I never thought I’d see the day where I’d be sending my parents off to Africa. 

They are going on a learning trip for 10 days with BIC Canada. They will be learning about what BIC Kenya is up to, meeting with Kenyan church leaders, and helping to run a pastor’s conference. They also get to get to go on a Safari, visit a school and spend the day in one of the slums, plus a few other things along the way. It’s always been my Mom’s dream to get to visit Africa and so I’m excited for both her and my Dad to experience so many new things. 

However, I’m extremely nervous! 

Usually I’m the one leaving and they’re the ones staying. I feel like I’m experiencing all of these new feelings with the thought of having to let my parents go! 

I admit that I have an unusual relationship with my parents. That being that they’re two of my closest friends. They are two people that I admire, seek counsel from, look forward to having coffee with and even go to the movies with! I talk to them daily even though I don’t live at home anymore. They’re my greatest allies, my biggest cheerleaders and the most important people in my life. 

And they’re traveling across the world for 10 days. 

I know I know, 10 days…it’s only 10 days. But it’s not really the timeline that is the big thing here. It’s me having to put my parents completely in God’s hands. Which they really are always in, it just somehow seems like having them in the same province and in the same country feels safer. It’s almost like we’ve switched roles, which makes me terrified for when I will have these feelings with my own children, if I ever have any. 

How do you get to the place where you let go and just trust? 

I’m actually asking! Because I’m not sure and I’d value your opinions. 

I’d appreciate your prayers for my parents and the rest of their team as they embark on this journey together. Prayers for safety, for relationships to be formed, for hearts to be impacted and for an overwhelming awareness of God’s presence. 

I consider this having to let go just another lesson I can chalk up to my twenties! 

Boy I’m learning a lot! 😉

Tomorrow afternoon the team flies out of Toronto…bound for AFRICA!!!!

The Worried Daughter

Lessons From My 3 Year Old Cousin…

That’s her…isn’t she adorable!!!! 
Almost a year ago I was out for a drive with my little cousin. She was about 3 years old at the time. My aunt was driving and showing me around the area, as I had just moved in. As we drove around the sun was starting to set. My little cousin said ever so sweetly, “Mommy, will sun come out again tomorrow?” My aunt answered her assuredly with a yes. 
It’s been almost a year since I was privy to that short conversation but I’ve been unable to get it out of my mind. It might have been the innocent way that my cousin asked the question or it may have been the sheer wonder in her eyes as she watched the sun go down and really wanted to know if tomorrow she could count on seeing it again. I took that moment in and stored it away. 
I wonder if as adults we learn to do away with wonder? If at some point we lose our sense of awe over a new day, over a beautiful sunset, over winter ending and spring budding before our very eyes. Are we taught to do this? Are we just consumed with a sense of business and productivity that takes over our thoughts? 
It was as if in the moment with my 3 year old cousin that God was speaking to my heart reminding me of the gift of his assured presence and how it is evidenced through creation. It was the reminder to approach life with childlike wonder. To see things with fresh eyes. To be amazed by the smallest complexities that I take for granted all the time. These things are all around me and too often I pass by them because I become so busy and rushed. 
I know that so many of us live full lives and they are often packed to the brim with good and real and meaningful things. But do we ever make room to marvel at the utter brilliance of life’s gifts? It’s like a kid at the candy store overwhelmed by all that is around him, by all the colours and smells and tastes. Where to start? 
Do we approach life like this? 
Here’s the challenge for you and for me. Make room for wonder in your day. Set an alarm on your phone or put a reminder in your journal to stop wherever you are, look around and find something to marvel at. Let yourself rediscover that childlike sense of awe. 
It’s just another one of those ways to be fully present right where you are. 
Sincerely yours, 

The Kindred Spirit 

Left Behind…

I have this fear. 

I’m afraid of being left behind. 

Before all of my pentecostal friends start thinking I suddenly believe in the rapture, let me clarify. 

I’m a natural born leader and so I’ve become used to leading. Even in situations where I’m following, I always have the mindset that being a good leader also requires me to know how to be a good follower. And so I follow so that I can lead more effectively. 

As a leader, I fear being left behind. I fear being in the places that don’t seem to make sense because they are not how I imagined they should be. 

I fear being the one who still is unsure what to do with my life.
I fear being the one who still is living the student life.
I fear being the one who still hasn’t found someone special to share life with.
I fear being the one who is still so uncertain about so many things.

The have are certain areas in my life where I always thought that I would lead the way because I’m a leader and that’s what we do. Instead, I feel like I’ve become the follower.

This is not the kind of following I would have chosen. It’s uncomfortable. Sometimes the feelings it brings are enough to knock me out. Sometimes the frustration and discouragement this kind of following leaves me with attempts to push out every spark of hope. 

It’s in these moments that I find myself having really brutally honest conversations with God. It’s in these moments that I question Him, I accuse Him of not knowing what’s best, of not wanting good things for me. These are the moments where I tell God that the grass must be greener on the other side. I play the comparison game. 

I scroll through my facebook feed and I see the pictures and the statuses. And without even realizing it at the time, I wage war against hope. I give into believing that God is not worthy of my trust because He has robbed me of being able to lead the way in the areas where I think I should be leading. And I buy into the lies that tell me that it’s my fault that things are this way. And so I believe that I will always be left behind. 

And this kind of thinking becomes like streams of poison in my life. Poison that corrodes all joy and trust and self-worth. It breaks down my ability to respond to hard things with courage and confidence. I become beaten before the fight even begins. Everything that doesn’t go my way essentially becomes another arrow sent from heaven aimed straight at my heart. God no longer becomes my refuge and protector, He slowly becomes an enemy only out to get me and make me suffer. 

I’ve believed these lies for too long. I’ve let these streams of poison kill too much joy. I’ve let myself believe that I am a victim of God’s “not so great” plan for my life. 

And the thing is….I’ve decided that it’s time to fight. 

It’s time to fight against comparison.
Against believing that if your life doesn’t look like you think it should, like the lives of those around you, that this must mean that you have been left behind. 
It’s time to see things in new light. 

When I spend all of my time focusing on the things I don’t have, I miss the things I do have. I miss the opportunities that I have the chance to live in. I miss the daily joy. And maybe the grass isn’t actually greener on the other side. Perhaps it just looks that way in the pictures. Maybe all the things I’m experiencing right now are God’s protection, they are His way of demonstrating just how much He loves me. When my hand is right up against my face, it’s blurry, I can’t tell that it’s a hand. It’s only when I move my hand away from my face that I get a new perspective and I start to understand what’s really going on. I’m starting to think that this is actually the case for most of us. 

We need to help each other out. We need more honesty, less pictures of the perfect life and more pictures of our messiness. I want to recognize that most of us haven’t arrived yet and flaunting something that I’ve got that they don’t have (yet) can actually be really hurtful. 

My story is not being written exactly how I thought it would be. It’s got a few different twists that I didn’t plan on taking and the bumps never seem to be in the places I anticipated but isn’t this the beauty of life? If my life would have turned out exactly as I planned it, the reality is that I think I would be bored. I would miss all of these people that I’ve gotten to meet, I’d miss the unique places I’ve gotten to visit, I wouldn’t know the depth that longing and waiting creates in a person’s soul. And I won’t have the celebration that I’m going to have when some of the things I’m waiting to figure out actually happen. And as I write this, in a way I feel like these words are healing to my soul. They are words of restoration to the places that have become bitter and disappointed. And they are words that I have to keep fighting to speak. This battle is a daily one for me. It’s the one I wake up with in the morning and go to bed with at night. 

Choosing joy is just that, it’s a choice. And it’s one that I’ve failed to choose too often. 

And I want to change. 

So consider this my acknowledgment that I need to change. Because at my core I believe that God sees, and He knows all about it. 
And that this moment, this hour, this day, this week, this month, this year, 
this is not the end of the story. 

And me, and you, and that person sitting across from you on the subway, we are not, nor have we ever been…