The Power of a Woman

I look around me and see so.many. different things that women are being pressured to do or be…..
Strong. Proud. Educated. Self Sufficient. Beautiful. Desirable. Able to speak their minds. Able to stand up for themselves. Capable. Articulate. Fit. Accomplished. Unblemished. etc etc etc etc
I’ve seen it, I’ve felt it, I’ve LIVED in the pull to live in a way that fights to convince myself more than anyone that I have got it all together, thank you very much and truly……it’s all exhausting. Trying to hold it together, to not need anyone and to look GREAT while doing it. Trying to keep the pain at bay, press past it and not let anyone see it lest they think for a moment that I may be vulnerable….may be just as weak and frail and wounded as they are.

Life, is beautiful and wild and worth living intentionally with every breath every day, but sometimes life is also really real and really hard. And from that place, I want to be a woman who is kind, compassionate and nurturing, who see’s pain and offers love, who can take a breath and slow down and empathize with the person right in front of me and stop trying to prove anything to anyone, most of all myself. I’m a fighter, God knows it kills me to back down from a fight…..but more than the ability to clench the jaw and fist through pain I believe the power of a woman is in the ability to FEEL the pain. To bear long though it, to carry new life through suffering and come out victorious.

Could we just……stop. Could we lay down those expectations that have been piled high on our shoulders by the voices around us and the voices within and just leave them where they lie. Little girl, young lady, women of all ages and races and places of life, let’s hold our heads high and not from pride but from the vulnerability and tenderness that makes us “Woman”. You have nothing to prove.

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Unscripted.

I have a tendency to day dream. Meaning that I think about things to much, plan out events, conversations, flesh out goals, shade in relationships, internally organize, and attempt to administrate the details of my life into tangible moments that I can order and control. And after all of that internal effort those carefully constructed day dreams have a devastating way of crumbling around me without a single piece of the debris falling into the place that I intended.

So I eat a lot of icecream. When the dust settles and there is just not a thing you can do about it, my best response is icecream. This week has been completely outside of my control, ending with a day that I can’t even begin to describe, and at the end, leaving 3 hours after I’d planned due to a situation that I never could have forseen I decided that the only appropriate response was to stop by McDonalds for a dipped icecream cone. Sitting in silence in a borrowed car in the drive-thru and trying not to think about the day, I pulled up to the sign to order only to hear that the ice cream machine was broken.

It’s amazing, just how unscripted this life is.

Joshua has been checking in on me quite a bit during the hurricane of the last few weeks. Yesterday evening I receive a message from him asking why I’ve not been blogging. I thought for a moment before telling him that things have been too personal to write about, to which he replied “I think those may be the best kind of things to write about.”

This Tuesday it will have been 4 months since the Southern Lady passed away.

In an incredible act of love her family offered for me to stay in the house until it is sold.  An estate sale was held at the beginning of July while I was home visiting my family and as expected, I returned to a house with out furniture, decorations, or any evidence of being lived in save for my bedroom. The week of my birthday I acquired two amazing vintage rockers from Craigslist, followed by a small table as a present from my brothers family, the three of which barely scratch the surface of filling the empty space.

The emptiness of the house serves as a very practical means of magnifying the turmoil in my heart;

I am a very communal individual, loving life with MANY housemates, and for four months my little dog and I have lived alone in the empty house.

I have yet to find a replacement  “job” to supplement my missionary income.

Two weeks ago my dearly beloved rust-bucket car actually died. This happened the week of the anniversary of Miah’s death, and the week that we were hosting a regional teen conference, in which I had a large role to play.

Some days later the hard-drive on my iphone crashed leaving it in a state of being completely incapable of connecting to the wireless signal aka, rendering the phone useless. I’ve never even HEARD of that before.

The last four week I’ve been under a constant barrage of irrational, in-explainable personal/ financial/ spiritual/ relational and ministerial events that I can only describe as the craziest spiritual attack I’ve ever experienced….which culminated in the drive-thru lane at McDonalds tonight as I heard that the ice cream machine was broken.

Completely and utterly…..not what I had planned.

Depressing as this story sounds….there has been incredible breakthrough over the last seven days. My physical and spiritual family both in the mid-west and on the east coast have banded around me in prayer and support and the fruit is being manifest in my heart and life daily. And there is light ahead 🙂

A friend has indefinitely given me use of her vehicle. Someone gave me an old at&t phone to use. And just so that you can believe that God does in fact give to us ‘everything that we need for life and godliness…..’  there was half a tub of Strawberry Haagen Das icecream in my freezer when I got in tonight.

When Miah died  Bob Falkner told me to buy Ann Voskamps book ‘One Thousand Gifts’. I had no idea how the next year of my life would be ordered around the Lord’s deep commitment to teaching me about the receiving of His grace.

Tonight I shared with a friend the emotional story of the last twenty four hours.  After some long moments of quiet reflection she said ” I love you Christina, you’re just so…….raw. Do you know what I mean by that? You’re just …..raw.”

Unscripted.

Sara Groves would call it “Wide open, like a lake”

Derek Loux called it “Green and Tender”

It’s learning how to force the fist to unclench, relinquishing the death grip on what I couldn’t control anyway, opening the fingers, smoothing down the palm. You open Your hands and You satisfy (Ps. 145.16), I open my hands and receive. It’s ghastly simple, and the most un-natural position for an anxiety ridden heart like mine; to take whatever You give, to call it grace, and offer it back to You in thanks.

I cry and I pray and I stumble. I think to hard, circle round the options, fight to come up with a plan, stay up too late strumming those same guitar chords trying to soothe the same old ache in my eternal soul. I accuse God, accuse His bride, break, repent, and while aching for answers fight to keep my hands off the details, stop trying to organize, lift up my eyes to the hills and lean into His strength. I am still keeping lists, because Bob say’s that if we’re not operating in Thanksgiving than we’re operating in atheism.

And I choose to live, raw. Vulnerable. To stop fighting tooth & nail to hide the frailty of my human heart, to give God the room to come in and bring healing to the broken, weak places. I bawl in the prayer room, in the weekly meetings when suddenly the room surrounds me in prayer and cry out for break through in my life, at stop lights, and alone in the quiet house that the Lord provided for me when there were no answers to an un-solvable situation.

And as my foundations are exposed and greatly shaken, I choose to cling to the Rock that is higher than I.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter)

In the Whirlwind, He still wants everything.

Last year was a whirlwind, start to finish. Each month seemed to bring it’s own fresh version of crazy, & December was no different. In fact, by the 1st of December I was suddenly facing two weeks to find new housing & either a new job or another cross-country move.  I’ll spare you the details & just say that in the beginning I threw up my hands in the air making a declaration in my heart to let the Lord lead my steps. And He did. He’s faithful like that.

The not so slow but dramatic demise of my beloved 97 Geo Metro, increased monthly bills & seriously needing of dental work forced my sudden need to stop working for Bound4Life International, a ministry that I have been honored to serve since my move to Virginia in January of 2010.  This decision was forced by unexpected changes & came with a flurry of job applications, long late-night conversations with my brother Jeremy about direction, & deep painful conversations with the Lord. Ultimately, it was good. Ultimately, it forged clarity in my soul. Ultimately, I am thankful. Oh but it was a rough, bumpy and painful transition.

One of those rough bumpy painful days found me sitting with a Pastor from Florida who had recently moved with his family to DC to help fuel JHOP-DC & serve with B4L.  His father has been battling against cancer  & he told me that his sister had made a large sacrifice to help lift the burden of the medical bills.

After this great act of love she was left with a small sum that she intended to put into savings. However, during a morning devotional time she heard the Lord say simply “Give it to me”. She responded with surprise, since she had freely given so much & replied “But……Lord, that is mine” to which He simply responded, “I know, & I want it.”

He told me, “Christina it doesn’t make sense, but sometimes God asks us for that tiny little bit that we’re holding onto for ourselves, just to see if we’re willing to give it to Him”. Oh how I cried when I heard those words. He’s right, it doesn’t make sense……. but do we trust Him? Do we love Him enough to give Him that last little bit that we’re reserving? That thing we think we HAVE to hold onto in order to make it?

And I felt that pull all through December, the Lord asking for my control, my self-preservation & the question lingered “Do you trust Me?” Even in the whirlwind, He still wants everything.

In a swirl out of my control, completely apart from anything I could have possibly tried to manage to pull together, He provided for me. Housing & a job. I would be moving into the home of an elderly Southern Lady in order to drive her to doctor’s appointments & serve part-time as her companion. Housing, & a job that enabled me to stay in the House of Prayer. This literally landed the day before I flew out of Virginia to spend 3 weeks with my family.

It was a glorious, restorative, joyful, healing three weeks. And getting on the plane to head back to the East coast was hard. It always is. Standing in line & swallowing the lump in my throat, refusing to look behind me at my mother watching until she can no longer see me with tears streaming down her face, tightly clinging to my little dog as if that will keep me there. It literally never gets easier. But I knew, I KNEW that He was worth it, that He had a plan & that I was walking in it.

I flew back to Virginia on January 8th. Exactly one year to the very date that I flew to Virginia in my original move. Tell me that’s not God! Only He would do that, just to catch my attention because He likes to talk to me in dates. I flew back to Virginia on January 8th, & as my plane hit the ground, the Southern Lady was being loaded up into an ambulance. I moved into her home on the very day that everything changed in her life, the day she began a rapid decline in health.

Two weeks in it was apparent to the family & myself that she was not going to pull up, & today, less than a month after my move-in, she began receiving Hospice services in her home.

I knew that the Lord was sending me back to Virginia to learn about Intercession. I thought that it had to do with America & the Presidential race, and somewhere along the line it probably does. I’m learning it’s much deeper than that though. Moses, Daniel, Jeremiah, John the Baptists, even Jesus. They made intercession on others behalf. They were in understanding, a level of compassion that moved them to feel the way that other’s felt in order for them to stand alongside & speak on behalf of. And I’ve realized, I’ve a thing or two learn of compassion.

It’s been almost a year since my dear grandfather Carroll stepped into wholeness & glory & the nearness of our Lord Jesus Christ. I wasn’t a part of his last days since I’d just moved to VA but here I am one year later, daily, intimately walking out this woman’s last days. I’m not a nurse or doctor, & even if I were there would be nothing to fix the problems. But I do other things. Rub her shoulders, wash her feet, clip her toenails, rearrange cushions, read the Psalms, sing Hymns. And sometimes I’m tired, & sometimes I’m frustrated, & sometimes I just don’t want to rub lotion on her itchy skin. But I’m learning to bend the knee, learning to cry out for grace & find it pouring on the inside of me. Learning to hold her hand & sometimes, like today, just cry with her because I can’t help her breathe, & I can’t make the itching stop, & I can’t make her kidney’s work. In the back of my mind all throughout the long days I am thinking of how I will stand before my Saviour & He will ask “Did you learn to love?” and my heart cries “Teach me!”

I’m learning that it’s easy to have compassion for the orphan baby. But what does the Lord feel for the elderly woman who kept me up late with her needs & woke me up early with her needs. Does my Lord bend the knee, receive the grace to do so, & gladly serve her? Can I enter into that kind of intercession? There are nights I step into my room & hit the floor in prayer, crying out for the sake of peace in her heart, opening the Psalms & with tears speaking loudly words of truth & life & comfort into the atmosphere of the home.

It carries over to my service in the House of Prayer. My tired tender heart is moved to feel, moved to enter in, moved to pray, moved to worship because there’s no other relief for the turmoil on the inside. Not when I’ve been convinced every step of the way that it was His will for me to walk through it with Him.

Psalm 84:11: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.

We’ve been talking a lot of Grace & Glory, & I tell her that wherever we have to lean in & reach out hard to receive His grace He will make that very spot a place to reveal His glory. If we cry out for Grace, we’ll receive it & He will glorify it. We ask God to give her peace, & I’m learning to live out of un-moveable heart peace. We ask God to give her a vision of eternity so that she will have the grace to let go when the time comes, & I’m learning to reach for it in my own heart. We thank the Lord when the night is over, thanking Him for the mercies to live out the new day. And as I pray with her my heart receives, probably more than I will ever know on this side.

And in the whirlwind, He still wants everything. Each whirlwind, He’ll never stop asking if we trust Him but that’s not an angry question. It’s gentle, said with a smile. It’s promising. And it’s safe, because He gave & He gives, everything.

My story will never stop being just stupid crazy. And that’s part of how I know I can trust, because He’s never stopped being FAITHFUL in every step of every crazy whirlwind. And every-time I think He’s asked me to do something I’m fully not capable of doing, He places the ability inside of me through His spirit. The more I lean, cry out for help, the more I find the help inside. The more His word becomes meat & bread & water & wine.

I listen to “Measure of a Man” on repeat. And Johnny Cash’s album “My mother’s Hymnbook”. I listen to Leonard Ravenhill speak with zeal & tears of the worth of Christ. I rise early to jog & pray. And I’m eating a lot of chocolate these days 🙂 I’ve filled up her room with primroses & when all attempts to relieve & comfort & bring joy fail, I just sing until peace comes to her. It reminds me of mid-morning nap time at the Bohlender’s. Singing a nursery of little girls to sleep & the crazy thing is that Amazing Grace never fails to bring the presence of God, to those little girls, to this dying woman, to my own weary soul.

Bob Falkner text me the other morning saying “You were made for hard things. You can do this.” And I’ll say to you friends, God made you to do hard things, & He will enable you to do them. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. One bright morning when this life is over, I’ll fly away. And tis so sweet to Trust in Jesus.

 

He will shepherd me.

The last week…. scratch that, the last few months ….. scratch that. The last few years have been a whirlwind 🙂

Today I hosted a yard/bake sale to raise funds for ATC scholarships. We’ve received so many emails from so many teens across the world in serious situations who are desperate for a touch from God and wanting to come to camp this summer. Our pain is that we can not afford to just “let” them all come, but we want to do whatever we can – thus the fundraiser.

It was thrown together last-minute, but MANY people brought items over in the last 24 hours, enough that my living room was PACKED! I was blessed and excited and ready to go for this morning…. until no one came to help.

There are broken places of my heart that I forget about until moments like that. Suddenly the old wound begins to ache with deep, consuming pain and it seems like nothing that I do will make it stop.

By the grace of the Lord I was able to get everything set up, and one of the new teenagers came for awhile, allowing me to leave and put up signs in the neighborhood. A few people came and some money was raised and I was exceedingly thankful. 5 hours later, hot and emotionally spent I began to pack up and an hour later looked at my yard and realized it was all done. But I did have 5 breakdowns today, complete with sobbing and phone calls to both of my parents.

Tonight I felt the real pain of living 3 hours away from my daddy, and having a car that has been broken for months, leaving me no way to get to him. And I felt the pain of living in a community where I don’t have a direct “pastor” over my life to turn to in season like the one I am currently fighting through.

Our A/C has been off for the last 2 weeks for one silly reason: the filter was filthy and we couldn’t find one that fit. The internet finally helped us to locate a store in the area that carried the right brand, but not having a car that works ….. well let’s just say that not having a car at your disposal makes the simplest of things very, very hard. This evening we bought the correct filters but had the same problem trying to get them in. The old furnace was put together in an odd way leaving a strange space that causes the filter to buckle and keeps it from sliding all the way in. After fighting to the point of tears I began to pray over the furnace. Yup, I’m one of those.

After 5 minutes of tearfully committing our house and the furnace to the Lord I saw a picture in my mind of an ‘L’ shaped ruler, long and skinny & made of metal and instantly knew where it was in the garage. That is nearly impossible because we can’t see where anything is in the garage. But I went upstairs and sure enough it was exactly where I’d seen it. Taking a deep breath I slid the tool inside the furnace, using it as a guide to keep the filter straight and you know what? It worked.

Circling the house to close all of the windows my heart began to sing Grace Kim’s song, “He will lead me to springs of living water, He will shepherd me.”

And it’s true. The spirit of the Living God literally dwells inside of me, and He wants to help me. He is a good counselor, a good friend, and a good Shepherd. He cares about me getting a filter into my furnace so that we can finally have a relief from the heat, and He cares about my daily life.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Help wake each morning believing that Psalm 23 is true Papa.

“When peace like a river attendeth my way”

11.49pm and my alarm goes off at 5am tomorrow.

This morning I awoke with a weepy heart, whispering on the inside ” Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This morning I wished for coffee with Jeremy to help me untangle my thoughts and emotions. This morning I cringed at the list of things needing my attention this week; emails, meetings, planning, research, note making, preparing for class, books to be read in class preparation, phone calls, and on and on. This morning I wondered again why the Lord did not have me go to DC in January. This morning I did not want to be a leader, and this morning I did NOT want to go to youth church.

But I got out of bed, grabbed coffee with my best friend, and went to service anyway. Walking down the hallway I hoped for a room full of the teenagers whose faces I have come to love, thinking that the sight would lift my spirits. What I saw was the sound guy, the worship team practicing and only five kids in the room, 3 of whom I had never seen before.

But I sat in the front so that I could think about Jesus and not the empty room. And more kids came despite the snow, the faithful teens who are the reason I show up for 6 hours worth of planning meetings every week. And I watched Zac, our anointed 16yr old worship leader break down crying while singing about the soon return of Jesus and in that moment it was worth it. Getting out of bed today was worth seeing the longing for Jesus coming out of that young man’s heart.

This morning peace came to me with tears as the small group of 30 worshiped the Lord in that little room. This morning I called my soul to remember my hope, He is coming. We’re not always going to live like this, at a distance from the One who we love. Hear me, the Lord IS pouring out His Spirit in a fresh and powerful way and that is real. But….

But one day we will see Him face to face. And He comes back to the song of His bride longing for Him to return. Today I saw longing in the face of our students, and all of my changed plans and the accompanying pain and questions were worth it. Tomorrow I may need another reminder, but today it was worth it.

Today the healthcare bill passed by a narrow, narrow vote. And tomorrow I submit myself again to the “weakness” of prayer, asking with the same fervor of today, not discouraged or dismayed. Today I still believe for the mercy of God. And tomorrow I still stand in faith for the salvation of the unborn.

And this is what I live for, a generation to be friends of Jesus. This is what I wake for, this is what I pray for. Revival for breakfast, revival for lunch, revival for dinner (Thanks Alyssa).

Thy kingdom come Lord, thy will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven.

Armed with tears

Tonight I went to a fundraiser for a campaign that Youth With A Mission is doing in Grandview MO this upcoming fall. Mark Anderson is one of my hero’s in the missions movement and I was so excited to hear him speak.  Also I was excited for the desserts. Just being honest.

I was expecting a night of vision casting, lots of details, ramped up emotions and to leave full of sugar and excitement for this plan to take off! I was not expecting a swarm of conviction. A card sitting in front of me on the table, accusing me with it’s gentle color’s and bold font “What is it worth to you?” . Hearing the plan for my city and finding in my heart there was little to no excitement, and instead a significant amount of reluctance, knowing just how much would be required of me. And not sure I wanted to give it.

You see I feel, a whole lot, about the youth of the “Nations”.  I have a significant amount of emotion related to the “youth of THIS Nation”. But when Mark Anderson himself talks about the first season of his marriage including lots of young adults living in his apartment because they’d gotten saved and kicked out of their homes….. I suddenly don’t like it. I like the idea of kids living in my home …. when it’s an apartment somewhere in another country  and not my actual little living room. I’m in near daily struggles with my housemates over my desire for our shared living spaces to be kept cleaned and uncluttered. Add 4 young adults to the mix, all of us sharing one bathroom, and I don’t like it. Not when it’s this house. Not when it’s this bathroom. Not when it’s in America and not my dream world as a real missionary in some other country.

This talk about preparing my home to be a disciplining center by the fall? I didn’t really like the sound of that either. Add into that my need to be evangelizing my neighbors, yeah, that struck a nerve too. Trust me I noticed my growing dread and was concerned. Right about the time when I was wondering if I am saved Mark made a statement about “the Church that doesn’t share the gospel” and their need to actually get saved. That struck a different nerve.

Then he told a story about Brazil and a tour that he didn’t want to do there. Long story short he finds himself convinced by the Lord and one passionate  23 yr. old intern, in the city to meet with the Pastor asking for World Impact to come. All of the plans had fallen through; the money, church backing, and venue. The pastor was discouraged and Mark couldn’t understand WHAT he was doing there and what God wanted to do, until that night. He & the intern were pacing their hotel room praying and as the sun set he stopped at the window of their 12th floor room to look down on the city.

On the sidewalk below he noticed many children (typical for latin america) but quickly saw that something was different. Instead of boisterous laughter and the scampering play that he should have seen in a group of children still outside at sunset, they were all standing, with a few feet between them on the sidewalk. Little boys and little girls. Cars began to pull up and one by one take them away. Some of the cars just stayed there. Little boys and little girls in open forced prostitution. “My heart broke and suddenly I knew why God wanted us there, it was about them. It was about the youth.”

I cried for a minute right there over my hard heart, and for that minute I could hear nothing but Mark’s voice saying that, “it was about them”. Card on the table staring me in the face “What’s it worth to you?”. One of the other youth leaders and I spent a moment praying together and discussed it on the way home. She empathized with my emotions and we talked a little of the conviction we felt and our renewed commitment to the youth of this city.

Less than ten minutes after walking through the front door my phone rang. Both of my parents were on the phone and my father was quick to assure me that they were ok. But my mentors were not. A couple who I consider spiritual parents back home live in a very bad part of town. This afternoon around 3pm Mike got home, walked into the kitchen and noticed someone in his driveway waving for him to come outside and calling for a cell phone. Seeing someone on the ground he thought they’d fallen in the ice and quickly ran outside to find a 14 year old boy, shot in the head and stomach, lying in his driveway. Mike put his hand on the boy’s chest, and right there he died.

Mike and Lucy have three children, 16, 14 & 12. I’m so thankful that Lucy and the kids weren’t home this afternoon, but at 10pm Mike still had not been able to leave the house and his responses to my messages were full of pain. They are intercessor’s, saints, friends of God and full of compassion. I hate the thought of how he will not sleep tonight, and the fear that Lucy is going to fight for their children.

I tell you, sometimes the only weapons we have to fight with are tears. And they wage a strong kind of warfare! It is time to stop longing for the nations and ignoring my neighbors. That You would have a bride out of every tribe and tongue, even my own Lord. Watching one of the WIT video’s tonight I heard a latino woman say “I can not thank you for what you have done, what you have brought to my people.” My people, I thought, Lord I hardly have a thought for my people. Father make Americans my people. More than Latino’s, more than Romanian’s, make American’s my people.

Tonight I made a cake. While praying for my friends and crying for that 14 year old boy who is now before the Judgement seat I whipped up some cream cheese frosting. Before going to bed I covered it in red sprinkles, because sprinkles are just a little bit more happy than plain icing, and tomorrow morning I’m going to need something happy. Yup, I’ll probably eat that cake for breakfast on a fasting day.

Tonight I am not armed with eloquent intercession. Tonight I come before the throne of Grace with only gentle tears to offer. Come and move on behalf of my people Lord, send Revival to America, send Revival to Omaha, send Revival to Glenwood, send Revival to California, and send revival to South Kansas City. And send Revival to my own heart.

Media Dept. Fast: Day 2 – Moving Heaven

Late this evening I spoke on the phone with a friend who’s sibling had made some bad decisions and run away from home. After praying with the friend I made my way home and picking up my guitar I began to sing over this child, knowing that the heart of the Father is always to call the lost home.

In the last four years I’ve heard hundreds of tidbits about prophetic singers, and the power in our songs before God and have tried to bind them to my heart and believe them. After tonight I might never need to be convinced again.

Let me clarify: When I say that I can’t play the guitar I am not being modest. Regardless, I made intercession through song calling her home, telling her it was not too late to turn around, that her decisions are not final and she does not have to follow through with them, singing of the mercy and forgiveness that is waiting at the door of her Father’s house.

Only half an hour. And I got a txt message that the child is coming home. Right now. Hear me: Many have been praying today. MANY friends of God, faithful leaders who I trust. But my song counted. Your voice counts, know that! Know that your voice counts, that the Lord of Glory is moved by your prayers no matter how weak they may sound to your own ears!

Behold, what manner of love the Father has given unto us. We have been called His children. He listens, and He moves.