2017… I’m calling it my Golden Year. 🙂 Partly because this year was my golden birthday, turning 25 on the 25th, and also because I am just so excited and expectant for the way God is going to move this year! Knowing His goodness gives me HOPE for my future. Also, I guess you could say I am a real fan of the color gold, especially the blush/gold color combo. 🙂 My journal during this season is even a sparkly gold! Haha.
New Year – I rang in the New Year with precious friends telling Dominicans about the love of God… Can’t get any better than that! 🙂 If you’d like to read about my time there and see pictures, click here.
My d-group leader was married a couple weeks into January, which was so sweet and fun to go to since I had gotten to know both her and her fiancé during our time in the discipleship school. It was a sweet time to celebrate all God had done in each of their lives and His perfect sovereignty over orchestrating their lives uniting together.
A New Home… Last fall when I was praying about what this next season would look like housing wise, God gave me a picture of me driving through a neighborhood. This excited me because I dreamed of living in a house with people from my church, kind of getting tired of apartment life. I had a friend connect me with her friend who I was going to be moving in with three other girls, but I found out it fell through the day I was on the way to leave the country for our mission trip. I was so frustrated and disappointed, because I was so certain I heard God correctly on living in a house and also because when I returned to the US I would not have much time to find somewhere before my lease ended. I remember praying (more like yelling) at God so upset and begging Him that I really needed Him to show up for me in a big way in this area of my life.
Meanwhile, a sweet widow on the advisory board of our church was asking the Lord that if He had a girl to live with her to send her to her. Her granddaughter had lived with her after her husband passed for a few years but then moved out so she was living alone over the past year. I knew of Margie because she is a very gifted Bible teacher and taught a class during discipleship school and also a session at our most recent women’s conference. Our mutual friend Ben (the father I babysit for often and her handyman who did various projects for her) connected us together, as he remembered Margie mention she was wanting a housemate and I had enlisted him and other friends to help me find a place to live.
At first, I was hesitant to live with Margie. I was absolutely floored and honored that she was offering, but in my own insecurity, I felt that I wasn’t worthy to live with someone like her. You see, I had a skewed view of my identity and skewed view of other people, seeing everyone on “levels” or in “circles”, so to say, and in my mind, I was not on the same level or in the same circle as Margie. I remember telling this to God as I was driving, and He gave me a picture that was so powerful and so meaningful that I immediately started crying because it touched my heart in such a deep, sweet way. It was a picture of Jesus, holding His hands out and showing me His scars and the blood on them, and He looked into my eyes with the most heart broken, most loving look in His, and with a pleading tone saying, Kellie, it is with the same blood I died for Margie that I died for you. There is no difference in my love for you. Ever since this moment, I have viewed myself and the world so, so differently, and the Lord is slowly and gently renewing my mind so that I can have His eyes to see how He views other people. It is the most tender, most sweet and most healing process!
It was been a true gift from God to be living with Margie. We have discipleship every Wednesday and we are currently studying Romans 6-8 and our identity in Christ. We both love sappy Hallmark shows and movies and love watching them together. Her house is the most peaceful refuge to come home to after crazy days at work. I’m so thankful to the Lord for orchestrating this in such a perfect way. In my journal, I have written down The Lord’s promise to me He gave me last fall that my next housing would be refreshing and rejuvenating for me, and it definitely is! 🙂 He is faithful to His promises!!!
As I was following His voice as best I could, He redirected my steps and divinely intervened to connect Margie and I together, hearing and answering both of our prayers. If you doubt that God hears you or you hear God – let this story be an encouragement to you!
Alpha Course Ministry – After discipleship school was over, I was simply ecstatic to begin doing ministry and sharing all I had learned with other people so they could share in my joy, too! I signed up to help with the Alpha Course – which is a 6 week program that meets once a week for a dinner and various talks over a basic questions about walking with Jesus. I was partnered with a sweet couple to host a table, which started out full and slowly dwindled down to one woman consistently showing up – but the fruit born from her was incredible!
A single mom with a broken family, she joined the course because she was hungry to know more about God and grow her relationship with Him. As weeks went on, she was more and more open and more and more vulnerable with us, and the dots started connecting for her as she discovered how amazing God is and realizing her identity in Him more and more. It was a truly indescribable experience to see her grow so much in this time! The absolute sweetest moment was the day we talked about how God is our Healer and that He heals today just as He did thousands of years ago in the Bible. That Friday before we met, she had begun to experience a shooting pain beginning in her neck that traveled down to her wrists and it lasted all weekend until even the Monday evening when we met. We asked if we could pray for her, and after we prayed she moved her neck and wrists and started crying and freaking out, shouting “the pain is gone!” What impacted her the most was realizing that she had a God who loved her and who heard her prayers, and cared so much about her that He used healing as one of His signs to show her that. Seriously awesome!
At the table… Something the Lord really taught me with this Alpha course as well as a sermon I attended at one of our church plants was the simplicity but incredible value of sharing a meal with someone. Jesus did it often and with unexpected guests – The title of the pastor’s sermon was literally “Jesus ate with sinners”. He even mentioned the Alpha ministry and how one church was trying to cut on budget so they cut the weekly meal out and just had the sermon, and it dropped the attendance rate in half. Having a meal with someone puts people in a comfortable and familiar setting and breaks down walls so you can really fellowship with them and hear their stories. The Lord also brought to mind the picture He kept giving me last fall of the banquet table, with Him sitting at the head and a place card with my name on it right next to Him, but instead I was crouched in a ball in the corner, too ashamed to sit next to Him. He built on this picture, showing me finally seated at the table with Him, and saying to me, Look, there are place cards with many names and empty seats, go and tell them to join us here! I recall this picture often when I am doing minstry. Friends, we have the incredible honor and invitation to sit and fellowship with Jesus! You have a seat at the table with your name on it, and He will notice if you aren’t there! Jesus also built on this picture during World Mandate, the opening night when Francis Chan spoke. As we were all taking communion together, Jesus gave me a picture of me and Him seated at the table, and Him offering His glass of wine to me after he took a sip. I hesitated, saying, I am not worthy to drink the same cup as you, Jesus! And the Holy Spirit gave me the revelation that while you wouldn’t share a drink with a stranger, you would share a drink with family or close friends. And Jesus nodded and said, go ahead and drink! You are a part of my family. In the picture, I was also wearing a solid white dress, and I was still myself, but a different person. I was a new creation — that is how I was able to be sitting at the table!! To build on this, Margie also got revelation from 2 Samuel 9, when King David’a best friend Jonathon’s died, and he gave his last living relative his son Mephibosheth (who was lame in both feet) the land Jonathon owned and invite him to sit at the king’s table like one of the king’s sons. In verse 8, Mephibosheth (who was from a town called Lo-debar meaning Pastureless) bows down and says, Who am I, that you would notice a dead dog like me?! Oh how often can we identify with Mephibosheth in our interactions with God! It was his relation to Jonathon that got him the invitation to sit at the King’s table — Just like us being in Christ and being adopted into His family gives us the invitation to leave the desolate places and to sit at the King’s table as His sons and daughters!!!
Golden Birthday – I spent my golden birthday weekend in the mountainous and beachy land of San Diego with two of my very best friends! It was so fun, so refreshing and so joy-filled. I love being memorized by the Lord’s creativity beholding His beautiful creation.