They’re small, simple blue flowers; low to the ground, content to offer what they have and rest at the roots of the great stalks. I love them. They bring to mind that line in Josh Groban’s "My Confession," “I am staggered by your beauty, your unassuming grace”; they’re so much of what I want to be.

I thought of them tonight, maybe because church took me back to another time, and I found myself remembering things that I will never forget, but have shut out of my mind since my move to Bellingham.

Brady Bobbink talked about intimacy with God, as part of a series on Mark 3’s record of the disciples’ calling. He talked about how hard it is to throw your whole being over to Christ, and the exclusivity of the relationship with God—the danger of allowing more than one person or thing to enter that place rightfully reserved for another. Again I felt that rush of affection for God, that touch that I’ve missed from my life for so long.

Then the worship team got up and played the song “Your Love is Extravagant.” I haven’t heard that song in years--almost since Jeffers first played it, strumming quietly on his guitar, in one of his summers at YD—Reachout Expeditions back then. And I remembered Jeffers. And then I remembered Reachout, and what it meant to me, and what everyone there meant to me—my core team, Paul and Bob and Sarah and Jon and Rick and Aaron—and the summer staff that spoke most into my life: Edd, Guppy, Kurt, the Boyes, Jeffers, Kristin, Ruth, Elizabeth, Lisa, and Aileen—and others—and how I would not be who I am today without that place and those people.

I left YD not out of lack of love for the place or the people, but out of my own emotional crisis based on severe burnout (years of trying to do too much), shattered faith (that happens a lot to people in ministry), and grief. For which reason, when I moved to Bellingham, I accepted the total change of life and put away my memories for a time. They tied too deeply into everything I was feeling.

Tonight, I felt like God brought those memories back to me, restored, purified, even perhaps a little clearer seen through last year’s experiences. I came home and cried, but I’m sensing an opening in my heart to the past, a merging of my old life with the new.

After all this time, I see God giving me the ability to move forward, based on what He once made of me, though I’d been temporarily broken—His use of a small rural youth ministry and its passionate, pure-hearted staff to shape the life and heart and faith of one girl.

“Strange thoughts and stranger dreams
Have haunted me these days
A world that’s never what it seems
Has kept me wandering in its ways

Love as only love can speak
Has softly called my name
In love alone I will now complete
This journey back the way I came

And it’s a long way back from the wrong end of the road
And a lonely time to get through
I can hear you turn toward the footsteps you know—
just your drifter wandering home to you

Roads may bend and tides may turn
And call to wheels and oars
But my heart will beg and ache and burn
Until it finds its way to yours

And it’s a long way back from the wrong end of the road
And a lonely time to get through
The sounds you hear now are nothing you don’t know—
just your drifter coming home to you”


  1. J - those folks mean a lot of the same things to me... for the same reasons. Thanks for sharing your heart so openly. Love ya, ~c

  2. Your site is on top of my favourites - Great work I like it.


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