Heart Journey: Thoughts On One More Year


I thought it might be a bit fun to throw up a blog post today, considering technically I didn't live on January 17, 2013.  Thank you International Date Line.  I will never really understand you.  

As you are reading this, Dane and I are flying in the air, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.  We are waving hello to Hawaii, Fiji, whales, dolphins, and sea turtles.  Yes, we are on our way back to Australia for one more year at Hillsong International Leadership College, and I can't help but think about what the upcoming year will hold.  

You see, our last year in Australia was not what we expected.  I knew it wouldn't be easy, I knew there would be homesickness, but for some reason I thought that because we had been obedient to what God was calling us to do, which in my mind was, leave every single thing you own and love and move to a strange continent filled with the 10 deadliest EVERYTHINGS, that He would bless us abundantly with the things I wanted Him to bless us with, an easy road, abundance of cash, and some weird form of Hillsong fame (I don't know where that came from, but I know it was in there).  When those things didn't happen, I was not a happy little child of God.

Yes, I know, we worked really hard to keep things super positive on the blog.  But I have felt really compelled to tell this side of the story to you all, because I think a lot of us experience this "disappointment" with how God responds to our situations.  

The word that would sum up my 2012 was surrender.  Moving to Australia, having no car, not a lot of cash flow, different foods, communication difficulties with the USA, a husband with a severely torn up ankle and wild bird attacks forced me to surrender every single area in my life to God.   Let me set a very specific scene up for you from last year:  I remember being one month into our journey there, walking a mile home from the grocery store by myself with around 50 pounds of groceries on my back and in my hands, Dane home with his ankle propped up on ice, and it was 3am in the USA so not a time to phone call home.  And all I could think was, "well God, it is just you and me walking this road.  We just started this Aussie adventure and I am already done, so you are going to have to carry me the rest of the way."  Surrender.  

Time and time again throughout the year, I was called to surrender things to the Lord.  I had to quit trying to control situations, relationships, fears, our money, my time, energy and marriage, and let God have control.  

Time and time again in the Bible, when people surrender to God's plan and are obedient, in return, they are blessed.  Like I said before, I felt like this little child of God was receiving no blessing, because what I was receiving didn't fall into my idea of how God should bless me.  Another area of surrender of course.  

But as I look back on 2012, I see countless blessings, along the whole journey.  They may not be what I was expecting, but they were exactly what I was truly needing.  He blessed us with an amazing group of friends, our Australian family.  People who we love dearly and walked the daily journey with us.  They know the road, the struggles, the joy and the tears.  A church where we are encouraged to read and follow God's word, where Jesus's name is praised and people are valued and loved.  Revelations of who God is, how much He loves us, and how worthy of a God He truly is.  An educational experience where Dane has grown leaps and bounds in his guitar and musical skills.  Healing from past hurts.  Chains broken over areas in our lives that I don't know if we ever really expected freedom in.  He blessed us with the everyday items we needed, a bed, a refrigerator, a washer/dryer, two sets of bikes, wonderful neighbors, good health, rides to school and work, protection from a psychotic bird, a few mini-vacations to get away from it all, visits from USA friends and family, a wonderful car.  The list could go on and on.  

Dane and I seriously considered calling our first year in Australia our last year, but God spoke very clearly to both us, saying He isn't done yet.  

So as we approach year two, I can't help but be expectant.  God has taught us so many lessons in one year, I just know year two will be above and beyond what I am even imagining now.  As we land, we begin the second leg of our journey.  This time around, I am coming at things with a more humbled heart.  I will try my best to continue to listen and be obedient with a heart surrendered to Him, and as for the blessings that will follow.  Well I trust that God knows exactly what Dane and I will be needing throughout this year, and that He will abundantly pour it out on us, His children.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians 3:20 (msg)

Love, The Kids Down Under


  1. I am so proud of you. Your open heart and honesty is a treasure. Be filled with joy and expectancy in this NEW YEAR in Australia. BEAUTY for ASHES!!

  2. Now think of the time period when Ephesians 3:20 was written. What was going on for the Christians at that time that the letter was being sent to, and for the writer. Once you think of that, you may find that your definition of "blessing, wildest dreams" etc will no longer be colored by 20th/21st century American definition of Blessing....and the Prosperity Gospel distortion that has impacted American Christianity. Yes you have been blessed with many things this past year, and maybe even more then you currently realize.

  3. Wow. Thank you for being so open and raw! I am EXCITED to see what the Lord does with the two of you. I look up to your obedience and ability work through your changes.

  4. @ Stephanie: You don't know how many times I have said those three little words to myself.
    @ Sarah: I appreciate your email. Very good stuff there.
    @ Caley: Thank you for your excitement. We are also excited for what is to come.