I’m Glad Jesus is Okay with the Journey

David’s obedience didn’t start with being King of Israel.

Abraham’s faithfulness didn’t start by carrying Isaac up the mountain.

Their stories are more than just peaks and valleys. When we limit them to such, we miss the progressive nature of it all; we miss the emotional process that were their lives and walks with God. In any given description, Abraham is either “faithful father of our faith” or “weak, doubting father of Ishmael.” David is “King of Israel after God’s own heart” or “adulterous murderer.” Their process of trusting God was so much more than that.

The problem isn’t necessarily that we limit their stories to the peaks and valleys, but the ways that that narrowness distorts a view of our own stories. It allows for illegitimate comparison, where we can be someone with “more” faith than Abraham when he sleeps with Hagar, “as much” faith as Gideon when he puts the fleece out twice, or “less” faith than David standing before Goliath. It doesn’t do justice to the fact that our incredible God is one of patience, grace, and commitment to our human processes. It makes it about us.

The kingdom of God isn’t comparative. It’s not about how “big” of a jump we’ve made into trusting and obedience. Because, ultimately that “bigness” is relative anyway. Jesus offers us grace for the moment.

The reality is that human faith is never perfect. Abraham and David have valleys because there’s a lot of humanity mixed into our divine obedience. Lest we ever think that our trust in the Lord has anything to do with the righteousness in us or that we’re too committed to obedience to screw it up. Let me reiterate to my own heart: it. is. not. about. me.

So, when we put the stories in the context of the journey, we see growth. And growth is encouraging because it reflects our own walk with Jesus.

David’s faith began back in the field, when he trusts God to help him watch over the sheep in his care. It grows again when he is anointed by Samuel, while Saul is still on the throne. It grows, yet again, when he stands before Goliath. And again, when Saul is threatening his life and David is on the run. He didn’t start with the faith of a king after God’s heart. David started by being obedient to the thing that required the biggest amount of faith in front of him, whether it was sheep, a warrior, a king, or a kingdom. By the time David gets to the death of his child or the death threats of his other child, his eyes are so oriented towards the Lord that the outcome of the faith matters less than the Object of it. He’s intimately acquainted with God and that’s what matters.

It’s the same thing with Abraham. We hail Abraham for his unquestioned willingness to sacrifice Isaac, but that action is the result of decades of putting all his hope and trust in the Lord, not the promises themselves. He’s willing to leave all that he knows in his homeland to follow God, which was the biggest act of faith that he could probably envision at the time. His faith is tested again when God promises him a child – with a twenty-five year waiting period attached.

It’s not just the stories of Scripture that encourage me in this, either.

There’s a missionary whose example, story, and unquestioned dependance on Jesus have, quite literally, changed my life. She’s seen God move in powerful ways through her wholehearted commitment to Him. She believes that Jesus really is who He says He is and that He moves when we’re in positions to need Him to. I see the ways she doesn’t question the promises of God and the ways she walks in bold expectancy for impossible things. I’ve seen the outcomes of that faith (and they’re incredible). When I’m doing the comparison thing, my faith feels pretty weak next to hers. My current walk of trusting feels less like a peaceful stroll and more like a jungle. The vines and thickets are barricading doubts, questions, or anxieties that seem to keep popping up in my heart. Somebody hand me a machete, please.

But, the Kingdom of God isn’t comparative. He’s asking me to depend on Him in the places that feel the biggest, for me, right now. Right now, I don’t need the faith of Abraham on the mountain, David on the throne, or a missionary before a whole system of injustice; I need the faith of a twenty-three year old before future-deciding applications and a faithful, gracious God.

Trusting Jesus in the decision to go to Wheaton five years ago felt like a crazy leap of faith. It was far, expensive, cold, and I had no first-hand experience with the campus or anyone who’d been. Deciding to go was all about obedience to Jesus, not my plan. None of it made conventional sense and people didn’t hesitate in telling me so. I knew that for God to get the glory, I couldn’t be in control – but, at the time, it felt like I was jumping off a pretty intimidating ledge. At the time, I would have been hard pressed to envision a decision that required more faith. Signing that deposit was a wholeheartedly peaceful and uncomfortable surrender.

My seventeen-year-old self was not ready for the rhythms of trust that I’m walking in right now. This feels a little deeper, a little harder, a little more; the jump feels that much higher. It makes me smile to think of my trust five years ago. I couldn’t have known Christ’s trustworthiness like this or what leap would be next.

Hopefully, my thirty year old self will read back on this and smile too. I hope that this step of trust feels small someday, in light of new dependance on God and obedience for His glory. I’m just glad I don’t know what that is yet.

I’m grateful that Jesus is big enough to handle the biggest thing He’s calling me to, whatever that is today and ten years from now. I’m grateful that he doesn’t compare my faith like I do. I’m grateful that the “I believe but help my unbelief” prayer was included in Scripture and isn’t unfamiliar to Christ. I’m grateful that He’s committed to the journey, even when I resent it. I’m grateful that a mustard seed is enough.

Walking with Jesus isn’t passive. It’s an active, daily dying to self and choosing obedience to the things that He calls us to, the things that feel crazy, overwhelming, or impossible. It doesn’t have to be Abraham’s mountain or David’s kingship. At least, not yet. It’s less about the “stage” of trusting that we’re in or how big the thing He’s leading us into feels. What matters is that, for whatever it is, we’re all in with Jesus.

It’s the “further up and further in” process of trusting. It’s a faithfulness that isn’t ours but that of an infinitely good, kind, and faithful God.

He can be trusted with all we are, all we have, and all we hope for, until the day when He is all of those things in us. The goal is to be one day closer to that day.

8 Favorite (Commute-Tested) Podcasts

Fun fact 1: I do a lot of driving. Currently, I enjoy a 45-minute commute to-and-from my home and school (and grad school friends), and a 20-minute commute to church.

Fun fact 2: I actually enjoy driving. It gives me a weirdly therapeutic space to think, where I have to be actively focused on the road but don’t have any other distractions or competing pressures. Sometimes, if I’m feeling thoughtful or reflective, I’ll talk out loud and record it on my phone, to then transcribe into my journal later. They’re awkward to listen back on but when I’m driving back from night class at 10pm, we do what we gotta do, ya know?

Fun fact 3: I’m also a big “car-performer.” The highway is my stage, Spotify provides my soundtrack, and the steering wheel is my mic. Neighboring cars judge, but honestly it’s their loss.

When I’m not talking to myself or pretending I’m at a Broadway audition, I enjoy a good podcast. I’ve cycled through my fair share. Podcasts are a tricky business – sometimes they sound too superficial, sometimes they sound to academic, and sometimes the content is just strange. It’s a delicate balance.

Podcasts are like any other form of entertainment: everyone’s got a preference. I’m not saying that these podcasts are for everyone. But in my limited search over these past two years, these some of the ones that I keep coming back to. Obviously this is not a sponsored endorsement and I am not throwing myself behind all of the content (because, let’s be real, for most of them, I’ve only listened to a couple episodes). But in general? 10/10 would recommend.

 

This is probably one of my favorite podcasts, for the way that it combines easy-to-listen-to conversation with incredibly deep topics. Don’t be fooled by the beauty of the website: this is not wishy-washy Christianity; Kayla, Lindsy, and Shannon don’t shy away from the hard questions. Gentrification, ethical fashion, and finance are just some of the topics that they aren’t afraid to get into the nitty gritty of. It feels like you’re sitting around a coffee table, listening to real women wrestle through the beautiful and messy realities of our life in Christ.

Favorite episode(s): Gentrification, Downward Mobility, Radical Hospitality

 

  • Journey Women: Life’s a journey and we were never meant to walk alone

This is another one that’s pretty low key, in terms of its intensity, but is incredibly authentic and thought-provoking. Hunter Beless interviews “mentor”-type women (and men) about an area of their ministry or testimony. Similar to Upside Down, it’s great because you can choose a topic, clearly labeled in the title, based on things you’ve been thinking about recently. The result is lots of stories and encouragement, from people who could be having the conversation in your backseat.

Favorite episode(s): Sharing the Gospel with Sarah Pape, Waiting with Ann Swindell

 

This is my favorite apologetic podcast. The questions are relevant and the dialogue is always honest and fair for both sides. Topics range from inter-Christian debates on things like abortion, role of women, the existence of hell, or sexuality, to inter-faith/atheist dialogues, on topics like the existence of God, approaches to poverty alleviation, Jesus and Allah, or the separation of church and state. While Brierley is a Christian, his moderation of the discussions is gracious and unbiased; the point is constructive debate and agree-to-disagree dialogue. In a world of hostile, polarizing opposition and flame-throwing rhetoric, it’s refreshing to hear people converse with civility, integrity, and intellectual strength.

Favorite episode(s): As if – I’m not about to tell you what my favorite topics of debate are. Honestly though, it’s hard to pick and choose with this one, because there are so many (they go back to 2007!) and the topics are so expansive.

 

Who doesn’t love a good Ted Talk? For as varied as Unbelievable is when it comes to apologetics, Ted Talks daily is that much more expansive, in every content area. If you don’t find at least one episode that you like from this podcast, I’d encourage you to expand your interests. Seriously, there’s a myriad (new ones every day) and they’re quality talks from experts. The best part? They’re short (most of them are between 5-20 minutes), so if you’ve got a quick drive, get bored easily, or if you’re not super into the one you picked, it’s not a huge commitment.

Favorite episode(s): A practical way to help the homeless find work and safety (Richard J. Berry)

 

  • Serial: Tells one story – a true story – over the course of a season

This one may not be for everyone, but if you know my family, you know we’re big into Forensic Files and NBC’s Dateline. We recently watched Netflix’s The Keepers and Making of a Murderer. In another life, we might have been a family of detectives. What is fun about this podcast is the ways it feels like a TV show or movie. It’s less thought-provoking, in terms of change-your-life content, but it’s no less engaging. The story and narrative structure is sure to keep you awake on late-night drives. When I started this podcast, I found myself  leaving earlier and earlier for my commute, so that I could find out what happened next.

Favorite episode(s): THE WHOLE THING (!!)

 

I listen to a lot of podcasts on missions, missionaries, and ministry. But, since a lot of them are conference podcasts, meaning they’re from a 2015 missions conference and aren’t producing new content, I’ve opted to leave them off this list. Engaging Missions, however, is a current podcast with new content every week related to life on mission. Topics range from support raising to spiritual refreshment to specific trends or movements of God around the world. If you’re a missionary, going on a missions trip, or are interested in the cross-cultural ministry of Christians around the world, there’ll be something in this podcast that stirs your spirit.

Favorite episode(s): Eastern Europe and the Power of Prayer, How to Write Great Missionary Support Letters, How Love Conquers Fear in a Majority Muslim Nation

(Global Missions is another good one on the topic of cross cultural missions)

 

  • Hope Writers: Online membership community for writers of hope

Another content-specific one for you, if you’re a writer or like listening to podcasts on writing, this is a fun one. The conversations center around writing, whether it’s dreams, practicalities, or realities of writing, publishing, and inspiring hope. The titles make the content clear, which is helpful. You won’t end up listening to a conversation on book launching, when you’re really looking to hear about how to make time for writing.

Favorite episode(s): Ian Cron – Enneagram for Writers, Ann Voskamp – Inside the Writer’s Heart

 

It’s important, like with anything else, that my podcast exposure match the diversity of the world and the body of Christ. If I’m only listening to people who look, sound, and think like me, then I’m missing valuable content, perspectives, and voices. While the other podcasts I’ve mentioned bring those in through speakers and a variation in content, Propaganda and Alma do it by nature of who they are. They talk, with wit and honesty about relevant, critical topics of today. It’s an upbeat, thoughtful listen.

Favorite episode(s): S01 Bonus Episode

 

If you’ve got any favorites, I’m always looking for new ones! I’d love to hear #sharethewealth.

 

A Season of Socks?

I got a lot of socks this Christmas.

Socks are one of those Christmas gifts that get a lot of attention because of their disappointing nature. With the exception of something like a plunger, socks are one of the most lackluster, practical gifts you can get. When they’re in competition with literally any other gift, socks seem to lose every time. The younger the recipient, the more likely the loss.

In fact, the only reason that my privileged self was excited about getting socks this Christmas is because, at twenty-three and living in the Midwest, I see the value of keeping my feet warm. And when you work part-time for a church, socks can quickly become a luxury item that eats away at your budget.

What do socks have to do with anything? I think, and stay with me on this, that these next two months are season of getting “socks” from the Lord.

If you know me or are following the story, you know that I submitted an application that, at least at this point, the current plan for my future is dependent on. By early November, I had confirmation, on all sides, about specific, future missions work. Not only was it confirmation from the missions organization and the city’s current team, but it seemed like consistent confirmation Lord. Believe me when I say I’m ready to go. Perhaps even more than just “going,” I’m ready for clarity. I’m ready to move forward in the plans of the Lord, regardless of what they end up looking like.

But I can’t.

My hands are tied until at least the end of January, more likely the beginning of March.

There’s nothing else to process or pray about. The search for confirmation and discernment has been called off. There’s nothing else for me to do but wait. I’m living the epitome of “it’s out of my hands and all up to Jesus.”

I was praying, admittedly from a place of impatience, the other night. I found myself a little disoriented, fumbling around my Scripture reading and worship, in light of the question-heavy nature of my relationship with Jesus these past few months. All the sudden there was nothing to ask, no specific thread that needed pressing into.

This time is a gift, Maddie.

“Okay, sure. All my time with you is a gift, Lord. Times of waiting are always a gift.” I brushed it off. Believe me when I say that I’ve done seasons of waiting with the Lord before. But then again:

This time is a gift, Maddie.

Since the summer, my prayers have revolved around questions of missions and calling.

Come March 2, regardless of the outcome of the application, the reality of my life will resurface that.

But for two months, there aren’t questions driving my spiritual life. Everything is in a rhythm (or out of my hand). And here is Jesus, saying that this time is a gift.

 

It was only after a Holy-Spirit-inspired revelation, after I heard my answer to a friend’s “how are you doing” inquisition, that I got it. That I realized that He’s giving me a season of socks – and how simple that may seem, but how necessary it really is.

My answer to a simple “how are you doing” revolved around the future, my waiting, the application, and missions. It seems innocent enough but, without realizing it, I had linked what I may be doing with how I actually am. Those are two very different things, and they are both grasping for control of my soul and identity.

The reality of who I am in Christ had become dangerously muddled with what He’s leading me into. Season that force me to ask questions about work, calling, vocation, and ability run that risk. It is so easy for my identity to get tied up in my circumstances when, realistically, those are the things that I need the Lord to speak into. I know that in March the temptation will return to sync my identity with what I’m doing and what God is calling me to.

But, for two months, He’s all but removed that temptation.

He’s giving me a gift that is practical and necessary, however lackluster it may appear. I need a season, regardless of how short, of re-learning what it means to just be Jesus’. Because He loves me, is for me, and is good. Full stop.

I need to be reminded of what God thinks of me and what it means to be with Him, irrespective of anything else.

I’m not saying that I’m 100% sold on this “gift of socks season.” It’s a hard sell that waiting is the greatest thing in the world. Like with socks, I appreciate them a little more than I might have five years ago, but there are other gifts that I think I’d prefer. But that’s why He’s the Giver, and I’m not.

Because what could be better, what could be more necessary, than the gift of just being His?

Stop complaining and put on the socks, Maddie. Enjoy this time of learning what it means to just be with me. To be loved by me. If my love for you never went beyond this, right here, knowing that I love you, it would be enough. I want this to be a time that you look back on when the demands are a lot, when you forget that I don’t see you as “faithful servant” first. There’s nothing that you can do these next two months, nothing you have answers to, no spectacular story to share, nothing that makes you look spiritual. So find me when you feel like you have little to give, when your faith feels small. I’ve wired your for things and set about my plans in your life, which you follow in costly obedience, but Maddie, what you were ultimately built for was just to be mine. I want to teach you about the consistency of my nature in a season where I’ve given you little else to hold onto. You may not know what I’m doing, but you know who I am. You may not know what you are doing, but know who you are. Let me remind you of exactly who you are. 

When Healing Isn’t What You Thought

Disclaimer: this is a little long and pretty honest, so read at your own discretion.

“I, too, have known years of waiting – years of hoping and praying and dreaming of a cure no doctor could offer, years of waiting for a healing encounter with Jesus. Every new morning  was a reminder that I was promised no healing and guaranteed no end stamp on the condition I carried. . .It was in the middle of these questions and prayers and confusion that I found myself waiting for a God I couldn’t always make sense of or understand. But I met him in the waiting. And for me, that changed everything.” Ann Swindell, Still Waiting 

Every time I get my period without medication, it’s a miracle. Like a “Jesus really came through” miracle. Not the kind that is easy to talk about, but still glorious nonetheless. I want to share with you why.

I got my first period right after my thirteenth birthday.

And as you should be at thirteen, I was so excited. It meant I was less of a kid and more like my twenty-year-old babysitter who I thought was pretty much the coolest person since Hilary Duff.

This was my face after realizing my period had started up again in the airport before our trip to Europe. Shoutout to my grandma who found pads at an airport kiosk! Little did I know that my period wouldn’t stop for another 5 weeks.

I didn’t get my second period until months later. And it lasted for six weeks. Six weeks. That’s six weeks of PMS, cramps, and hormone levels, on top of my already crazy adolescent emotions. Tired, overwhelmed, and anemic, I saw the only gynecologist who would take on a thirteen year old. Pitying the poor, exhausted girl in front of her, I was put on the strongest birth control she could prescribe. It seemed like a one-stop-shop answer.

As the months went by and my birth control prescription kept changing because of insurance, it became alarmingly apparent that something wasn’t working. I had noticed a little weight gain and increased lethargy, but it was my emotions that proved to be the most concerning. I was on high levels of synthetic hormones and, at fourteen, I was self-aware enough to realize that something felt very, very wrong. When asked by my parents, I would describe myself as feeling detached, apathetic, and unaware. I felt like I was watching my life instead of living it, like I was in a daze or a dream. I didn’t seem to care about anything in a life that, months before, had been vibrant and energetic. I found myself wanting to sleep as often as possible, though often struggling with insomnia at night. There were daily headaches. Hot flashes. The need to hide my birth control from my church friends to avoid being questioned.

By fifteen, doctors were concerned enough to take an ultrasound and fifteen vials of blood. As they massaged the ultrasound machine over my abdomen, my thoughts were less about my impending diagnoses and more about how awkward it was going to be when I peed all over the examining table. I made it out of the examining room sans embarrassment and waited for answers.

“We don’t really know what is wrong. But you probably have PCOS.”

PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is an endocrine disorder that affects 1 in 10 women. As a syndrome, the diagnosis comes from your symptoms and there is no cure. It’s categorized by cysts on your ovaries, irregular periods, weight gain, insulin resistance, anxiety, depression, insomnia, digestive issues, and infertility. I was like the poster child for genetically inherited PCOS. It varies in strength and affects every woman uniquely and individually.

It’s hard to struggle with things that aren’t visible. Most PCOS symptoms aren’t, and the ones that are, like weight gain, can always be blamed on something else. When you acting irritable, exhausted, and anxious, it’s easy for people to write it off as annoying. It’s harder for people to “get it,” to believe that something really is off, when they can’t see it. And when it’s attached to inherently female issues and hormones, it can make people a tad uncomfortable.

at a dance competition in 2009

So, silently and often alone, I tried to fix it myself. I kept a journal. I spent time with Jesus. I tried to maintain friendships. I ate healthy. I danced competitively. But despite my best efforts, I still did not feel like myself and I continued to gain weight.

And that began to cause other problems. Dance teacher’s told me that if the XL leotard didn’t fit that they would have to special order a bigger size. We would be measured for costumes and our measurements would be called out, which all the girls would later compare. We’d try on our booty shorts and, while everyone else complained that theirs were falling off, I struggled to make mine not look like they were tailor-made for a stripper. Friends would bring cupcakes for their birthday and I would feign a stomach ache. Without realizing it was happening, my world suddenly became about how I looked, what I weighed, and what I ate. Getting a solo or mastering a triple pirouette didn’t seem to matter when I heard girls snickering about how I was the biggest in the company. My crushes were exploited for laughs and my body was used as a punchline.

My medical diagnoses swirled with the reality of my teenage life into a perfect storm of disordered eating. I would go hours without eating. I would count calories. Skip meals. I would come home from hours at dance to do more workout videos. On occasion, I’d jam a toothbrush down my throat to try and make myself throw up. Then, when I got hungry, I often found that I couldn’t stop – I’d binge on a whole jar of peanut butter or pack of cookies. And I’d beat myself up about it, crying myself to sleep and vowing to do better tomorrow.

junior year of college, hiking in Colorado, on a new medication and feeling very sick

When I lost weight, people would comment. When I gained weight, people would comment. Everyone had an opinion on my body and everybody had an opinion on PCOS: if you lose weight, it’ll go away. Everything will stabilize if you would just lose 10, 15, 20lbs. One gynecologist even suggested that I tried belly dancing, offering that maybe my weight gain was just a workout plateau. I tried every medication – ones to help stabilize my hormones, ones to help lose weight, ones to help with insulin resistance, ones to help regulate my period, ones to help with my headaches or insomnia. But none of it worked.

 

With every new doctor, every new lab result, and every worsening symptom, I kept crying out to Jesus: Why won’t you just heal me?

He healed the woman with the problem of blood and all she had to do was touch His clothes. My problem felt eerily similar and yet, month after month, the headaches, the weight gain, the mood swings, the insomnia, the irregular periods journeyed with me. Jesus, in your power and for your glory, won’t you please heal me?

That is still my prayer.

For me, full healing still hasn’t come.

But the funny thing about healing is that it doesn’t take completeness to see miracles. It doesn’t take victory on the other side to assure you of Christ’s presence with you in it. In a season that reminds us of the blessings of God in the midst of waiting (advent), I’ve come to see my journey of healing the same way.

Because while PCOS, it’s associated symptoms, and the remnants of my teenage eating disorder still creep their way into my daily life, I’ve found healing in vulnerability. I’ve found healing in people who believed me, who didn’t tell me to try not eating after 7pm to lose weight, but instead cried with me as I told them my story. Who believed that when I told them that I was experiencing gut-wrenching stomach pain or that I couldn’t fall asleep until 2am, that I wasn’t exaggerating.

I’ve found healing in giving myself freedom, in the permission to both enjoy my life and be honest about my physical pain or emotions, especially when they mean leaving a situation. I’ve found physical things that work – vitamins that help supplement low levels, always having ibuprofen on hand, watching silly TV shows when I can’t sleep, or not eating breakfast until later in the day.

I’ve found healing in clinging to Jesus when the day feels long, stress emphasizes my symptoms, I can’t fit into an old pair of jeans, or it all just feels like too much. I let Him take my tears and frustration and anger. An incomplete healing propels me closer to my Savior, as I put my hope and expectancy in Him and the empathy He demonstrated on the cross.

My story of healing isn’t over, but in reality, none of our stories of healing are over. I know, with full confidence, that all Jesus would have to do is say the word and my cystic ovaries would look shiny and smooth. My wacky hormone levels would be balanced. My sleepless nights would be peaceful and I wouldn’t need carry a sweater around in the summer. But if that never happens, it doesn’t make Him less loving or faithful.

cliff jumping in Turkey, in the summer of 2017 – living into the freedom and hope of life in Christ

For as much as I believe that the Lord can heal my PCOS, I know now that He may not. I may never have biological children. I may always get headaches, have digestive problems, struggle with insomnia, and find myself unable to regulate my weight. But you know what? That isn’t the worst thing because it, quite literally, keeps me clinging to Jesus. I recognize, everyday, that I cannot do this without Him.

My hope is in the healing and redemption of eternity, not of this life.

My hope is in my risen Christ.

I won’t be living in a redeemed body until I’m standing before my Jesus, face to face. And if that means I have to carry PCOS in my bones (or, more accurately, my reproductive organs), for the rest of my life, that’s okay. He gets to

chose the story that brings Him glory. And, as He’s proven time and time again, He is faithful.

Holidays in Ministry

I remember coming home from Palm Sunday service in April, with a full and exhausted heart. I shuffled through the front door of my college house, hands full of overflowing tote bags, into what was an equally full kitchen. I remember being greeted with a dozen high-pitched welcomes and rapid-fire questions that I’d grown to… Read more. . .

Open Palms and Applications

Trust is not a new topic for my thoughts, my prayer life, nor for this blog. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned and written about trusting Jesus over the past five years and a little update about where we are now: In 2013, I wrote about what it looked like to trust… Read more. . .

To Not be Remembered

It was about halfway through the promotional video that I realized they were using my words on the voiceover. Every subsequent word confirmed it. Excitement rose up in my bones: they were using my letter! I would be named at the end of the video! I was surprised that no one had asked permission, but I… Read more. . .

But I Said I’d Go Anywhere.

Way back when, I told Jesus that I’d go anywhere He wanted to send me. I’d be obedient to anything He told me to do. I’d hold nothing back. And in classic Maddie fashion (is this just me, y’all?), I had a sort of idea about what that would mean. The sentiment to go anywhere… Read more. . .

When Jesus Speaks

It’s no secret that I’ve done a lot of prayer these past few weeks regarding where the Lord is leading me. Specific, bold, expectant prayers for clarity and provision. There’s been a lot of asking, listening, and keeping an awareness of His voice throughout the day. What country. What people group. What city. What timeline.… Read more. . .

Don’t be Like Usain Bolt, Be like Jesus.

The realities of how our world, and more specifically our American culture, is structured are such that the demands are never ending. What concerns me in this? The church has structured herself in the same sort of way. It’s not uncommon to have a pastor who is planting a church, while sitting on the city council board, leading… Read more. . .