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Growth Journey Life Missionary Life

Tears are Okay

February 5, 2018

Last year, as many of you know (and were probably tired of hearing) was a hard year. It was a year of a lot of uncomfortable growing and transition. At times it flat out hurt. Too often it felt as though nothing was going right. And tears were cried.

Tears of hurt.

Tears of pain.

Tears of frustration.

Tears of sheer exhaustion.

But those tears did not go unseen. They were not ignored and they were not in vain.

“We cried as we went out to plant our seeds. Now let us celebrate as we bring in the crops.” –Psalm 126:5 CEV

As we pressed into the will of God last year, as we began to lay a foundation for years ahead, those tears were not just tears trailing my face to dry up and serve no purpose. Nope. Those tears were seeds planted into our deep heart desire to serve Christ. And those tears were necessary.

God used the tears.

As January began, a peace fell. Now that peace meant lots of visitors to our home and not much silence. That peace meant tracking up mountains through mud that gathered around our ankles. That peace meant days of Ever and I working in different places to accomplish all that was needed. That peace meant a stretching. But oh that peace, how wonderful it is.

Last week, as my friend and partner who manages SoloHope Stateside, Ashley, was visiting, I told her how I am realizing that last year was necessary. The tears were necessary because they were seeds. And even in just this first month of 2018, we are seeing the fruit of the tears that were sown last year.

Today a new member of our team arrived. As she pulled up, I was so close to tears. She has come from another part of the country leaving behind her home and the vast majority of her possessions to come and serve with us as a teacher in a community we are partnering with. Last month she told us, she had always dreamed of being a missionary. We responded “Well your time has come!”

After years of uncertainty and tears, the Lord is saying to her “I saw your tears. They weren’t in vain. They were seeds. Now celebrate as we bring in the crops!”

Friends, your tears are okay. More than okay. They are not being cried without purpose. They aren’t hidden from your Father God’s sight. They are seeds. Keep pressing on into the will of God. And you will see. Oh, my sweet friends, you will see! You will see the fruit. You will see the harvest. And on that day, if it’s tomorrow or next year or even 10 years from now, you send me a message and let me celebrate with you! Let us celebrate in the goodness of our God!

📸 by Ashley Griffin

Current Issues Missionary Life Women

I’m sorry.

October 20, 2017

I’m sorry. Truly I am.

You never should have had to go through what you did today but especially not what you went through on Tuesday.

I’m so so sorry.

My mind has swirled with emotion today. As I sat waiting for you as you spoke to the police, the doctors, the psychologists, I raged with anger and cried with hurt. It’s not right. I have questioned God why He allowed this to happen. And I’ve wished I could turn back time and make it go away. I wish I could say it was the first time I’ve heard this story but it’s not. It is a story that unfortunately is far too common.

I’m sorry that you too now have to say #metoo.

I’m sorry he stole your peace. Thankfully you fought, you kicked, you screamed and you escaped but you felt violated because you were. He tried to take something you didn’t want to give. He waited for you as you walked down the road. He attacked you.

Dear sister, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry it will be so hard now to walk alone without fear.

Today you shook nervously as you recounted the horrible events that took place Tuesday. Tears poured down your face. This asshole trespassed on your soul and you were so visibly shaken. When he ripped your shirt away from you, he might as well have been ripping your heart wide open to bleed.

And I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that we live in a world so full of hate and evil. I’m sorry that a man would try to force himself upon you. I’m so sorry that sin has left an evil stain on this world that some refuse to clean with the blood of Jesus. Instead they allow the sickness of their soul to grow into a deep nasty black mark on their hearts that allows them to only see themselves and not the ones they are hurting.

Oh dear sister, I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry.

But I’m also proud. Proud of you. You stood up to him today. You quite possibly stopped him from doing this to another woman or child. You spoke up.

Even though it was so hard. You did it.

He tried, my friend. He tried to destroy you but you didn’t let him. I know it will take time until you feel whole again but you will.

You will.

We serve a God who comforts. And draws us close. He didn’t leave you on Tuesday. As you hurt, He hurt. As you felt the world as you knew begin to crumble, He was in the midst of the ruins mourning the loss too. But our God rebuilds. He restores what the enemy tries to steal from us. He will restore you.

Don’t give up, my sister. Rest. Cry. Hurt. But don’t give up.

You are a mighty woman. You are a force to reckoned with. You are strong. And you will rise again from these ruins.

You will rise.

It’s a promise. Not from me but from God our Father.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Isaiah 43:2


Friends, I ask for you pray for a dear friend of mine who this week has gone through hell. I wish her story was an isolated one but it is not. As more and more women and men feel empowered through the #metoo movement, to speak out about their experiences of sexual harassment, assault and/or abuse, support these individuals. Speaking out is not easy.

If you have yourself have experienced sexual harassment, assault and/or abuse, know you are not alone. Know it was not your fault. Know you can speak out. Know people will support you. Know you can get help. And know you will rise again. 

Journey Life Women

7 children. 1 egg.

May 13, 2017

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her story since I sat across the table from a woman earlier this week as she recounted the days of hardship and hunger she and her seven children had to endure.

Forced into a relationship she naively thought would save her from childhood abuse became the worse nightmare she could have possibly imagined. Then children came into the picture. Ultimately still a child herself, she did what she had to do. She tried to be the best mom she could despite the horrific circumstances.

She found herself shackled to a man who could care less about “his woman” or his children.

He drank. He womanized. He beat. 

He did not love.

He did nothing to help provide for the seven children he fathered. Even though he sold fruit and vegetables, the most (though still rarely) he did was throw a rotten tomato or cabbage head on the table. 

His children suffered from hunger pains constantly and were severely malnourished. 

“His woman” did the best she could. She’d use the little she could scavenge to feed her children, which included using one egg to feed her seven children.

7 children. 1 egg.

Can you imagine?

I’m not yet a mom but my heart cannot comprehend how difficult it must have been to look her sweet little ones in the eye, seeing the hunger pains and knowing all I could give them was not just an egg but 1/7 of an egg.

What kind of heart-break, shame, guilt, depression and deep sadness must this mom have felt? How did she survive living beneath such a heavy load?

She loved.

Her children, all grown now, recognize though often she could not give them a table full of food, she gave them a heart full of love.

She was the best mom in the world to them because she LOVED them.

Here in Honduras, Mother’s Day is like a New Year’s party! They celebrate BIG just like the rest of world will tomorrow as well.

Moms around the world face difficulties and challenges most of us living in the USA cannot begin to fathom.

They fight for food. They fight for education. They fight for shelter. They fight for the very best that they can for their children.

Moms, other moms need you.

Women, other women need you.

You can wear jewelry that supports other moms. You can decorate your home with home goods made by vulnerable women. You can donate your time and resources in organizations like SoloHope that work to empower and give hope and share Jesus with women and their families so we don’t continue hearing stories of seven children sharing one egg.

If moms and women around the world unite this Mother’s Day to say “we are for each other,” what a force to be reckoned with we will be! 

To moms everywhere, we love you. We are inspired by you and we wish you the happiest of Mother’s Days!