Thursday, February 11, 2010

my heart spilled...

Disclaimer: This post was hard to write, and for some it will be hard to read. I prayed before I posted and I do believe that it is what the Lord would have me say. This is my blog, a place where I share my private thoughts and I invite you to remember before you comment that no one has forced you to read it.

She was eighteen years old and she had never been in love with anyone she could touch before. I mean, she had been in love with Jesus since she was little, but this was different, touchable love.
In her eyes he was perfect. He loved the Lord, not to mention he was pretty darn cute. He went to church with her and joined her on silly errands and at family dinners. He made her giggle by saying things that only she found funny. He made her heart flutter when he swept that one always-stray piece of hair out of her eyes.

They were the “perfect couple.” They were desperately in love; one lit up as the other entered the room. They could see their beautiful future together. After high school, they would go together to college, get married, work a bit, settle down and have children with his eyes and her big smile. They would grow old together, laughing at secrets and kissing each other goodnight.

And then God asked her to move to Uganda. At first it was just going to be a year. They could do a year. She would come back and they could still go to college together and all their dreams would still come true. When the Lord asked her to adopt her first children, it became a bit more complicated. She rationalized that her youngest was 7, so in 11 years, she could move back home and be with him. But her children kept getting younger and His call kept getting stronger. She would go back in 13 years, in 17 years, in 20 years. Finally she came to terms with the fact that God was just asking her to STAY. And that when He said He wanted ALL of her, He meant all. She would live in Uganda. But she held on to her love because remaining comfortable was so much easier than dealing with the hurt and the emptiness would be.

Her eyes were opened and her life was changed. She couldn’t pretend to be the same person. She couldn’t sit still in his would anymore, it made her head spin and her heart ache. And still she held on because she didn’t love him any less. She knew God could move mountains and she prayed He could change his heart. After all, such a love must have been God orchestrated.
He made her feel beautiful as she walked through life as a single mom covered in dust and spit up. He appreciated her even when everyone else forgot to say thank you. He believed in her when the rest of the world said raising eighty thousand dollars or adopting ten children was silly. Even from the other side of the world, he cheered her on and he picked her up when she just didn’t feel strong enough. His voice on the other end of the phone turned a rough day right around.

They were moving in opposite directions. They both new it, but they both refused to let go.
So she asked God for a very specific sign. For something that she thought very unlikely if not absolutely impossible. And then something devastating happened. God gave her the sign that she asked for. So she kissed him goodbye and drove away and cried so hard that she doubted she would ever breathe again. She tried not to wonder if anyone would ever love her like that again or how she would do this all alone.

And that’s when He reminded her that she wasn’t. That HE would make her feel beautiful as a single mom covered in dust and spit up. That He appreciated her even when everyone else forgot to say thank you. That He believed in her when the rest of the world thought everything she did was crazy. That He would cheer her on and pick her up when she just didn’t feel strong enough. That His voice whispering in her ear would turn those rough days right around. That He would ALWAYS be faithful. That His love would be unconditional. That He, her ONE TRUE LOVE would never leave or forsake her and would give her heart’s desires. That He would make all things new, ever her shattered heart.

* * *

A few days ago an American woman who had spent about three days of her life in a third world country looked at me and said, “I would SO love to do what you do. I would do it in a heartbeat. Oh, I would take 14 kids in a second!” It is a good thing that I was having a graceful day, because I said, “Aw that’s nice.” But my not so graceful heart was angry. And the not so graceful voice in my head wanted to say to her, “Ok then, do it. I can have you 14 orphaned, abandoned, uncared for children tomorrow. So here is what you have to do: Quit school. Quit your job. Sell your stuff. Disobey and disappoint your parents. Break your little brother’s heart. Lose all but about a handful of friends because the rest of them think you have gone off the deep end. Break up with the love of your life. Move to a country where you know one person and none of the language. And when you are finished, I will be here waiting with your 14 children!” I wanted to ask her what was stopping her, knowing that the answer would be her comfort. I wanted to look at her and tell her that my life was full and joyful and WONDERFUL, but I also wanted to tell her to COUNT THE COST. Because my life IS full and joyful and wonderful, but it is NOT easy. My life is NOT glamorous. I do not expect it to be. I do not think that anything about carrying a cross was easy or glamorous either.

Which brings me to my point. I am not actually that angry about what that woman said, it was just an offhanded comment. But it got me to thinking… How many times to we grieve our sweet Savior’s heart because we refuse to COUNT THE COST? How many times do we choose comfort instead of the cross?

In my NIV Bible, the header above Luke 9:57-62 says, “The Cost of Following Jesus.” Here it is, plain and simple, laid out for us by the Lord. “As they were walking along the road, a man said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my Father.” Jesus said to Him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you Lord, but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts His hand to the plow and looks back will be fit to enter the Kingdom of God.” THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF. A little later in Luke 14:25, “The Cost of Being a Disciple,” Jesus tells the crowds gathered around Him, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes even his own life – he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry His cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to complete it; everyone who sees it will ridicule him saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first consider if he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and ask for terms of peace. In the same way any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

In Luke, in the days of Jesus, He expected EVERYTHING of his disciples. Do we believe that He requires the same today? We sure don’t act like it. If you ever read my blog or have heard me speak then you have heard me reference Matthew 25, the parable of the sheep and the goats. Jesus basically looks straight at the crowd and tells them that when He comes back, those who have seen the needy and met their needs will come with Him to heaven. He also says that those who have seen the needy and done nothing will be sent away to “eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Right, hell. This is heavy, I know, but I believe that it is TRUE. I believe that the words of Jesus are timeless and therefore still apply to anyone desiring to be His follower today. (Oh, and in case you think you can get away with saying that you have not seen Jesus naked or hungry or thirsty or in need and therefore you are off the hook, let me help you. 30,000 children will die today because of hunger or preventable disease. There. Now you know. Now you are responsible too.) Faith without good deads is DEAD, my friends. Yes, I believe fully in salvation by His grace alone. I do not believe that anything we do or work for will save us. I also believe that if we are indeed saved, meaning that He lives inside of us, we will desire to do what is pleasing to Him. That if we really love Him with all our hearts and all our strength, NOTHING will feel like sacrifice in light of the promise that one day we will get to be with Him forever. Automatically, we will help those in need, we will give our all, we will love our neighbor as our self, because our heart is aligned with His. But so many don’t. This then begs the question: If we are not walking in the words of Jesus, do we truly know Him? Do we really know and believe in the Jesus of the Bible. Because if we do, if we believe what He says is true, our lives will be powerfully, unimaginable, radically different than the lives of those around us. He requires EVERYTHING.

I wonder today if I had been one of the people listening to Jesus as He spoke in Luke 9 and 14, if Jesus would have convinced me to follow Him or if I would have walked away. I believe I would have really really wanted to say goodbye to my family. I wonder about “Christians” today. We wear Jesus on our T-shirts, we wear His cross around our neck and a bumper sticker with His name on it on our car. Have we just laid the foundation without being able to build the building? Does Jesus feel like I did when a woman I didn’t know told me she would love to do what I do but I knew that she never would? Do we claim the precious name of Jesus Christ without counting the cost? Without being willing to REALLY give it all? And does Jesus, in His infinite grace, look at us and say, “Aw, that’s nice,” but really with the furry that he flipped over the tables in the temple want to spit our lukewarm selves out of His mouth?

This is heavy on my heart. I have spent hours typing it to get the words out right and still I feel like I am rambling. If you would like more references on God’s heart for the poor, try Isaiah 56-58, Proverbs 14:31, 21:13, 28:27, Matthew 19:16- 30, Luke 6:20-25, 18:18, James 5:1… Please feel free to add more in your comments! If we believe that these words are true, the way we are living is not tolerable. How can we live in willful disobedience and claim to know Jesus Christ?

I do not claim to have the answers. I do not claim to be doing it right. I do claim to believe that the words of Jesus are absolutely true and apply to me, right now today. I want to give EVERYTHING, no matter the cost. NO MATTER THE COST. Because I believe that nothing is sacrifice in light of eternity with Christ.

Please take an hour of your time to listen to this sermon my David Platt of Birmingham, Alabama. I pray that it would drastically change your life: www.brookhills.org/media/series/radical

364 comments:

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Jamie Bauknight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RuthAllie said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with the World. You are an amazing Women even though it is tough, God gives us strength. I am moving to South Africa to work with the children there, I am a single Women. And I have been asking God through this whole Journey wouldnt this be easier if I had someone to do this with. You have rereminded me that I do! Our Heavenly Husband. THank you Katie. YOu are precious.

Guard Wife said...

Thank you for this post. I have learned a great deal and challenged myself with very hard questions during the time I've been reading your blog.

We will bring a child home from Ethiopia next month. I have a feeling that this is not an end to what I feel God is leading us to do, but a beginning. I'll keep ears and eyes and heart open and remember your words.
Melinda
www.5forHope.com

Anonymous said...

Katie,
Thank you so much for posting this! It is so true, and although I do not always follow Jesus' words you inspire me to do so. I am praying for you!

The Homemaker said...

Anyone who would comment negatively about this post has not "counted the cost" of anything!
As ministers of His Word, the cost is high, but I would "not give a sacrifice that cost me nothing" (in the words of David!)
I thank you for your sacrifice, for your devotion and love for our Father. Maybe I will be able to swing by there sometime when I go visit my sister's orphanage in Tanzania!!

Willis said...

What an amazing post. But how much more an amazing God we serve! That He would call us to serve Him. My husband and I have been infertile for 10 years. He blessed us with an adopted son three years ago. We are about to take in some foster kids. I know it will not be easy. Your post was very encouraging.

Heather

Jay & Camille said...

Great Post, Katie! Wonderfully expressed! Your words inspire us and cause us all to reconsider if we mean what we say!

annieology said...

Wow is all I have to say. I agree, whoever passed on you missed out.

I love what you said about having a grace day. I so get that. Smile and nod.

Have a blessed day.

Anonymous said...

Katie,
You can do it! You are doing well and remember that you are in the center of God’s will! I have 7 children and we have something called “Blanket Time” it is essentially a time where the children learn self control and sit on a blanket for a short time and are not supposed to get off. Of course they don’t stay in the middle at first they put their little pink toes right at the end and look at me. And then the moment comes when they go too far. *sigh* So we have a little saying in our family “why can’t you be in the center of the blanket?” Do you know what I mean? Not barely obeying, not obeying but seeing how much you can get away with, but totally obeying. Katie you are in the center of the blanket! You beautiful child of God! You are an amazing woman! God is pleased with you!
Don’t become discouraged! Don’t look around to those that can’t understand because they haven’t fully pressed into God and perhaps never will. Keep living for Him! Keep your eyes on Him and He will give you all the approval you need. Your story is enough to change lives! Let your thread that is woven through this metanarrative be the brightest and shiniest that it can be!

Anonymous said...

Katie,
You can do it! You are doing well and remember that you are in the center of God’s will! I have 7 children and we have something called “Blanket Time” it is essentially a time where the children learn self control and sit on a blanket for a short time and are not supposed to get off. Of course they don’t stay in the middle at first they put their little pink toes right at the end and look at me. And then the moment comes when they go too far. *sigh* So we have a little saying in our family “why can’t you be in the center of the blanket?” Do you know what I mean? Not barely obeying, not obeying but seeing how much you can get away with, but totally obeying. Katie you are in the center of the blanket! You beautiful child of God! You are an amazing woman! God is pleased with you!
Don’t become discouraged! Don’t look around to those that can’t understand because they haven’t fully pressed into God and perhaps never will. Keep living for Him! Keep your eyes on Him and He will give you all the approval you need. Your story is enough to change lives! Let your thread that is woven through this metanarrative be the brightest and shiniest that it can be!

Catie said...

Powerful and convicting. Thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

Having counted the cost, we can say "I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day." 2 Timothy 1:12

You are prayed for.

Anonymous said...

Katie - this sermon by Brian Habig in South Carolina makes me think of you, your precious girls, and the beautiful people you serve...

http://www.downtownpres.org/sermon-downloads

"Do you want to be healed?" from October, 2009

-Claire

Jenn said...

Once again...you have brought volumes of truth to life in a single post. Thank you for speaking the heart of God!

Vashti said...

Amazing! I dont even know what else to say.
I live in South Africa working with AIDS orphans. We have 2 adopted sons and will be going for #3 in a few weeks time. The cost is great but the rewards are greater. God is such a good God and He is watching your every move, He loves you so much.
I will be praying for you and those beautiful daughters....14!!!! Thats is amazing!
You are an inspiration, thankyou for putting your life into words.

ASH said...

Katie, I wanted to share what God has inspired me to do, through your post. I pray that He will work, not only in my "ordinary life," but in the ordinary lives of many others. You are right, something doesn't compute when Christ, the God in whom I say I believe, calls us to give up everything and carry a cross in order to follow Him, and yet here I am living in abundance and ignorance to the plight of the lost. I think it's time we, the American church, consider what is before us: A gaping incongruity. Over the next year, I pray God would open my eyes and the eyes of many others to the truth...the truth of what being a Christ-follower really means. Here's what God has inspired:
www.faithdare.blogspot.com
Fellow readers of Katie's blog, I pray we take her challenge to heart and really COUNT THE COST of what we claim to believe. I dare you to join me on this journey at the above site.

Anonymous said...

Katie~ keep on!

Anonymous said...

Dear Katie, I'm not even sure how the Lord led me to your blog but I have been blessed by it. I myself have heard the Holy Spirit leading me in the last few years and the leading has not been easy. But, as always, obedience has lead to blessings. I am praying for you and your girls and praising His Name that he loves us in a way that passes all understanding.

Anonymous said...

Katie! I'm left utterly speechless. As I read through the comments, I have nothing new to say that hasn't already been said. Beautiful heart, stay strong in Him. You are His bride! Trust Him forever! God bless you richly. I'm praying for you and your future. From you friend in Oklahoma City-Ariel Warren

Amy said...

thank you for helping me to SEE.

Cherie Werner said...

Katie,

I think what you are doing is wonderful but not easy. You don't want to slow down for any guy as God will provide you with a help mate who will lead and encourage you in your ministry/calling.

As a mom I know you, as my daughters, are living radical lives for Jesus. It is so different from the safe comfortable path many in my generation choose. You are part of the generation rising up with selfless faith spoken about in Hosanna in the Highest.

I have read your blog twice and my hert aches for you as it must be so hard to not have it all. You have given up so much to serve your King.

I pray you have others pouring into your life as you are giving so much of yourself. Also I feel certain you would enjoy anything by Francis Chan http://www.google.com/search?aq=1&oq=franis&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=francis+chan
I would be happy to send you his books if you would like just let me know where to. Also is there anything else I could send you in a care package?

I am in awe of what you do and support your ministry.

Blessings,
Cherie

Heidi Stork said...

I love your sweet spirit...and the fact that you "say it like it is!" How refreshing that you aren't putting on a facade...but showing your broken heart. A heart that has broken for all you have "lost" or given up. But one that is even more broken for the children you clothe and bandage and feed and nurture...that have NO one else.

I am challenged...I have cried with you and read each and every comment here. I think it's funny that we cling to our "comforts." Most of us are SO uncomfortable in our cushy American lives. I am always looking for something MORE. And I don't mean another television set, or a nicer car. I'm looking for purpose. For HIS will for my life. I am prayerfully going to fast this week and pray about my complacency...and for YOU Katie and your sweet babies and the monkey too! I will put the whole armor of God on and go to battle! I hope we do meet each other on this side of heaven...it would be an honor to wash your feet!

Because of Jesus,
Heidi, Tanner and Chloe

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for a while, and I have really enjoyed and learned alot from it, but NEVER have I been this convicted. Thank-you. I can't thank you enough. I only just turned 17 last month, and I really have no idea what I can do, but I'm going to talk to Jesus. Alot. I know He will show me my part in His plan. I know it's going to be hard, but I know He will never give me something greater than I can handle and He will be with me all the way through. I admire your strength and keep you in my prayers. A sister from SC.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for challenging us. I don't try to think that I know how you feel being overseas and having to break up with your boyfriend, but almost exactly a year ago I felt God telling me to break up with my boyfriend of 2 years. I loved him so much, but I had to be obedient. It has been hard, but God has grown me so much over this past year. He's doing beautiful things in your life! Your obedience is incredible!

Praying for you sister!

Anonymous said...

We have not met but I read your blog consistently. My heart aches for the pain you feel and for the cost you have paid. But I know that there is peace in that pain..peace in following God's will in your life.

Thorns in our side (as Paul writes about) serve to ever remind us of Him. I have a thorn in my side that has remained, despite prayer, despite everything. I know that God has placed it for a purpose and in Him time will make it beautiful as in all things.

You have served as such an inspiration for many of us, myself included. I cannot wait to show this post to my husband. We have much to decide! Pray for us, if you have the leading to.

I will be praying for you, sweet sister in Christ.

Amblin

Divine Mrs D said...

I've never been to your blog before, but I wanted to comment. This is something that has always hurt my heart. I have struggled with it for a long time, but my husband looks at it very differently. I need to pray that God change his heart or help us find a path that pleases Him that my husband can more easily understand? I don't know. I just don't know...

jhaubold said...

Katie,
I don't know you, I linked to your blog from my RA's, but I would like to say thank you.
Thank you for your conviction and for your willingness to follow Jesus. Reading this has been convicting and inspiring for my in many ways. You will be in my prayers. Thank you.
-Kristen

For His Glory said...

I believe Christians in America love their comfort, I wish only for a minute that Christians here can get a taste of what it means to spend themselves...By God's Grace I too am learning that this side of heaven is meant for the unbeliever's comfort, not believers!! Will we get to heaven one day and show him all the sea shells we collected, or all the trophey's from sports, or the great savings account we've aquired?? YUK! YUK! YUK! Oh God continue to strip us and use us for your glory!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Oh, Katie. Do you realize that there are tons of us moms out here who pray that our little girls grow up to be just like you?

Marti said...

Convicting truth. It's so easy to read through the Bible and let your eyes wash over the words without allowing the Holy Spirit to work in you. Thank you for encouraging all of us to take God's word for what it is...100%, to the point, truth...even when it's gut-wrenchingly hard to read it.

Anonymous said...

You are amazing through God. Thank you

wpusey said...

• James 1:27 – Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
• Deuteronomy 10:17-18 - “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing.
• Isaiah 1:17 - Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
• Psalm 82:3-4 - “Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people.
• Proverbs 23:10-11 - Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers; don’t take the land of defenseless orphans. For their Redeemer is strong; he himself will bring their charges against you.

Roxanne said...

Dear Katie, thank you for sharing from your heart that is clearly wearing Our Lord so well and for speaking the truth. I recognize well the voice and the call of which you write so eloquently, for I have answered my Beloved's voice when He asked if I would give Him my all. It is hard, it is costly, but living for Him is worth the sacrifice, and you reminded me anew of this today. Though I am not where you are, I am praying with and for you.

Anonymous said...

Katie, you are truely a woman of God! You are an inspiration to me and to a lot of other people. You have a wonderful way of expressing your feelings onto your blog. I had a hard time reading this one through the tears. I feel your pain and know that you are being prayed for daily.
Thank you for doing what the Lord has called you to do.

Scott

Bekah said...

Hey Katie You dont know me, but im 17 and I KNOW God wants me to move away from my family, friends, this country, and live for Him in some way or another. This is hard for me to say this, the way i want to, but im taking a whack at it. I have been reading your blog for a long time now and this is my first comment so...I was working on a world view paper today and i was looking for verses to use in my paper and came across Luke 9 and 14. The part about Jesus not having a home and the man He turned away. I didnt really get it till i read it from you today. I have been to Guatemala and want to do the 11 months 11 country thing just to know which country I shoud spend the most of my life in. but My fear has been that I am gonna miss out on my older brothers and friends weddings, kids, graduations, deaths, and importantly lives. I, with your help, have come to accept/realize this is gonna happen and I need to embrace it. even procratinating, I was meant to read this blog today!coincidently, or not so coincidently, I also just got bak yesterday from a church retreat and the guest speaker had all the people who knew they were called by God to go into mission work or ministry come to the front of the room by the stage. Shaking, I made my way, about 25 out of 300 or so stood with me. He told us to follow our youth pastor to hav a talk. we went to a nursery. as soon as he started talking my nerves cooled. He told me exactly what I needed to hear, "you dont need to know what you are going to do in the future, but that you are willing. and pray!" By you sharing your hard message I am no longer scared. I want to be just like you. do what you do. adoption. I know I am sounding like that woman, but I will give up comfort, everything. I have been shooting up prayers for you everytime I think of you! keep doing what you are doing! i hav been rereading this a dozen times and when i post this im gonna realize something i left out. sorry this is lengthy and I hope to meet you some day!
desperately trying to finish this paper due tomorrow,
Rebekah Raine

Taylor Lynn said...

Gosh, with 229 other comments I certainly don't expect you to respond.

My incredible stepmom just sent me a beautiful message of encouragement, that I really needed just now. At the end she left me a link to your blog with a note that read:
"I want to share with you a blog of a young girl who has the love and spirit inside as you do. When you have time fully check out her blog...what an awesome brave girl. She reminds me of you."

I've spent the better part of an hour reading what you have to say; thank you so much for reminding me that I'm loved by a Heavenly Father who would never hurt me the way my dad has.
For as long as I can remember, my dream has been to go to Uganda. I've realized yet again that such a dream is far from unattainable.

Anna said...

I'm 16 years old.
God is calling me to Africa. To live in Ghana.
I've "rationalized" with God, saying that I'll go once I finish college... that I'd even finish college a year early to get to Africa sooner. That once I find the man of my dreams, I'll go. That once I'm prepared and educated, I'll go. That once I have 100% of the funds, I'll go.
But now, I know that no rationalizing is allowed.
Now, as soon as I graduate high school, I'm going. For good.
-Anna

Joy said...

You are accurately "preaching" Jesus' heart and we all need to examine our lives against the scripture. As you explain, it is clear - there is no gray area when you follow Jesus. We have so distorted the gospel - the heart of Jesus. I want you to know that your last post greatly impacted us. We read it with our children and prayed that the Lord would show us how He wanted to use us now - to live out the gospel without looking out for our comfort and safety. The next morning we woke up to an email about a refugee woman and her daughter who were in great need and who have the hardest history we have heard in the 12 years of working with refugees. We knew then God was answering our prayer and we needed to take them in. God is using your heart and writings to impact far more people than you will ever know.

Anonymous said...

Katie,

Thank you for allowing your heart to spill. There is nothing more beautiful than an open, honest soul--even when breaking or especially when breaking. You said it best when you quoted CS Lewis, "He isn't SAFE, But He is GOOD, and HE IS THE KING!!!" Thus making Him worth all sacrifice. Thank you for challenging my thinking that the Scripture is very literal and I should take it and apply it to my own life as such. To you whom much is given, much has been required.

When I read your blog posts, I don't hear a woman whining/complaining about what she doesn't have. Rather I hear her saying "Look this faith you have is very serious, this salvation you hold--continue to work it out in every area of your life, this God of ours is beyond my comprehension--yet His love is very simple, His ways are far better than ours", and mostly what I hear is "I fell in love with HIM, and that changes EVERYTHING." That love relationship is a beautiful thing. Oh that He would give me a small fraction of the faith that you hold, my friend. HE understands your broken heart even better than you. How He weeps over those who choose not to be in relationship with Him. May He wrap His arms around you tonight and hold you close. Curl up in His lap and just sit for awhile.

And tonight I wonder, how many of us are moved in our hearts, but FAIL to ACT with our lives? Am I? Will I?

Emily Winkle

andrew said...

Katie,

Thanks for everything you said in your post (but everyone else has already said that).

I want to especially thank you for prompting me to listen to the "Radical" series by David Platt. I have been meaning to do this for months but kept putting it off. Your encouragement finally caused me to listen to David's teaching.... and I'm so glad I did. I should have listened when I first heard of Brookhill.

Anyway, I can only encourage everyone else who reads this blog to listen to these teachings as well.. and then put them into practice.

Thank you...

Kelli said...

Your post does what so many of us do not want to consider and/or feel. We as Americans want to sit comfortably in our pews Sunday morning, hear a nice sermon, be out on time, converse with others and head home feeling good about ourselves and our relationship with Christ.

If we honestly look at God's Word we will see how uncomfortable christianity can be. But it is not for the comfort of this world that we seek Him but for an eternity with Him.

Thank you for making me uncomfortable. Thank you for being unwilling to compromise God's Word.

khull05 said...

Thanks for being so vulnerable and sharing your heart.

The lessons the Lord is teaching you about His all sufficiency will be so important, even if he does bring a husband to you. Even in marriage-great ones-there are places in our heart that only Christ can fill. For you, knowing that before you are married will make you a much stronger and more Godly wife.

Continued prayers for you and your sweet family!

Anonymous said...

So crazy - I just stumble accidentally upon the blog of the woman you mentioned here. She links to your blog.

bluecottonmemory said...

My oldest son commented one time that he thought God meant for him to lead a single life because He hadn't met "the" girl yet. He was in college. Just when he gave up the search, God sent the young woman who would be his wife, a help mate. As a matter of fact, they went to Uganda on a month long mission trip.

I once prayed for something I desparately wanted, a second child. Someone told me to pray that if that wasn't in His plan to take that desire out of my heart. So I did - I relinquished that. When I had sacrificed my desire, my dream - that's when God moved.

Your post has been a blessing - God called us last year to move our family after 18 years, leave my oldest son behind - and move to a mission field that is my husband's hometown. It's not comfortable - but it is where God wants us to be - It's not Uganda but it feels like a foreign land. However, we have to sacrifice the comfortable for the uncomfortable.

I pray that God sends you the helpmate He created for you:)

Christy said...

Katie,
What an amazing post. I must say I was in your same shoes except I denied the Lord and married my now husband but H.S sweetheart at the time. I have missed many opportunities b/c I followed my heart and not God's will. If I might be so bold to say that in a way I am jealous of you b/c now I am living my life hoping God will open a door for me again someday. I have an unsaved husband who has no love for mission work...I pray for you and want u to know you are a true inspiration for many! Thanks for denying yourself to do the Lord's work :)

MyMomBlogs said...

I was directed to your blog from a friend of mine...

And I have to say that I can relate... a little bit at least.

After 4 biological children, my husband and I became foster parents almost 5 years ago.... in 3 weeks and 4 days it will be 5 years ago that we brought home the first of our "Littles"...

And then their baby brother was born... And we took him, too.

Then their biological parents' rights were terminated... And we decided to adopt them.

And people asked us if we were crazy...

And then 28 days later their baby sister was born... And we took her, too.

And they KNEW we were crazy...

And we knew that we would adopt her from the instant we knew that we could.

And people began to emphatically call us crazy.... And we knew they were right!

We WERE crazy.... Crazy about "our" kids!!! All 8 of them! Here in suburbia where the "average" number of children per family is 2... And we had 8.

We finalized our adoption just over 2 years ago....

And found out less than 4 months later that their biological mom was pregnant again... And knew immediately that we would accept that baby into our family as well...

And again, people called us crazy.... And we knew it was still true!

We're still waiting, and wading, through government red tape to finalize our adoption of our youngest son....

And she'll probably get pregnant again... And we'll take that one, too.

Because we ARE crazy!! CRAZY in love with our children... CRAZY in love with knowing that God has put them into our lives for His reasons alone...

And going into this we, too, thought that God was "probably" only calling us into this "phase" of life for a short time... And we have given up our comfort level for our children... But we wouldn't change it for anything in the world! And I know, that at the end of the day, when your heart is hurting and your arms ache to hold him... That you KNOW that you are where God wants you...

And if anyone calls you crazy, then just smile and say, "... Yep... I'm CRAZY about God and CRAZY about my kiddos... He knew EXACTLY what I need and He provides it more intimately than I could ever imagine..."

I LOVE this crazy life!!!


www.the9ofmine.blogspot.com

Alyssa said...

Dear Katie

I found your blog a couple months ago, and every time I read it I'm reminded of "The Cost." While I live in "comfy America," I believe the Lord uses different circumstances for different people to bring them to the end of themselves. Some days I just long for heaven, but we have been put here to know Christ and serve him where we are. I think that one thing Christians often fail to grasp is that joining Jesus= signing up for suffering . . . a suffering to be embraced.

You don't know me and I don't know you, but I'm praying for you. Christ unites us. What a day that will be when we are all united for good.

-Alyssa

Missionary Hicks said...

Katie--
I feel both challenged and encouraged by your blog. Challenged because God's Word shined on my life always challenges me to be more like Him. And encouraged because I am always encouraged by His faithfulness to us, and His love for us.
I pray that this time of trial will be used to grow you even stronger in the faith you already share so unashamedly. Thank you for sharing honestly what the Lord has spoken to you.

Patti Rowe said...

I discovered your blog on facebook thru a friend. What an amazing story you have to tell. I am anxious to read more. I will pray for you and your dedication to serve God. God bless you and ALL your children.

Patti Rowe
Hendersonville TN

Alea Nikki and Natalie said...

Dang. Thank you. That just wrecked me...in a good way...seriously though. I started to get really sad when I read this, but then I realized that I was sad because I am not giving my EVERYTHING. It begs the question... What are our own comforts? What are we holding onto and not giving to the Lord?

Because of your faithfulness you are a huge inspiration to many, many people and the words you speak hold weight because they are backed by action.

Thank you.

WADE COOPER said...

Thanks for the speaking the truth of the gospel. I have much to learn. when God called, you answered!!! We can all learn from your example to follow Jesus, the true savior!!!

Diana said...

Thanks for sharing so deeply from your heart. God bless you and your ministry!

Acceptance with Joy said...

Sending you some sunshine and a whole lot of prayers!!!

I am sharing with you the sunshine award even though I know you haven't the time to deal with it. I wanted to tell people about your blog and it's my way of getting people to hop on over. :-)
Angela

Anonymous said...

Francis Chan's book-- Crazy Love --- read it! l,e

Julie said...

Thank you for the "cut to the core" reminder.

Debi said...

I'm not exactly sure how I came upon your blog, but it is definitely one of the few meaningful ones I have found and keep on my computer. I have been a missionary with my husband and four sons now for 18 years..you, my sister, are an incredible blessing to this 40 something year old Mama. Thank you for loving Jesus so much. You will NEVER regret that....not ever. There are always hard times, especially in the ministry, but knowing that you are in the center of God's perfect will for your life is one of the most rewarding things you will experience this side of Heaven. I love you as my sister in Christ, and it is a privilege to lift you up before our Lord who loves you like crazy....

Tania said...

You are showing us, in your life, what Jesus truly meant when He said, "Take up your cross and follow me." The closer I grow to Jesus, the more embarrassed I become at my extravagant American lifestyle. We, as Americans, are the richest of the rich. What will Jesus truly say to most of us when we get to Heaven. It scares me. Yes, I believe I am saved and belong to Him, but, am I doing all I can for Him. No! Right now I am just praying and asking Him for guidance!

Blessed Mom of Four, Now Five said...

Oh my Katie, I have just spent the past hour crying so hard I could hardly breathe, and I read your post.
My son left for the military today, and I am reminded that there is a cost for freedom.
We must count the cost for anything we do worthwhile.
I'm on my way to church, but I plan to listen to that sermon.
Perhaps, in a day or two, when I've stopped crying about missing my son, and there's less "snot" in my ears. ;)

yeltonfamily said...

Katie,
We have been following your blog for a couple of months now. As I read, I am in awe of how God is showing Himself through you. We long to see God work in these ways. I believe it is only when we totally lay everything down, that we will be totally filled with Him. We are praying about coming to visit you in October. Keep trusting God and you will not regret it!

Anonymous said...

this was beautiful

Katie said...

Dear Katie,
I am so very very sorry. I know that me saying "I'm sorry" does not help relieve the pain and I wish I could. I will be praying for you, and I mean that.

I just found your blog today and it has been amazing to read it. I feel as though I am looking at myself in the future in some ways. I am 19 years old and have been telling my family for years that I want to do what you are doing; this is what God has called me to do! You put my thoughts into words so much better than I have been able to. I just want to say a hearty AMEN to everything you said. I pray that God will allow me to follow in your footsteps soon.

THANK YOU so much for following Jesus. It is absolutely inspiring.

In Christ,
Katie R.

Alison said...

I commented on this post already, but came across this quote that Amy Carmichael pasted in the cover of her Bible and thought you might like it:

"These children are dear to Me. Be a mother to them, and more than a mother. Watch over them tenderly, be just and kind. If thy heart is not large enough to embrace them, I will enlarge it after a pattern of My own. If these young children are docile and obedient, bless Me for it; if they are froward, call upon Me for help; if they weary thee, I will be thy consolation; if thou sink under thy burden, I will be thy Reward."

Greg said...

Devastating my comfort. Thank you.

michelle said...

Amazing my sister.. Amazing.. what a sacrificial servant you are .. All Glory and Power to the only One True God..Christ Jesus.. I will pray for God to open the door for me to come to you some day and meet you.. thank you my sister for sharing your heart.. I long for time to spend where you are and I know Gods timing is perfect.. a teacher friend of mine will be coming soon to get her children and when she does she will be looking for youher name is Staci Caldwell .. Grace and Peace to you my Sister.. michelle

Cheri said...

Katie, may God use your example to take us all into those 'uncomfortable' places that HE wants us to go. I struggle with the American 'dream' and culture the longer I live here and would probably very easily say the same words as the woman did to you. But in all honesty, I don't know how many days I may last or if I could even say good-bye to many of the things you have...but I want to believe I could, with God's help. I'm in a different place in life - married with two teens...but we take our first step outside of our bubble this June when we go to Haiti to help at an orphanage. You inspire me to continue to listen to God's call in my life...and that of my families'. Thank you for letting God speak through you.

Cheri

Katie said...

Dear Katie,

I found your blog a while back, was very inspired and began following it, but only now am I commenting. I don't even know if you ever get a chance to read these.

I just want you to know that you DO inspire many of us...open our minds to hear the Lord's calling on our lives in ways that we weren't open to hearing before.

That calling doesn't always look like yours, though. I've known for years my calling wasn't to go overseas, no matter how much I might want to. Gradually God showed me His heart for the lost and hurting here in the US, for the same church that has largely forgotten the poor and orphans has also crippled and burnt millions in our own nation who might otherwise be powerful workers for God. Those people are whom God has called me to, for He loves Americans just as much as He loves Ugandans! And there are many, many ways of being poor and an orphan...our country is filled with orphan children who have never experienced a true parents love. And there are many grown-up orphans who are still lost without their Abba Father.

I know that, from your point of view, you see the terrible lack over there and you know that many are ignoring God's call on their life. It's obvious that the workers there are few.

Rest assured that the true workers here are few, too. There are so very, very few who are willing to count the cost while living here...that it requires not caring when people in the grocery stores think you're crazy for praying for a stranger...it requires giving up your own agenda of what you'd like to do for fun and volunteer at the nursing home to show those dying there that God loves them (as He's asked me to do)...that it requires the willingness to endure those same sort of "you're crazy" looks when you do what God has called you to do, except you can't leave it behind and get on a plane. You have to keep living it out.

Many of commented here that they do not know how to give up everything when they're married. I wish I could assure those people that God is not calling them to leave their husbands. The covenant of marriage is sacred. Peter had a wife...he did not break his covenant.

God's heart breaks for many around the world, in every nation and every tongue. Some He desires to uproot and move to another area of the world for planting, and others He desires to shine brightly in the darkness that surrounds where they are already planted. For there is darkness everywhere. And if everyone godly gave up their lives in the US and moved to third world nations, then there would be no one here to minister the love of God to the unsaved who are left. And there are so very, very many in our nation who have never seen the true love of God in a way they can comprehend. We have been such hypocrites.

Be encouraged, and be blessed, Katie, for God is moving amongst His people all over the world, showing us what it truly means to live for Him and positioning us exactly where He would have us be for the finale of His plan. It will be glorious!

Dana-from chaos to Grace said...

I found your blog through a friend of mine and I am just in AWE! Oh wow....how I loved to read your post!

I'm one of the ones that would say "OH SEND ME! I'LL DO IT!" but deep down I'm afraid of the cost. I have a husband, I have 3 children, but honestly, I know what I'm called to do, and I'm in the waiting.

I've heard God say almost in an AUDIBLE voice while I was enjoying a hot shower "Would you give this up?" And my first response is "ALWAYS!"

I loved this post. It's completely honest and I thank you for putting your heart out like that. It's beautiful and refreshing.

I teach teenagers at church and I've been told "I love the unlovely". I'm not sure if that was a compliment at the time or not, but in my heart that's what God has called me to do "love the unlovely".

Oh how my heart cries out to you, and I will be praying and following as well. And if ever given the chance, I'll go....pack up my family, sell all I have, and go.

Cathleen said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. Every word you wrote is truth from our Savior! You are a amazing woman of God! May God's peace flow over you as you continue to live in His will serving His children.

emily said...

thank you ♥

Rae said...

Katie, I am printing "your heart" and posting it in my home. Though your words were not new...God's word came alive thorough your experience. Thank you for sharing, thank your for living as a Disciple.

I hope that you will feel this as a positive comment...
CHALLENGE received.

I ask the Holy Spirit to take over from here and MOVE my heart to where God calls.

with love,

Konni said...

May the Lord use your blog to spur us to true action wherever He leads us! Not just "doing" more for Him, but responding out of a deep love for Him. I just recently finished reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan. He mentions a lot about Lukewarm "Christians" . . . and the fact that there really isn't such a thing! We are so deceived! Thank you, Katie, for sharing from your heart. May the Lord continue to give you the grace to serve Him wholeheartedly. And to God be the glory!

Anonymous said...

Hi Katie

I'm an avid follower of your blog and hugely inspired by you, your faith and your work I am praying for you from Liverpool.

Katie x

Cris said...

I heard something on AFR that made me think of this post. It went kind of like this: "Some of us are called by God to be mothers, teachers, or missionaries. ALL of these are high callings. NONE of them are our highest calling. Our ultimate purpose is to praise and honor God." I pray we can all support each other, despite the different paths God has set us on.

Lori said...

Your post was amazing, of course, and perfectly timed to the need of my soul today. Even better, though -- reading the comments of hundreds of other Christians who also want to live the Kingdom. We have to remember we're not alone, and let that give us courage to do what Jesus requires. Thank you, Katie, for starting this conversation.

Stephanie Peters said...

Thank you! I don't have words, but the Lord has spoken through your post. It takes me back to brokenness for my girls in Zambia when I got home, and the drive to live radically abandoned to Christ. How the world pulls me in a little at a time to steal my passion and heart before I realize it. Thanks for snapping me out of it. Focusing on Jesus and action is next.
Sisters in Christ,
Stephanie

Julie Diane said...

WOW! I heard saw your story at an adoption conference today and was so touched by your selflessness and beauty. You are truly touching lives - not just those of the children you serve, but those of believers everywhere who are inspired by your work to "walk the walk" rather than just "talk the talk". Thank you and May God Bless YOU!

Holly Southerland said...

Yes. Jesus is worth it.

Erin Quinn said...

"I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare."

C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity

Katie said...

Katie,

Your post has been on my heart and mind for a few days now. Thank you for being so open with us, I needed to read what you wrote. You see, I am in the opposite position of you.

I started working with my "kids" when I was 12 (I'm 25 now) fully expecting to not live in the USA as soon as I was old enough to move on my own. As life moved forward, GO has been on my heart so strongly. A year and a half ago I was single and had planned to move to Ethiopia and see what God had for me.

Instead of another country, God had another life planned for me. I am now an army wife, and while I love my husband dearly, this was not what I had planned for my future! However, I can very clearly see God's hand in my life and leading me down this unexpected path. My husband and I are truly called to minister in the military community and try to help heal some of the wounds this specific group of people has. It hurts sometimes to think of the life that the other me would have lived but I know that I would not have the joy in it that you do, if I was not following God. I pray that God continues to show His tangible love to you and romance you in a way only He can.

With love,
Katie the Army Wife :)

Anonymous said...

Well written. Unless God has called you to have a servant's heart, those who were given other talents will never understand.

We are moving to china to teach in an international school and spread His love. Everyone in my family is devastated, to the point that they won't talk to us. yes we are taking our 6 year old adopted daughter with us... I think that is the root problem. We also are not doing what they think we should do.
You will be in my prayers as I continue to pray for God's guidance and love in our decision.

Anonymous said...

Much of what you wrote is what I have thought when my sister is critical of me babysitting grandchildren and "not having a life", getting to travel as she does, and "being taken advantage of". It is something I feel God has called me to do but to word it to anyone would make me sound sanctimonious so I say little. I sense she and others think I'm crazy to sacrifice so much and perhaps it makes them feel guilty. The closeness we (my husband supports me in the babysitting and since he is retired and only working parttime, he does much of the care also) have to our grandkids is undescribable. The vacations,uncluttered house, and leisure time I will look forward to in eternity. pam

Josh Powers said...

Your words are so inspiring to me. I leave for the peace corps in January of 2011, and I know this is only the first step in the plans that God has for me in the field of missionary work.

God Bless.

patti lacy said...

Dear Katie,
I learned of you yesterday through your sisters with 147 million orphans. Oh that God will plant a story in me so I can share your journey in my work.

Your blog is on my roll and will inspire, convict, break my heart, piece it back together.

Patti Lacy
author of An Irishwoman's Tale
What the Bayou Saw
The Rhythm of Secrets

www.pattilacy.com/blog

Keith Duff said...

Amen and Amen.

To me, it comes down to delight vs. duty. Do we delight in God? If so, then we will do whatever He calls us to do. If we serve out of duty or obligation, then we'll grow weary and ultimately do simply what we want to do.

Be encouraged. Delight in the savior. He is doing great works through your willing heart.

Keith Duff
Village Bible Church, Sugar Grove, IL

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog through a friend and must say I am so encouraged at your act of faith, in obedience- no matter the cost... and what is even more rewarding is in knowing that HE is MORE than enough for all of our needs when we surrender and follow HIm. Thanks for the reminder. It challenges me to take leaps of faith regarding missions in Brazil. Keep up the good work and though we may never meet here on this earth... ONE day, in heaven, I will get to meet you and your beautiful family!

Encouraged by your act of faith!

To Him be the glory!

Coral Christine said...

Dear Katie,
I'm only 13, and I do really wish I could be like you. You amaze me! Just to see how much you give up for God. Its like a love and adventure novel everytime I read your blog. I just got make from Africa about two weeks ago, we adopted 3 kids from Ethiopia. 3 kids and what I saw are nothing compared to what you do or see.
You are like this hero to me, a real follower of Christ. I look up to you! Your my true role model.

All4Christ,
Coral

Rita said...

your line: "nothing is sacrifice in light of eternity with Christ." is exactly what i needed to hear today. the Lord has been trying to get me to just let go of so much control over things of money, time, efforts, etc. and this is really what He has been trying to say to me. Thank you! BTW: i'm a first time reader, and will be continuing to follow your "story" that He is unfolding in your life.
~Rita

Jessi Hacker said...

this is amazing, so blessed for reading it! Wow!

Roger Bachman said...

Bless you, I agree. Praying for you. I feel your pain.

Chalk Inscriptions said...

You didn't ramble - thank you for sharing your heart. My family are 2nd generation missionaries to Uganda and have adopted numerous children and so I love your heart. Your sacrifice is beyond anything that most people can comprehend. We are in the middle of an Ethiopian adoption and I don't believe it is our last. You are beautiful and creating quite a legacy!

Tania said...

I just read this quote this morning and was reminded of your post..."There are too many over-fed, under-motivated Christians hiding behind the excuse that God has not spoken to them. They are waiting to hear voices or see dreams - all the while living to make money, to provide for their future, to dress well and have fun." Floyd McClung. But, that's the American dream! Is that wrong? Well, why did God bless this nation SO richly? Is it because we deserve it more than the person living in Uganda, Niger, North Korea or China? Or, were we blessed to be a blessing? What will God say to us, as Christians, when He sees our nice 401K plans, retirement accounts, furnished homes and pretty wardrobes, yet we have little to show in the way of bringing the Gospel to those who have never heard it? Each of us has been called...Jesus spoke to each of us when He gave the Great Commission. Our greatest desire should be the glory of His name in all the Earth. And how does that desire come about...we ask God for it. We urgently desire to totally die to every single selfish passion in us. He will be faithful to change us; to give us a passion for His Son's glory and for the nations. Katie...you show that truth to us every time you post. You are an example for each of us! Thank you!

shepherdsgrace said...

Truth that brings tears...use us Lord, use me...

He is with you, Kate and you ARE NOT wasting your life...may He satisfy you every moment in every way til the day He calls you home or He returns in triumph to carry you away...

blessings. love.

Anonymous said...

Katie,
I have followed your blog for quite some time now and am always amazed at how you can put difficult messages in such a beautiful way. You have touched me. I have been contemplating adoption for quite some time -- contemplating because of the fear I had. The little girl I love is from Uganda -- and I must put my faith and trust in the Lord that He will make it all work for His glory. Thank you Katie.

JRudy8403 said...

I must say that this is one of the most raw, real, and honest tellings of a faith journey that I have happened across in a long long time. I am glad to have read it and I am glad you were willing to count the cost and go. You bring more joy than you will ever know to those children and to the very heart of God.

Even having never met you my heart goes out for your trials because I know the life of faith is no easy journey (and I know very well that I may someday be in your shoes in a far corner of the world with nothing and no one).

I will keep you in my prayers that God will continue to work in mighty ways through you.

Nathan said...

Thank you for exhorting with oft-ignored Scripture.

There is hurt in many places of the world, and there is need in many more.

In the Scriptures there is Solomon and there is Hosea. Solomon lived in great wealth while Hosea was to marry a prostitute.

We all must obey the convictions of the Lord, and the Lord does not ask the same thing of all. And some step out to do what is not God's will for them--they will not find peace until they submit in reality, for there is a tug that is of the world, and there is a tug that is of the Lord.

I am the Clay said...

Katie,

As always I am deeply, deeply moved and touched....

There is a cost to discipleship as you have pointed out... there is a cross to pick up and follow Him after....

This past summer God laid a passage on my heart during a time of deep pain & hurt..... I think it's fitting for you as well, and you most likely have read it and pondered the depth of it's meaning:


" For your Maker is your husband. The Lord of hosts is His name. And your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

For the Lord has called *you* like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused."


Isaiah 54:5 & 6

May God continue to be not only your Maker, your God, your Redeemer, but truly your Husband, Your Boaz.. your Kinsmen Redeemer.

In Christ,

gloria

Ryan and Ashlie said...

Perfectly Said! The week I read this blog post is the same week I read Chapter 4 of Crazy Love by Francis Chan, about being Lukewarm. You were both telling me God's word at the same time, that's when I know God was trying to get my attention!!!!
Thank you Katie!!! I cannot wait to meet you on July 24th. I'm leading the trip through Visiting Orphans!!
Hugs, Hugs, Hugs,
Ashlie
www.fulmerstory.blogspot.com

Real Simple said...

you are amazing. i am humbled by your service. we are reading a book by francis chan called crazy love and he writes about the lukewarm christian...you are far from it. he uses your scripture references. Ashlie Fulmer will hug you for me and tell you are JESUS WITH SKIN ON! May i encourage you, through prayer! my blog is real simple. blessings,
betsy

Caroline said...

Sweet sister,
Praying for you right now. Read your post early yesterday morning and it has been impacting me and my circle of friends since. So much love is cheering you on today. I don't know you, but I love you and will be praying for you. Blessings, blessings my sweet, bold, sister. "If you were any braver, you'd be a lioness"
Caroline

Christine said...

I watched the video with my husband Katie. You are right-- the message is such an inspiration! I read your blog to my kids when we do our devotional time! I would really love to find out if it is possible to come out for a visit. Thank you ahead of time!

Mom Of Many said...

Sweet, sweet girl,

I am so proud you. YOu are an eloquent communicator and Jesus shines through in what you are writing. I feel so blessed to call you friend.

I love you Mom of Many. I pray that God comforts you and ministers to your heart. You are a treasure!!

Much love, Linny xo

Kristen said...

Wow...you deeply inspire and encouarge me. Thank you for your faithfulness and obedience to God...

Hondomamma said...

Hello Katie-
I work with orphans in Honduras and just wanted to send you a note of encouragement. I don't think people truly understand how hard the work can be and how much sacrifice is involved 24/7... but God knows and I think he is smiling when HE watches you and your work. I pray for you often and just know you are not alone in your struggles. God's plan is always perfect. Thank you for following HIM first and foremost especially when it hurts so much.
Blessings,
Kymm in Honduras

♪~Jenn~♪ said...

I was raised in a Christian home...spent hours and hours every week at church doing church-ish things. As a child/teenager I was soooo full of frustration and anger. Why? Because what I saw all around me was NOT what I believed being a Christian was. AT.ALL. I saw lies, hypocrisy, people living in their comfy bubbles preaching peace and love and acceptance...faith and trust..but only a handful of people actually walked the walk. if that. It mad me sick to my stomach. even as a little girl I could sense the imbalance, searched for a way to articulate it.

You are inspiring to me in that you walk the walk while you talk the talk. you don't try to candy coat your experience. being a mother is hard work. Sacrifice is woven through every hour of every day... Following ones heart and trusting is beyond most peoples abilities (why is this?) what happened to faith?! Faith...grace....hope...these are the things that make it. the gifts wrapped in love that we have been given to help us through challenge after challenge.

be strong...you have what you need♥

Stacey said...

Katie,
God bless you and your family, your girls. THANK YOU for saying the hard words. THANK YOU for counting the cost... and for urging us on to do the same.
Ian & Stacey in Scotland

Kelly P said...

Well spoken :-) Keep it coming, friend.

Amber said...

Wow, your life is such a powerful testimony of the True Gospel! God has recently been tugging at my heart with all of these things that you are talking about through reading Francis Chan's book Crazy Love. I believe we have truly missed the whole concept of what following The Way really is and means for our personal lives!

I can't imagine how much pain, strife, and annoyances you are dealing with but I know at the same time what blessings those same things that Satan would like to curse us with are to you! You are experiencing Christ's power, suffering and love in ways that those unwilling to give up their comfort and "control" will NEVER experience even a microscopic portion of in their lifetime!

Thank you for your heart for God and your willingness to step out in faith. You have no idea how much of an eternal impact you are making this very second!

Paula said...

WOW! Incredible!! I am humbled!!

Pnkcountrygrl03 said...

Wow... I actually heard you story on a misssion trip to guatemala and today I found your blog. Katie you are amazing and have some real strength. I am sixteen and praying that god will take over my life in such a way he has yours. You and your girls will be in my prayers countinuously. Thank you for you inspiring life.
Kate Simpson

Anonymous said...

Wow... I actually heard you story on a misssion trip to guatemala and today I found your blog. Katie you are amazing and have some real strength. I am sixteen and praying that god will take over my life in such a way he has yours. You and your girls will be in my prayers countinuously. Thank you for you inspiring life.
Kate Simpson

Jo said...

Katie.
I found this on accident, but it really stirred up something in my heart. And it bothers me because there's been a dream in me to serve the poor and unloved for so long and now that I'm "old enough" I'm starting to realize how much it costs. And I don't know if I'm willing to pay. Thank you for obeying Jesus in caring for those precious orphans and in writing this blog. Thank you for reminding me to look beyond my selfish little life and see what God is doing in the world. What really got me is "faith without deeds is dead." And no wonder my faith feels so small...

Lisa said...

I know what she means. I think. I wish God would use me for something great like what you are doing. I just don't feel the call. I wish I were strong enough in Him to do something big. I know I'm not so right now I just keep praying and growing..ever so slowly though.

B. Sarah said...

My heart aches for you...

"Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness." Psalms 37:3

melinda said...

Wow, 455 comments so far- think you made a connection! Just wanted to encourage you that you are indeed not alone. I have been living and working amongst the poor for more than 20 years now and I know many many many women like you. I was one of them even. But I think you would agree, though the heart may break, the sufferings of this age are no comparison with the joys of the Kingdom. Your choice for obedience will be rewarded, because obedience is better than sacrifice, and also because obedience means God has something better.

One of my friends in Africa had almost as many children as you adopted as a single woman- yet now she has a husband to share them with as they reach out to even more in the community.

In my case, I wouldn't compromise, I lived in a dump amongst the people, and in my 40's God brought me a husband who didn't ask me to leave my call behind.

I don't know what God will do with you- whether He will fulfill your earthly days with Himself alone as your husband, or if somewhere down the road He will bring you into marriage- but I do know- following Him and not compromising and trusting Him with His timing- that will bring true and lasting fulfillment and satisfaction in your life. It doesn't mean there won't be struggles, but you will sleep at night knowing He is pleased.

Kymberly Janelle said...

I just found your blog and wow am I glad that I did. While my situation is not exactly like yours, it is simular in leaving a relationship for God. Thank you for this blog!! The love of God pours out through your writing, I am sooo blessed by this! I will continue to be reading & praying for you!! Bless you!!

Elizabeth K. said...

(Kristin Laurence is right. :) Just sayin'). I am praying that you find a community that sustains you as the journey goes on. I'd also offer this perspective to those who feel convicted but cannot, realistically, do what Katie is doing: the church is a body. We are all called to have a heart for the poor, or what my tradition calls "a preferential option for the poor". Mother Theresa often told those who said they wanted to do what she did to get over it--to go back and run their businesses, for example, so that people would have places to work so they wouldn't fall into poverty, to be good stewards of their resources so that those who are called to this special work have the money they need to keep going. And to pray that God will use you--because this is a prayer God ALWAYS answers, and it requires bravery to pray it every day.

Bless you, Katie, for your love and courage, and for showing us, as Mother Theresa did, that the work you do is HARD as well as joyful, and that all of us who think "Oh I'm not faithful enough, she's special" need to stop lying to ourselves.

Angela said...

SIGH...with tears in my eyes I write this comment....My heart spilled as I read this...oh precious one, ((Hugs)) God's beloved, sigh...a crown of splendor in His right hand...Yes, He is SO faithful...SIGH

LKLD said...

I believe that Jesus' words are trugh and the way I am living is not tolerable.

Sabina said...

Oh, this is so powerful and is hitting very close to home for me. I'm so glad I came across your very personal words today. You've opened my eyes, and you've brought tears to them. God bless you.

Average Terran said...

This is so very powerful! Everything that was written sent a hammer to my heart.

Stephanie said...

Dear Katie,
I am a 15 year old girl who has just started to read your blogs. And I have to say that God definitely speaks through you to me every time. My dream is to one day be a missionary in China and I thank the Lord every day for people like you who gave up their life to serve the poor. May God bless you and keep you and your beautiful Children safe there in Africa. I hope to one day be like you, keep pressing on!
Love, your sister in Christ (:

ATinkLife said...

Even though you are thousands of miles away, you just touched my heart with your written words. Almost every word, every Scripture reference is something God has been speaking to me in the last three weeks.
I am one of those women who would love to do what you do; who fully intends to do something quite similar(albeit in a different country). But you wrote exactly what God has showed me. I'm not ready. My foundation isn't fully built yet. There's more to do here, stateside, before our journey begins. And, though I felt frustrated for ten years that it hadn't happened yet, I know why now, and I understand the why. Thank so much for praying so earnestly for God to give you the right words to write even in the midst of the needs pulling on you from your own 14 and everyone else you take care of. Thank you for paying the cost, for following Christ, for bearing the cross. God, through you, is shining such an awesome light into the darkness of Uganda, and for that you are blessed of Abraham's seed to be a blessing. And what a blessing, even with the cost!

Anonymous said...

Hi Katie,
Thanks for showing me how much work God has yet to do in my life. Thanks for showing that I need to focus on Him and His work, not my own selfish wants and desires.
I think it's hard, and I haven't given up the love of my life or have 14 kids in Africa.
I am only 16, and I don't even know if I can make a difference in the world like someone like you can. It makes me sad, but thanks for proving to me that there are people out there who want to live for God. strictly for Him.
Thanks,
Emma

Lindsay said...

You are an incredible person being used in incredible ways. I spent time in Uganda one summer, and I regret that I did not allow God to use me outside of my comfort zone. I think that those of us called to missions abroad often feel like that is enough. The living far from home is enough. The dealing with cold showers and pit latrines is enough. But if we allow Him, He will use us in ways that we never imagined. We have to be willing to give of our comfort. You are so right.

Ashley Eiler said...

hey katie!
i go to brookhills and i agree...how can we do anything but give everything...i am so glad you are listening to david!! be encouraged sister...
www.eilerandcompany.com

AT said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS POST! All of our situations are different... I've struggled with comments people have made about me being okay now that I'm back in the US. I just want to scream to them that that doesn't make me okay. I felt the earth shake... but nothing is more terrifying than seeing or knowing where God has called you and making an excuse or saying NO to Him. Your calling is beautiful and joyful and most certainly not easy. I want to say THANK U. Thank you for being 'radical'... I have taken a lot away from your words here. When what we do is hard for others to relate to, God comforts us with people who can relate and appreciate us! ((HUGS))

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for this testimony, Katie. I have been home sick for several days and just found your blog. The Lord has used it to convict me of the selfish and sinful way in which I've been living my life, eyes closed to his hurting children. Thank you for reminding me and for saying "Yes" to God. Your faithfulness touches not only your children, but all those who see your walk. Thank you for showing us what faith with works looks like! You are an inspiration. Gotta go...time to put feet to the faith. TTYL

Brooke said...

Thank you for laying your life on the altar, and thank you for writing about it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being unafraid to convict us. Your courage is inspiring-- I am ashamed of my little faith! I am praying over you, your beautiful daughters, and your ministry. Praise God for his provision and care. I am also praying for your heart-- may God continue to heal you and prepare you for more glorious things to come.

Anonymous said...

Katie,
I hope you see what you are doing not only for the people you are with on a day to day basis loving with your own blood and sweat and tears but what you are doing for the people who read about it! The first day I read your blog I cried and read for hours and hours. What an amazing love for the Lord you have, how he must be SO delighted in you. You truly have honored him and glorified him! Praise the Lord for your life, for your heart, for your surrender and obedience! Praise a God who IS mighty to save! Your life has blessed me and my kids! Those precious children bring me to tears and I pray to one day be able to hold some of them and love them the way you do! I see my own kids faces in each one of the children I see on your page and always walk away humbled and in tears. How blessed are your children to have you as their mother! There are no words for you Katie, May the Lord Jesus satisfy you beyond all measure!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for inspiring me with this blog entry. You are right in every respect. I must be willing to lose everything to gain everything.
Dave

Anonymous said...

Katie, I'm so moved and fighting back tears right now. Thanks to our Lord for people like you. Thanks for speaking strong and powerful truth. It's so easy for us to become self consumed sometimes. It's easy to justify what we want or what we don't want to do. I pray the Lord works in my life to lead me to His will instead of my personal comfort. You are such an inspiration -frightfully awakening! I'll be praying for you and your loved ones. Blessings!

julie said...

Dear Katie,
As I am reading your blog, my tv is on a self-absorbed reality show & I am suddenly sick of myself & this artifical, unholy world. I want to crawl thru my tv & yell for us to wake-up & get busy & how can each & everyone of us go thru our daily lives & allow our children of this world to suffer such despair! And yet, I know the Lord hears you & his people. You are truly an angel & how proud our King must be of you! I wish I could be there to help you & the precious children. Now you are written in my heart & from this day & forever you & the children will be in my prayers everyday! May God Bless you & bless the Children! Amen! love your Sister, Julie

Jocelyn said...

thank you. i was led to your blog just tonight from the block's blog and this was a needed reminder for me.
i am a single 27 year old in america who has been fostering children for 2 1/2 years- after saying goodbye to a man i thought would share my heart's calling, but sadly did not, losing friends who didn't understand why i would choose a life such as this. i've had 8 kiddos total through those years and currently have 4 precious children 2 years old and younger- two 2 year olds, a 17mo and an 8 mo old. in 2 1/2 years i only have been been able to have adopted one... and there has been a loooot of heartbreaks saying goodbye after goodbye.
in the midst of therapy appointnments- occupational, speech, developmental and play therapy; doctors appointments- pediatricians, GI, neuorology, pulminary; visit after visits from case workers, lawyers, social workers; dealing with beaviors from one that are devestating and difficult day in and day out... there are days when i feel defeated, exhausted, thougts that I "deserve" a break, or calmness, or normalcy... comfort... that this is too much and NOT what i signed up for wen i answered God's call... and i was getting to those self-involved feelings tonight after a busy, rough day.
so.... all that to say thank you for this post and ther reminder of what we have been called to. the walk is not easy, obedience wasnt promised to be an easy road... but it is a merciful road, a road filled with rewards and grace.
thank you, katie... wonderful post- thank you for your unashamed words and honesty and challenge to push myself closer to where God desires me to be.

karen said...

Dear Katie,

I'm a little behind on your blog, as I just read the update from 2/11 "My heart spilled". Thank you for the blessing of truth that you share! Please know that God has touched my heart because of you and I pray that He will continue to work on me. :) I have been convicted. I feel that God is calling me to something, and I am certainly, completely unclear of what it is. I'm married with three wonderful girls, an amazing husband and residing in Spring Hill, TN. (the bubble of Williamson county we call it- sheltered from the struggles and poverty that many endure.)

I will keep you and your family in our prayers. God has called you to something amazing and through that you are a witness and light to so many- including those back in the states. Please pray for our family as I know that God is calling us on a spiritual journey. Please pray that He would help us to understand Him more.

In Christ Alone,
Karen

Natasha Kay said...

Thanks for this Katie! In response to some of the comments I've read, I think it's fair to say that you're not asking *everyone* to quit their lives (as they know it) and move to a foreign country. We know that true sacrifice for the cause of the Kingdom is unique to each person. I praise God for your willingness and I know from personal experience that the hard lessons you are learning have the biggest pay-offs in your heart and spirit!

For me, it came in the form of a major wake-up call to how I had neglected my role as a wife and mother, a husband walking out on our family and the call to stand for my marriage. Despite the obvious path to divorce, God called me to give up my own "rights" for the sake of what He wanted to do in me, through me. To give up the idea of "someone better", to give up the notion that "it is what it is". To come to grips with the fact that I might be single for the rest of my life and that's okay but that God, in his mercy, could change it with the snap of his fingers.

After a year of separation and a lot of heart ache, I was able to come out the other side stronger, more loving, more wise, and incredibly humbled. My husband did come home (to a very different wife!) and we are healing our family one day at a time. Had I clung to my "rights" and "what I deserve", as so many friends (Christians, too) had urge me to do for all those months, I would not have the luxury of seeing the miraculous ways God worked in both our hearts to show the world that there is a better way, contrary to popular opinion.

Thank you Lord for your mercy and grace! Open our eyes, Lord, and show each one of us how to live a life of sacrifice in whichever way You call us to.

Heidi... said...

Much to ponder... thank you for your raw openness and your willingness to confront. You've given me much to think about.

Thank you!
~H

Anonymous said...

http://www.austinstone.org/resources/sermons/

This link goes to the sermon archive from The Austin Stone Community Church (Austin, TX). Check out the sermon called "The Man of Righteousness" from April 18, 2010. It is an incredible talk that re-affirms what this blog is about...sacrificing everything for the sake of following God's call.

Sophie said...

There are over 300 comments, but I wanted to add one more.

As I sit here reading your heart and bawled my eyes out, God touched me in a way that I haven't *felt* (feelings really are nothing... Faith doesn't equal warm fuzzies) in a while. I guess I should first mention that my heart is in Africa, or at least I say that. I want to go and minister to the broken, the forgotten, the unloved, the lost. I want to tell them about the redeeming love of the God of the Universe who made them and wants to make them a new creation.

Your story broke my heart and healed it all at the same time.

Thank you for sharing even though it was difficult, God is using you more than you could ever know.

I want to meet you and hug you and all your precious kids. Love and blessings from hundreds of miles away,

Sophie

BeBe said...

Katie, I want to come. I'll do whatever is needed. I know God wants me there, so you tell me when, and I'll be there.

Anonymous said...

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." - Hebrews 4:12

Thanks for sharing that scripture! I'm praying for you.

Mardi said...

I can hardly type this for all the tears streaming my face...


THANK YOU.

I want to write more, but nothing seems appropriate.

I love you and I am praying for you and I believe we will meet in person some day.

Kelsey said...

Katie, you are so special. I know it's not what you're asking to hear, but you will have so many jewels on your crown in Heaven! I have heard no story more humbling or more powerful than yours. Know that you are changing not only the lives of your children and those around you in Uganda but other hearts all over the world through your example. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Is. 58:10-11

Anonymous said...

This is the second time I have read this particular post. It points out the cost that we often forget to count when we say "oh how cool, I wish I could do that" about the real sacrifices that others only guess at that you have made and most likely make as you follow God's commands and walk in His joy. May God continue to bless you in His work that you do everyday. Thank-you for sharing your story.

Gretchen said...

You have the heart of Christ and it is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

S.I.F. said...

Katie ~ I was directed to your blog by a friend who knows I'm struggling; with a broken body that's just not giving me the dream I've held on to for my entire life. I'm having a hard time placing my faith in God in this... I know it's what I'm supposed to do, but I'm struggling to maintain control. I'm struggling.

All of this to say; I needed to read this today. So thank you.

BrittanyD said...

Your heart it set above! Love it and love you! Will be praying for you sister!

stephanie j. said...

What you wrote may just have changed my life and possibly the life of others around us.

Thank you for your obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ.

God bless you!

Anonymous said...

I don't have the words to describe. But I wanted to leave a comment because i'm just so touched. I've tasted some of what you describe, but only the smallest part. May we all live lives that call us to truly lay down everything for Him. Thank you for the reminder. You inspire me.

the_blissful_mommy said...

Katie~
14/13: # of kids you have
0: minutes you have to read this, to be sure
1,000,000+: tears I felt streaming while I read your post.
350: comments so far on this post alone by people who are being CHANGED by your thoughts about Jesus and His transforming love
1: Tennessee boy you left behind who is MISSING OUT, Baby Girl
?: children we are out to find in my family, to add to the 3 already here. Starting now.

I love you, sister. Fight on. You are loved big time. xxxxxooo

Sarah said...

thank you Katie for reminding me what Jesus meant when he said Matthew 10:37, 38
“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me."

And in Matthew 19: 29 of His hundredfold promise when we leave those things.

Thank you Jesus, for speaking clearly to me, for showing me Your will, which I knew all along.

blessings sister, praying for you from Nicaragua

melinda said...

Hey Katie,
I've posted once or twice before, and I don't imagine with the ministry you do you'll have time to read through the 350+ comments anytime soon, but in case you get down here to comment # 353, I wanted to encourage you. I've been living and ministering amongst the poor for more than 25 years now. When I left all; family, friends, the comfort of S CA...everyone thought I was SOO radical. They tried to either put me up on a pedestal or convince me why I didn't need to go live amongst the poor- because, hey, after all, didn't Jesus say 'the poor you'll always have with you.' It was like people wanted to either make me a saint or tear me down for the foolishness of actually thinking Jesus meant what He said about caring for the poor.

I have no regrets. Sure, there have been costs- and those costs include having my heart shattered at times, but Romans 8:18,19 and 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 really are true!

Romans 8:18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.

2 Corinth 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Sometimes I wish I was starting out now because it is almost 'cool' and the 'in thing' to be concerned about issues of injustice and poverty. There is so much more support out there now for this sort of thing. But when I started out, I got my least encouragement from the church. Yet when I think about it, I'm glad it happened that way as it was pure Jesus that I went the direction I did. I think your call is pure Jesus, so be thankful for that.

I too, like you, have had lots and lots of opportunities to laugh at the foolishness of Americans and their comments in 25 years. But hey, I'm one of them and can make foolish comments too, so I don't exclude myself. But having lived in a garbage dump and ministered in war zones and suffered through malaria too many times to count and not having 25 cents to give someone in the village to take the bus to her mom's funeral...well, it gives you a different and I hope wise and more eternal perspective.

So when someone who comes on a 1 week mission trip starts making sweeping assessments about an entire nation, I either have to laugh or cry. The arrogance of Americans is quite amazing at times. I don't usually share this freely as to not alienate, but I'm writing to you, so I think I can be blunt and honest and you can take it and relate to it.

I have heard some crazy things from people who have been short-term missionaries for 1 month and almost feel like they're experts after that. They may have spent their time in one small area of a nation, but they can then come up with grand sweeping generalizations that they try to apply to an entire nation they really know little about. They go on radio shows and speak at churches and write blogs- but their vision is so limited. I mean, it's one thing to share what you experience, but it's another to set yourself up as some sort of 'wise' one from a week or a summer of service. But patience is a virtue, so I pray, and where I can, try to input with those who seek it.

(Part 2 continued in next comment)

melinda said...

(Part 2)
The main thing I want you to know- is you are so NOT alone. I won't put you on a pedestal, because I don't believe that's where you want to be, and also because Jesus has some pretty harsh words for those on pedestals. (Even if you don't put yourself there, from one missionary to another, I warn you, "Run for your life from such idolization." God kind of gets jealous about that position.)

Another reason I won't put you on a pedestal but I want to encourage you with- is know that there are THOUSANDS of people like you out there serving God. This is actually one of the biggest gifts God's given me the last 25 years of serving Him amongst the poor: to see and work with some amazing women and men of God who are the 'Mother and Father Teresa's' of our day, but they are off the radar screen of most of the world.

So my unseen compatriot, keep journeying on deeper into His heart, hunger for humility, and keep loving those orphans. They are His treasures, and He is sharing them with you.

Melinda Nelson

Anna said...

God bless you and your work and your family! May it please Him to raise up many more obedient and available Katies to mother these precious children.

Anonymous said...

When I started reading the comments I imagined you reading them, and wondered if you said aloud to yourself "aw, that's nice."

I feel so much love and anger towards you right now Katie. The whole way through I was thinking "please don't be saying what I think your saying."

Anyone who reads this please say a prayer for me! If God is telling me to tell him goodbye I'm going to need strength...

Rita Emmons Budlong said...

I REALLY HOPE THIS comment gets to be posted. I was REALLY touched by your story. BUT, I came to a point in your story that said, and I am quoting this, cause I wrote it down so I would not forget. It said...In Luke 14:25, if you DO NOT HATE your Father-Mother, or Wife-Children, or Brother-Sister, and yes, YOUR OWN LIFE, you cannot be my disciple. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN??? You have to hate your family before you can be a disciple, what kind of person could HATE their entirely family?? I for one, LOVE MY FAMILY, and could NEVER hate my children OR my MOTHER, because my Mother and I are THE BEST OF FRIENDS, and that will NEVER CHANGE!! SO, will you PLEASE help me understand what this means??
Sincerely,
Rita Emmons Budlong

ashleyerin said...

Tears stream down my face as I type. My mouth open aghast as I read the words on your blog post that are directly from my own heart - the thoughts I've never given voice to written right on the screen in front of me.

He's the only one I've ever loved these past seven years beginning when I was a junior in high school. Being with him is perfect - his encouragement, love, laugh, character - I can't imagine a better match. My heart overflows when he walks into the room. My laughter never ending when he's in my presence. How could it not be perfectly planned by the Lord?

Yet I lived in Northern Iraq for six months after college and my heart changed - my soul changed. There's no way I could go back to being the same. No way to go on pretending. No way to be ignorant again.

The Lord has been nudging my heart in a direction. Making me realize I can't live the life I might have wanted before Iraq. I'm suffocating here in suburbia. My heart drawn to a country I don't yet know the name of - a void in me wanting to love the unloved and care for the forgotten in some distant land. He's stirring my heart.

"But what about him?!?" I ask the Lord. "What about this God-fearing wonderful man you've placed in my life?" Knowing full and well it could mean choosing to follow the Lord's plan for my life or being with the man I love. Knowing it might not be one and the same.

How could I choose anything over the plan of my Maker? He's whispering, "Trust Me... Trust, my daughter". And how could I not?

Katie, I don't know if you will even read this comment seeing as this post is over a year old. But I just wanted to thank you for writing it. I know it must have seemed impossible to pour out for all to see, but reading this, knowing that someone else has felt that same ache, felt the knot her throat that constantly threatens to give way to a waterfall of tears. It somehow makes it seem like a less lonely road - knowing someone else has traveled the same one. Thank you for your realness, your openness and your painful honesty.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Katie!

Anonymous said...

I got an assignment to read your book for a class. I had to read 2 books this summer, one for English, and then this one, for Bible. I do admit I procrastinated reading yours, but now that I have, I really do think I've changed. This particular blog post really went deep. Since I was little, I had fantasies of Prince Charming and a fantastic career. That's been really the thing I've been concerned about. Its as if I'm in college(theoretically, I'm only 13) I'm majoring in the idea of a career, putting most of myself in it. After that, I'm minoring in preparing myself for Love. My life with Prince Charming. I haven't done much for that, but it occupied my mind most of the time. I have been in Christ, absolutely. But it's been more of a college activity. Something I have and drip a little of myself into, but I haven't done anything much with it. I'm not dead in my sleep, but I certainly not been awake. Thank you for your inspiring words.

Wolle said...

Hi Katie,

I am impressed about what are you doing. Thank you for all the love you are giving to your new family there. God bless you with strength and patient!
You are a light for these people and people like me hearing about your story.

Thank you,
Christian

Dan Simmons said...

np

Anonymous said...

Katie thank you so much for this post. God works in some amazing ways for my heart because last night I was struggling intensely with thinking about how I had to let go of one who I loved and adored dearly.. and all of the thoughts and emotions that come along with that. It's so encouraging to hear about how intense your story is, with having to have let your man go in a severe way, in order to follow what you knew God wanted you to do. For me, I knew I had to let go because I had to grow as a person and to learn how to be satisfied with only God. It's been a year and I am still struggling and growing in that, in fully be satiated by God and his adoration for me. I connect SO much with your anxiety of feeling that you may not ever be able to experience a connection with someone that lovely and adoring again. And the way that you have discovered that affection and adoration in God, and speak of it in such a raw and open manner, means so much to me.

sarah said...

Dear Katie, I am a 13 year old girl and I have read your book and blog so many times. They make me laugh and cry and long for a closer relationship with God. You are such an encouragement for me. You were willing to go through so much pain to follow Jesus but instead of pain all I see is Joy. You are a living example that you will be happiest only doing what God's purpose for you is. I hope I will be able to find mine. I am beginning to feel that I would like to go on a mission trip someday, but I'm not sure where or when or even why. Please pray for me. I will pray for you and all of your children.
Thanks for being such an encouragement.

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