Monday, January 9, 2012


I sit here on a dreary Monday afternoon, doing what I typically do when I find myself with a little too much time on my hands... over thinking.  Here I am, lost in my own thoughts; lost in trying to figure out life.  Like reading a book, I swiftly turn the pages of the story, my story, going through scenario after scenario of what life “should” look like.  Trying desperately to write the next part of the story, to finally be able to answer the question of “what’s next?”

You see, i’m at a transition point in the book, kind of like the cliff hanger at the end of the chapter.  Ever so quickly my mind conjures up all the possibilities of what could be next.  I begin to mentally make a list.  I try to manipulate all the things that I know, all the things I’ve learned, all the things I enjoy, all the things I’m good at, and all the things I am passionate about and with them create this one perfect story.

And yet I find that every day this list, this projected story, changes.  Everyday, my ideas for the next chapter look a little different.  Everyday there are new things to add to the list, and old things to remove.  Very few of the ideas are enough to make the list more than once or twice.  Instead it becomes a list full of things that quickly become unimportant.  A list full of restless ideas that flow in and out as quickly as the wind blows through.

And, so I am back to the beginning.  Back to searching my heart.  Back to understanding my one true love.  The only thing in my life that is unchanging.  The only desire I never lose, the only thing I really want to do day in and day out - the desire to live a life consumed by the presence of God.   I want to sing, I want to dance, I want to study, I want to teach, I want to learn, I want to grow, I want to praise, I want to love, I want to make a difference.  Everything else is irrelevant. 

I used to think I wanted perfect.  That I wanted stability.  That I wanted normal.  That I wanted safe.  But, I’ve changed my mind.

Because normal, safe, regular... it’s just not enough for me anymore. 

What do I want to do with my life?  I want to do outrageous.  I want to do ridiculous.  I want to do impractical.  I want to do and be a part of things that are so big and so life changing that they can’t be done in my own strength.  Things that most times wont logistically or financially make sense.  Things that will fail if God doesn’t show up.  Because failing to let God move in my life has become bigger than failure itself.

I know that I’m asking for it.  I’m asking for sleepless nights, for unreal expectations, for life that will look like to some as unsettled, unpredictable, and impractical.  A life that breaks all the rules of what it “should” be.  

So, beware of what’s to come in this story.  The next chapter isn’t predictable, it isn’t safe.  And it most certainly isn’t an easy read.  It’s going to be wild, it’s going to be challenging, its going to keep you on edge.  But I promise you it wont be ordinary... because this regular, this stability seeking, this perfectionist of an author is finally putting the pen down... and the new author, well, there is nothing ordinary, predictable, or safe about Him.

“Safe?" said Mr. Beaver."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”  -Chronicles of Narnia

Monday, January 2, 2012


It’s officially taken me a good 25 days to finally sit down and write a blog about my time in South Africa.  It’s not that I don’t have fond memories.  It’s not that my time there wasn’t memorable or life changing.  In fact, it’s very much quite the opposite.  Every time I sit and try to wrap my mind around that piece of my journey, I come up short.  Words just don’t seem to be enough to express the beauty of that land; of the amazing people, of the unexplainable love, of the real life community.

Instead of words, my mind swirls with images.  Amidst the breathtaking beauty of Cape Town sits a community called Ocean View.  In the community live some of the kindest people you will ever meet.  Their faces flash, like a slideshow,  through my mind and each one of them is looking at me with such love, such grace, such joy.  I imagine myself walking through the streets again, and remember that each and every time I did so, I was greeted by a crowd of giddy children, a hug from a desperate teenager, a wave from a hurting mother.  Words can’t capture those memories.

As I am back in the States, I can’t help but feel like life is a little cold (and, no not just because I am finally experiencing winter!)  Despite the hurt, despite the pain, despite the brokenness of that community... there was love.  There was joy.  There was life.  It wasn’t a place of people just co-existing, it was a place of people choosing to live life together.  And I miss that.  More than I realized was possible.

The people of Ocean View changed my life.  Part of my heart will forever belong to them.  They taught me how to love in the midst of heartache; how to pick yourself up after devastation; how to fight this battle as an army and not as individuals.  They reminded me that life is about living together.

My time there was short, and yet I was never treated as a stranger.  Though I currently live thousands of miles away, I have African mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, that will forever be a part of my my journey; that will forever be a part of my family. 

Community is more than just the people that live nearby.  Community is more than just a neighbor.  Community is about living life together.  Side by side.  Fighting for one another.  Thank you, Africa, for reminding me of just how sweet and how beautiful that can truly be.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Shell of Perfection

So, earlier this week I had one of those days where Jesus was just all up in my business.  You know, one of those days that no matter how hard you try to just consume your mind with other things He just keeps tapping you on the shoulder with a gentle “psst... hey you!  Yes, you.  I have something to tell you.”  One of those days when you try to just push Him off, knowing what He has to tell you is probably something that you need to hear, but don’t necessarily want to.  And, yet he wouldn’t give up.  Relentless, that one.  “I need you to hear this.  It’s really good.  Trust me.”

Did I happen to mention that this was the start of my day?  Yes.  First thing in the morning.  Can’t a girl at least get some caffeine in her system?  So, I chugged a cup of scalding hot coffee, threw a hoodie on over my pjs, grabbed my car keys and jumped in the car.  Ready to listen.

I was a bit reluctant to start the conversation.  But, about 5 minutes into the drive, I found myself crazily ranting out loud about all the things that laid heavy on my heart.  The things that I had allowed to build up, to be pushed down deep, the burdens that I left sitting.  Then, in true World Race fashion, I pulled over to a spot on the road overlooking the vast beauty of Cape Town, stood on a rock.... and began declaring.  Declaring who I am, declaring what I am capable of, declaring my purpose.  And, just as I finished out of my mouth slipped the words, “and, Papa... remove this shell; this shell of perfection and expectation that has trapped me from letting people see me, in the depths of who you created me to be.”

Wait.  What?  Where did that come from?  

And, although it was as if the words formed themselves, I couldn’t deny their truth.  Somewhere in the depths of who I was, I realized that I had spent years and years striving for perfection.  Striving to meet expectations.  Striving to be the image of what other people thought I should be.  Only allowing the bits and pieces of myself come out that I knew would be accepted, that I knew would be appreciated, that I knew would be enjoyed.  Those annoying, quirky, weird things... let’s just keep those inside.

On the drive back, I quickly began to realize the truth of this statement.  Of the resistance I had perfected.  Of the shell I had been carrying around for a very long time.

As I parked the car and walked back towards the house, something happened to catch my eye... a small, white, perfectly whole, shell.  You know the curly, hermit crab type shells.  At first I picked up the shell, admiring it’s perfection.  Not a single crack.  And as I went to slide it into one of the side pockets of my purse I immediately heard God speak... “That shell is meant to be broken.  Isn’t that what you asked for?”  I smiled, raised the shell high above my head, and quickly catapulted it toward the ground, expecting a shattering explosion of victory.

It bounced.  No, seriously.  The shell hit the concrete ground and bounced, rolling over into the grass.  Not a single chip, not a small crack.  Completely whole.

Twice more, I threw the shell towards the ground with the exact same response each time.  Okay, God... real funny.  “Micah, my dear.... I know you are a strong girl.  But, you can’t do this within your own strength.” he responded.  Fuming in defeat, I held the shell in front of my face, said “I’ll deal with you later” and then shoved it away in my purse.  

I went along my day, trying to ignore the happening of the morning, but the shell weighed heavy in purse and even more so on my heart.  Sure, it was just a silly shell.  But, it symbolized something in my life that had been weighing down on me for years and years; a weight I had become so accustomed to carrying that I had forgotten that it wasn’t naturally a part of who I was.

It was time to break this shell once and for all.  I kicked off my shoes, and excused myself from my company, and slipped off to the nearby beach.  It was midday, and the dark, rocky street I was walking along was anything but comfort on my feet.  As I stopped and considered turning back to grab my shoes, I heard God speak “This journey isn’t supposed to be an easy one.  Part of freedom is allowing yourself to first remember the pain.”

So, I finished the walk, feet writhing in agony, sweat forming on my brow arriving along a secluded area of beach.  I placed the shell in the middle of my hand, held it out in front of me, and finally allowed myself to speak the words...”I need you.  I need your help.  I can’t break this shell by myself.”  As quickly as finished that sentence, I looked down to see a very large rock to my right.  One that coincidently had 4 iron nails sticking out of it.  Symbolic, at all?  I gently set the shell upon the rock, picked up another nearby rock and dropped it upon the shell.  The pressure of the two rocks was more than the shell could handle, and despite its look of strength and perfection, it shattered along the sand into a variety of pieces.  The pieces were still beautiful, the still represented pieces of strength.  And, for the first time, I was able to see the iridescent beauty that formed the inside of the shell.  An odd, squiggly array of colors that was hidden until that point.

Maybe it was just a shell.  And maybe finding it was just a coincidence.  But, God spoke such freedom into my life that day.  God allowed me to finally see that imperfection does not equal failure. God allowed me to realize that the me that is often times hidden away is really the person that the world needs to see.   A weight was lifted, a shell was broken.  And, a new, quirkier me is being released.  Watch out, people... things are about to get crazy.  :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Taste of Heaven

I think I got a taste of Heaven today.

It was phenomenal.  Like time stands still, never want to leave that moment phenomenal.
Beauty that cannot be captured, that cannot be described.

I went on a prayer walk with about 50 other locals through Ocean View (the township I live in).  As we walked through the streets, there was a steady melody of hymns and praises being sung gently and sensitively over the land.  Local voices calling out praises.  Interceding on behalf of their people, of their family, of their community.  Walking together.  Side by side.  Step by step. 

An army of the living God.

As we ended the prayer walk, we stopped and gathered in this small park.  The weather was surreal, the sun beating down just perfectly.  As we circled, I couldn't help but just close my eyes and listen to the voices sing.  Surrounded by the scenery of one of the worlds most beautiful creations, trying desperately to soak in the absolute beauty of the moment.  

In the circle around me stood men, women, children, grandmothers.  A people of mixed races, of all ages, of all types of backgrounds.  Standing in one place.  Singing to the glory of the throne.  

Enveloped with love.  Surrounded by grace.  Immersed in beauty.  

A small taste of Heaven.

Friday, November 4, 2011


"...apart from me, you can do nothing."  John 15.5

Ever heard that verse before?  You know, the ever popular vine & branches analogy.  Get's you every time, right?  Yeah, me too.  

But, have you ever really considered what the word "nothing" means?

Nothing (adv): in no respect or degree; not at all.

Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.  Nothing we do, apart from God, is worth it.  Nothing.

I've had to remind myself of that a lot lately.  And when I mean remind, I mean blatantly remind.  I've written it in big block letters across my journal.  I've doodled the phrase with pen a time or two on the inside of my arm.  I've highlighted and underlined the verse in every version of bible I possess.  I've all but tattooed the words across my forehead.   

Because, it's been that important.

You see, lately feel a little bit like I've been trying to do it alone.  You know, I've done this before.  I've lived among the poor.  I've hugged the necks of the needy.  I've prayed prayers of love and of freedom and of healing.  And, somewhere along the way... I let my guard down.  I thought that I had some kind of control over this crazy thing called life.  And, this past week... I all but cracked my head open on the sidewalk as I took a unexpected fall into the pit of my own inadequacy.

I can't do this alone.  No amount of money, no amount of love, no amount of wisdom I have to offer these communities will change things.  

Apart from God... I can do nothing.

In this week alone, I followed a local friend of mine into house after house, hugging the necks of women who struggle from drug addition.  Women desperately seeking to be free from the chains of bondage; women desperate to be good mothers; women desperate to simply feel alive.  This week, I stood in front of a group of 50 women, calling out the identity and beauty that exists in each and every one of them; watching, as tears fell down their cheeks and as arms embraced.  Women in desperate conditions, claiming to walk down this road together.  This week, I've seen hungry children.  I've heard the cries of poverty.  And I've certainly felt the wrath of the enemy.

And I can't do this alone.

But, if I'm honest.. I don't really want to.  Because, while apart from Him I may be nothing... with Him, nothing is impossible.  Nothing.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Guest Blogger. What, what?

Guess what?  I had my first official guest blog post.

That's right.  It's kind of like I'm an official blogger now.  What's up?!

Except, really I was just writing a blog for the ministry I am working with here in Cape Town.  But, that's neither here nor there.

All that to say, that you should go check it out.

Not only should you read the blog I wrote, but you should also check out their ministry here in Ocean View.  These incredible friends of mine are dedicated to seeing the love of God absolutely explode over this area.  The way the have become a part of this community is absolutely mind blowing.  Seriously.  They might be some of the coolest people I've ever met.  

That, and my girl Sarah is way better about keeping you updated on what life and ministry looks like here on a daily basis.  Not nearly as much as a blog procrastinator as myself.

So, go.  Right now.  I mean it.  Check it out.  It's worth it, I promise.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

True Missionaries


I have a hard time calling myself that.  Is that weird?  I don’t know what it is exactly.  I’ve spent the last year and a half of my life traveling overseas, living in poverty stricken lands, trying desperately to be the hands and feet of God.  And, yet... when someone asks me about myself, about what I am doing with my life, about my job, I find it incredibly difficult to choke out the phrase “oh, you know... I’m a missionary!”

Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not because the term holds any sort of derogatory connotation in my mind.  Maybe it’s actually that it holds so much weight.  From a young age, whenever I heard the term in church, I immediately pictured a lovely woman, with her crazy, unkept hair, wearing a long, flowing skirt, with a beautiful smile on her face; living among the poorest of poor, with 700 babies in her lap.  Okay, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.  To me, a missionary was someone who was willing to sacrifice, money, fashion, showers, and even mexican food!  And to be honest... I’m not sure I ever really wanted to do that.

Last night, as I sat in a room in Cape Town, South Africa surrounded by faces that belong to beautiful, mighty, amazing women of God... my definition of missionary changed once again.  These women have seen life at its worst.  They haven’t just seen poverty, they’ve experienced it.  They haven’t just seen devastation, they adorn scars that boldly speak of the battle.  And, they don’t just pack their bags and do this for months at a after day, they pick up their swords and return to the battlefield.  

These women.  These amazing, strong, courageous township women.  They are the missionaries.  They are the ones giving everything they have to see their community survive, to see their families unite, to see that injustices are no more.  Their scars may run deep, but their love runs deeper.  

Maybe one day I’ll get there.  Maybe at some point I will feel a bit more deserving of the term “missionary”.  But for now, I relent to just being a student, to being a learner, to being a disciple.  This place is incredibly blessed with warriors, with intercessors, with life bringers, with world changers.  People who are willing to give it all, to see it through. To fight the ongoing battle of hopelessness, to never give up.  

True missionaries.