Follow me

I've thought a lot about this day.  It has run through my mind on repeat, the words I would say.  Always they came to me in the quiet moments touching those deep places that only God has seen and understood.  And I have prayed all along the way that I might help you to see my heart, that I might hold your hand and lead you to the view that fills my soul.

For many years now, I have felt that God was preparing both Tim and I for something different.  I didn't know what it was, but there lived in me an unwavering knowledge that our lives would not look as they do now.  If you had asked me seven years ago what that would be, I would have guessed that Tim would be called into full time ministry as a pastor.  You would have thought that I was right when he was ordained in our church in September of 2012.  But the door did not open for us to pursue that path.  Truly God had his hands on us, encouraging our hearts and speaking truth into our spirits that we were not forgotten, and he held the answers to our questions. We only needed to be still, and remain faithful to the work he had already called us to.

Two years later found us on the back patio of our home sharing life with my sister Nancy and her husband Chad.  It was late summer with a cool evening that spoke with brilliant stars and light breezes.  The trip to Nicaragua in July of that year had stirred all of us, and we sat in the intimacy of our friendship discussing how we wanted to do more than a short term trip every summer.

Tim and I had talked through many early mornings over coffee and into late evenings in the quiet of our backyard about how we couldn't get Nicaragua out of our minds.  We expected it for the first few weeks after our return, but now, months later it was still wrecking our minds.  It was difficult to live the normalcy of our lives when part of our hearts were still lingering in Nicaragua.

We shared in those moments with our friends as the dusk settled in, how unsettled our spirits felt.  How the mention of it brought me to tears, because it touched that sacred place in my heart.  The four of us joked about moving there, but at that time it seemed outrageous to entertain such an idea.  I could not imagine leaving my family, my home, or my quaint little community that I planned to live in for the rest of my life.

The days moved on, and Tim and I continued to discuss and dream of what we were going to do with Nicaragua.  It became a life of its own, like our fifth child.  We planned our future with it.  We discussed fund raising, taking teams there on a regular basis, supporting it financially, and even adoption.  But none of these things brought the settling of peace.

In February, Tim had the opportunity to return to Nicaragua to help plan a short term mission trip for the summer.  We were united in the idea that this trip in some way would lead us closer to how God would use us for Nicaragua.  I really didn't know what to expect.  I had no preconceived ideas, no strong feelings on what would be revealed.  I only knew I felt an excitement for what the future would bring.

While Tim was there, he felt that God was asking him to speak with Tim Bagwell, the President of New Life Nicaragua where we had visited last summer.  When the opportunity did not come for them to speak one on one during a breakfast meeting, Tim, who is not naturally an outgoing guy, left the meeting with a sense of relief.  As the team walked back to their vehicle, Tim Bagwell approached my Tim and asked if they might be able to connect once he returned to the states.

From that phone call, my Tim discovered that the Bagwells had been praying for some time that God would raise up another couple to share their vision of the orphanage and come along side them, equally yoked in the work God had called them to.

The days following that call were filled with whispers between the two of us.  We wondered if God had been preparing us for such a time as this.  I prayed for a sign, so I could be sure.  I thought that if we were pursued by the Bagwells then surely we would have to consider it, but if not we could continue our lives with little interruption.

My ways are not God's ways, and he was asking us to take this first step in great faith.  Tim discussed the situation with our pastor who encouraged us to share our interest with the Bagwells.  We felt strongly that if we were going to reach out to them that we would already need to say yes to the possibility.  Together we prayed over this path that our lives may travel, and together we decided that if we were invited to Nicaragua we would go.

We sat in our living room, side by side and spoke into the phone that closed the distance between Tim and Chris Bagwell.  The invite was given and there in that moment, the past several months of searching came to a place of rest.

That night I laid in my bed staring at the ceiling as tears slid down into my pillow.  My mind was full of questions that God in his wisdom has since been answering little by little.  He is walking me through the goodbyes, and the heartaches of leaving behind a life that has been nothing but beautiful.

We made the decision to go in March, and since that time God has confirmed and encouraged us in ways that have strengthened our resolve.  We believe that if we had said no to this calling that God would invite someone else to take our place.  We are far too small to determine God's plans.  They will prevail with or without us, but we have been given the honor to be a part of something that touches the very heart of God.  I believe with assurance that we would be missing out on God's greatest blessings if we did not follow where he is leading us.  He has given us a hope that we do not own as his spirit rests upon us, and he continues to strengthen our faith beyond anything we might be capable of on our own.

I pray that you would follow us to Nicaragua.  My great hope would be for you to share our vision, and support us with your prayers.  We do not expect the journey to be easy, but we believe it will be good!


  1. It will be delightful to pray for you! Thanks for sharing the journey in heartfelt words..... So exciting!



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