And it comes ’round full circle

So as I was taking a shower this morning, I had a thought. I often enjoy standing under scalding hot water for ridiculous amounts of time doing nothing else but thinking, and this time my thoughts revolved around the future of the ministry Ray and I have started (The Joshua Blueprint) and all that has happened to get us to this point. But I wasn’t thinking about it from the perspective of anything I’ve done, but from the perspective of what others have done. Let me explain…

Fulfilling the calling

All of the things that I am doing now, and even some things that I have yet to do, are the culmination of a number of things I have already done. Okay, I fear that either sounds super common-sensical or completely nonsensical. Let me try again… I want to connect some dots as a way of saying thank you to the many people that have influenced the trajectory my life is currently taking. My life is what it is because of what you have done.

Ever since my college days, I’ve been asking people for money. But not in the typical, “Hey, I’m a broke millenial. So… you got a dollar?” fashion. No, I’ve always sought financial help for noble reasons (mission trips, leadership training, ministry projects, etc.). As much as I hate asking people for money – ask my dad, he knows – I’ve maintained this view that anytime people donate towards something I feel called to do, that they are working in partnership with me; they are in essence fulfilling the calling with me.

The journey begins

It all started shortly after my mom passed away. During spring break, a few weeks before she died, I had attended a “Spring Breakthrough” conference in Alabama at The Ramp, and I came away from that meeting with a fire burning deep within my belly, as I had received the gift of tongues and a fresh anointing. When I returned to Salina that summer, I returned with a vision to start a dance ministry. But I needed money. I reached out, people answered, and the Lord enabled us to put together an intercessory worship dance event. It was rough, but the day of small beginnings usually is.

A few years later I felt called to go to South Africa on a short-term mission trip with Global Expeditions (Teen Mania). I had always had a heart for Africa and wanted to take advantage of my youth and singleness to get a feel for ministry on the continent, so I applied. Thankfully, I got accepted. But I needed money. I reached out, people answered, and the Lord enabled me to go to South Africa.

While I was a college student, I helped organize campus-wide prayer vigils and spent a lot of time with friends in houses/chapels/grassy knolls of prayer and worship. It became my passion. Once I moved back to my hometown, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself, so I applied for a leadership course at the International House of Prayer with the Luke 18 Project. Though they specialized in training college students to start prayer furnaces on their campuses, they accepted a few young adults. I was one of them. But I needed money. I reached out, people answered, and the Lord enabled me to get in-depth training on building prayer furnaces.

I came back from that intensive with a renewed fire for prayer, found a few people that were willing to keep a furnace with me going for a full year, and then I got invited to Kenya to take part in a youth conference. Now, as many of you know, Ray’s uncle had been coming to stay with us since I was 14 years old. He had told me numerous stories about Kenya and had piqued my interest in visiting, so I was all about this trip. But I needed money. I reached out, people answered, and the Lord enabled me to minister in music and ministry at the youth conference AND to meet my husband.

Aside from dealing with the after effects of a shocking engagement announcement after that trip, I also felt compelled to take some of the music I had written and record a proper album (My Name, Your Seal) to share with friends and family before I moved away to another country. These were personal songs that had resulted from a particular season in my relationship with God, and I wanted a producer I knew from college to help me bring them to life. But I needed money. I reached out, people answered, and the Lord enabled me to create an album that I’m extremely proud of and that stands as a lasting reminder of God’s faithfulness to me.

That brings us back to today

Since then, with our fledgling ministry trying its darndest to get out of the nest, many people have supported us and helped us to get to where we are today. We of course still have a long way to go (the vision is much, much bigger than I think we even realize), but we’re getting somewhere. And that’s because of people like you.

People who partnered with me to put together the dance event, which ultimately prepared the way for what I’m doing with my dance students now. People who partnered with me to get to South Africa, where God stirred a love for this continent deep within me. People who partnered with me to receive valuable training on prayer that we’re implementing in our home and ministry today. People who partnered with me to make the initial trip to Kenya and discover my forever home. People who partnered with me to release songs that had been in my heart for years and who helped me believe that I was good enough.

None of what I have done or what I am doing could have been done without your help. None of it.

As I’ve said to some of you before, this has never been about me doing whatever I want to do and taking money from other people so I can make it happen, but it has always been about joining with people who understand the heart or purpose behind why I’m doing something. When I stand before God one day and give an account of all that I’ve done in these various areas, I will not be alone. You who have supported me in prayer and finances will be there with me receiving your due reward. We’re all in this together, and I for one am so happy to have kingdom-minded friends like you to run this race with.

Thank you.

P.s. This thank you also goes to those that helped us raise money for me to go back to the States last year to see some doctors. It wasn’t ministry related, so I didn’t add it in the post, but I am INCREDIBLY grateful just the same.