I'm back. At least for now. It's been too long. I have countless beginnings to blogs I could have a book published tomorrow. For some reason, I've not been able to finish some of them, maybe one day....I'm not even going to pretend to make this a "let's catch up on my awesome life" type of post....go find me on Facebook if you want to know! :)
Today I sent over a rough draft of a letter to my friend and "sometimes editor" Kat. She is amazingly talented with words. Seriously. She should be writing this blog. Anyway, I had asked Kat to take a look at this before our ministry office sent it out later in the week. It's a pretty important letter. Several hours later she messaged me and told me it was missing something.....Passion.....
At first I was taken back by it. I thought to myself, "She knows us well. She knows we're passionate people and love what we do." But she quickly told me my letter didn't convey that. She, being the bossy writer she is told me to breath, pray and re work it and send it back. After my sweet babies and husband went to bed I set out to work on it....all kinds of thoughts and stories began flooding through my mind.
I knew at an early age I wanted to sing. As a 10 year old I just wanted to be famous like Sandi Patty and Amy Grant and wear pretty dresses and sing with a cordless microphone on a big stage. By 16, I knew I had a call on my life to do more than sing. I knew, someway, somehow God had a bigger plan.
Fast forward many years and I met my husband and we began an adventure like none other. He had traveled the world (literally) before he met me and told me right before he asked me to marry him he wanted nothing more in the world than to win souls for Jesus. A year and a half after we married we resigned our church and hit the road.
It hasn't always been easy. There have been difficult moments. Difficult places. Weeks where you're taken advantage of and wonder how the bills will be paid. Tears. Arguments.....we've seen and experienced A LOT.
When I found out I was pregnant with our twins, many people assumed we would hang it up. Stop traveling. And while that sounded like a good thing to many, to us it wasn't an option. Yes, we considered it. We even explored some other options of ministry. But the release never came. I would be a big liar if I told you traveling with twins was easy. Sometimes it goes smoothly and seems like the easiest thing in the world and then there are days you question yourself. I've walked into some hotel rooms and cried (some of them I've walked out of) because my babies had to stay in them and they were cramped, dirty and stunk. I've questioned myself at some churches when I've handed a screaming baby over to a complete stranger to watch while I sing. I have to adjust these girls and myself to a new routine constantly and sometimes it takes night of very little sleep to accomplish it. I've sat up in a hotel room with a sick baby who had a fever and there was nothing I could do but pray and sing to her and trust God to take care of us until we got home and could see the doctor.
Last April when Bob had his car accident and his neck and back were injured greatly was a tough time. I am not going to lie, last summer was awful. In many ways. He couldn't travel for weeks and was in therapy daily and was able to do very little to help with our babies. I was exhausted. My parents were exhausted. I was frustrated. It seemed to some that we needed to quit. Again, pack it up. Put the suitcases away. But, no, the release didn't come.
I've not packed a suitcase in over 6 weeks. If I am being honest, I've not missed packing. I've never liked it. Now that I have two little girls to pack for it takes me even longer. My husband, on the other hand is done in 10 minutes....so not fair!. However, I look at my calendar and next week is the week. We head out. We go. We do what God has called us to do. It's been wonderful being home in IL with my parents and so many friends and ministering at our "other" home church here while my Dad recovers from knee surgery. The people here have a huge piece of our hearts. They love us. Encourage us and pray for us. My girls have had 6 weeks of consistent Sunday School with two teachers they dearly love. It's been wonderful in so many ways.
I get asked a lot, " why, when so many churches are not having revival, spiritual renewal, concerts, retreats, etc....do we still do this."
Because people still need Jesus. Souls are still lost. People are still hungry and searching for The truth and the Church needs Revival.
One of my fondest moments while on the road happened in Indiana last year. We were ending a wonderful revival at a church we had never been to. A young boy, 11 years old, had come every night with his grandparents. His parents did not attend. The last evening while I was singing during the altar call he began to cry. He got up and went to the altar. Soon his grandparents and others followed. This precious boy, whose face we’ll never forget surrendered to The call to preach The Gospel. It was a beautiful altar service and one that forever sticks out in our hearts and minds.
I reflect back to a concert where we were singing the familiar song, “Holy Ground” and the couple who had been separated for months and ready to divorce but had kept coming to church while sitting on opposite sides of the sanctuary ran to the altar at the same time and their marriage was restored right in front of our eyes.
Then there's a man named Bob, in his early 70’s, from Missouri who had attended church for years, who on a Sunday night gave his heart and life to Jesus!
I could go on and on with stories of real people who have been changed by a Real Savior.
So when we’re tired, weary, ready to quit or when our girls get a sniffle and are tired and the easy and maybe more popular thing to do would be put the suitcases and sound system away and stay home, stories like these are why we keep going week after week.
The Call of God is too strong to quit. If and when the Lord releases us from this season, we'll step into the next one with a grateful heart and with zeal. But until then....we're going to be found faithful! No matter what. He has been so faithful how can we not be faithful in return!?
I sent Kat a new letter a while ago.....She loved it!
I have to start packing. It's almost time to go!