Sunday, September 23, 2012


At the beginning of the year God gave me the word "AWAKEN" as my one word.

In all honesty, this "one word" thing has become quite the trend, and although I believe the word awaken didn't come from me, I was not expecting much. But as much as I try to avoid somewhat cheesy Christian trends, I really felt that the word was firmly impressed on my heart, so I went with it.

Until a couple months ago the word "wrestle" would have fit this year much better. Awaken had been pushed far to the back of my mind. I spent months wrestling with fear and doubt, but most of all wrestling with God. I guess the fact that this wrestling resulted in many sleepless nights could come back to the word awaken, but if I  thought that this was what God meant when he spoke the word into my heart, I would have said "No. Thank. You."

Then, about two months ago, I had my moment. Not to be cheesy, but I had my awakening. Literally. The dawn broke and my eyes were opened. And without a doubt I knew what God created me to do.

My vision is still coming into focus, but God has given me an overwhelming passion to bring change for special needs and vulnerable children around the world, specifically through educating their caregivers and communities and being a light in dark places. There is so much that God is building onto this foundation (He's preparing the hearts of a team as we speak, which you may be part of ;), but I need a little more tweaking and twisting and breaking before I can share these things.

After my eye-opening moment I thought that was it. Awaken made sense now, God did what He was gonna do with that word in my life. And I was satisfied. I guess it was a bit prideful of me to think he showed me all He was gonna show me, just like that.

Then just last week I was driving and thinking, and before you know it I was weeping. You see, I have had a broken heart for special needs and vulnerable children for a long time. Until my awakening I just didn't know to what extent that worked into who I am or who God is molding me to be.

And then God showed me something that honestly made me feel a bit dense. The puzzle pieces all started to fall together, and I have no idea why I never placed them together before.

I have talked about God teaching me to love my neighbor. To do what God is asking me to do I must try to understand the challenges, joys, and heartache of having a child born with special needs. I know I can not come close to fully understanding, because I have not walked in those shoes.  I have asked God why He is choosing me for this task when I am incapable. Why not assign me to something that I can better relate to? Something deeply intertwined in my life. Something in my roots.

And then on that drive home I started thinking about my brother. I never met him, as he died before I was born. My parents never even got to bring him home. And although my parents were not given the chance to raise him, my parents know the heartache of having a child born with special needs and the pain of losing a child because of his disability.

Then I thought of my grandparents who spent many years as foster parents. One of their most beloved foster children had special needs. He lived with them for several years. My mother's parents know the challenges and rewards of raising a child with special needs.

And then I thought of my aunt, now in her 50's, who still functions as a child. How hard it was for my grandparents when they were physically no longer able to care for her. How both of them, on their deathbeds, were deeply pained by the question of if she would be able to deal with her emotions and function without them. My father's parents know the struggles and joys of raising a child with special needs.

And now I see, this passion I have is something deeply intertwined into who I am. This vision is more than hopes and dreams for the future. It is in my roots.

There are three months left in this year of awakening, and I stand in awe of who He is and all He has shown me, and I stand in wonder of what He has yet to reveal.


Mark Langham said...


Jennifer said...

So exciting! I can't wait to hear more! I've always been leery of Christian trends- I want to make sure my heart's right. But for the past two years, I have prayed at the end of the year for a word for the upcoming year and each year God has spoken a word to my heart that has been the exact word that marked that year.

Like I said, I can't wait to "hear" more!!

Sybil said...

Just mentioned some of your thoughts - with a link to this post :)- in my latest blog post. Thanks for adding to my inspiration!

Denise said...

Fabulous post.

Jerralea said...

Isn't it wonderful how God wastes nothing? The struggles you and your family has dealt with over the years with your special needs relatives has really given you a heart for ministry. You don't have to be a parent of a special needs child to be effective - you just have to love one!

God bless you on your awakening journey.