Adore

Adore. Such a sweet, simple word that the Lord has been whispering to my heart repeatedly since Christmas.  It all started with the Christmas song, “O, Come Let Us Adore Him” and I haven’t been able to turn the repeat button off since.

“O come let us adore Him

O come let us adore him

O come let us adore Him

Christ the Lord

Oh come, all ye faithful

Come let us adore Him

Oh come, all ye faithful

Come let us adore Him”

But what does it mean for us to come and adore God?  This is the question that has plagued my thoughts and been the source of a few restless nights.  Not because God wants to keep me up, but because God wants me to grab ahold of learning to come and adore Him.

adore 1

Adore means to love and respect someone deeply. To worship, to be devoted to, to hold dear, to cherish and treasure, to exalt, to take great pleasure in and to love deeply and devotedly.

Is this the posture of my heart to God?  Sadly, not a lot of the time.  I love my God, but I’m human and I have my days where honestly I would rather throw a tantrum like a 2-year-old and plug my ears and just ignore Him.  I’m not proud of that, but it’s honest.  But God is bigger than my tantrums.  He continues to gently, and sometimes not so gently draw me back toward His heart.  I’m so thankful He does!  I’m so thankful that He isn’t done with me yet.

The thing is, it’s not just about how you or I are adoring God, it’s also about how He adores me, how He adores you.  Did you catch that?  He ADORES me.  He ADORES  you. Most days that’s hard for me to swallow.  How can the creator of the universe adore me?  Me, the girl who is still in her pajama’s at noon, hasn’t cleaned her house in a week, is halfway ignoring God and is halfway letting the business of her day take precedent over time with Him.  The answer is simple, He’s not about a check list.  He adores me because He loves me.  It has nothing to do with what I do or don’t do.  He loves me.  At my worst and at my best,  He loves me.  He adores me. 

And while my heart begins to flourish knowing that my Daddy adores me, the question that He kept posing to my heart is the one of my heart adoring Him.

love you1

There are several dear friends that I have that are married and have young families.  I love watching them at church.  One family has a teenage daughter, their are times during worship where they are standing in a line together and singing there praises to God and the daughter, H, reaches out to her dad and wraps her arms around his waist.  Without a second thought, he pulls H closer to himself.  She sinks into him, she rests into him, she adores him.

Another one of my favorite families has two young daughters.  Their youngest wears glasses and has this precious, tender spirit and those glasses just make her eyes look so much bigger, as if she is constantly in awe of everything around her.  During worship the other week, she grabbed her dads hand and looked up at him expectantly.  He looked down at her, smiled and picked her up into his arms.  She nestled her head against his shoulder and they sang praises to God together.

What sweet sights of precious daughters adoring their daddy’s!!  As I watched these girls and smiled at the sweetness of the moment, the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart,

Adore. O Come and Adore Me Megan.

And so I tried to come and adore my Daddy.  Again, to adore Him is to love Him, to respect Him, to be devoted to Him, to exalt Him, and to worship Him.  I felt like I was doing a pretty good job at this whole adoring thing.  But God wanted to take me deeper.  You see I had a partial view of what it meant to adore, but I was missing out on a few other pieces.

Was I holding dear to God?  Was I cherishing Him?  Was I taking great pleasure in Him? I wish I could tell you yes, but, I wasn’t doing these things.  And as I usually do, I start to kick myself and remind myself that I’m not a good little Christian girl, and that I need to get my act together.  And then comes something just as precious as my God adoring me, His grace whispers to me, “It’s not about what you aren’t doing well, it’s about grabbing ahold of so much more of my heart and resting in Me.”

There it is again.  REST.  The sweet reminder that I don’t have to have it all together, that I don’t have to have it all figured out.  That’s GRACE.  That’s ADORING.

Adore

And at that moment, sitting in a heap on my living room floor with tears of joy leaking from my eyes I began to rest in His adoration and began to let my heart adore Him in return.  I turned on my worship playlist on my phone and began to half sing, half sob songs of praise to my Daddy.  Then it hit me, worship.  My church has been speaking a lot about what worship really is the last few weeks, and I realized that’s what adoring God looks like in action. That’s what He longed for, to meet my heart in worship, to meet and to adore.   I love what 1 Chronicles 29:11 says,

“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory and the majesty.  Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom.  We adore you as the one who is over all things.”

That’s who my God is, that is who adores me, that is who my heart adores.  

There is a song by Bethel Music called “Jesus We Love You”.  I think they put it into words better than I do:

“Old things have passed away

Your love has stayed the same

Your constant grace remains the cornerstone

Things that we thought were dead

Are breathing in life again

You cause your Son to shine on darkest nights

For all that you’ve done we will pour out our love

This will be our anthem song

Jesus we love you

Oh how we love you

You are the one our hearts adore

Our hearts adore

The hopeless have found their hope

The orphans now have a home

All that was lost has found its place in you

You lift our weary head

You make us strong instead

You took these rags and made us beautiful

Our affection, our devotion

poured out on the feet of Jesus

Our affection, our devotion

poured out on the feet of Jesus

Our affection, our devotion

poured out on the feet of Jesus

Our affection, our devotion

poured out on the feet of Jesus”

And so the next day, Daddy blessed me with an unexpected day off.  I drove around the beautiful valley that I call home.  I snapped a few pictures of things that made my heart smile.  I cranked up my music and shouted praises to Him.  I let my heart adore Him.

I pray that you find yourself adoring Daddy this week.  I pray that you lean into His grace and let Him adore you.  Take some time out your crazy schedule and come to Him.  He knows your junk, and He simply whispers, “I see you.”  So come to Him and let Him rest your weary heart. Come and worship Him, come stand in His mighty presence and bring your heart and worship.   O come, let us adore Him this week, because Jesus we do love you, and you are the one our hearts adore. 

Here is the link for the song, “Jesus We Love You” – enjoy friends https://youtu.be/dOExT9JqB7s

His Pearl

His pearl.  That’s who I am.  My name Megan means pearl.  A pearl starts out as a simple grain of sand and over time and through a process it becomes a pearl, a true gem.  DTS has been a season of process for my heart.  For 6 months I was in 6 different locations, but there was one main lesson for my heart: REST.  That’s the one word that comes to mind to sum up my time in YWAM.  This season was nothing like I expected; but then God rarely sticks to the box I put Him in.

I have four days left until I return home.  Just the other day I went downtown to a local jewelry store where you can pick out a clam and open it to find a pearl in it.  I was amazed at the picture this process drew to illustrate my life and my time at DTS.  The clam looked ugly and brown on the outside, there was nothing seemingly special about it.  But as the jewelry clerk took the knife and cut open the clam, I saw the meaty mangled insides of the clam.  She used the knife to dig out a beautiful big pearl.  The poured some salt on a wash cloth and then rubbed the pearl in the salt to clean the meaty flesh off of it.  Then she dipped the pearl in some water and opened her hand to show me a beautiful pearl.  I then had the pearl set in a ring to remember this season of DTS.  You see, you have to dig out junk in your heart and life who you really are in Christ, just like I had to dig out the pearl from the flesh of the clam.  God smooths out the rough edges in refining us just like the salt cleaned the pearl.  It’s all a process; it all takes time.  But it’s a beautiful process; I’m humbled that God is making me more like His heart and making me a gem in His crown.

IMG_0054(The oysters that I got to choose from)

IMG_0046(The pearl in the flesh of the oyster)

IMG_0058(The pearl waiting to get a salt bath)

I have seen many things, been to so many different places, met so many incredible people and marveled at how God works.  But I have also cried out more,  my heart is more tired and found myself at an even more unexpected place after these 6 months than when I began this journey.  Through all of this, God has used it to shape and mold me into the pearl He is making me into.

Each lesson and revelation has just been a deeper calling from Daddy to come and rest even deeper in His heart for me.  I asked God for a name for me, one that described His heart toward me.  It sounded weird, in fact it still sounds weird to me to ask God for such a seemingly small thing, yet He has answered my small prayer in a big way.  He calls me Tirzah, Hebrew for “she is my delight”.  Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  Delight means to take great pleasure in, but it also means to be soft; pliable.  God has been showing me this last year that I need to be soft in His hands, willing to be pliable and shaped into the woman He has called and created me to be.  Only then, when I let my Potter mold me, will He give me my hearts desire; and then my hearts desire will be truly for Him.  I struggle with finding delight in God, but mostly I have realized that part of that is because I don’t think God can delight in me.  That sweet whisper of my name, Tirzah, spoken to my heart each time he speaks to me is saying, “You are my delight.”  I could handle that from Him as my Daddy, but as the Lover of my Soul?  I have realized that is where the pain lies; it hurts to be loved.  I can easily love others, I actually love to love on others.  But to be loved; that is truly a scary thought.

IMG_0047(The pearl getting a salt bath)

I have struggled with health problems on and off for the last 15 years.  People keep telling me that God is declaring healing over me during this season.  He hasn’t physically healed me, at least not yet, but He has begun to guide my heart to healing.  You see part of the reason it scares me to be loved is that I feel so weak; so fragile and I have always thought of that as a negative trait.  But God has been revealing to me the gift of fragility.  I asked God to increase my trust in Him, that no matter what happened I would joyfully say, “Yes, Lord” and trust Him.  My frailty is not a punishment or an indication of a lack of faith.  In fact, God is using this gift to develop my trust in HIm.  One of my devotions put is perfectly, “Come to Me when you are weak and weary.  Rest snugly in My everlasting arms.  I [God] do not despise your weakness.  Actually, it draws me closer to you, because weakness stirs up My compassion, My yearning to help.  I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to bloom in My presence.  Accept this gift as a sacred treasure; delicate, yet glowing with brilliant Light.  Rather than struggle to disguise or deny your weakness, allow Me to bless you richly through it.” I’ve been fighting God and fighting His love for so long because I saw my weakness as something that had to be overcome first, not the gift it truly is.  Song of Solomon 8:5 says, “Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved?”  I’ve always longed for intimacy with God, it’s been my biggest dream and my biggest fear as long as I can remember.  I think my season of struggling and fighting, my desert season is slowly beginning to end.  God is wooing and romancing my heart in incredible ways.  I’m learning slowly to lean on Him in my weakness, for He is the only source of strength for me. I’m learning to rest in Him, to lean on my Beloved.  I’m also realizing it’s not about whether or not I’m healed, it’s about the heart of my Healer and His heart for me is love.

Even during outreach while being frustrated with having an intestinal infection and being in a lot of pain; He is revealing His love for me.  He delights in me.  He cherishes and adores me.  He has given me the gift of weakness.  I’m slowly learning to cherish it and delight in this gift as He delights in my heart.

IMG_0061(My new pearl ring)

There is a song by Casting Crowns called “Just be Held” the chorus sums up what God has revealed to me during YWAM nicely, “So when you’re on your knees and answers seem so far away, You’re not alone, stop holding on and just be held.  Your world’s not falling apart, its falling into place.  I’m on the throne, stop holding on and just be held.  Just be held, just be held”  Thank you Jesus for holding me and calling me to rest in You; for romancing my heart in only the way you could do as the Lover of my Soul.

Thank you friends for journeying with me, for your support, prayers and encouragement.  I can’t wait to continue on this journey as I head home.  This blog will continue to be a place to share that journey with those of you who would like to join me.  I couldn’t have done this without you, and I am so thankful to the Lord for you.  Bless you friends.  And a final Mahalo from Hawaii.

Fighting for Love

It’s hard to imagine that in just a few days I leave Panama and head back to the States.  My time in Mexico and Panama have been amazing, inspiring, and heart breaking.  These past 10 weeks have been full of learning new languages and cultures, new friends, laughter, tears, prayers answered and prayers left still unknown but not forgotten.  I’ve left a piece of my heart in each country.

Despite the many differences I have seen in each country and in each new culture we have ventured into, there is one common thread that links not just these countries, but all of our hearts.  We are all FIGHTING FOR LOVE.

Outreach San Felix-115 copy(A Ngäbe tribe boy after school)

Outreach San Felix-171 copy( Ngäbe boys at school)

Zone Kids-12 copy 2(Boys playing a game at a street ministry in Tijuana, Mexico)

Each person longs to be loved, to be found lovable and wanted.  Weather you are 85 or 4, God has placed inside each one of us a desire to be loved.  It can look different for each person, but it’s always there, just beneath the surface, a desperate need to know they are LOVED.  I have especially seen this FIGHT FOR LOVE in the children I have met in Mexico and in Panama.  I have had the awesome privilege to work at a few different orphanages and to play with some kids from a school in the Ngäbe tribe.  Each time we came into a new area the kids are a little apprehensive at first, but then they realize we are safe and the fun begins!  

When I had my camera out and was taking pictures at the school with the Ngäbe tribe, some of the kids were really nervous about me and my camera.  But then as I took their pictures and showed them the image on my screen, they started giggling and wanted more pictures taken!  They would follow us around like baby chicks follow the mama hen.  It was precious.  Some of them just wanted to see themselves, but some of them wanted to learn how to take a picture for themselves.

San Felix-6 copy(Ngäbe girls after school)

San Felix-15 copy(Ngäbe girl after school)

Outreach San Felix-230(My favorite Ngäbe girl )

Roberto became my little buddy and shadow for the time I spent in San Felix doing a home of hope build with the Ngäbe tribe.  As soon as he was out of school he would come find me across the road in the tribe and follow me around like my shadow.  By the end of the week, he was using my camera with me and he took to it like a natural!  He got some really great photos of the people building the house, because who wouldn’t stop working to let a little boy with a big toothy grin take their picture?!?!?

Outreach San Felix-252 copy(Me and Roberto)

Roberto would ask questions and just watch me.  Then again realizing I don’t speak Ngäbe and my Spanish is no where up to his skill range; he would start pointing to things on the camera that I did, then point to himself to communicate how to do it.  Then he would point to me and put his hand up as if to say stop, and then come around and take my picture!  My heart melted!

Outreach San Felix-137 copy(Me and Roberto)

I couldn’t tell you more of Roberto’s story than this, but I do know he was FIGHTING FOR LOVE.  You could tell by the way he followed me, wanting to always be touching me, that he was in desperate need of LOVE.  I am so thankful I had the opportunity and blessing of showing Him Christ’s love that week.

But sometimes that FIGHT FOR LOVE doesn’t look so gentle and peaceful.  I like kids, I love them in fact!  But a few days ago after about 20 minutes at one particular orphanage outside of Panama City, I was done with them!  There were three of us from my team in two different orphanage houses, I was at the house where there were about 20 kids ranging from 2-6 years old.  At first they seemed sweet and innocent, but as their nap time sleepiness wore off, the little terrors came to life! They would literally be fighting one another for a spot on my lap, or for just a few minutes of play time with me.  When I sat on the ground, I had four different little girls pushing and kicking each other (and  me) just to sit on my lap and have my attention.

They were so curious about who I was and so desperate to be loved that eventually I started getting kicked in the side, and my hair pulled and my earrings taken out!  I started to get frustrated and was pretty much done with the kids when they were called into dinner.  As my two teammates and I sat outside thankful for the reprieve, I couldn’t help but look in the window at them.  They sat their eating their meal in silence and looking down at there plates.  Occasionally one would look up and out the window and a HUGE smile would spread across their face.  That’s when I realized how lonely and starved of love they were.

You see, they weren’t kicking and pulling each others hair because they were mean kids, they were fighting because they were FIGHTING FOR LOVE, they were fighting to BE LOVED.  Some of the kids literally fought each other off to be in the lap of someone they knew loved them.  But a few others stayed in the corners just staring at us unsure of what to do or maybe so afraid to let love in again.  I remember one girl from the orphanage in Tijuana we visited, she wouldn’t let me take her picture, she kept hiding.  I asked her why and she said it was because she was ugly.  My heart broke for the precious and beautiful little girl.

Tijuana Orphanages-34 copy(The hiding girl from Tijuana, Mexico)

But the thing that makes me even more sad, is that we can do this with God too.  We can be like that little girl who has believed the lie so much that we think we are unworthy of God’s love.  So instead of fighting like crazy to be in His presence and experience His love for us, we run away and we hide from it; afraid we might get hurt again or have our hearts broken.  Some of us fight others for God’s love, getting distracted by people, or the drama of life, by other things that hurt ourselves or those around us trying to find love.

But I think my little buddy Roberto had it right.  He simply just enjoyed my presence and my love for him.  He didn’t fight me, he sought me out.  He asked me questions, he watched what I did and then did those same things.  He was always right next to me, never out of my protective and loving reach.  I think that’s exactly how God wants us to live.  We don’t have to fight for love, because we know we are deeply loved by Him.  He loves to teach us His ways and new things, and for us to live out the lives He has called us to, but never out of the reach of his protective and loving arms.

Outreach San Felix-216 copy 2(My teammate Grace with some of the Ngäbe kids)

So if you find yourself hiding from God’s love, or trying to FIGHT FOR LOVE today, stop.  Stop what you’re doing and find a quiet place to be alone with the LOVER OF YOUR SOUL.  He longs to let you experience His love and know His love for you.  It’s a tremendous love.  A lavishing love. A fierce love.  A never-ending love.  Let God reveal how much He loves you today.  If you’re not sure, just ask Him, He is longing to show you His heart for you, and trust me friends, it’s beautiful.

Thanks for FIGHTING FOR LOVE with me.

My Treasure

Where is it?!  Where is my TREASURE?!  My heart raced as I realized my treasured possession was no longer in fact in my possession.  Frantically I looked around, retracing my steps to where I would have put my treasure down.  My team was joining in on the TREASURE hunt looking in logical and illogical places of where I may have put it.  Then it hit me, I remembered where I put it; and I knew then that I was  never going to get it back, there was no way someone had not taken it.  My heart sank.

As we drove back across the border from San Diego into Tijuana, Mexico, I felt ridiculous, foolish and ashamed of my stupidity for leaving my TREASURE so carelessly behind.  We began to pray as a team, and I continued to feel ashamed for a such a childish mistake.  We arrived at SELAH a few minutes later, the little ministry and worship house in the Red Light District of Tijuana.  My heart has grown to cherish our nights with this new family, this ministry and the women we were ministering too.  We greeted one another as is customary in Mexico with a hug and a kiss on the cheek.  The white twinkle lights were turned on, Jo Jo started to play the piano and singing as my team member Elizabeth joined the harmony with her violin and someone else grabbed the drum and a tambourine.   The melodies and words of familiar songs began to flood the room, a beautiful tapestry of English and Spanish all sung to the praise of our King and God.

Tijuana Selah-5(The welcome table at the Selah Ministry)

Tijuana Selah-7(Worship and prayer before we got out to minister to the women)

SELAH means to pause; to stop and think about.  After the frantic running around of my thoughts and spirit,  I needed a SELAH; I sat back down on the wood pallets stacked up for benches with bright red cushions on top of them.  As I closed my eyes and leaned back against the wall, taking a little SELAH for my heart, God asked me this simple yet penetrating question to my heart, “What are you seeking my Beautiful One?”  I quickly responded, “Your presence.”  And in true character He gently nudged my heart again, “Is that all?  Am I all you seek?”  I took a heavy breath not wanting to answer, but the Lord knows my heart and knew my answer was no.  I swallowed hard and fumbled for my words, not wanting to admit it to myself that I wasn’t seeking only my Father’s heart.

“I want to seek You alone, but there are so many other things I am seeking; but search my heart Lord and reveal the areas I’m not aware of.”  I took another deep breath and let the music around me fade out into the background.  God began to reveal several areas in my heart where I was not trusting Him and where I was seeking something else besides Him.

SELAH.  Pause.  Think on.  Breath in and out.  Seek His face.

You see, I’ve been pretty sick on and off the last three weeks.  I won’t go into details but something along the lines of Montezuma’s revenge and a few extra friends coming to the party in my intestinal tract just about sums it up.  So many people kept praying for healing for me and it never came.  People kept telling me that God desired for me to be healed and prayed more; still healing never came.  I’ve suffered with various health problems on and off for the last 15 years, and each time I pray for healing, and it doesn’t seem to really come.  It has caused frustration and anger in my heart towards God on and off during those years, but this last year He was so faithful to bring me to a point of trusting Him and His perfect timing, the anger now gone from my heart.  But these last few weeks, the frustration has reared it’s ugly head again.  “Why me God?!”  “Why does it always have to be me that gets sick and can’t join in on activities?!”  “Why did You give me an adventurous spirit and heart that loves to be active and yet make my body not work in the right way to do those things?!”   As those thoughts came back into my mind, I added on the question, “And why can’t You just find my TREASURE for me?!

But friends, God is so MUCH BIGGER than our doubts and questions.  He is so much more faithful to answer the deepest parts of our hearts.  As I breathed in deeply again, I realized I had been seeking the wrong things all along.  You see, I was seeking the healing, not the HEALER.  I was seeking the lost treasure, not the GIFT GIVER.  I was seeking the things God gave, rather than seeking the HEART OF GOD.

My heart sank at that reality.  My prayer leading into DTS the months before I left for Kona, was that God would connect my heart back to my head; that I would no longer just be going through the motions of my faith, but that I would really live it out and engage my heart with His heart.  I wanted to FALL BACK IN LOVE WITH JESUS.

Tijuana Selah-9(Lollipops that say, “God loves you” that we handed out to the women)

James 4:3 says, “You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”

James 4:7-10 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will free from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep.  Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

I was seeking the things of God, not God’s very heart.  I repented and submitted myself to God.  Immediately I was drawn into His presence; my heart was home again.  I humbled my heart before Him and in His faithfulness He lifted my head.  He then asked me another question, “Are you willing to praise Me and serve Me even when your body is sick, your mind if full and your heart is weary?”  I rejoiced at the answer that I found in my heart, “YES!”  I sweetly whispered.

That night after we worshiped and sang praises to God, and with a joyful heart I might add, we went out to give coffee to the prostitutes in the Red Light District.  We have given them lollipops with encouraging words on them, roses to remind them they are God’s TREASURE and we always pray with them too.  We came back and finished with a time of sharing and prayer and said our final goodbyes to this precious ministry.

Tijuana Red Light District-3(Roses for the women in the Red Light District)

 Tijuana Red Light District-8

The next day I was able to go with my Outreach Leader Tiffany to San Diego.  She felt it on her heart to take me with her and sort out a few other logistical things before we headed off to Mexico City.  We ended up back at the same place where I had lost my TREASURE  just 48 hours before.  As I stood in the same room that I had been frantic in before, I felt at peace this time.  I also felt God telling me to go back to the place I had it last.  I thought that’s ridiculous!  But I was obedient, and as I drew nearer to the spot, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to my heart, “Sometime we have to dig for our TREASURE.”  I dug to the back of the area and sure enough, to my delight and surprise, my TREASURE was there!!!

Tijuana Selah-8(Oscar and his 3-year-old daughter Padmae – she prayed for healing for me!)

God is SO FAITHFUL friends!  His heart is FOR YOU, not to be against you.  The point was not that I misplaced anything; it’s that I was seeking after the Gifts instead of the Giver; my true TREASURE.  So whatever you find yourself facing today, remember that God is bigger than the situation, He is bigger than your questions, your fears and He longs to reveal more of His heart to you.

Blessings to you dear ones,

Megan

Heavy Burdens

The symphony of “Hola’s”  grew louder with each step I took up the stairway.  Every man I passed greeted me with a smile and a handshake.  As I entered into the main room of the homeless shelter, La Roca, in downtown Tijuana Mexico, I was overcome with how much JOY was in the room.  These men, each homeless and most of them deportees, greeted us with excitement and kindness.  As we walked to the back of the meeting room I couldn’t help but notice the row after row of simple bunk beds; rows of safety and warmth for these hungry and tired souls.  

Tijuana La Roca-8(The bunk beds in La Roca)Tijuana La Roca-9

As the worship music filled the air, men began to raise their arms in praise and gratitude to our good Father in heaven.  The deep voices of men singing; some seeking God for the first time, some unsure of what to do, others passionately in love with their Father, culminated into a harmony of beauty.  There is something about watching men worship God unrestrained and freely; it’s fierce, it’s strong,  it’s brave and tender all at once.  My heart couldn’t help smile as I felt Papa’s proud heart bursting for His sons.

Tijuana La Roca-6(The men worshipping our good, good Father)Tijuana La Roca-7

Gallo, a young man from the YWAM base we came with starting preaching.  I could only understand about every other word, but you could feel God’s presence in the room.  Men were laughing and engaging with Gallo, some were crying and you could see the heaviness in their shoulders as they breathed.  Gallo spoke about how God knew the HEAVY BURDENS each one was carrying, and how God knew that some of them felt FORGOTTEN.  But just as when we see our sons and daughters, or even our friends carrying heavy burdens, our hearts long to lift those heavy burdens and restore their joy to them.  This is God’s heart for each one of us.  He does not want us to go around carrying these HEAVY BURDENS alone.  He desires to take that heavy load off our shoulders and give us His yolk, which is easy and light.  Matthew 11:28-30 says,

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my BURDEN IS LIGHT.”

Tijuana La Roca(Gallo preaching)Tijuana La Roca-3

Gallo also reminded the men that God had not FORGOTTEN them. God longs for them, He longs for each one of us.  His heart beats for your heart too, dear friend.  These last few years I have felt like God has forgotten about me.  But He hasn’t, and He has NOT FORGOTTEN YOU EITHER.  Isaiah 49:15-16 says,

“Even these may forget, yet I WILL NOT FORGET YOU.  Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”

Gallo asked the men who felt forgotten and who were carrying heavy burdens that wanted to walk in God’s freedom to raise their hands.  As I looked around, hands shot up across the room.  I found myself yearning to raise my hand too, but they were full capturing the beautiful moment unfolding before me through the lens of my camera.  Gallo prayed over the mass of men that sat in folding chairs.  Soon a line of men had formed at the front to receive prayer, to have their BURDENS LIFTED by the only One who could, our good, good Father in heaven.

Tijuana La Roca-11(My teammates praying for some of the men)

As my teammates made their way to the front to start praying for the men, I heard that still small whisper of my Daddy saying, “sing over My sons.”  I chuckled and felt ridiculous, but I knew it was His voice.  So I stood and sang over the men the simple chorus of a song I recently heard.  It goes like this,

“You’re a good, good Father

That’s who You are

That’s who You are

And I am loved by You

That’s who I am

That’s who I am.

You are perfect in all of Your ways

You are perfect in all of Your ways, to us.”

As I sang over the men, I couldn’t help but feel God’s reminder of this very truth to my own heart.  I am not FORGOTTEN.  Nor does God want me to carry the HEAVY BURDENS that are weighing down heavy on my heart.  He longs for me to walk in HIS LOVE and in HIS FREEDOM.  He longs for that same truth to take up roots in your hearts to friend.

Tijuana La Roca-2 (Praying Isaiah 49 out over the men of La Roca)

As I was walking out of La Roca that night and saying goodbye to the men, one man approached me with a huge smile on his face.  He shook my hand and said “Thank you, thank you for bringing the presence of God into this place.  I love when you guys come each week.”  Now it had nothing to do with me in particular, but everything to do with God.  You see, when we are obedient to the call God has for each of, crazy remarkable and extraordinary things happen and His presence beckons us deeper into His heart.  Whatever is troubling your heart today friend, give it to Jesus.  Whatever He is calling you into, go joyfully knowing that He has a wild, great and unexpected adventure for your heart.

I pray you walk in the truth of knowing you are FREE from your HEAVY BURDENS and that you are NOT FORGOTTEN.

In Him who is ALWAYS FAITHFUL,

Megan

Check out this link for the the YouTube song of “You’re a Good Good Father.”  It currently holds a precious place in my heart.

ONE WEEK

ONE WEEK.  In just ONE WEEK I’m leaving on outreach.  WOW!!  This season is already flying by and I’m already at the halfway marker.

A lot of you have been asking for more specifics about where I will be and what I will be doing.  So here is a little overview of what my next 3 months will look like.  My team is unique in that it is a team of 8 women from 3 different nations (China, Mali, and America), we are heading to Mexico and Panama to love deeply on the front lines, relate to and restore hope to women; that they may walk into a greater understanding of their identity in Christ.  We are so excited to be walking into this new season together as sisters in the Lord.  Our adventure begins NEXT THURSDAY, June 25th at 9 PM my team will be leaving Kona, Hawaii and flying to San Diego, California.  From there we will be heading across the border to Tijuana, Mexico where will be until July 16th.

During our time in Tijuana we will be working with a ministry called Homes of Hope, that builds homes for families in need.  We will be helping build these homes, but we will primarily be getting the stories of these families and telling them through photography and other multimedia avenues. (For more info on this ministry check them out at ywamsandiegobaja.org/homesofhope)  We will also be doing ministry in the red light district; bringing little gifts and sharing the love of Christ with the women working in the red light district.  We will also have the chance the parter with other various ministries in Tijuana; some of them include working with children, tutoring those children, working with kids and there moms as a support group for the moms and a time of fun and games for the kids.  We will also be working with the Zona Norte deportees project where deportees are dropped off in Tijuana and given $5 to live off of and are primarily seen as a problem and not as people.

HoH 1(photo from Google images)

hoh2

(photo from Google images)

On July 17th, we will arrive in Mexico City, Mexico.  While in Mexico City, we will work with other ministries helping with human trafficking prevention; in helping with local education in schools to teach girls on the signs of trafficking and throw block parties in the red light districts also.  We will also partner with a few local churches and some street kid ministries too.  For a better idea of what we will be doing in Mexico City, check out the YWAM base website at www.ywamcmc.org/ministries.  I’m so excited to experience this unique and rich culture and pour into the lives of people we meet and capture their stories through photography to share with you!

Mexico Map(This is where I’ll be in Mexico)

block party(photo from Google images – example of a block party in Mexico City)

mexico flag(Mexico Flag)

On August 7th we will be headed to Panama City, Panama!!  We fly into the city on the 7th and on August 8th we will take an 8 hour bus ride to the city of David and head out to the Ngobe Tribe in the northern hills of Panama.  We will spend about 2 weeks with the tribe living with them in the village.  The Ngobe Tribe is one of the largest tribal people in Panama and Central America.   We have a unique opportunity to go in ahead of the YWAM base and share the gospel with them and find out what needs they as a community have.  We will get to know the people of the tribe and tell their stories through video and photography.  The goal is to be able to take this media and the people’s stories back to the YWAM base in Panama City so that they can continue to work with the tribe training pastors, doing discipleship, providing Bibles, housing, food and water.  We will then head back to Panama City around August 23rd and spend about another two weeks in the city.  While in the city, we will parter with the YWAM base there and hopefully share some of our media and testimonies from working with the Ngobe Tribe.

ywam panama(photo from Google images – Panama City skyline)

panama flag(Panama Flag)

panama 1(photo from Google images)

On September 3rd we will head back to San Diego.  We will spend a week there in a time of team debrief.  We will also have the opportunity to share our media presentations, stories and testimonies with churches, youth groups and other organizations.  We will also bring an update back to the Tijuana base on what God has been doing during our outreach time.  We will then return to Kona, Hawaii on September 9th for a school debrief (All 3 teams will return to Kona from outreach.  We have teams in Brazil, Nepal/India, and Mexico/Panama).  This will be a beautiful time to hear stories of what God has been doing in and through my classmates during outreach.  My final day here in Kona will be September 19th when I leave to fly home.

Jims Retirement(Mud Lane – one of my favorite places on the island!)

Mud Lane 1(Mud Lane)

Lava tube(Exploring an old lava tube on the island)

This has already been an incredible experience, and I’m only halfway through it!  I’m so excited to see what God has in store for myself and my teammates on this new leg of our adventure!  I can’t begin to say thank you for all your prayers and support.  Truly, I could not have done this without each of you!  Know that I think of you often and am praying for you.  I would love to hear from you and know what’s going on in your lives.  Thanks again for partnering with me in this friends, you mean the world to me!

Love,  Megan

Rooted

In just under three weeks I’ll be headed to outreach; for Mexico and Panama.  It’s hard to believe that the lecture phase is almost over.  It’s been a crazy roller coaster of experiences, but none that I would change.  I’m so incredibly thankful for you family and friends, for supporting me and praying for me and walking with me in this grand adventure.  It has truly been one of a kind.  Thank you for this precious gift.

Last week in class we had two pastors from Jubilee church in Denver, Colorado come and share about the Father heart of God.  It was a precious week for my heart, and I could honestly write weeks worth of blogs talking about all the amazing things God revealed to my heart that week. (Maybe I should be blogging more and share more with you?!?!) 🙂

But today my heart is landing on one lesson in particular, it was a lesson that was more like a small story in the midst of bigger lecture, but a small story became significant for my heart and I have continued to reread it throughout the last week and a half.  The story is about one of the pastors going to a vineyard and the wine was absolutely excellent.  The pastor asked the owner of the vineyard why this particular wine was so delicious and delightful.  The owner went on to explain that the vines of grapes had been planted in rocky soil.  That the roots had to struggle to get down deep to the nutrient rich soil where it could then grow well.  It was through the struggle that the vines grew thick and deep and produced fruit that was bigger, better and far tastier than any of the other vines they have planted.  Again, a somewhat detour off the subject type of story, but my heart resonated with it nonetheless.

Rooted Blog 2-2(Tree growing out of lava flow from 1974)

     Pastor John made a sweet point earlier in the week, he said,

“Nothing happens in a day, it happens daily.”

My expectation is that God will just change my heart overnight, with a snap of His fingers He could change my circumstances, my feelings, my apathy, my _________________, fill in the blank.  And God can do that, but He rarely does.  You see, it’s not that He can’t or doesn’t want to change my heart.  But rather, that the journey and process of changing my heart is more valuable than I realize.

Rooted Blog-2(Blossoms from the tree growing out of the lava)

Rooted Blog-3

Rooted Blog-4

     If you know me in just the slightest, you probably know that the last few years my heart has just felt tired, weary and stuck; much like the vines in the vineyard that had to struggle through the rocky soil, my heart feels like it keeps struggling to dig down deeper into the heart of God.  But it’s through that struggle that I’m getting to my Daddy’s heart more and more.  In Galatians 4:6-7 it says,

“And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba!  Father!”  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, than an heir through God.”

     Abba means Daddy; it is a cry of our hearts that says that there is comfort that comes from KNOWING that He is bigger and stronger and is in control.  When my tired and weary heart comes before the Father in my true identity as His beloved daughter and I cry out, “ABBA!” my heart is crying out, “I KNOW You Daddy!  I KNOW You are bigger and stronger than anything I’m facing and I KNOW You are in control and have my best at heart.”  You see, He loves me not for anything I can or can’t do, but simply because I’M HIS.  What sweet, beautiful love  my Daddy has for me!

 Rooted Blog(You can see the swirl of where the hot lava once flowed) 

Rooted Blog 2(Me standing on the 1974 lava flow – it was a bit windy)

     You see, even in the midst of my struggling, my heart is growing down deep into Him, deeper and deeper into His heart.  It’s a daily growth, sometimes it’s a daily choice to remember His goodness and love and choose Him and choose joy rather than get stuck in my circumstance.  Sometimes it is overwhelming, sometimes it feels exhausting; but it’s always good, it’s always beautiful and it’s always worth it.  I KNOW my God has not abandoned me.  I KNOW that my Father loves me unconditionally.  I KNOW that though my heart struggles, I’m growing more in love with Him and growing more into the woman He has called and created me to be.  I KNOW that the good work He is doing in me will produce beautiful fruit, delightful fruit; fruit that is FULL OF HIM.  Thank you Daddy for the precious gift of the struggle, for loving me enough to journey with you into your heart full of love.   

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, ROOTED and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”  – Colossians 2:6-7

Friends, I don’t know where your heart is at right now.  I don’t know if you’re connecting with my heart because you’re in a similar spot, or if you and Daddy are dancing together in a beautiful joy.  But I do KNOW one thing, don’t grow weary in the struggle, don’t give up.  Let me champion you to keep on growing through the struggle; dig down deep and root your heart in the Father’s love for you.  For I may not know where your heart is, but I do KNOW where my Daddy’s heart is, it’s completely in love with you, and His heart is completely 100% for you.  Taste His love and the fruit of His love and journey with Him wherever He is calling you, because I can tell you this, it is beautiful and delightful and good.  Thanks for journeying with me deeper in Daddy s love this week.

Digging into His love,

Megan