First, I need to thank you all for your immense support and encouragement on my last blog post. While it was hard to write it all out, I am so grateful that so many have seen God's hand and power through my story. He really is just so good!
Lately, I have been been spending a lot of time reading Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis (if you need a book to read I highly recommend it). I have been going through it slowly, simply because it's one of those books that I have needed to put down to process at the end of each chapter. For those who might not know, Katie Davis moved to Uganda after high school to work with sick and orphaned children, and slowly but faithfully she opened up a ministry program for kids in the area and has adopted thirteen little girls in the process. Talk about an amazing and godly woman! I have actually not yet finished the book, but it has quickly become a favorite. Her stories and personal convictions have encouraged my heart, challenged my faith, and reminded me that God's love is truly relentless and that His acts of redemption are all around us. Here a few of my favorite quotes from the book so far...
"God will honor a willing and obedient heart... I was in no way qualified, but I was
available. I have learned that something happens when one makes herself available to
God: He starts moving in ways no one could imagine." (p.43)
"And even though I realize that I cannot always mend or meet, I can enter in. I can enter
into someone's pain and sit with them and know. This is Jesus. Not that He apologizes for
the hard and the hurt, but that He enters in, He comes with us to the hard places.
And so I continue to enter." (p.23)
"Armed with this new sense of who He is and who I was as His servant, I continued
trying to give myself away in every circumstance. I wanted to do God's work, let Him
display Himself through my life, and change my world as much as possible every single
day. Most days, that didn't include anything other people would find impressive. It simply
meant being faithful to the people and responsibilities God had given me." (p.73)
"So much more binds us together than keeps us apart. In Uganda, as in all the nations of
the earth, human beings are hungry for God; they long to live lives filled with purpose
and love... People are people... they need the love and truth of Jesus. I can do that.
We can do that... We can't do it in our own strength or out of our own resources, but as we
follow God to wherever He is leading us, He makes the impossible happen." (p.95)
"The more I give of myself, the more He fills me up. The more I love, the more love I
have to give. God was teaching me the same lessons He desires to teach every
single one of His children, He just chose to bring me to Uganda to do it while others
can learn right where they are." (p.98)
"I certainly don't believe everyone should sell all of their belongings and pack a suitcase
and move to Africa. I don't think people all over the planet should drop everything to go
somewhere far from everything familiar and be missionaries. In fact, I believe
anyone can be a missionary right where they are. Every day, we have a choice. We can
stay nestled in our safe, confortable places... We can let fear of something that really is
small compared to the greatness of God cripple us. Or we can take a risk, do
something to help someone else, make a person smile, change someone's world. Life
to the fullest exists. It's available. All we have to do is decide to get up and embrace it." (p.101)
"But God whispers to me that I really have only one home, and that is with Him. I will never be
content on this earth... It was meant to be that way. My heart was created with a desire for
a home, a nest, a sanctuary, that can be found only with Him in Heaven. And I will
continue bouncing from one home to another, loving with everything I have in whatever
location I currently reside, excitedly awaiting the day when I am called heavenward and
He says to me, "Welcome home."" (pp.128-129)
"I believe that God is in control, yes, but I also believe that I have a choice: I can follow
Him or I can turn my back on Him. I can say yes to Him or I can say no. I can go to
the hard places or I can remain comfortable. And if I remain comfortable, God who loves me
will continue to love me anyway. I may see His glory revealed in my life and recognize His
blessings, but not like I could have. I can miss the will of God... and I don't want to miss what
He has for me. Ever." (p.134)
"I believe that God totally, absolutely, intentionally gives us more than we can handle.
Because this is when we surrender to Him and He takes over, proving Himself by
doing the impossible in our lives... that His glory may be displayed, that we may have no
doubt of who is in control, that people may see His grace and faithfulness shining
through our lives." (p.135-136)
"God is the same yesterday, today, and always. And we are all created in His image.
This means that all these impossible things could just as easily happen for us, too!
Radical, different, extraordinary...they still exist!" (p.153)
And a personal favorite: "People often ask me, "How do you do it?" The answer has never changed and it is so simple: I don't. It's just a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus." (p. 131)
Amen, sister. Amen.