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The Big Adventure

To live will be an awfully big adventure…The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease to ever be able to do it.” ~J.M. Barrie from Peter Pan


When I was a Little, my dad received the National Geographic each month. Before I could read, I loved looking at the unique pictures from around the world. As I learned to read, the unusual stories captured my imagination, and I read even more into them than what was on the slick pages. I decided I wanted to become a National Geographic journalist.

Then, at age 11, I heard the gospel for the first time. I drank it in like someone rescued from Death Valley when offered water. Then at age 13, a single woman came to our church to share her missionary experience through the Journeymen’s program.

She had served two years in Bangladesh at a time when the country was at war with Pakistan.

I was floored! The thought occurred to me that I could be my own version of an international journalist. I could trot around the globe, immerse myself in the culture, listen to and document the stories of people who suffered, thereby, being a voice for those who the world tried to silence.

I vowed to become a missionary and do just that. Then, life happened. I married young, had three beautiful daughters, and climbed the corporate ladder to provide for my family. Life swallowed my vow…for a time.

But God never gives up on us, even when we take a hiatus. Cravings began to scratch at the eye of my soul. I grew restless. I couldn’t sleep. I lost my passion for making more money, having a certain title, or living in the “right” neighborhood. I no longer cared what car I drove. I remembered my mission, passion, and longing to write meaningful stories.

To follow what I then believed, and still do, God’s dream of me, I went from a six-figure salary to a $15,000 a year missionary position—and never felt happier.

It was the first step of reclaiming my original beauty, God’s dream of me. Now, what I’d first judged as my straying when I entered Corporate America, I see as a vital component of my training ground. I was VP of marketing in a family of financial services. The training this brought me prepared me to form an organization whose sole purpose was to fulfil the dream he gave me as a teenager.

My dream was so much smaller, though, than the big adventure God had for me. The non-profit I formed not only allowed me to write and share the stories of the most vulnerable children in the world, but also to raise awareness and millions of dollars every year to build homes for them, feed them three meals a day, and build schools and churches where they could learn, heal, and worship.

In many ways, the world, its trappings and expectations, and my own lust to be successful, had clipped my wings. I thought I could no longer fly. The pain and emptiness rampaging within me proved to be a gift. It germinated a remembrance of flying and flying I did.

If you’ve temporarily forgotten your original beauty, step back. With your keenest spiritual eye gaze at it as a necessary detour to find a greater depth and even a training ground to sprout your wings and fly higher than you ever imagined.

 “Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?”

–Charles Bukowski

Love, your sister along the journey, k


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