Chicago

/Tag: Chicago

February

I’m almost six months into my new job. Some parts still feel new to me, but I’m grateful and blessed by my coworker’s words that accurate describe my happy situation:

“It’s like God put a Kaitlyn-shaped hole right here at church, and you’ve just fit right in.”

One of my favorite parts of my job is corresponding and caring for our 75+ missionaries around the world. Several of them are retired after serving faithfully for many years–in Africa, in the US doing rural church planting, in the untouched places of South America. I deeply admire their commitment, resolving to follow God’s call as fresh twenty-somethings who, sometimes with their spouses, sometimes alone, ventured out on ships to translate the Bible and teach it when being a missionary meant living in a dirt hut and taking malaria medicine that makes you lose your hearing.

One of our dear ladies I decided to call and

February2018-02-09T03:37:32+00:00

Wisdom from Pooh

I am in the process of ending Year 4. I will soon cross the stage. I will shortly have my piece of paper. I will be sent.

Bible College has been the most incredible experience of my life. Trying to say goodbye “well” has involved a large, Hermoine Granger-sized mixed bag of emotions. This has been my favorite season, favorite place on earth, and now it is time to leave.

Maggie took me to a ridiculously sketchy-but-good grilled cheese dive tonight for one last spontaneous dinner. God continues his profound stooping as he constantly uses agents to encourage me and mediate his love. I love the Body of Christ for this reason and so many more.

Reading Romans 8 shows the tension between the already-but-not-yet world we live in. There are goodbyes, and pain, and sufferings, yes, but we as Christians await the new heavens and the new earth, we have hope that

Wisdom from Pooh2017-04-25T04:30:19+00:00

Jacob and the Ladder

How many people does it take to tell you something and actually believe it is true?

To tell you that the objective of life is not to just escape through with the least amount of scars, and to bemoan the ones you carry?

To tell you that you are beautiful, a treasure, worth a suffering and a sacrifice?

To tell you that your sins and flaws and edges and grotesque deformities don’t negate unconditional love from your Father in heaven?

 

Wrestling with the truth leaves you tired. I’ve been mulling over all these things, which have come to light this semester as I’ve been reading and writing and contemplating my life and post-Year-4 existence. I’ve been studying Ruth and Hosea and Genesis and 1 Samuel and realizing the same God who was there in the beginning has always been relational and has always mourned the disobedience of his people.

I have read examples over and

Jacob and the Ladder2016-10-24T03:37:56+00:00

Proper Lives Lived

“‘Dear God,’ she prayed, ‘let me be something every minute of every hour of my life.’”
—Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

 

 

Her parents started a major missions organization that impacts thousands of Eastern European youth each year and has ignited a gospel hunger where the Iron Curtain once hung. Her mom wrote a book detailing the life story of their family and how the mission happened by God’s grace and leading. I am privileged to call this dear sister a very close friend. Her faith and contentment inspire me.

As I skimmed the memoir her mom wrote of saying “Yes” to God, I’ve been thinking about how every fiber of my being longs to live a life of “Yes”– to God’s plan, will, and promises.

The hard part about saying, “I surrender all” to God is that there’s a ton of suffering that accompanies that, because God uses trials to shape us,

Proper Lives Lived2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

Proper Goodbyes

Tears welled up in his eyes and his throat closed shut and he creaked out the words between swallows.

“I don’t want to write a book…I don’t need a big church…if you guys email me or call me in five, ten, fifteen, thirty years and tell me you’re still following Jesus, that’s all I want.”

That is my college pastor’s desired legacy. I yearn to have that same devotion to Christ, to people.

Today was his last Sunday morning with us. I’ve been encouraged, inspired, and fed under the teaching of this incredible pastor for the past 8 months. He has called out potential in me, stimulated the faith of others, and welcomed countless students into him and his family’s lives.

As I read the book of Genesis, I’m seeing the incredible faith and devotion of Abraham. Like my pastor, I look at this guy who demonstrated such a devotion to God’s call. My

Proper Goodbyes2016-09-12T04:02:06+00:00

Broken Batteries

“I’ve been told I’m just a body.”

“I struggle feeling like I’m too broken for God to actually use me.”

“I think God sees me as a piece of dirt.”

“I look so ugly unless I wear makeup.”

“I never want to be raped again.”

Heartbreak, over and over again. I am sitting across Starbucks tables, carpet floors, couches, cups of tea and coffee when I hear these words. My spirit is continually rent by the twisted lies coming out of the mouths of these women, young twenty-somethings who have been repressed and depressed and caged by various turmoils.

I am small. So. Terribly. Small. What on earth am I supposed to say, when the backstories come out and I haven’t lived through half of the nightmares of half of these voices? What do you offer souls that have been busted? How can I reverse a lifetime of degradation at the hands of an abusive father,

Broken Batteries2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

So, Does this Outfit Make Me Look Relevant…?

“Do you have Instagram?”

I looked at the man across the counter of the donut shop and shook my head. He was trying to connect me with the store’s coupon offer. Needless to say, I couldn’t jump on the bus.

I twaddle back and forth with the lingering frustration that I don’t fit in to my generation. Oh sure, in many ways, I am certainly a Millennial:

-I remember when terrorism wasn’t a thing

-I remember the advent of cell phones and pre-HD days (hey there, 2004, nice slow-mo effect in that movie)

Despite shared life experiences, in many ways, I feel irrelevant among my demographic. This unfortunately can extend to the Bible College cafeteria.

Problem 1: I have a deep heart for the lost of my generation. And I struggle to connect with them.

Subpoint B: How can I preach the Gospel to Millennials if I loathe social media?

Must I become all things to all people

So, Does this Outfit Make Me Look Relevant…?2019-10-08T02:29:18+00:00

I’d like to order one Rapture, please…

It’s hard to look at the monstrous expectations of your future and of yourself and not be overwhelmed. I want to grow up well. I want to do this life thing right, honor God, finish strong. Keep going….

There are plenty of folks in Scripture I can see parallels with. It’s hard not to feel like Timothy sometimes, staring at a rag-tag congregation of Ephesians who are veering into idolatry and Paul’s far away and it’s up to his youthful, dreadfully inexperienced self to protect the deposit of truth and lead them back. The pressure against maintaining the Gospel even among his own was very real.

It’s hard not to feel like Daniel, a kid in a foreign land where they’re forcing him to melt into a new identity and making him do things his Jewish mother would gasp at, and he’s navigating the war between inner resolve and compromise. The pressure

I’d like to order one Rapture, please…2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

The Heart Pumper

Oftentimes, I feel like there is nothing more to say.

What is the significance of “my contribution” to any of this world? Writing, thoughts, opinions, convictions, definitions, loves, hates?

What on earth do I have to offer? Hasn’t everything already been felt, expressed, acted on enough times?

I am a small woman attempting to serve her Maker. I have been given gifts and circumstances, but everything I am doing is because of God working through me. It is a humbling gestalt to realize that, despite my abilities to create, illumine, influence humans, do a good work here or there–I am incapable of doing anything outside of God, who gives me a breath and a heartbeat, a breath and a heartbeat, but I am furthermore incapable of doing anything to please him unless he changes me and works goodness through me. Praise his name eternally, for he has, by the blood of his Son

The Heart Pumper2019-10-08T02:29:19+00:00

Pieces

Crumbs. Pieces. Fragments. Slices.

The Bible, when you think about it, doesn’t offer us that much. This book is, by its own attestation, God’s complete self-revelation, everything he believes is necessary for us to know about him, ourselves, and this world in order to live the way we were meant to. And all we have? Some history of an obscure people group in the Middle East, poetry, strange prophecies from even stranger times, and some random letters written by preachers on the run. Not much.

But this is everything. Life, truth, light. We can KNOW GOD through these seemingly-random desert scribblings. This is how the Creator and Redeemer of the universe has decreed it, and the fact that he used the vehicle of language is shocking. When you examine the Bible through the lens of humility, of knowing God, this is what you see.

Currently, I am staring at a dusty passage from

Pieces2016-01-29T20:07:41+00:00