There is a beauty I couldn't previously fathom that is found in the desert... A desert place literally and figuratively became my dwelling for a couple months while trying my best to be obedient to God's lead. God was clear in leading my steps to Texas... but once I arrived the purpose for my journey that I conjured up in my mind's eye was shattered. In fact all the things I had been to told to expect were not reality and the mission took a much different turn. I found myself being asked by God to carry a message of preservation and stern warning! Not exactly as exciting as sharing the Gospel and delivering little babies to thankful mamas... but still important and necessary for God. I also found that along the most difficult path I've been asked to walk was countless nuggets of promise, new friendships, truth, lessons, and these very still moments to draw nearer to my Creator. So I've been able to reflect on the trials and be incredibly grateful for all the beauty that resulted.
The city itself leaves something to be desired for this PNW native... but I did come to find something surprising: In a predominantly Hispanic population... I actually look like everyone else!! I hadn't even realized that back home I'm not the majority ethnicity... I guess I have also been raised in a family and culture that doesn't look at skin color first (thankfully) but to walk into a public space and have to search for a single blonde was pretty entertaining for me not to mention EVERY SINGLE interaction with a stranger began in Spanish until I explained I'm an English speaker only, LOL!
There was a lot about El Paso that I began to love. Especially the people! Many were so friendly and welcoming! I made a handful of meaningful connections with women at church and some of the volunteers at the youth ministry where I lived. I did however spend SO MUCH time alone... that was hard for me! But I soon found my flow of spending time with Jesus and discovering my favorite places like the ones pictured above! The church family at Abundant Living was like cool water on my dry soul!! The messages, worship, and community were on point! My favorite coffee spot was bike riding distance from home and served the best honey latte with a good side of sunshine on the patio! My home at the Kings Kids base was a true sanctuary of peace! I also enjoyed a local gym, nearby hiking trails, a diner that served delicious authentic Mexican food, and got to tour a local birthing center too!
I don't even ask the question, "Why did I have to go, Lord?"... I can't articulate all the reasons but many are clear now. I needed to be obedient and learn that God's process isn't my own. I needed to learn how to fully rely on God for every single need spiritually, provisionally, and relationally. I needed to walk in the grace and love God made me with to deliver a difficult message with tender strength. I needed to assist in protecting the integrity and safety of potential students and patients by putting a stop to some things. I needed to allow God to build strong communication and trust to give my new relationship depth and longevity as we pursued each other in spite of the distance. I needed to go through the process of simplifying my life, paying off debts, saving finances, and paring down my belongings to free me up for the life I'm living out today! I needed to gain wisdom and experience pertaining to the really hard parts of leadership and honestly... the lesson of...'when nothing goes as planned.' I'm a different person having learned these things and gained these experiences! I'm deeply grateful!
I say that I trust God but...
my unknown future fills me with doubt
I say that I have forgiven but...
I find it so hard to trust
I say that God is good but...
I wonder if His goodness is actually for me.
I change the way I speak depending...
on who I’m around.
I say modesty is important but...
I too want to be noticed and found attractive.
I say hospitality is important but…
I haven’t had a single guest in my home for months.
I say communication is a strength of mine but…
talking to my own family is such a struggle.
I say prayer is powerful but…
I don’t pray with confidence for my own needs.
I say the Gospel should be shared but…
I can't recall the last time I spoke the words to a stranger.
I ask God to use me but…
I’ve hidden away afraid that I can’t be used anymore.
I say that I value my friends but…
I miss opportunities to bless them all the time.
I say that I need people and support but…
I lack transparency to share my needs and seek help.
I'm a hypocrite who needs Jesus daily.
I'm still in progress and its messy.
I'm not nearly perfect but I'm learning to let God lead me.
I'm in need of endless grace, be patient with me.
** I wrote this 2/18/2017 and just found it... I still have many moments like these. Still so very accurate. Jesus help me.
I was 15 the first time I witnessed a newborn take his first breath. I was scrubbed in for my baby brothers C-section... I was enthralled with the nuances of everything I saw... lights, drapes, the bustle of staff, instruments, masks, and the beep of machines, the pulling and tugging to gain access to my mothers womb... the same womb that gave me life! WOW! I watched intently as this little guy emerged flexed, pink and wailing. What an overwhelming and elegant dance it had seemed to be. Choreographed as if they'd done it a thousand times (probably because they had). It was then that I realized I loved medicine and the human body was pretty freakin cool!
It wasn't until years later after I'd working with women in crisis pregnancy that it became startlingly apparent how many tiny lives never get the chance to live, grow up, and experience the abundance of God's love and creation. My motivation for working in midwifery has always come from that instinctive perspective... God designed life, God loves life, God can use us to protect life.
My experiences in labor rooms around the world only deepened my desire to partner with God to protect life. Women and their babies deserve GREAT care: quality, skilled, compassionate, Godly care. I am going back to the drawing board for plans on how to proceed... El Paso was a bust, unfortunately it was never going to be the time or place or team to carry out a healthy sustainable program. Coming to that conclusion after packing up my entire life to relocate was incredibly disappointing, but I can see the purpose in the journey. I had to go, I had to connect with the people I did, I had to deliver an important message, I had to be the one to carry out a difficult task of protecting aspiring midwives, I had to grow through the challenge.
Now that I've returned home, I hope to find ways to stay connected to the local birth community here in Pierce County through midwife assisting, doula work, and serving New Beginnings (a local YWAM maternity home). I'm praying for the right relationships - that one day a team would come together to launch a program to train midwives for missions. Based here in the Pacific Northwest, a school could learn from our thriving midwifery community before taking their skills to share with communities in need around the world. I'm praying for the right doors to open. I'm praying for God to lead me in every way. Speak to me Lord. Show me the way, light the path... and help me be patient for your perfect timing.
My silence hasn’t been intentional... just been busy spending real time with the people that matter in my life!
It was brought to my attention that although I’ve been home for about 2 weeks, I haven’t announced via Social Media that I’m officially back in the Tacoma area for good!
There is a long story involved...full of unexpected set backs, some heartbreaking realizations, some beautiful God-moments, a lot of driving (like so much), the kind of growth that transforms, and many Kingdom encounters along the journey. I’m an open book - so just ask if you’d like the detailed version.
I’m recovering from the disappointments and refueling by spending time with friends, family, and my incredibly supportive and amazing guy! I’m happy to be home and ready to discover what the future looks like here!
I’m deeply thankful for every single person that encouraged me, prayed for me and supported me through it all! I have no regrets, in fact it’s becoming more and more clear why I had to go to El Paso, TX.... God’s way is the best!
I feel like I weathered an intense storm but kept my integrity, faith, and passion intact. Couldn’t have done so without reliance on Jesus! He is the real reason for everything! And I refuse to be reluctant to give Him glory. I’m determined to keep having radical trust and obedience... ♥️