Everyone is human. And that means everyone is broken – we all struggle and fight in this life, whether it’s circumstances, others, or our own selves.
I never thought Kobe Bryant would be the one to move me out of my long writing hiatus, but it’s been a strange week, and I’ve been wrestling for a while with thinking that I have things to say, but there are so many words already out there, that it doesn’t really matter in the end. But it kind of does, and keeping thoughts in my brain don’t usually serve a good purpose for anything besides my own mental filing cabinets.
Some would call the death of basketball star Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna tragic. I would agree to an extent – it seems so senseless, a helicopter crash that shouldn’t happened, an absolute star and his little girl and a group of friends taken
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
My mind seeks to organize life in boxes. That’s how I work, and it’s great for many things.
This year has certainly been one to break the boxes. I’ve been challenged, humbled, confronted, and forced to process much–my own sin, my own fears, my own judgments about others that are incorrect and wrong.
I’ve cycled through the topics of race and gender roles and Christians needing to vote too many times to count; I’ve read Matthew, Acts, Hosea, Joel, Luke, Obadiah, and Amos; I’ve completed and started another year of Bible college; I’ve said goodbye to friends and welcomed new ones; I’ve walked with other through mental illness, relational difficulties, anxiety, and a lot of prayer for more faith that God will provide; I’ve been heartbroken over the state of sin in the world more than ever; I’ve discovered a desire to hone my teaching skills; I’ve begun dating a wonderfully complicated
“‘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,
I’m sitting at the breakfast bar in my parents’ kitchen. It’s 9:30pm and I’m knocking back coconut chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven, courtesy of my mom and her practical love.
I’m thinking about a lot of things. Tomorrow I leave the Northwoods after a short stint home to begin: Year 4. I feel so funny about starting my last year at Bible College in the big city when three years ago, freshmen orientation was happening and I was scared to walk down the street by myself. In my head it’s only been about a week and maybe five minutes.
This summer, I completed an internship serving in suburbia with a local church’s women’s ministry. I have written a paper encapsulating my current philosophy of ministry to women, studied the Word immensely, took ownership of my retirement account, and upgraded my solo-highway-driving skills. I have struggled with anxieties, calling, future,
It’s funny how He does it.
My life has consisted of a progressive unfolding, a journey of steps and many, many doors. My heart has been rent and reformed dozens of times–expectations derailed, God switching my direction, people hurting me, me hurting people, disillusionment, and other assorted inconsistencies with my fallen logic about how things are supposed to be. The Lord always uses it to grow me into a deeper disciple.
This moment is a moment of sweetness, a door that has been steadily opening in segments with little slits of light peeking through. God has been showing me glimpses of the future by intersecting my present: affirmations that I am gifted and blessed, future plans falling into place, expressions of love by my family and dearest friends, reminders that our God is the Lord of all.
I sometimes stare into space, mentally pinching myself because it’s hard to believe that I am
Fact: I’m in the library. Fact 2: I’m wearing a red t-shirt. Fact 3: Distorted Bible teaching makes me want to scream.
In my ministry methodology class, Dr. M said that accurate biblical teaching is the foundation for a church ministry, and I agree.
Why is it so hard to teach the truths of the Word today? Why can’t churches be doing what God has asked us to do? How come believers refuse to be uncomfortable, ask hard questions, see beyond March Madness and what the Kardashians are scandalizing today? One healthy helping of biblical illiteracy, fresh out of the oven!
I think it’s because we’re afraid.
If we truly believe what the Bible says about God and us, then many of us would be living with a ton more humility, reverent fear, and urgency. If we truly lived out the commands in the Bible, then we would conduct ourselves so differently. If we walk