Saying Yes. Again.

Four years ago we said yes to the improbable. The impossible.

It seems like yesterday we sat down and planned out something we would call Mercy House.

It seems like forever ago.

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2011

Several times over the course of the weekend, the audacity of this crazy idea would hit us. Terrell and I would pass a knowing look over our kid’s heads or he would squeeze my hand in reassurance or just whisper the name of Jesus in my ear. We waivered between extreme exhilaration and total nausea but we simply could not deny that we felt the undeniable presence of God in our conversations and the Holy Spirit leading us.

I’ll never forget sitting down with Terrell, our bills, monthly budget, and savings account figures in front of us and trying to decide how far we could take this dream before it financially ruined us if no one dreamed with us. While we knew this was a journey of faith, it seemed like a daunting task, especially since we were doing it alone.

“This could ruin us, you know,” Terrell said as we stared at our bank statements and 401k account. “I think we can do this for two years at the most.”

“We will get churches to help us and the readers of my blog. They know about Maureen and they followed my story about Africa,” I tried to reassure him. But deep down I was scared and he was too. “Let’s pray.” Again.

“God you know we are terrified. But we believe you have led us to this point. We don’t know how this is going to work but we are trusting you to show us.”

I spent hours laying awake at night during this season, trying to figure it out. I even jotted down a list of names of people I knew with money. I thought we had a good plan.

We were wrong. God had better plans,” from Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly, Safe Faith Is No Longer Enough

And that plan included you.

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Our Kenyan Director, Maureen, with her husband, Oliver, Program Director

God has done the impossible.

Saying yes has changed everything for our family. 

We are living wide awake.

This journey has been filled with big faith, big failures, big fears and an even bigger God.

And we are saying yes. Again.

After months of praying and planning, my husband, Terrell, has accepted the invitation from the Mercy House Board of Directors to become the CEO of Mercy House to help lead the vision for the organization to expand its borders beyond Kenya and empower women all over the world.

Last week, he resigned from the job he’s had the last 11 years, a corporate America job and all the benefits that go with it.

We are stepping into the unknown.

Because we know Who is already there, waiting for us.

We are excited. We are scared. (It’s a big pay cut and he will have to raise his salary).

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I wrote these words in my book last year:

“Do you have a dream today? Perhaps you’re wondering if it’s your dream or his dream for you? Here are some characteristics of a God-sized dream:

It will be bigger than your capability.

It will require hard labor. Even with modern-day medicine, childbirth is risky. Similarly, birthing a dream requires hard, long work. It won’t be easy.

It will look impossible. You won’t have the resources, details, or all the answers.

There will be a big gap between your yes and the reality of your dream. That space is God-sized. If we have all the answers, resources, funding, the perfect plan, it might be our dream and not his. But when we don’t know all the details or have all the answers, it gives God room to show up.

It will require great dependence on God. If it fails, he receives glory in our failure. And if it succeeds, he gets the credit. Our God-sized dreams serve two purposes: they grow the dreamer and they give God glory. Our dream starts with our small faith and ends with a Mighty Savior.”

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And today, we are trusting these words. Again.


Comments

  1. 1

    says

    What a blessing to read the words from your book, to read your story straight from your heart, and now to see you continuing to live it out moving forward.

    I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for your family and the impact your faithfulness will make in His kingdom as you trust Him fully. Thank you for living as an example to other Christ-followers like me and thousands more as we also seek to say “yes” to what God is calling us to do in faith.

  2. 2

    says

    So thrilled for this new adventure for you all as a family. I am praying for you…for faith in the face of impossibility, hope amidst unsurmountable obstacles, and trust in the goodness of our God and the faithfulness He has shown in the past. Your dedication and obedience is inspires, and may you rest in the peace of knowing He is in control no matter what. Sending much love to you tonight…xo

  3. 3

    Wendi says

    How exciting for your family. Love to see your example of stepping out in faith. We too are stepping through the doors that God is opening for our family, and it includes a cross country move. My husband was to leave first, and leave next Tuesday. Tonight those plans were changed. He will hold off a week and we will all move together. How in two weeks can I pack up this home, and take care of all the details on this end to move to that end. Well I know that God has this, and I loved reading your characteristics of a God-sized dream, for this is truly that. He is above and beyond amazing. Praying for all of you. God’s got this!!!

  4. 4

    says

    You mentioned some characteristics of a God-sized dream. One of them is – “it will look impossible”. That about sums it up. Your journey with The Mercy House, I’m sure, was just that. But you moved in faith and God awed you every step of the way. You and your family are a blessing and inspiration. Keep sharing and inspiring us to chase after our God sized dream.

  5. 5

    Karen says

    Know that as you guys run your race with endurance you are not alone. You are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, many of whom you have never met, but one day will! PRAYING FOR YOU TODAY!

  6. 7

    Amber K says

    Well, congratulations!!! If anyone has seen the fruits of your spirits, WE have! God loves you all and your ‘yes’ means a lot to Him, we’ve all experienced it with you through your words and your blog and through Mercy House pictures. Kristen, I’m so excited with you! And I know it’s scary but just keep looking back at all He’s figured out when you saw no way. He’s just God like that. LOL! BIG dreams Bigger Yesessss and Biggest God! He’s got this!

  7. 9

    Jen Wilson says

    Your words are so encouraging. Sometimes those first steps out in faith are so hard, but what God has waiting for us is so worth it. Amen ! Praying for your family as you transition into this new phase.

  8. 11

    Amy says

    My heart races for you!

    Having followed your story for these several years, I can clearly see God moving, and I feel a strange jealousy at your strength of faith to step out so selflessly toward those things that matter to our God … and that should matter to all of us more than a few minutes’ worth of prayer time each day. Let us all learn the lessons in this!

    May God continue to bless you all in this work.

  9. 12

    Carly Turner says

    Yes! This is such an encouraging post! Our family has also stepped into a new season (although not quite a drastic as yours) and we are fully relying on God to show up and show off for us. Thank you for sharing and being such an example of how BIG our God is!

  10. 13

    says

    Kristen, I am very excited for your family! My prayer is that God will continue to go before you into this new territory. I have been sharing your story with my kids as a wonderful example of what obedience looks like. It’s not easy making these changes, but my husband and I are seeing the value of it – even in such early stages.

    My something might not look as big as your something, but I hope, 4 years from now, I can look back and be able to say the words “Saying yes has changed everything for our family,” too.

    Godspeed. Our prayers are with you.

  11. 14

    Michelle S. says

    Awed and inspired by your ability to say YES! May we all say Yes to Him right where we are! Many blessings to you as you embark on this adventure!

  12. 16

    Kelly H says

    Wow! I’m not sure if I’ve ever commented on your blog before but I sit here amazed. May God continue to bless you and your family as you do such important work for these girls in Kenya. I am truly blown away at your dedication.

  13. 17

    says

    Your TRUST in God is HUGE! Your family has certainly learned how to step out in faith. God bless you in this new commitment with courage, conviction, and finances! God is bigger than any problem that may arise. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help when you need it, as well as praying. People love to be given the chance to help.

  14. 18

    Maureen says

    What an awesome God we serve! I am in awe of your “yes” and am grateful for you sharing it with us- it is amazing to watch God work in your family and know He is waiting for each of us to say yes too!

    Praying for you and your family.

  15. 19

    says

    Excited for you all and for what God will do with The Mercy House next. My husband an dI are still dreaming big on how we can hep young girls in Ukraine who have aged out of the orphanage. We are praying, and seeking, and asking questions, and waiting, and dreaming. Your dreams and your steps toward accomplishing them give me great encouragement and hope!

    Praying for you!

  16. 21

    brooke says

    Congratulations to all of you! SOO incredibly excited to see what God has in store. :) To Him be all glory forever!! Way to be instruments for His purpose. Cheering you on and waiting in anticipation to see His mercies unfold. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us and giving us inspiration to keep saying YES to Him!

  17. 24

    Crystal says

    Our family is following an unmistakable call of God right now as well. We are leaving comfort for obedience and trust that He will be glorified. We know that staying in our comfort zone is selfish and ultimately will not bear fruit.
    Father I lift THAT family to Your sweet arms. We trust that You are preparing a mighty transformation in and through them. For the precious souls they will be ministering to, draw them to You and may Your name be praised. I pray that You will stir giving hearts to support this ministry and prayer partners to protect them from the attacks that will come. it is for Your name and Your renown! Thank you Jesus!

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