On Giving Up

I don’t ever want to relive yesterday.

I woke very early in the morning to learn that Maureen’s dear mother, Jennifer, passed away.  I stumbled around my dark house numb for an hour. Lost. I have so many questions and emotions and my heart is broken for Maureen and her young brothers, for this devastating loss of a beautiful mother.

A few minutes later, I learned the new Mercy House home we purchased in Kenya (but haven’t moved our residents into yet) was broken into by thieves who stole from us and beat our caretaker.

And we have two c-sections scheduled for two of our pregnant girls tomorrow.

My house was quiet, kids sleeping, husband away on a business trip and I lay prostrate on my closet floor and I sobbed. I simply couldn’t stand under the burden a second longer.

I gave up.

All week I’ve been told that we are in a spiritual battle as Jennifer fought for her life and there’s been an onslaught of trials here and there. People have reminded me how much the enemy hates the work of rescuing girls and saving babies. I believe it, but I have to say, some news makes you feel like you’re losing the battle.

I know God is in control, but things feel out of control. And I have no control. And I want to close my eyes to the sorrow in this world. Some days I long to go back to when I was an oblivious mom who’s biggest worry was home decor.

A dear friend sent this email:

“You are not going to lose the battle because it was already WON on the cross. I don’t believe in losing or getting the victories because Jesus already did.

It is never going to be easy. It is only the beginning of the hardship. But if you choose to endure with Him, you choose to reign with Him. If you choose to suffer, you will be glorified.
If you think there is no more energy in you, it is excellent because now you will experience a supernatural power of Christ working in you and through you.  Before you could do on your own and sometimes switching to His power, but now only by Him, through Him, and with Him can you accomplish things for Him.”
I want to give up– and so I am. I’m choosing to lay my burden at the feet of Jesus. He’s all we really have in this world. Would you please pray for Maureen, her young brothers, our home in Kenya, the new babies due tomorrow, for me?


  1. 2


    Praying that God’s power will show through all of this. Praying for you, Maureen, her brothers, the home in Kenya, the women being rescued and their precious babies.

  2. 8

    Josanna says

    Praying…for all you’ve listed and for you to feel His love and peace through these trials. He’s got this!!

  3. 11


    Sweet friend.

    I agree that Christ has won, and all we are experiencing are the labor pains.

    But oh. The agony. I do not want to rush by and push through and miss Jesus right here, in the groaning.

    Sarah Bessey wrote a post yesterday “in which God has asked too much of us.” It’s so raw, so true. She’s not losing her faith or deserting her God. But she speaks the deep heart cry of many of us. I suspect you will resonate with her words.

    I hope you and Maureen know thousands of us are keening with you and begging God for a covering of comfort that only He provides. Love you, friend. Holding your broken heart up to Jesus.

  4. 17


    Kristen, I am praying for all! I was surprised at myself when I cried learning that Maureen’s mom had died. I don’t even know anyone personally with Mercy House, but having been praying since the beginning of Mercy House. We know that God is in control and able to bring good out of all things. I will pray for comfort for Maureen and her family and you also.

  5. 18


    May Maureen’s family be comforted with the gentle presence of the Holy Spirit.

    May that which was stolen be restored, and the one hurt be healed and brave.

    May the ones bringing precious babies into the world be protected and filled with wonder at the work God has done for them.

    Above all, may these “light and momentary afflictions” fade in the light of the glory that God brings out of them. He is good!

  6. 19

    Carolyn says

    Oh Kristen,
    I hear the weariness in your writing and I’m hurting for you and the Mercy House. I have been “walking through the fire” very recently and I was already emotionally and mentally beyond burned out before everything hit. Sometimes it felt like I had just enough strength to get through that day, nothing more. During this time I realized it wasn’t my strength, but it was God, providing me daily with what I needed to live that day. And He was there the very next morning ready to carry me all over again. On and on..

    Sometimes it’s so, so hard to remember the battle has been won, we ARE victorious; especially when there are an unfathomable amount of hurting people in this world. But I am so thankful that you opened your heart, that you followed God in obedience and allowed Him to use you to transform lives not just in Kenya, but here in the US too. You are a voice for those young girls and women who need our help, you are making their needs known. Others are helping because of your willingness to follow Him.

    I know without a doubt that God will not abandon you, that He has new mercies and renewed strength for you, for me daily to walk on, to persevere, to finish this race. I pray that you feel His arms holding you, surrounding you and surrounding all those touched by the Mercy House today.

  7. 20

    Nichole says

    Lord, Mercy House is yours. Maureen is yours. Jennifer is yours. And, Kristen’s heart…. All yours. Your word says that what is Yours, the enemy has no rights to. However, He tries. And, through the pain and the trials, and the suffering YOU will be glorified. Ashes into beauty. Hold them all up Lord, give them strength . Give them peace,wisdom and endurance to run the race for you. Giving up everything to you doesn’t mean giving up. It means Handing over. It’s not our fight to fight but Yours. But, we still live on the earth and feel pain and fear. Handing it all over to you can be difficult!! I pray for those dear sweet babies that you breathed life into. Deliver them safety. Block the enemies efforts to wreak havoc into the lives of those women so far away. Encourage Kristen today as she searches for yor face in the midst of chaos. In your name….Jesus.

  8. 22

    Tammy R says

    I read through your post and was reminded of Isaiah 61:3

    To console those who mourn…To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

    Praying for beauty, joy, garments of praise and God’s glory through these tough times. You are planting for the Lord through the lives of so many girls in Kenya and now 2 brand new babies—God is now and continues to be glorified in and through Mercy House!

  9. 25

    Tam says

    Kristin, I am so very sorry. I am praying for you and all those involved with Mercy House. I also pray for the two girls scheduled for C-sections. I’m not much of a writer, but I do sincerely mean the words that I have written here, however awkward they might sound. I am lifting you up today. God surround you with His comfort and care.

  10. 27


    This is so very heartbreaking. I will certainly be praying today and the days to come as everyone works through this difficult time.

  11. 28


    Praying and believing in the miracles that God provides…even when life doesn’t go as planned – God redeems the mess. Praying He shows you that in a tangible way today!

  12. 30

    Karen says

    OH Kristin,

    Praying for you now and love seeing how the body of Christ is/has come around you! May you feel HIS arms of peace holding you and may you have HIS strength as you continue to comfort Maureen and make decisions about MH.

    Psalm 18:1 NLT

  13. 31

    Stephanie says

    Praying for you & your Mercy House family! What a wonderful dear godly friend you have! Amazing words from her!

  14. 34


    I am so sad. Maureen has been through so much, and you have endured so much these last four years, not to mention Maureen’s brothers. This is a hard one to find glory in, but He will reveal it. We all must trust that this is for His glory. We were created not only to fellowhip with Him, but to bring Him glory. When we remember those two things–our two purposes for existing–it becomes just a little bit easier to understand why he can allow such pain. Day to day living gets so complicated that we easily forget–it was never about us. Not our feelings nor our comfort. Not about having our beautiful, favorite people always around.

    It is hard to be an instrument for God’s use, but when we remember what we’ve been given–not only Eternity, but fellowship with Him–it becomes easier. His love is enough. His presence is enough. Being brave, like you and Maureen, not only brings Him breathtaking glory, but it secures your own glory, like the other poster said. When you choose to suffer with him, you will be glorified with Him. The thought of future glory doesn’t comfort much in the complicated mess life can be, but this time is but a vapor.

    I know He will lift you all up, and the rest of us crying at this pain. That is His heart, his pleasure–to love on us, suffer with us, cry with us, comfort us. His love is more beautiful than the pain. More powerful than the ones who would take advantage of you through theft. More powerful than the schemes of the enemy.

    Crying with you today, and trusting with you.

  15. 36

    cynthiasolc says

    I will offer up my pain for Maureen, her young brothers, your home in Kenya, the new babies due tomorrow, and for you.

    Remember, the devil likes to see you suffer. Offer up your pain to God and His WILL. Praise God in all things, He is with you.

    Ask St. Michael to intercede for you to the Lord our God. Ask that people at the Mercy House do the same..


    When you’re in the midst of sorrow, keep repeating “Jesus, I trust in You”

  16. 39

    Wendi says

    What a beautiful message from a friend, there is not much more to add to that message. So thankful in times like this that I know that I can turn it all over to God and trust that He will show me where to place my foot next so I can take that next step for Him. May you find strength today in His loving arms. Praying for you Kristen, and all those involved with Mercy House and their families. Hugs.

  17. 46

    Anita says

    Thank you to all those offering their comfort in writing-that is not my gift, but I am joining in lifting these heartaches to the One who listens, and hears our prayers, our anguish, our pain.

  18. 49


    From Uganda tonight.
    You hard on my heart.
    I love you so much and I promise to earnestly pray for God to carry as only He can. When we are at the end of our ropes is when we can be best tied to God.


  19. 50


    Praying here for those spoken requests & the unspoken ones. Praying for peace in the middle of the questions. Praying for comfort in the middle of the hurt. Thankful that God is big enough to stretch His arms out to you & to Maureen & her brothers in the same hug. (((hugs)))

  20. 52

    Meredith says

    Sweet precious Texas sister, I love you and your raw openness. Jesus is our mighty King and he’s already given you the power to continue to persevere in the good work HE began in you. You won’t fail, because he’s already won. I will pray foe you and those sweet mothers and babies and Maureen.

    Love a sister in Boerne, TX

  21. 54

    Heather says

    So sorry to hear all of your struggles. I will be praying for all of you, may the two deliveries tomorrow be easy, without complication and a source of great joy for you all during this difficult time.

  22. 55


    Lord You are our strength and refuge. We ask you to bring comfort and healing and hope. Bring those babies safely into the world. Have your way God. Give your grace to the entire family at Mercy House.

  23. 58


    My BFF just sent me your blog because she knows it is how I am feeling. Thank you for writing something so real. Being in ministry FT is hard isn’t it? Last night I read Matthew 14-22-36…Peter jumps out of the boat to Jesus he is the only one, gets half way there and is terrified so he starts to sink…Jesus grabs his hand and asks him why he has so little faith.
    Don’t know about you but ministry makes me terrified sometimes, and sometimes just tired of fighting the enemy. Everytime and in every situation I wonder why I doubted that God had it under control. I need to keep remembering that. I run a ministry in WV for teen moms. I too know this throw down on the floor and give up feeling. Would love to chat more over email!! Praying for those in your message but most of all praying for you cause in the end we see so many struggles but sometimes it is us that is struggling to remain the happy smiley person that people expect missionaries to be.

  24. 59

    Briana says

    I am sorry for your pain and your loss. I am praying for mercy and strength and comfort for you, for Maureen, for each of your requests. God be with you.

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    tammy c. says

    I’m so sorry that your friend’s mother died. Sometimes we don’t know why people live and some people live when they have a illness only God knows I hope that you and her friends and family can help her through this pain. I’m so sorry

  26. 61

    tammy c. says

    I ment die that some people live and some people die when they have an illness. I’m still so sad for your friends mother you tried so hard to help her. With raising the monies and everything but sometimes when he wants you he wants you.

  27. 62

    Tara says

    I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine the pain, frustration, worry, and confusion and so many other emotions. Only someone with your faith could withstand and press-on. I pray for you. You continue to encourage me….even more so now than ever.

  28. 63


    You are covered in prayer. God has an awfully big chest to cry on (or pound on) and the most tender strong arms. He is holding you right now and will be your refuge.

  29. 65


    “mourn with those who mourn,” Romans 12:15. And I am big time mourning with you, Kristen. Loss is always hard…something we were never made for. Praying that God gives you His strength and His hope for you to lift your chin up and praise Him in this storm. And it’s a doozy of a storm! With and for you and all He still has for you. Hugs.

  30. 66

    Bobbie says

    Just wanted to remind you that you have people praying for you and the Mercy house that you have no idea are doing so! Specifically me. God is THAT good! He has appointed stranger to pray for your emotional well being and physical strength

  31. 67


    Yes I will pray. And I’m going to give up to. Give up me and give it to God too. I’m also worn thin most days and need to give it up to the Lord’s control and strength.

  32. 68

    Clarica says

    Just read this today… This really touched me – especially in the place I am at in my life… Praying for Mercy House and your family… Thank you for sharing!

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