "what the heck! it might bless somebody else reading!" ;)

Laurel said...

Oh how I love reading your blog posts.

A few days ago I was with two of my older daughters and two of their young lady friends, and they were all discussing your blog. They were so excited about how you shared all about your relationship with Ben, and how you are trusting God completely in this area. (Thanks for being a GREAT example to the young ladies in my life.)

This post also touched me, because one of my other young adult daughters, Carissa (20) is serving the Lord in Argentina. Over a year ago, she left for "6 months", but now it looks as if this place may be her life calling. We miss her dearly, but are so blessed at how the Lord is using her. She is praying about opening a free daycare for the neighborhood children (in a very poor neighborhood), so that she can love them with the love of Jesus. And, the latest development in Carissa's life ... a 30 year old Argentine man who has been in full-time missions for 6 years. Oh how my little Carissa just glows when I talk to her on Skype (as I did just today).

I see so much of my big girls in you ... and I also relate to you on the mama level, as I, too, am a "mama of 13".

HUGE Hugs to you and yours!

Laurel :)

Amy said...

Praying for you and your beautiful children. Yes you are right- you are so very, very loved- even from those of us who have never had the privilege of meeting you. Big hugs- and hoping everyone feels better soon!

Heather said...

WOW! i just heard about you from a friend who heard you speak recently in TN. I am asking tonight that the Lord of the universe protects you and your children. What an amazing story of love and SACRIFICE!!


I am the Clay said...

As usual I was touched by your post, Katie.

You are amazing mature and wise for a young 20 yrs of age. :)

I will be praying for the children to heal from the malaria, colds, sickness etc .

Meanwhile, enjoy cleaning house.

God bless,

Anonymous said...

Praying for you all.

You are doing amazing things, you are truly remarkable thankyou for showing us your living breathing courage and testimony. I really needed that reminder after someone told me it isn't normal to want to do these things, to want to make a difference, to want to follow where you are being called. Thank you!

I'm actually going to do a small blog post tomorrow about your blog, I hope that is OK!

barb wright said...

Hi Katie, This is the first time I have read your blog, and all I can say is WOW, you are amazing and even more so HE is amazing. I will take time and go back and read your blog, but just wanted to say you have one more person praying for you, the children and all involved over in Uganda. Take care sweet girl, you are special.

Praying in Iowa

Dianne said...

Dear Katie,

I discovered your blog a few days ago and spent the first night up late reading from the very beginning. I was moved to tears through several of your transparently real, sweet posts.

I understand about being far from home and away from your family. My older son is a missionary doctor in Peru. He and his wonderful family are there because God called them to be. I know this in my heart and soul...but I still MISS them so much!

My the Father keep you in his love and care,

kristen said...

wow, i love reading of your heart.

the one paragraph you wrote about "why me God, why didn't my life turn out like other 20-something girls?" hit home. i have written those same words in my own journal and prayed them to my Father.

I'm not overseas all the time, but often away doing missions. it's a blessing but i can understand that questions.

your life is inspiring and i'm encouraged by you!

suzy said...

I am new to your blog.Your story is one of courage, faith and Love. You touch so many hearts with God's love. Know that I will keep you and your children in my prayers.
God Bless.

Anonymous said...

thank you for answering the call to do God's ministry, your faithfulness, obedience and faith have really shown me and many others so much(: you're a wonderful child of God, always remember that nothing can ever change that!(:

alissa said...

My heart breaks for you my dear sister in Christ. I hear the ache in your words and yet, how bittersweet it is. Truly knowing that you are following the Lord and being able to see in the little faces all around you, why He has you where He does. I admire so much your faith in following Him to the ends of the earth (never knew that would be taken so literally, hm?). You are in my prayers, though we haven't ever met in person. We will meet someday, that I know for sure, maybe not 'til Heaven...but we'll sit together and I'll want to hear more stories than could ever be shared on a blog. :) My eyes well with tears because of how true that is. May God bless you, my dear, sweet sister.

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

To rely and depend on God rather than man, that is a very mature and wise way of thinking!

I will be praying for Angela's healing today-- and for your sick kidlets with malaria and colds!

God bless you,
Marsha in TX

Unknown said...

Hi Katie,
I found your blog through incourage and have been sitting in front of my computer reading through your old are such an amazing person! I know you give all the credit to the Lord, but you are such an inspiration in your willingness to just GO and BE who he has told us to be to those in need of Him. I want to be more like you--willing to obey God at the drop of a hat, not having to sit and think about it (which usually means not going anyway). May God bless your ministry and your family abundantly!
-Rachel in Honolulu, Hawaii

Sandra said...


I continue reading through your blog posts after finding it tonight, and I've never cried more over blog than yours. Thank you for being usable for His glory! It is just beautiful!

amycornwell said...

I came across your blog from the lady in the band Addison Road. I'm enjoying learning about you and your wonderful children. Many blessings to you, you are an amazing woman and an example to us all!