In August 1996 I moved to Colorado and began my year long ministry at Doulos. There I was saturated in God's Word and had amazing fellowship with some even more amazing women. God was growing me, changing me, teaching me new things, and taking off some rough edges.
As I walked through that year I remember thinking how it was such a tough year...but really it was just practice for life!
One of the biggest lessons I learned that year was selflessness. Of course, I've not mastered this or even come close, but living with 20 other people you can't be satisfied and selfish! They don't go hand and hand!
At the end of my commitment I tried to get a job at Focus on the Family, but that fell through. My dad had asked me to move home to be free for ministry. I was bummed! A job at Focus on the Family seemed like a much better adventure than life with my parents.
But, God opened no doors in Colorado, so I moved back home. I had about $1,200 in credit card debt, so I took a job as a substitute teacher and gave my schedule to the Lord. I am thankful for those couple of years because they were years of study and preparation for what the Lord had for me.
In 1999 me and my two sisters were asked to run a motel in a tourist town about 45 minutes from our home. So for a year the three of us operated this motel owned by Trinity University. It was there that I began writing Emotional Purity and if you're interested in that story, I've written about that as well! Click HERE.
After our year commitment there was over, I focused fully on my book and in 2001 it was published. For about 2 years I did traveling and speaking. Then in 2003 I got married.
Since that time I've had three boys and life has taken on a whole new purpose. Being a mom is a wonderful, challenging season of life. But through it all God has continued to grow me and prune me. He's used my husband in a powerful way to smooth some of my rough edges. As a couple we continue to grow closer to God and closer to each other.
Over the past couple of years God has used Revive our Hearts to prod me to deeper levels of surrender and obedience. In more ways that I can recount, I've been challenged to let go of selfishness, stubbornness, the need to be justified to others, and pride. He's made me more honest, living with "the roof off with God and the walls down with others". He's brought people into my life to grow me and spur me on and of course He's used my marriage and relationship with John to fashion me even more to His likeness.
The longer I walk closely with God the more detailed His chisels becomes. He refines, challenges, grows, and never leaves us stuck (as long as we're willing and open to growth). At times it's painful and slow, but there's no short cuts to a deep meaningful walk with God.
My prayer is that my testimony was an encouragement to you. Thanks for reading.