Encountering Christ | The Day I met Jesus at the Beach

**Disclaimer: I wholly acknowledge the possibility that this man was not Jesus. He could have been an angel or just another common man. But something in our encounter stirs my soul with significance – recognition in his words and demeanour. I would rather be wrong, than dismiss an encounter with Christ. For that reason, I will honour my intuition. 


We ran as a family down the familiar trail path- past the zigzag bridge, over the hills and through the park. We landed at the beach. Stopping for missy’s sake, we entertained child’s play- running over jungle gyms and flying down slides. We visited briefly with neighbours, then made our way down to the beach.

This beach has been home to many encounters with Christ – all of which, my nose was immersed in The Word and my heart, deep in prayer.

This beach has become holy, in the eight years we’ve lived here.

The sun danced across the water, for the first time, in what felt like months.

My soul was downcast. I recognized it, acknowledging just yesterday, the darkness around me: depression. I was in a pit I couldn’t explain away.

Just that morning I had surrendered, asking Jesus, yet again, to fill every crevice of my being with His love and Light and Power- that He would overtake and transform me, divinely, in every way available to a human being.

Because to the fullest measure available, I want Jesus- always more.

On the east end of the beach we met a man, quite ordinary looking- middle Eastern, or European, if I had to guess. His eyes were closed, chin lifted to the sun. His mouth was moving- muttering prayers, I assumed. Something in me recognized his posture.

As we passed, he made eye contact.

“Hello.” I gestured.

He gave a simple nod.

As we turned, I spotted him watching us intently, his gaze following.

We passed him again. This time, he knelt to missy’s level.

“Hello.” He said, his voice firm, yet gentle.

He had an accent I couldn’t quite peg.

“What’s your name?” He asked her.

Silence followed, as she searched the sand.

I answered for her. I knew she couldnt.

He laughed a sly smile and looked up at me.

“I was talking to her.” 

“Oh, I know,” I defended, “But she doesn’t speak much.” 

“Let her speak.” He responded, as if ignoring me…

“Excuse me?!” I thought, my pride wounded. “Who are you, to speak like that.” 

Missy resumed walking, my pride glad for the escape.

“Looks like we’re off!” I faked nicety.

A few steps forward I turned, my ego needing another look… Still he watched us, a grin upon his face.

“Leave her,”  he said, now pointing to missy’s inquisition of the Canada Goose. “They understand each other.” 

The goose had one leg. Worried she’d agitate him, I warned again. “Be careful, Sweety. Give the goose space.” 

I turned to acknowledge the man.

“Looks like the goose is hurt. Only has one leg.” 

“No,” He said, firmly, “She’s doing yoga… it’s a good thing.” 

I laughed. Funny, I thought.

“There’s a reason for it- the yoga…”  He followed up.

I was silent- perplexed. This was a strange man. Not only was he forward, His speech was cryptic, as if I knew the hidden meaning… as if he wanted me to ask another question.

But I didn’t- neither understand or ask.

I simply turned and kept walking.

I was puzzled and a little unsure about him; hurt even, by his authoritative, forward nature.

He was gentle, but his firmness cut me like a knife.

Minutes later, I turned to see him leaving, walking away, down the trail path we’d shortly return.


“What did He mean?” My soul tangled.

I felt like I had missed something.

Part of me wanted to chase after him, but I didn’t know why.

Only later, did I discover potential meaning, as if my spirit revealed His hidden message:

Let others speak first, Kailey. Don’t be so quick to talk. Listen. Let them surprise you.

Yoga: there’s a purpose to standing on one foot- learning to rest and balance in weakness. There, we find strength and peace, beyond circumstance.

Suddenly, I understood.

My soul affirmed it, as I read Jesus’ words the next morning in my bible: firm, yet gentle- authoritative and spoken in cryptic metaphor.

In the same way Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, this man had spoken to me. His posture and demeanour, identical.

Just like Jesus, He showed up in the middle of ordinary life, while on a morning family run, to redirect and change my heart.


This man had spoken life into two dark areas of my heart- places I’m currently wrestling and need assurance of his sovereignty in:

  1. my incessant need to speak and be understood-  and

  2. my current season of life, full of weakness and imbalance.

Gentle yet firm, this man, who I believe now to be Jesus, pointed me to Truth-  to the strength and peace I’m so desperately craving, in difficult, uneasy waters.


I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” –  Johns 16″33



When you desire to be fully Christ’s, body, mind and soul.

I woke up with a day to myself before me. My daughter was with her nama (grandma) and wouldn’t be home until evening.

Immediately, I knew I needed to spend the day alone with God, resting, praying, listening. I needed quiet and slow, allow solitude to nurture me back to health emotionally and physically.


Not only was I emotionally fried from weeks of walking a new season of life- one full of new work and new burdens that feel far to0 heavy to carry- but also physically fried. I’d hardly eaten in over a month and my lack of health had led to a poor immense system. Now I’m lying in bed weak and unable to do much anything; bone weary, shaky and light headed.

I felt weak emotionally and physically and I knew the place to start with restoration was spiritually; to connect back with the one who made me and knows me intimately, inside and out. 

I began simply by speaking what was on my heart- thanksgiving for all he had been doing and the ways he had prepared me for this exact moment in time, in my life, in history. I no longer doubted myself or Him. His plan was underway and the things he spoke and imprinted on my heart ten years ago, were starting to unfold. This was the beginning and I knew it without question. 


As fast as the thanksgiving poured out, the worry began. The fears next, but mostly the regret – the guilt that had consumed me for the past month. I lay it all out before God and confessed that while my heart and soul belonged to him, my body- physically- had not yet been redeemed and found home in him.

And like a revelation, I suddenly saw it: for years I have hated my physical body, beating it into submission trying to silence it’s voice. I had shamed her (my body) for not being what I wanted in each moment, whether that’s for vanities sake or the sake of wanting to be and do a million things yesterday. 

And then the vision came.

A picture formed in my mind of me walking- marching actually through life- dragging a dead weight body behind me, limp and dying; like Christ carrying the cross to calvary. Every so often I would turn and beat her, flog this body- my body- with a strap.

The little girl in me recognizes the body as herself and there I am dragging her and beating her for not being good enough, what I need her to be; for not being perfect. 


While God has changed my heart dramatically in regards to chasing perfect, I realize I’ve applied grace to every area of my life exact the physical.

Somewhere down the line I had divorced my physical body and cast her aside, refusing to see her any longer as important and part of me. I

n her place- one I used to lift up and idolize- I’d replace her with things of holiness and righteousness. Except how can one divorce their physical when it is the temple of The Holy Spirit? The home of the very one to whom my heart belongs?

God knit my body together in my mother’s wombs and then placed his Spirit within me. All of me is of him made in His image;  the spiritual and the physical, the soul and the body. And he declared it good. All good.

While God has healed me of my eating disorder and body image struggles,  I suddenly see in this vision that I’m still hating the work of his hand; his unique masterpiece, my body.

I’ve been blaming her, judging her and shaming her for being so weak and carnal. I used to beat her up for being addicted, trying to hide her brokenness- food, sex, exercise and busyness. And here I am continuing to see her as bad and evil- the enemy -who led me into temptation and into bondage for so much of my life. Who, if i’m not careful, will lead me back there; one who can’t be trusted.

All I’d done is deflect the anger I used to beat my now healed heart up with, to my body.

I’d chosen to forgot about her, declare her good as dead to me and carried on with the rest of my life.

While food, exercise and body image no longer control me, I’ve abandoned all her felt needs along with it- mainly physical rest and proper nutrition.

Sure I eat, but it’s not enough and not what’s best; only what’s easy because I can’t be bothered to care enough. I’ve thrown her scraps as she sits at the masters table.

Sure I rest and have learnt to embrace slow, but I’ve been far more focused on caring for my mind and my spirit than the physical. I haven’t given her enough sleep or physical rest on my sabbath. Like a mom who’s just given birth and heads into the trenches of motherhood; depleted and deprived.

And consequently, like the apps constantly running in the background of my iPhone, my body is no longer working properly. I am malfunctioning and short circuiting.

My lack of heath is effecting every function of my life and being. I need a reset. 


I turned on worship music- the playlist that somehow always brings me low; low in humility and I palpably feel the presence of my Lord and Saviour. I lay down on the floor and listen and wait. With my eyes closed I begin to feel myself respond.

In my minds eye I can see myself kneeling at the feet of Jesus, gripping his ankles with tears spilling down my face and onto his feet. I’m rocking back and forth, wailing in confession, when a sudden awareness of his love consumes me. I can feel it. And while I rock there telling him of all my wrong and bad, I can sense his acceptance and delight in me. Like he doesn’t see it or he doesn’t care. 

How can he love a wretch like me, I think; a broken, hysterical, mess of a woman like me?! Somehow he loves me and even delights in me regardless. But how and why? I cry in overwhelm now at the love and beauty amidst the ugly and hard. 

Then I see him get low.

He bends down, sits on his heels and facing each other, he throws his arms around me and embraces me in my snotty nose mess. He softly shushes me and tells me it’s ok and together we rock in unison of my wails.

He grabs my shoulders and with my arms pinned to my side, I see him stand me up and walk me to a stage in front of a large ground. He begins to tell the crowd that this here is his beloved, his chosen one, the women he loves completely. This is the woman he wants to spend eternity with in marriage.

The crowd stares in confusion at why such a man would choose a wreck like me. My wails get louder. I can hardly breath I’m crying so hard and I’m gasping for breath.

How? How I think to myself… why would you love this putrid mess? And to choose me? 

In this moment I’m completely undone. Physically and emotionally, I’m undone by this love. And then it hits me, from my head down to my heart: He’s not going anywhere and he’s dead serious.

Jesus loves this mess of a women; this makeup-less, snotty nosed and balling like a baby mess and he’ll continue to choose me and pursue me for the rest of my life. And he’ll keep telling me and showing me until I believe him. Until there’s no shadow of doubt left as to his devotion.


Photo Credit: Dragonflight Photography

I see my body fall to the ground, completely wrecked my his love and unable to stand any longer – a surrender – a death of sorts. Jesus falls to the ground beside me and puts his hands on my chest.

I see him lay me down and cut horizontally from my chest down to my pubic none. He opens me up and reaches his hands inside me. He cups my heart with his hand I see His love start flowing inside me.

I’m physically gasping out loud now and my physical chest is beating and rising heavily. Something inside me is changing. I sense it’s my heart physically receiving his love. 

He stitches me back up like a surgeon and then runs his finger along the cut. It’s heals instantly and in my minds eye, I see a scar form in its place. I think of my C-Section scar and how the greatest things of love in my life have required surgery.

….Like how something inside me changed and a love I’d never experienced was birthed after having my daughter. My physical body now wears that scar proudly and I sense the same happening here.

God is changing me internally and in receiving his love, a new love is being birthed now; a love that like the love for my daughter, will forever change me.

There will be no going back. I will be made new by this love. 


Photo Credit: Dragonflight Photography

In my own resurrection, I now see myself rising to heaven; my soul ascending, Jesus lifting it below me.

The sky is moving around me and suddenly I see myself standing in the throne room before God, Jesus presenting me to his father.

“This is my chosen- my beloved- my bride.” I hear him say. “And I want to marry her.”

Now the throne room turns into a wedding and like the infamous first dance, I’m dancing with my Saviour – my now husband.

At first my feet are perched on his and he’s carrying me, swaying me to the music. My head is nestled in the book of his neck and every so often he kisses my forehead.

The music changes and as the pace picks up, I’m realize I’m now dancing on my own two feet. I’m laughing while together Jesus and I twirl and dance before God the Father and a crowd of heavenly witnesses.


Photo Credit: Ameris

Suddenly I see us lying in bed and the scene turns deeply intimate. Like a bridegroom and his beloved on their first night as man and wife. I witness in my minds eye a joining of two becoming one. And when it’s over, I’m exhausted, lying in a lovers coma. 

Somehow my heart knows what’s just happened:

Jesus has taken me as his own.  

Not just spiritually through my decision to follow Christ…

Not just emotionally in my learning to pray and share my heart with him unashamed…

But physically.

We are now united fully as one.

He mine and me his. 


Photo Credit: Ameris

“And nothing will ever change that.” I utter out loud.

My flesh – my body – has been redeemed.  God has given me a gift in this vision; this meditative prayer of sorts.

When my mind doubts his love, my heart and body will now remember. I’ll be forever stamped, unable to doubt his love for me. 

And if Jesus loves me this much, I must begin to love me too- fully, wholly, relentlessly- including my body.



When true love requires risk and a sacrifice that feels too hard

We finished watching The Longest Ride and it took everything in me to hold back the tears. It was my second time watching it and twice, I’d read the book; which says a lot. I never read books twice…

But it’s not just the sappy love story that gets me; [albeit that does do my mushy rom-com loving heart good] it’s the story of true love and faith that pulls so strongly at my heart strings.

Because true love requires risk and risk always requires faith…

Faith that what you’re risking is worth the potential of what lies ahead.


In the story, Sophia gives up her dream job at an art museum in New York City for the chance at love with Luke, a cowboy living in rural North Carolina on a ranch- a lifestyle she doesn’t know the first thingy about. Luke, a professional bull rider, now number one in the world, gives up his career for Sophie because of the danger it puts him in each day.

They gives up everything they know and everything they’ve worked their whole life to achieve, for the potential of a life of love.

Neither of them know what the future holds or how they’re going to make it work. And For Luke, the reality of loosing the family ranch is real with the loss of income from bull riding, but still he does it. 

Fate intervenes and through a series of happenstance, Luke finds himself at an art auction seeking Sophia and bids on a “worthless” painting that lands him the new owner of an entire prestigious art collection worth millions. Luke and Sophia end up using that money to create a life together- to save Luke’s family ranch and to open up an art museum for Sophia to run with pieces that have a story and meaning to her.

Neither of them could have imagined this life for themselves and it FAR surpasses the greatest one they could have built in their own strength!

To me, it could only be divinely orchestrated. 

Because that’s the thing with God: He calls us to lay our life down and surrender everything – our dreams, our work, our plans, our understanding- and instead lean on him. He invites us to trust him because his plans are for our good, always. He tells us that it is his desire to bless his children and to give us abundantly, far greater than we could ever ask or imagine! He promises to give us our hearts desire, if we will seek him first!

But we must be willing to hold nothing back, to trust, and to wait.

He begs us to reach out our palm wide,  holding everything in it – everything we hold dear – loosely; to be willing and ready at any moment to lay it down for love- his love- and to where his love will send us. We must have open and unclenched fists to be ready to receive what’s next.  

I can’t promise to know where he will send us – you or me- but I can promise this:

What’s waiting on the other side of our surrender will far, far outweigh the risk and the sacrifice of what we lay down. 

 Because sometimes when it looks like our world is falling apart, the pieces are just finally falling together. 

And when it feels like we’re giving up everything we have, everything and more is waiting on the other side. 

IMG_117820141130-Kailey-Michelle-Maternity-053Dave Baptism-9DSC_0136

His plans are always for good  – the best good – and so I cling to that as I close one chapter of my life and wait patiently for God to write the next.

As I finished my final wedding last night, the echoes of people’s remarks stirred inside me:

“It’s such a shame to see you stop doing this!”

“Why are you retiring? You’re so good at it!”

” Your were made to do this.”

“I don’t understand why you’d give this up, especially at the top of your game.”

K+C4_Nadia Hung PhotographySTUDIOjeanie_BridgetJeffWED_0328View More: http://mattkennedy.pass.us/nita-lake-vendorsView More: http://mattkennedy.pass.us/morganandamber

And it’s true. Logically and to the world it doesn’t make sense. In the natural, it doesn’t all together make sense to me either. I asked for confirmation, yet again, on the drive home. “God, affirm that I’m doing the right thing.” This movie was it. 

When I first felt God call me to lay it all down- to close my business- I thought I had heard wrong. It was everything I’d worked towards, more than I’d dreamed off achieving and the thing I’d given the best of me to for nearly a decade! My business was my baby. And I had just hit a point where I felt I could finally celebrate hitting “my pinnacle.” Couldn’t I coast for a time and ride the wave of my success for a while? 

Yes, I could and the choice is mine. But God had made it clear: If I continued down this path, then I would be going it alone; doing it in my own strength. I would be settling for a life that I could build in my own efforts, without God. His anointing had been on my business for a time and he had blessed it immensely, but he was calling me else ware now; where, I had no idea and I still don’t quite know if I’m honest. But I do know this: 

The reward will far outweigh the risk and what’s waiting for me on the other side is SO much greater than anything I’ve even dared to dream before. And I want that… so much more than anything I could muster on my own. 



God, I’m trusting you. I want the story only you can write. I want what you’ve got in store, so I lay it all down. Lead me where my faith is without borders. 

Photo Credit: [Last set] Nadia Hung, Studio Jeanie, Matt Kennedy

When you’re hurting and you feel let down and mad at God

I sat once again on my counsellors sofa. I could feel the emotions bubbling just under the surface but after a week of endless emotional fits before God and nothing to soothe the wounds I’d ripped open, I was reluctant to open the dam again.

I wanted more to numb the excruciating pain from the emotional baggage I keep putting down but somehow keep picking back up.

For seven days, I’d been wrestling God with metaphorical punches and then tender embraces, sharing with him all the ugly unspoken broken I’d been processing. It has taken me two long years of depression, grieving, counselling and the hard work of healing to get here, but I’d finally gotten to the core of my deepest pain: Rejection.

In every significant relationship, whether it was romantic, friendship, familial, business or mentorship, I’ve experienced rejection over and over by the people I most adored and desired connection, depth and intimacy with. The ones I sought passionately to know me and love me from the inside out, have in some form or fashion made me feel cast aside, unwanted, unloved, and ultimately not good enough.

And in the last week, I discovered I was now feeling the exact same way about God!


1,6, 12, 16, 19, 20, 24 and now again at almost 29, I have experienced deep rejection time and again.

I’ve been unpacking my pain and these experiences of rejection with the help of counselling, The Trauma prayer, Wild and Free, as well as Heart Made Whole and sitting alone for hours on end in prayer and guided mediation with Jesus. I’ve been desperate for comfort and love, but not from anyone, from THE ONE.

I’ve wanted God more than any other time in my life to make himself known in a vary real way to me, as my father, my protector, my comforter, my encourager and my healer.

And yet, I haven’t felt him in any way shape of form in recent weeks.

….like a little girl who has her arms outstretched ready for her daddy to pick her up and comfort her in her sorrow and he won’t.

…..like a love sick teenager who’s just poured her heart out, waiting in desperation for a response to her love song and hears crickets.

…..like a hurting friend who’s deep in a pit and longs for someone to see her, sit with her and embrace her without judgement of her heart or blame.

…..like an unsure and scared college grad who longs to know their potential and needs someone to speak life over them and tell them what they’re made for!

These are the things I’ve wanted desperately- almost pathetically– from my Father, God.


And yet I’ve felt nothing but crickets.

As I sat on that couch, I poured out my hurt, anger and frustration at God. I begged to know why I’m so desperate for God’s affection, to just be with him and to know his thoughts- the very things he says he wants from me– and yet I feel like he’s refusing me. It’s like I know he’s there but he wont do anything but stare at me in silence!

My counsellor listened with such empathy, giving weight and validity to my hurt and anger. “Thank you!” I lamented. “I feel like a freak most days; like no one understands and I’m supposed to just shut up, stop acting like a child and move on already. Like I’m selfish and wrong for feeling these things!”

“Kailey,” she lovingly protested, “That would never work for you, ever! Hear me when I tell you that if you approach your hurt and relationship with God in that manner, you will never be able to receive and feel God’s love for you! You’ll spend the rest of your life striving for God’s affection and still feel rejected and like you’re not good enough in your last breath.

Because everything about that mentality and approach to hurt makes the little girl in you scream in tantrum protest. That little girl in you has experienced pain in her life and she needs someone- The One- to hear her hurt and validate it! No one else will do;Only her daddy can soothe that.”


“But I’ve been doing exactly that and I’ve been furiously protesting everything and everyone who’s trying to hit me with the message of “grow up and get over yourself.” And yet he wont answer me! He refuses to meet me where I’m at! WHY!”

“Work with me here.”  she said, as she proceeded to take me through a guided mediation in which I spoke face to face with my father, God.

I told him everything I had just shared with her and more and then I waited for his response.

To my absolute astonishment and surprise, God revealed that he’d been earnestly trying – doing everything in his power to comfort me and speak life over me- but the fact is I can’t hear him or see him because I refuse to. My anger has my “talk to the hand” thrown up high and no matter what he does or try’s to tell me, it will never be good enough until…


WAIT…..WHAT? Forgive God?!?!

No one has ever even hinted towards the idea that God, my father, would seek my forgiveness for the ways I feel he has let me down, he should have protected me and I’ve been hurt!

I literally sat in silence for an extended period. I was dumb founded…and that’s a feat for me.

And like the weight of a million bricks was lifted from my heart, I felt peace and such relief for the first time in weeks. I actually started to laugh!

Me. Little old me. My God would choose to humble himself and submit to my choices – to MY will! Wow. That’s crazy.

Now don’t get me wrong. This isn’t an all together new idea but in some aspects, it’s certainly not a common theme you hear preached or discussed in Christian circles.

When your heart explodes with love for someone, it chooses to give the gift of affection, which is why God gave you a control center deep within your heart that possesses the ability to either choose to love Him or choose to reject Him. Since He created the human heart, giving it the great gift called free will, He gave all of us full jurisdiction over our inner realm, including the ability to say “no” to His love, His will, and His ways.

Let that sink in for a second. You are the only one who will ever be in full control of your own heart—not God. He will never violate the control He gave you. Our good God will always be present and willing to be your Counselor, Helper, Protector, Redeemer, Savior, and the Restorer, but you hold the final say. God offers you unconditional love and eternal relationship, but then gives you the freedom to refuse His gift. – Christa Black Gifford | Heart Made Whole 

Part of relationship is honesty and God has been very gracious and gentle in allowing me to learn he is big enough to take my messy and sometimes ugly emotions; in fact he wants me to bring them to him!

But never ever have I entertained the idea of two way forgiveness in our relationship.

And yet that makes so much sense!

In every relationship I have, forgiveness is required on both ends, including my relationship with my daughter. While she is only 15 months, I have already on countless occasion sought her forgiveness. And I have no disillusions that it’ll stop. As she gets older with convictions and ideas of her own – no doubt many that will differ, contradict and even challenge mine- there will be times where I hurt her, even if I don’t mean to… even if what I do or say is quote on quote “for her good.” 


Because the thing is, emotions are neither right or wrong. They simply are. And no one can tell me that how I feel isn’t valid, because it’s my heart that’s experiencing life in my unique way; my experiences and my personality help shape that.

So, whether or not we always understand why someone feels the way they do, it is always the loving and kind response to seek to understand, to extend grace and empathy and if applicable, to seek forgiveness. And on the other end, it is always the hope that the recipient will accept the invitation and offer forgiveness in return.

Because forgiveness always reconciles connection in relationship.

Isn’t this Christianity 101?


Find a quiet place in solitude. Perhaps wait until no one is home or try the bath, the closet or your car. It’s important you have the time and space to invest in this moment without feeling nervous someone will walk in/hear you or could be pulled away suddenly. 

Is there anything in your life that you are mad at God for? Do you feel he’s let you down or hasn’t been what you believe you needed at the time? We may never fully understand why God allows certain things on this earth, but we can trust that God weeps with us in our sorrow, that he hurts when we hurt and that he desires to have your heart fully trusting that he is for you and that he is good. 

Close you eyes and imagine yourself sitting face to face with God. Take all the time you need to connect with how you really feel. Invite Holy Spirit to remind you of the things you’ve been ponding and wrestling with – all the things you’ve imagined asking him or saying to him one day in hope of answers. Share your hurt, your pain, your frustration and your confusion. Don’t hold anything back! Let every emotion rise to the surface and allow it to fully run it’s course. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, how you sound or even if what you say makes sense. Just say it out loud! 

When you’ve let it all out, just rest in silence and wait. Listen for what he has to say to you. Trust that the things that come to you in your mind and heart are God’s response. 

If you can find it somewhere inside of you, offer God your forgiveness and ask him to restore your heart to his. If you can’t just yet, that OK! Ask God to help you want to forgive him and trust in time, you’ll get there. 

When you know where He’s calling you but you don’t know where to start

As we sat eating dinner discussing, I could feel the weight of reality suffocate me. Truth is, I’ve been feeling it for weeks. 

Everywhere I look, every person I talk to, every article I read, reaffirms how deceived, how lost and confused our world is. 

When God puts a soft spot in our hearts, he’s preparing us for a calling and a commission, if we’ll accept it. 


I just naively thought it would feel good…. or easy.

But he’s sending me to hard places and placed a call on my life that’s overwhelming. If I think about it too long or hard, I want to cry. It feels daunting and all together hopeless; defeated before I’ve even begun. 

So for weeks I’m been praying earnestly for direction- for wisdom and discernment –  and most of all, comfort for my worried and weary heart. 

And then he answered, like he always does.


My bible sat open to Matthew 10 and upon reading the title, I focused in: The harvest hands. 

It was Jesus speaking to his twelve disciples directly after commissioning them to go out and make disciples of all men. These were his words of instruction, of encouragement and of hope as they set out; a handbook of how to’s and why’s, if you will. 

And like medicine to an aching body, his words soothed and numb my fear. 


Don’t begin by travelling to some far off place to convert unbelievers. Don’t try to be dynamic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right in your neighbourhood. 

Don’t think you need to fundraise before starting. Travel light. You are the equiptment. Stay modest and content.

When you meet people, be courteous in greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in conversation. If they don’t, quietly withdraw and leave. Don’t make a scene. It’s of no concern to you now.

This is hazardous work I’m assigning you; like sheep running through a pack of wolves. So don’t call attention to yourselves! Be as inoffensive as a dove.

Don’t be naive. People will smear your reputation and take you to authorities. Without knowing it, they’ve done you good; given you a platform for teaching.

 When that happens (not if) don’t worry about what you’ll say. The Holy Spirit will supply the right words.

Because of conviction, people will turn on you; even family. But won’t quit or cave in. It’s not success you’re after but survival!

Be content when they treat you the same as they’ve treated me and don’t be intimidated. Eventually, everyone will know the truth, so don’t hesitate to go public with it now. 

Don’t be silent because of threats. Save your fear. God has your entire life in his hands.

Matthew 10 – The Message 


I’m no fool to believe it’s only me, friend, because God calls each of us to hard places! He’s equipped each of us uniquely with gifts, to serve and to bless.

So today, in whatever it is you’re facing- in the call God has placed on your life- I pray that together, Jesus’s words would be etched upon our hearts and burned into our mind. Let’s write them on our walls if we have to!

Because the truth is, he’s already answered our every question and given us the information we need.

So let’s not let fear paralyze us any longer or expectations steal our focus. It’s time we take him at his word. It about time we get going! 



Lord, we confess our fear of man and our pride in expectations. We want to do good and be great for you! But the truth is, we’re weak and our ideas are muddled and confused by the world around us and our own selfish desires. Help us to humble ourselves and go where you are calling us, living out your commission and living by your word. Write them on our hearts and etch them in our minds. And by the power of the Holy Spirit, may our lives and our bodies be vessels of life and light – an offering for the greater good. Amen




Where the Battle’s Won | When your mourning turns to dancing

Over the past few months, life has felt heavy. 

In addition to taking one of the biggest leaps of faith I’ve ever taken, having no clue what the future holds for me, we’re walking through one of the most intense seasons of our marriage yet. Thankfully were on the assent from the valley and the peak of the mountain is in sight. 


On top of that, this new stage of motherhood – moving from babyhood to toddlertown- has proved to reveal many of my weaknesses on a daily basis. Where joy once came easy in every moment,  I’ve found myself having to fight for it and be intentional in choosing it throughout my days. I’ve needed far more help than I ever imagined and I’ve battled guilt and shame over failed expectations of what I’d be like as a mother. 

And then there’s Thursdays, my favourite day of the week as I welcome some of the women closest to my heart into my home. Together we wrestle and grow and encourage and laugh. And while it’s beautiful and profound what happens each week, we’ve been working through the most intense study yet. It’s uncovered deep personal struggles in all of us and we’ll, lets just say that while the intensity isn’t anything I shy away from, it, added to my other realities, has felt back breaking some weeks. 

Over all, my heart has hurt for all the brokenness and suffering in and around me. I’ve had to grieve losses for myself and for others. I’ve had to sit in the darkness of my emotions and not run from them, so that eventually, I could bury them and move on.

I’ve learnt that with every new beginning, there must first be a death. And this season has felt like many small deaths and the subsequent grief that must follow to properly heal. 


This may all sound cryptic but the truth is, much of what I’m walking through is only privy to God and the people it involves and that’s ok. 

I’ve had to remind myself that as people on the outside looking in have judged me and my circumstance.

I’ve had to remind myself of what they’re not seeing and of the hope that I cling to every day…. 

The hope and the promises that God has given me in this season: That he is doing something entirely new! That he is making streams in the wastelands of my life and building a road to a place I’ve only imagined. 


And that I must properly let go and fully trust him, in order to move forward. He’s been gentle and so kind and his presence has never felt deeper. 


But I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been a test of my faith. It’s been a daily choice, a daily seeking and daily re-commitment to trust and believe. I’ve discovered what faith really is in this season: believing for what is unseen even when it doesn’t make sense. 

And like the sun after a break in the rain, he’s turned my mourning into dancing. 



How. How do we seek? How do we trust? How do we believe even when it feels ridiculous?

For me it’s been a process and many days a discipline:

  1. Learning his voice [which, like in any relationship, takes time together and learning about each other] 
  2. Eliminating distractions [being intentional about regularly spending times in silence and in solitude to both pray and just listen
  3. Being honest with God about what is going on in my heart each time I pray  [I’ve found the more honest I am with God, no matter how ugly or messy it is, the more I experienced his presence and response] 

Faith isn’t a one size fits all walk and I believe we all experience God differently. He speaks to each of us in different ways – ways that resonate with us as individuals.

I don’t claim to have all the answers or the only way, but I can promise this:

God delivers. He shows up. I don’t know how or in what ways he’ll do that for you but I know that when we seek him [not just for what he can do for us and to get answers to our prayers, but to known him: who he is and what he’s like] with our whole heart, he shows up.  And many times, he shows off!

In my earnest pleas to know him- in crying out for him to show me how he feels for me, personally – God has made himself radically known to me in ways I cannot deny. And he wants to do the same for you.


When you feel alone in your pain and suffering | Reflections on Good Friday

I woke feeling incredibly nauseous and at first I thought I was hungry. Come to think of it, I didn’t eat much yesterday. So I scarfed down a power bar and two pieces of toast. Maybe I needed water for my digestive system to kick in. Down a cup went. Nothing seemed to make the pain disappear, only exasperate.

By the time my daughter was up, I carried her into bed with me hoping some cuddle time would do the trick. But still it got worse.


Within 15 minutes, I was keeled over unable to hide my pain or hold my daughter, who so desperately wanted to ensure mommy was ok. 

At one point, I attempted to hide out in the bathroom but she wouldn’t have any of it. She opened that door, found me prostrate on the floor, flung her entire body over mine and began to sob.

My heart broke that hers was breaking and I tried desperately to assure her everything was ok… with my words, attempting to keep a strong face and grimacing under my breath. But it didn’t work. She was in a full flood of tears, nestling herself in my shoulder sobbing.

She knew better than to fall for my act. I wasn’t ok and that broke her heart.

Dave had shared something earlier that a child phycologist had shared with him. She commented on how we were in the adorable stages of 13-18 months, where children developmentally don’t yet understand that they are their own entity. They believe they are an extension of their parents- specifically, their moms.

This made complete sense. My daughter saw my pain as her pain and if I was weeping, so too should she be, because in her mind we are one.


And then it got me thinking. This too is how our Heavenly Father must feel for us.

We are made in his image, his children whom he loves enough to die for and who has done everything in his power to love, protect and bring us home safely. We are his and we are one.

He dwells in us by the power of the Holy Spirit and we are kept hidden in him by the power of Christ’s sacrifice binding us together eternally. The sacrifice he made today, this good [terrible] Friday.

Our lives mean something to him and no matter how hard we try to hide our deepest feelings from him, put on a brave face or will ourselves to keep going, God sees what’s underneath- the truth of what we’re experiencing and his heart breaks with us when we’re in pain.

Our sorrow is his sorrow and he will sit with us, no matter how long it takes, to simply be with us, comfort us and let us know we’re not alone; whether we see it or not.

Whether we accept his love yet or not, he is still there nestling into us, catching every tear and sharing in our hurt. Because we are his children- a part of him- and he simply can’t help it.


So whatever it is you’re going through- whether it something small and trivial like the flu- or large and life shattering, like cancer- you’re not alone. God sees you and he sees me. He is not a distant God or a domineering head in the sky.

He is personal and relational and he’s waiting for you to open your arms to his embrace.

Because today – on Good Friday- he first opened his arms for us.

When there’s a war inside you and life feels all together hard

God has a funny way of giving us exactly what we need at exactly the right time. 

For example, my husband and I have been working through this book for the past 6 months but it was given to us almost 2 years ago by friends. The day we started it, we were at a cross roads in our relationship and we begged for direction from God and he brought the book – which we had both forgotten about– to mind.

We planned to plow through it in a few weeks, while simultaneously fasting media so all our undivided attention was on it. Quickly that fell to the way side and while initially I had guilt over it, I know now that guilt wasn’t from God – it was simply my hyper religious tendencies that wanted to wow God with my discipline.

 Instead, we’ve allowed God to prompt in our hearts when it’s time to work through the next chapter and without fail, every single time we open it, it’s exactly what we need and meets us where were at; many times its been the insight we were begging for or an answer to our prayers. 

Yesterday he did it again, twice.


First, by leading me to this podcast which normalized feelings I’ve been battling for months. It affirmed the gruelling, exhaustive and painful nature of the grieving process – validating the exact experiences and emotions I’ve been walking through for months.

I burst into tears. The little girl in me finally heard, “You’re not a freak, Kailey. This too shall pass. Everything is going to be OK.” 

Then later that evening, we walked into our family therapists office expecting to talk about one thing before she completely flipped our session on its head, zeroing in on me and the shame I’ve been carrying and beating myself up with.

She taught me about the two parts of my personality that are at war with each other: the General [the over achieving, try harder, responsibility taking, buckle up your boot straps, I can do anything, brush it off, side of me] and the wounded soldier [the one who actually fights and feels the battle and gets wounded in the process. The part that has vivid recollection and memories from the wars she’s faced, and will forever feel and experience life through that lens]

They’re supposed to be family, loving each other for their strengths and knowing their roles- working together for good – but instead they’re hating each other, creating division in my heart and tearing each other down. 

In essence, they’re each others’ worst enemy.


I’d been begging God to give words to the war I’ve been experiencing inside me, because while on the outside I might seem fine, on the inside I’m completely beat up and bleeding. I feel helpless on most days and all together incapable of managing the simple acts of day to day life.

Some days, all I can manage to do is write, watch tv, have a conversation, drink coffee and I’m still all together spent by the end of it.  And on other days, when life just feels too hard and the grieving to great, I need to check out for a while – to numb the hurt by going to Starbucks, watching a movie, go shopping or eat a sundae. 

But that doesn’t make me weak, a bad Christian or a freak! This is all together normal for someone who is in the thick of grieving and I know those things can fix me; Only Jesus can. And He is with me in those moments; He does them with me!

Whether I’m praying or not, Jesus knows my heart and he knows I know, he is my true comforter – not those activities. 

But I need to stuff the General’s voice aside and own the truth: 

It is not my responsibility to change my circumstance, to heal me, to change me or to rid myself of hard emotions. That is Jesus’s.

DSC_0350DSC_0163DSC_0103 (1)Dave Baptism-9Kailey-Michelle Photo10DSC_0135

My only responsibility is to be authentic in all this – to vulnerably acknowledge what’s going on in side me no matter what it looks like and to take it to Jesus rather than run away. 

What I need most right now is the time and space to heal, to be unconditionally loved and taken care of, not beat into submission or told I’m weak. I need to let the wounded soldier have her voice because truly, she is my heroine, not the General. She is the brave courageous one who will do the messy, hard work of grieving and healing, leading me to victory. 

She will know freedom and live to tell the story. 


Lord, silence the negative voices, including my own; let your voice of empathy and your voice of love be louder. Help me Jesus, to run to you and not run away from the war inside me. Lead me out of temptation; away from guilt, shame, blame or independence. Thank you that you love me in the mess and that you never leave me in the dark. Thank you that I see the flicker of light and that redemption is on the horizon. Search my heart, oh Lord, and finish the work you have started in me.

When you feel like a social outcast and your passions lead you to hard places

I’ve always been a passionate person – on fire for the things that God has wired me to love, excel in and/or fight for. It started young for things like art and design, hospitality and organization, business and personal growth.

But as I’ve grown older and grown closer to him, those things have evolved and come to resemble things that matter to him; specifically things that break his heart.

I used to pray that he would unveil my eyes and soften my heart to see the world through his lens; that my heart would beat for things that move his.

Little did I know it would lead me here – to places of deep pain, hurt and many times loneliness, feeling like a social outcast. Like the woman who walks in the room and everyone else walks out.

I used to enter a room and people would light up. They’d flock to me. I used to be the life of the party!  Now I feel more like the party killer; like when I open my mouth, the things that come out make everyone (including me sometimes) squirm and get uncomfortable.

Nothing about me or my heart feels “normal” or “socially acceptable.”; things we’re taught to socially filter from conversations.

I struggle to know what to say anymore, how much and to whom, constantly filtering the thoughts that overwhelm my heart.

Because there are people who deserves the whole story and others the cole’s notes version. There are people who are mature enough to handle it and others who will buckle under scrutiny. There are places and times that warrant conversation and others that simply can’t lend the empathy or understanding. 

I want to be genuine – not hiding or denying Him who’s stolen my heart – but there’s a difference between vulnerability and authenticity and I’m still learning to navigate that….

The hard way, I might add, sometimes feeling like I’m pushing more people away than I’m drawing in. But I’m bound to mess up in these muddy waters.


I’ll fall down 9 times and get up 10. But with Gods grace and mercy, he will continue to lead me in wisdom and discernment. I can count on him and trust he’ll give me what I need.

God knows my heart and he knows the plans that he has for me. He promises to finish the work he’s started in me, on all accounts, including my tendency to go deep too fast with too many people and then get frustrated when they can’t handle it… or me!

In the meantime, I’m thankful for the people he’s put in my life who consistently walk in when everyone walks out.

They lean in hard, when everyone else has leaned out long ago. They check in when everyone else has frantically checked out. They accept me when everyone else is judging me. They trust my heart when everyone else has assumed it. They love me when no one else knows how.

They sit with me in the dark, hard and ugly places, when everyone else would rather pretend its sunny.

They say if you have even one of these people, you should count yourself blessed. I have six and one who will not just sit beside me in the mess, but roll around in the mud and get messy too. 

Thank you Lord, for knowing what I needed long before I ever would; for giving me safe places and loving hearts to be your arms of embrace and unconditional love. Thank you for answering my prayers so abundantly and giving me friends- family– that I could never have found on my own.

And thank you for making us all brave enough to walk the narrow path together.








Delayed Obedience is Disobedience | When God is Silent

Our friends used to say this to their kids, as they taught them about integrity and the value of doing what you say you’ll do – being of your word.

Delayed Obedience is Disobedience.


It wasn’t until yesterday that I put myself in their shoes and realized how many times I’ve disobeyed God, wrongfully believing that if I eventually got around to doing what he had told me – if I knew I’d eventually get to it – then I was good.

The truth is, I’ve kept one foot in and one foot out for months – six to be exact.

Fear of the unknown, my desire to have a pretty answer for people and my need for control, all kept me from moving when God had showed me clearly He path he wanted me to walk.

But it was narrow, foggy and completely un blazed. So I walked to the entrance gate and hung out there for a while, slowing taking one step forward and two steps back.

It’s been a forward progress, but a timid and slow one.

I’ve delayed starting the treck, walking from the path I know to a new unknown one- one I feel completely ill equipped for. I packed my bags and mentally prepared, but I’d yet to start the journey.


Yesterday, after six months of God’s silence on the matter, I realized my wrong; my delayed disobedience.

“Why are you not answering me Lord?” as I demanded more from him, one ridiculous fleece after the other. “If this happens, then God must want this.” I’d say.
All the while, unrest and anxiety heavy upon me.

And finally his silence broke.

“I told you already, child. Why are you still asking me?
I told you in September my anointing (blessing) is no longer on this and if you continue down this path, you will be doing it in your strength. I have other plans for you.”

But I wanted him to show me what!

I wanted assurance that what I was about to gain was better than what I was leaving behind.

He had shown me the door, given me the keys, but I wanted the map and a GPS.


Because what I had – what I had build – I had done with all my heart, mind and soul. I’d given it 1000% of me and all for His Glory!

But truth is, I knew long ago this chapter was almost over. I felt it in my bones.

And yet, in his patience and gentleness, God humoured me. He let me come to my senses and see my wrong for myself. He didn’t have to; He’s God!

He could have ripped it from my hands. He could have turned everything upside down or hit me over the head with it again and again until I listened.

Instead, he lovingly sat with me and waited in kind silence, like a father would.


Today I finally listened.
It took 20 seconds of insane courage, admitting my disobedience and taking the first step towards obedience. It was hard, it was humbling and some what sad. But I know this, more than anything else:

God’s plans are always better than mine.

The greatest things in life never came easy; they came through surrender.