Update 4: Going South

Hey everyone! I hope you have had a wonderful holiday season and are feeling refreshed and motivated to start 2019.

In case you’re new here, I write these monthly updates because I currently work for a ministry called Awakening Evangelism. Since moving out here last August, I have continually grown while running alongside some amazing individuals; I couldn’t be more grateful! All of my previous monthly updates (as well as additional blogs) can be found on my page as well if you are interested in reading about the first part of my journey here.

Honestly, so much has changed in the past month. I am no longer an intern at Awakening Evangelism…because I got promoted! I am now on staff here; I feel honored to be trusted and so grateful to continually run alongside this team. However, even though I am now on staff, I am considered a staffed missionary. That means that I am still raising $2,000 per month and that I still need your help in order to do that. So, if you’d like to donate, you can do that here – simply click the button below my picture to sign up for a one-time or monthly contribution.

The past few weeks have looked like working in the office, nannying, and a lot of writing. In December though, I went to visit my parents for Christmas, and then I hopped on a plane to Fresno, CA for our first pre-conference event. We worshipped straight into the new year; it was glorious! One of my favorite parts though was seeing email addresses matched to faces and hearts that truly believe in The Altar Conference. It blows my mind that in just a few short months this conference will actually be a thing. People are coming to it. Fresno is changing. Crazy.

When I write these blogs, I also like to include you in on what I’m learning:

This week, I watched a sermon by a man named Derek Prince. Ever since then, this one line has been running through my brain on a loop:

“God doesn’t ask you to approve, He asks you to follow.”

One day here at the AE office, Mattie and I were walking around the backyard talking when one of our neighbors came over and pointed out a path through the woods. Mattie looked back at me and said, “Well I’m going – you wanna come?” I nodded, and we made our way towards the trees. Our neighbor may have called it a path, but that path disappeared pretty quickly once we entered. Mattie walked in front of me – I stopped when he stopped, stepped where he stepped, and took note of when he ducked or moved branches out of the way. My eyes weren’t fixed on the forest ahead, but on Mattie’s heels.

If you’re like me, simplicity annoys you sometimes. When the answer is so straightforward, you may find yourself wondering if it really could be that easy. Let me tell you friend, following Yahweh is as simple as me following Mattie through that forest. Don’t go where He doesn’t. Stop when He stops. Keep your eyes fixed on His heels.

Now, as a friend of mine recently told me, you may have to eat lunch alone when you live this way. For example, last year when I told people that I was moving to Alabama straight out of high school to pay a ministry to let me work for them, some said they supported me despite their inability to understand; the others cocked their head to the side and looked at me like, “Oh sweetie, have fun ruining your life.” Here’s the thing friends, they don’t have to understand. You go because Yahweh said. You cannot allow your life decisions to be dependent on the thoughts and opinions of others because – quite frankly – they are constantly changing. So, we must choose to put our fate in the hands of One that is evermore constant and steady.

Also, while there may be a multitude of people who don’t get it, there will be handful that do – hold them close.

The best biblical example of this is found in Acts 8 – the story of Phillip the Evangelist. Phillip had what most would deem a successful ministry in Samaria – tons of people were being saved, healed, and delivered! Then, in verse 26, an angel of the Lord asked Phillip to go South. That’s it. This angel didn’t expound into a long speech that would reveal a five-year plan – he just gave Phillip his next step. So, Phillip left all that he had built to go as he was instructed. Reputation and practicalities were off the table as Phillip turned his back on Samaria and made his way South.

If Phillip would have looked ahead, there is a very real chance that he would have been so intimidated or disappointed by what was ahead that he never would have gone in the first place. The Church is so quickly frustrated by Yahweh’s ability to only hand us small pieces at a time that we fail to realize it is actually by His grace that He does so. If God would have told me everything I would be doing here in Alabama, I never would have moved. However, He is kind enough to only allow me one bite-size piece at a time.

All of this to say, my prayer for the Church is that we would view, “Because Yahweh said so,” as a valid reason. Love because He said so. Share the gospel with your waitress because He said so. Forgive because He said so. Leave everything you thought you knew because He said so. Plus, not only does He know best, but your love for Him should empower your ability to say yes. I also long for the Church to value simplicity once more and to see God’s grace in the midst of minimalism. My hope is that we begin to rejoice and dance over the bite-size pieces instead of banging our fists on the table screaming that we are starving, yet we won’t eat until He puts more in front of us.


Well, that’s all I have for this update. As always, if you have comments, questions, or concerns, feel free to leave them in the comments below this blog.

Much love.

Advertisements

The Healing Solution for an Orphaned Church

Hey y’all! I come at you this week with an additonal blog to my monthly updates. This month has been full of simple rest, so I decided to present you with some thoughts on a topic that has been stirring in me for the past year or so. The goal of this blog is one thing: to address the orphaned heart of the modern Church and simultaneously clarify the confusion that may have come through countless church leaders declaring every member of their congreagtion as a spiritual son.

I define a spiritual authority as someone who hears God on your behalf – they don’t replace your own ear, but they do enhance it. In that same breath, they are also someone who would come pick you up if your car broke down in the rain at two in the morning. With that being said, a pastor that you only see when he speaks on Sundays is not your spiritual father. You may be under his pastoral authority, but it is nothing more than that.


The picture above is of myself along with two of the most important people in my life – Mattie and Candice Montgomery.

I met the Montgomery power-duo through an online course I enrolled in last year. Mattie and the rest of his staff seemed to connect really well with me. Then, next thing I knew, I was loading up my car to move out here with them. I am now an intern for Mattie’s ministry in which I took that online course through – Awakening Evangelism.

Candice is a fireball. She is a mama bear, and she will not let you be anything less than everything Yahweh is calling you to be in that moment. She is free because she knows who she is. She is determined to love Yahweh with all of her, and I love watching her continually lay her crown at His feet. She is one of those people who you look at and know instantly that she changes the planet behind closed doors. Whether it’s being a mom, wife, or prayer warrior, I can evidently see the impact she makes even when it is not on display for all to see.

Mattie is one of my favorite people on the planet. He loves relentlessly – with no fear in mind of what he might get in return (or the lack thereof). He walks securely as a son. He isn’t afraid to dream beyond himself. He really looks like Jesus. In fact, the first time I met him, I wrote down that, “it was like I could see Jesus in his eyes.” He will celebrate everyone thoroughly and openly. He is driven and ambitious and intelligent. I think my favorite thing about him though is his humility and determination to never take himself or his job title too seriously.

Together this couple invites me into their home, allows me to hold and love their babies, and pushes me to be better every second. They always make time for me, and they love me better than anyone I know. Mattie and Miss Candice, I love you and I am so grateful for you!

However, as great as they are, I didn’t always want them.

Proximity is scary; I have found myself on multiple occasions pulling away from them because I get scared of how much they’re seeing. On top of that, leadership in my life has never been consistent. With my first youth pastor passing away in 2016, I decided that I didn’t want anyone but him ever again. I rejected leadership left and right because I already gave my heart to someone before, and I couldn’t help but selfishly think of how he was snatched away from me. So, I am more than comfortable holding my own heart in my hands and running from anyone who is interested in stewarding it.

When I moved out here 5 months ago, I knew I wanted family. However, my heart instantly started locking up when Mattie began to lead me. Insecurity bubbled over at every sign of correction or celebration; I wept into his shirt on multiple occasions, got frustrated time and time again, and made my fair share of mistakes. Yet, he continued to love me, and his love has now given me permission to keep moving forward.

Take it from me, I had never had anyone sit in this seat of authority before I moved out of my house in August. I survived five years with that position remaining empty, and – honestly – I could’ve survived long after that. Plus, being as stubborn as I am, solitude is like a trophy. It’s almost as if I’m dragging my sword through the desert shouting, “Look! I am walking all by myself with no crutch! I don’t need anyone! I don’t need anyone!”

All of this to say, I am well aware that it would be easier to be an orphan. Instead of cracking yourself open at the feet of someone, you could just bottle things up. You could stay distant, keep running through the desert – you’d make it. However, I think you will deprive yourself of gaining a deeper understanding of the Father. We know in the back of our minds that God sees, knows, and still loves us in the midst of our shortcomings. Spiritual authority magnifies that by watching an individual see you at your worst and still treat you as if you are completely innocent. For example, I confessed something to Mattie not too long ago that I hadn’t told anyone. After I finished, I waited for a raised voice or a stern correction, but he just softly said, “Okay, that was wrong of you, but it’s under the blood,” he paused and looked at the door. “Come on,” he smiled, “let’s go for a walk.” Then, we proceeded to explore the backyard of our offices as if that conversation never happened.

All in all, I hope you walk away from this blog with a determination to find someone to fill that authoritative role in your life. I promise that you will gain a deeper understanding of Yahweh, feel loved to the brink of discomfort, and be deeply offended – when you find the right fit that is. Seek them out. You will be better for it.

Lastly, go bless my fearless leaders. Below I have linked everything I could think of – from Mattie’s book to his booking website to his ministry. If nothing, please pray for them!

Mattie’s latest book

Booking, donation, and contact for Mattie

Mattie’s conference he is putting on next year

Mattie’s ministry

Well, that is all I have for you this time. As always, please feel free to comment any questions you may have.

Until next time,

Much love.

Update 3: Easy vs Holy

(Pictured above: our big, happy family on Thanksgiving)

Hey everyone! I’m so beyond excited so be able to catch you up on all that has happened in the past month. As always, I am learning so much here. Honestly, there’s quite a bit to cover; so, I’ll break it down for you:

Australia! – For about two weeks, the other interns and I had the opportunity to go to Australia! We went for a conference called Awakening Australia, but we got to sight-see for the first week or so. The conference was a lot of work (I was on the hosting team), but it was also life-altering. At least one thousand people got saved, and even more were touched, healed, and delivered!

Thanksgiving – This year was my first Thanksgiving away from home. However, it was also a real good one. If you have read my previous blogs or follow me on social media, you have often heard me describe this ministry as my family. That term is easily thrown around in the modern Church, but here it is completely true. I was invited to sit around Mattie’s table with his incredible family this year. I am so loved and I couldn’t be more grateful to be so much more than just an intern!

Financial Update – As of now, I am halfway funded for this internship. With that, this internship is inching closer to the halfway mark as we speak. So, I am still in need of financial partners! If you would like to donate to all Yahweh is doing in me, please go here and click on my face to make a donation.

What I’m learning

As I’ve stated many times over, I am truly being stretched in this internship. Yahweh has so graciously plopped me down right in front of everything I was running from, or everything I thought I had conquered. Over the past couple weeks, I found myself repeating the phrase, “It would be so much easier if…” The thought that finally shut that phrase down is this:

Correct.

It would be easier! Easier to go where I’m not challenged, easier to remain distracted, easier to hide out in a dark back corner while everyone else is celebrated at the front.

However, it would not be Holy or right.

If there truly is a book written about my life as the Word states, then I want to stay true to that book. I want to fix my eyes on the heels of Jesus as I step only where He has. Whether that means moving to China or staying in Alabama or being an accountant or going to college or whatever – it doesn’t matter. As Mattie says, I choose to carry my promises with an open hand. To boil it down even further, just follow this:

“I won’t go where You don’t.”

It’s that simple. Be where He is.

Well, that’s all I have for you this time. Thank you so much for investing your time, money, and prayers into me – I truly couldn’t be more grateful. As always, please feel free to bring me any comments, questions, or concerns in the comments below this.

Much love.

Update 2: I Lived Out of a Van for Three Weeks

Hey everyone!

Right off the bat I’d like to apologize for the delay on this blog post, however it is all for a good reason. As you can see by the title, I have been out on tour! In case you missed my last update (you can read that here), I am currently interning for an organization called Awakening Evangelism. With that, we have been traveling literally all around the country for church events for the majority of September. From rooms of twenty people to huge conference arenas, we have literally seen it all.

Let me give you a look into the touring life: it’s a couple hours of glory in exchange for multiple hours of driving. That concept is so funny to me considering that we look at touring artists as if they have the best life we could imagine, when in reality they’re just homeless for the majority of the year. We have slept anywhere from church pews to classrooms to Motel 8’s.

However, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I have been stretched, challenged, and blown away by this trip. Stretched simply because it turns out that being with the same people literally 24/7 is not the easiest thing in the world. Challenged simply by the faith, boldness, and deep love played out by those same individuals. Finally, blown away because Jesus is literally awe-striking.

If there has to be a theme to what I have been learning spiritually on this trip, it would come down to one simple phrase:

Jesus is King.

The lordship of Jesus has been enrapturing me for the majority of my time on the road. I am constantly astounded by the fact that He doesn’t compromise. Also, that He isn’t only soft, compassionate Jesus that gets down and draws in the dirt; He is also mighty King Jesus, defeater of hell and the grave.

I could literally write a whole book about that, but I’ll spare you – for now, haha.


In regards to this tour, if you’d like a small glimpse into that as well as where my heart rests at this point in the internship, you can check out the link below. Our incredibly anointed media director, Matthew Kimble, put together a recap for each intern. He did an incredible job (like he always does).

Internship Update/Tour Recap


Now for a few practical updates:

As far as October goes, I have been enjoying being home. Sleeping in my own bed is a luxury that I no longer take lightly – haha. Also, I have been coaching a few students that are taking our online evangelism course this year. I love having the honor of walking through this journey again with them – as I am an alumni from last year. Watching their hearts shift as they come into the realization of who they really are and how valuable Jesus truly is has been such a privilege.

As I write this, I just received an email with the flight information for our trip to Australia here in a few weeks! During our stay, we will be exploring all around Australia, as well as attending a conference called Awakening Australia. I am on the volunteer staff as a host, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Lastly, if I haven’t mentioned it before, Mattie (the president of Awakening Evangelism) made me the tour manager! That means that while we were on tour (and for future events) I am in charge of time, transportation, the company vehicle, etc. I am so honored to be trusted by Mattie as well as the other incredible interns I have the opportunity to run with.


Y’all – I love it here. I often find tears rolling down my cheeks as I watch Mattie speak, or watch my roommate, Charity, worship with all her might, or watch the other interns pray for and love the lost right into the Kingdom. I’m so deeply grateful and humbled and honored to have this opportunity.

The craziest part of all of this is that all of the things above that I just described, I was only able to experience due to the generosity and faithfulness of my donors.

At this point in time, I am still in financial need. So, if you would like to sow into this journey and help me to continue to do all of the amazing things I just mentioned to you, you can do that here. Absolutely anything helps and is deeply appreciated.

If nothing else, please pray for the team and I. Traveling mercies and simply more of Him forever and ever!

On that note, that’s all I have for you this time! If you have any comments, questions, or concerns please feel free to comment on this blog and I will be sure to get back to you.

All hail King Jesus.

Until next time,

Much love.

Update 1: The Back of the Room

Hey y’all! As always, I hope you’re doing so incredibly well. I hope you are evidently seeing the glory and goodness of God all over your life – and if not, I know you’re about to.

In case you have missed some of my past blogs, I recently moved to Alabama in order to participate in a 10-month long internship with a ministry called Awakening Evangelism run by Evangelist Mattie Montgomery.

I’ve been sending monthly updates (only one so far haha) to my financial supporters, and it was brought to my attention that people who aren’t supporting may still be curious as to what I’m doing out here. So, the point of this blog is to update y’all about where I’m at and what I’m learning at this point in time. However, if you would like to become one of those financial supporters, you may do that here.


Currently, I have been living here in Alabama for a little over two weeks now. Those two weeks have been filled with everything from prayer to mocking and teasing to encouragement, and the breaking down of walls like I would never expect.

Y’all.

I thought that when I moved out here all my issues would cease to exist simply because I would be in the midst of divine family. While this tribe is everything I could ever dream, they (shockingly) haven’t waved a magic wand to make all my problems disappear. Rather, I have received counseling and hugs and assurance from them.

One of the many things I have been learning is in regards to an untitled parable in the beginning of Luke 14. In this parable, Jesus discusses the timing of taking the seat of honor; he mentions that you should always take the back seat until you are called higher (Luke 14:7-11).

Now, before arriving here, I was pretty used to leading groups of younger kids. I was comfortable there. Honestly, I often felt so confident in my own skin simply because it looked as though I was usually one step ahead.

This is one of the many parts Yahweh is destroying in me currently.

While being a part of this ministry, my goal is to do whatever I have to in order to see the dream of God blossom in the lives of the AE team. I am willing to do anything in order to see Mattie and his family succeed – running errands, sending emails, or interceding on their behalf (and that goes for the rest of the team as well). So, with that hard-pressed on my heart, I must learn to take the back seat.

Just to clarify, this “back seat” doesn’t mean not being celebrated or acknowledged. This back seat means that I am willing to honor the fact that Yahweh is moving in the life of the one I am under, and I am privileged to even be a small piece of that.

So, overall, I have been enjoying the fact that I get to honor the ones I am running alongside – observing and being the loudest cheerleader. I have been learning that being the crazy one at the front of the room doesn’t prove anything about my heart posture. Lastly, I have been in the process of learning how to be loved really, really, really well – which is often way more difficult than it sounds.

Practically, day-to-day life just looks like office work, church, and movie nights at Mattie’s house once a week. Maybe not super exciting for y’all to hear about, but it is super exciting for me to experience.

I would like to conclude by extending a sincere thank you. If you’ve ever prayed for me or believed in me or financially partnered with me or even simply have read this whole blog post: thank you. The fact that anyone believes in a teenager enough to send them across the country to do what I am currently doing has kept me in a place of constant wonder.

I am so grateful. Grateful that Yahweh has so intricately planned every detail of my life. Grateful that He is – as Hagar titled Him – the One who sees me; grateful for family.

Finally, if you have any comments, questions, or concerns please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Until next time,

Much love.

Find Your Tribe

Hey y’all, I hope life has been treating you well. I also hope that you have been enjoying the heightened activity of this blog for the past few months. Writing these blogs and scraping out all of the junk that doesn’t make sense seems to help my process of thinking. So, thank you for being an audience to my own process – I hope you’re gaining something from all of this.

For this blog, my desire is that you will walk away either realizing that you’re missing something you didn’t know you needed or extremely grateful for something you didn’t know you had.


All throughout the Bible, family is mentioned time and time again. Whether that’s blood-relation or just simple community connection. Either way, it is pretty easy to see that Yahweh cares about connection and family. You can see this in pages and pages of lineage or in Paul and Timothy’s relationship – family is everywhere.

Before I move forward, let me give you my definition of family so you aren’t left wondering what I am pushing you to find. Family consists of people who will wrap you up in giant hugs and tell you how proud they are of you, but it also consists of people who will pull you aside by the collar of your shirt and say, “You’re acting like a jerk today. Stop. That is not who you are – this is who you are…” People that will speak identity over you as they bring, what may be very painful, correction to you. Hugs and correction alike, have to come from a place of deep love for you and a desire to push you farther than they could ever go.

Yahweh God is so clever when it comes to all things, but especially creation. He has designed us to be able to live without the family or community I described above. He has built us so we are capable to walk through deserts living only on the presence of God. However, why make your life a grueling desert walk when you could be launched into the oasis by the leaders in your life? Why miss out on inheritance that could launch you forward via years of life experience?

Yahweh has designed you with the capability to survive on your own, but you can only conquer in family.

With all of that being said, if you have sought out family left and right with prayerful influence and direction and come up short time and time again: move. Pack up everything you own and go to a place where you know family can be found. I know that sounds extreme, but it could just be the very decision that changes your entire walk with God.

“No one would be crazy enough to do that, right?”

Not exactly. I am just crazy enough to do that.

In case you’ve missed the last few blogs, in a little over a month, I will be moving across the country to link arms with some pretty incredible individuals (if you would like to help me do so, you can do that here). In fact, as I write this, I have just gotten back from a weekend trip where I was able to get a taste of what I will be experiencing very soon. I honestly can’t put into words all that happened and all that I felt this weekend, but I will tell you this story. As our plane jerkily hit the runway as we flew back this morning, my dear friend turned to me and said, “We’re home!” I hesitated for a second, peered out the window, and said, “It doesn’t feel like it anymore.” I had seen my home. I had seen it in the wild worship that surrounded me, seen it in the eyes of my new tribe, and lastly I had seen it in the way they loved me.

In essence, God cares about family. And if you haven’t cared about it or didn’t see the need until this point, I would encourage you to seek out a tribe. Or, if you are realizing that you have a tremendous family surrounding you, go hug their necks and tell them how grateful you are. After all, there are people frantically searching to obtain what you have right now.

Find your tribe and never let them go.

Much love.

When They Were Supposed to be There (and Why There is Hope in the Midst of Absence)

See the source image

Hey all, as always, I hope you’re doing well. I hope summer is treating you well (it just stopped snowing/raining here like two weeks ago so I’m a pretty happy camper right about now).

Before we get into this, if you have not read my initial blog about loss, the context here might be a little fuzzy. To keep it short and simple, I lost my 23-year-old youth pastor to an aggressive form of cancer two years ago this July. If you would like to read more about that experience, you can do so here.

I haven’t written about loss in awhile. In fact, I only wrote about it once. I thought that it would be a one-time event where I split myself open over the internet as way too much information flowed out. However, I am realizing more and more that there are layers to pretty much everything in life and that those layers deserve to be spoken about as well. So, here I am once again to crack myself open for the sake of process for myself as well as healing for anyone reading – or at least that’s my hope.

A few days ago, I was dressed in a gown sitting in a large stadium looking around for my family. It was graduation day. As I sat in the front row clapping for all 650+ students at my high school as their names were called, one boy stood out to me. I have no idea who this kid is; as you can clearly tell, my graduating class is a bit on the larger side. Anyways, this young man waited for his name to be called, grabbed his diploma, and then pulled out a picture and kissed it exclaiming, “I love you mom!” Yup. My heart broke as I hoped that this kid still had a mama watching him walk that day, but then realized that her picture was probably the only way she could attend.

Loss is strange in the way that one single word, action, or setting can pull you right back to a significant – bitter or sweet – point in time. All of the sudden, I was in the midst of a vivid memory. I was at bible study and my youth pastor was sitting across from me. Myself and the other high school kids were sitting on the ground of a children’s classroom chatting before we began the study. We were talking about graduating and my youth pastor was saying how he couldn’t wait to see us walk across that stage. He joked about painting his whole body with our school colors and screaming the loudest of anyone there. We all laughed. I began to worry because I knew it would be just like him to do something like that.

Then, boom, I was back in the stadium. I gripped my gown and listened to the words cycle through my brain time after time, “You should have been here.” There’s something particular about losing someone young. There’s a grit that comes with it – this sense that you always imagined them being present for the upcoming and exciting times and then they’re just…not. I felt angry and confused and weighed down in that moment. I was angry that he wasn’t up in the stands sitting with my family. I was confused as to how I went from a giant grin to sitting with my head down in the midst of five seconds. I felt weighed down by grief – for myself and for that boy who had just kissed his mama in front of thousands of people.

So, why am I writing this? I am writing this to say that if you are constantly pulled back to bittersweet memories, it’s okay. If you are two years or two centuries removed from that season and it sometimes still feels like a fresh wound, it’s okay. If you feel a sense of injustice overwhelm you during holidays, birthdays, and weddings because you feel the absence that they bring, it’s okay.

I also want you to know that there is hope. Hope beyond the worn out comfort phrases like, “They’re in a better place now.” Hope beyond hard days. Hope beyond the grave. My hope lies within the fact that I do still miss him – that he is not forgotten. I see him in the Rocky Mountains and Bronco games and sarcasm. I see him in glass tables and black Vans shoes. My hope also lies within the fact that while he is not here now, he has reached the end goal. He is seated within the Throne Room I try my very best to connect to as my arms are raised above my head. He beat me there.

To add, don’t beat yourself up for your grief process. Whether that feels like not missing your loved one enough, or missing them consistently as if they had just left yesterday – know that everyone is different. If your holidays look like sitting in the bathroom for ten minutes wiping mascara from under your eyes, that’s okay. If your holidays look like laughter and pure joy, that’s okay too. Also, no matter the case, know that you are loved. By Jesus Himself and by the family He has strategically placed around you. Don’t lock yourself inside isolation and believe the lie that no one would want your heaviness around, go and enjoy all of the beautiful events ahead – even if they are a little bitter.

There’s hope.

Much love.