DSC_0055At the ripe old age of 17, I went overseas for the first time on a missions trip to France with Teen Missions. Prior to leaving¬†for France, my team, along with many others, spent two weeks at Boot Camp in Merritt Island, Florida training in evangelism, Bible study and team unity. Not long into this two-week training, we were introduced to a group of people known as MTA’s, or Missionaries to America. People from all over the¬†world stood before us in their native garb, lining the stage of the big top where we met every morning, sharing their passion to see unsaved Americans come to Christ.

To say that I was shocked would be an understatement. I grew up believing that America was the greatest country in all of human history. Never in my wildest dreams did I think for one minute that my country needed to be evangelized and certainly not by someone from another culture! Frankly, I was offended. But that day changed my life. Up to that point I believed God was calling me to foreign missions. I loved other cultures and assumed that God wanted to use me to help reach them for Him. What He was really calling me to do was to stay.

I finished out my summer, camping in the French Alps and helping to build a camp where future French children could learn about God. But my heart belonged to America, and it was an irrevocable calling.

Today I find myself so burdened for my country that at times I can’t sleep. The culture I live in is one I understand all too well because at one time I bought into the idea of the American Dream only to have that dream shattered by the reality of debt and the anguish it brings. I realize that I have played a part in the demise of this country. My finances at times have looked no different from that of the world. Being $25,000 in debt on a $30,000 salary is paralyzing. It’s a burden of slavery God never intended for us. It’s things like debt that have kept the church in America paralyzed. But God is the Great Redeemer, buying back our mistakes and turning them into something unspeakably beautiful.

My hope is that this blog will be a source of encouragement for anyone looking to live beyond what this world has to offer and to remind other women that they were made for more than the shopping mall.