Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Well, by this time I'm sure you are all DYING to see some pictures! So without further adieu, here are just some of the pictures that have been taken recently. I've provided information under each picture for your viewing pleasure! hee hee Enjoy!!

God, may I keep walking with you?? :D

My class peeps and I engaging in a healthy competition of bowling, care of our speaker for the class last week! It was his gift to us to show us the 'Father Heart of God'. :D Strike!!!

Yes, yes, this is me having Wendy's in one of the malls of San Jose. Shhhhh, don't tell anyone, kay??!!

Jose (YWAM staff), Jimmy (DTS classmate), Brayan (DTS classmate) and Morgan (YWAM staff) enjoying their time at Playa del Jaco!!

Me and my home girl, Tammy, during her visit here with her family this month!!

A time of prayer for the Extreme DTS team that were heading off for the remainder of their Outreach phase. God bless them!!!

All together again!!! Jorge, Luis, Me, Tammy and Joel along with Tammy's youngest, Ben, during their visit to the YWAM base this month! The circle is complete!! :D

The Same Lesson

Today's class lesson was one I needed to relearn, unfortunately. But being human comes with its annoyances. Like having to learn the same lesson over and over again. Why can't I just get it the first time??

Learning this lesson actually began yesterday when, at the end of our class time, there were packages that had arrived via the mail for various members of my DTS team. I'm not sure why but my hopes were SERIOUSLY set on receiving something, anything, just to know that someone back home was missing me or thinking of me.

Alas, it came time for the last package to be handed out and that was it. Nothing with my name on it. No nicely wrapped package with careful handwriting of my name. No card, no letter. Nothing.

So, I left the classroom feeling completely defeated and upset. I felt like I didn't even exist to my friends and family back home. I felt like I had now drifted out of everyone's heads. Okay, by this time, I was having a bit of a pity party and decided that I needed to seriously switch my focus onto God before I went any further in my poor attitude. So, I grabbed my Bible and iPod and headed out to the Homes for Hope house and made myself comfortable on a hammock and proceeded to read my Bible and get lost in God.

It wasn't long before I started reading words from God's many promises to me and hearing my favorite Chris Tomlin song, 'I Will Follow'. Things began to change. I felt my heart being filled with peace and my mind being eased. Suddenly came the arms of God and I soon relaxed so easily that I fell into rest. I was in my secret place and I was loving it.

However, that all seemed to fade during dinner time when I was recalling the excitement that had been elicited by my team members that had received packages and I was back to where I had started earlier that afternoon. It sucked, quite frankly, and I didn't really know how to pull myself out of it. That was due in part to the fact that I guess I wanted to stay there, in that place of self pity and sadness and so I allowed the enemy to use it all to his full advantage. The enemy sucks.

By the time I finished my work duty for the evening, I was barely holding on to my quiet nature and ready to sob intensely. So I made a beeline to my room, grabbed my Bible and made my way to the prayer room to just get it all out through a good cleansing cry. I just felt like I needed it. But then the prayer room was occupied and I had no clue of where else I could go. Long story short, I sobbed in my room with several roommates present and I just let it out as two of my roommate angels came over to me and laid hands on me as they prayed. Am I blessed or what???? Praise God for these beautiful women!!!

So this morning, in class, brought me face to face with the lesson that I was to learn from all of this. What God was trying to do in the pain of it all. Yes, the same lesson that I have faced before. The lesson being that God has steps for each of us to take that is all part of a grand puzzle. A puzzle filled with hopes, dreams, disappointments, trials, difficulties, joys and sorrows. But what brings all the pieces of this puzzle together, successfully, to make the final picture of blessing, is the fact that we walk through each life experience, or each step God has for us, whether good or bad. No short cuts, no negotiations, no getting out of it. You travel through each and every one WITH God to get to the other side where blessing awaits us.

This blessing takes various forms. It could be from the smallest to the largest. As simple as receiving peace when you lose someone to receiving that new car that you really needed for your job or your family. Whatever the blessing might be, we will lose out on it if we don't take that next step that God calls us to take with Him to then go on to the next step and the next.

Yes, each step has its challenges and some of those steps are tough and, sometimes, heart wrenching. But each and every step is necessary in building us up in our faith, creating integrity in our character, forming us into incredible men and women of God FOR God and so many other things that bring us to the completion of our life puzzles where great blessings await each and every one of us!!!

So, why wouldn't I want to go through everything that God wants me to go through, whether good or bad??? Because I know who God is and that everything He puts His hand to is good, I trust Him and have no reason NOT to follow Him through whatever He has for me to follow Him through. For I know blessings await me and I also know that God wants the very best for me and I'm coming to want the very same thing...God's best. That excites me when it comes to thinking about my future.

I don't know where I'm going or what I'm doing after YWAM because I am trusting God implicitly for everything! For God IS my everything and I know that I am His and that is the best place to be!!! My prayer is that you come to know Him in this very way because as you get to know Him better, you get to trust Him more easily and the difficult times don't seem so difficult which is a very good thing!!! :D

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Am Free!!!

Well, this week was nothing short of incredible, supernatural and indescribable!

As you all know, this week was on the topic of Inner Healing and Freedom. This involved us being familiarized with the many personalities and walls that we tend to have and build in our lives as a direct result of being fed lies, being hurt by those we love and living with the scars of our past, in whatever form those scars take. Whether they are scars of rejection, lust, ungodly relationships, guilt, failure, worthlessness, it goes on and on and it often haunts us as we live out our daily lives.

But this week was to be the end of all of it!! The first three days of the week were intense with information and note taking that would then be used to prepare us for self-examination and, ultimately, confession.

Before I dive into the results of our time of renouncing and confession, I had the surreal opportunity of celebrating my birthday on Wednesday with my Costa Rican family! I couldn't believe that I was here, in Costa Rica, celebrating my 39th birthday! Crazy!!! But my day started well as I dreamed of eating chocolate cake for breakfast. hee hee And it wasn't long before one of my roommates gained the base's attention and participation in singing me 'Happy Birthday'. LOL It was fantastic and I was greeted with well wishes from those I knew and didn't know. It was blowing my mind.

THEN, when we took a break from class in the morning, I was quickly greeted with my birthday cake and God answered BIG TIME on this one for it was a multilayered chocolate cake!!!!!! YES!!!! Unbelievable!!!! I wasn't shy at all when I asked for a 'muy grande' piece of this chocolate heaven! I think I was floating while I ate it. LOL

Once back to the classroom, we finished up the remaining information needed to go and prepare ourselves for the days of confession and cleansing as a team that happened Thursday and yesterday. Before everyone left class, I told them that I wanted to capture a picture for my blog to show all of you my Costa Rica family, my brothers and sisters in Christ!!! Handsome group aren't we??!! :D

It was a day of huge blessing for my birthday. I was showered with love, hugs, smiles and well wishes, along with a card and special notes from my roommates and team! Wow. Happy Birthday to me!!!!

So, back to our time of confession. We found a quiet spot, a place called Homes for Hope, where we set up chairs and began first thing Thursday morning. Before beginning, we entered into a confidentiality pact as a team as a commitment to keep whatever was said during that time in that place, to ourselves and not to be shared with anyone!

We had a chair that was called the 'hot seat' and then they asked who wanted to go first. I was so ready to be rid of my past and be healed by God that it didn't take my arm long to shoot up into the air. However, I soon began to realize the implications of going first and I began to physically shake....I was petrified. It's not everyday that you expose parts of your past life to a group of people who you didn't even know two and a half weeks ago!!! But I firmly took my place in the chair preparing myself to begin, when I started to feel nauseous but God quickly helped me as He gave me the peace and courage to begin...and so I did.

I put a name to everything in my past that had caused me hurt: the loss of my childhood as a result of being sexually assaulted as a little girl, the loss of my identity growing up and as I became a woman, the sorrow of losing pieces of my soul as a result of sleeping with so many men throughout my adult life, the sorrow of feeling like a failure as a mother to my son, sorrow for abusing myself with drugs and alcohol, and sorrow for having the wrong definition of love.

But as I proclaimed each painful piece of my past, I also renounced it ever having any power over me or my life, anymore. I forgave and asked for forgiveness as well as being asked for forgiveness from people in my group who were representing the significant people of my past. And without breaching our confidentiality pact as a group, I can shout openly that I AM FREE!!!!! God has redeemed my past! I have been made pure!!!! I am now, without a doubt, a pure woman of God and a pure woman for my future husband and I WILL know the TRUE definition of love in the weeks to come!

Once I was finished and I was robed in white, with a white flower placed in my hair, I proclaimed out loud, to my team, the same...that I was free! As the song says, my chains are gone, I've been set free!

I went back to my original seat as I watched each subsequent member of my holy family take their place in the seat of confession and pour out the junk that had been weighing each of them down and I also watched as each one of them was freed!!! It was amazing to me how different each person looked once they were freed and all the lies, torment and hurt left their souls and their bodies and they sat upright in truth and love that God was pouring into each of them. I was so excited and proud for each one of them!!!

With this newly anointed freedom we celebrated with a bonfire last night. But this wasn't just any ordinary bonfire! We had to bring a written page of all the things that we were renouncing in our pasts and once doing so, in the name and blood of Jesus, we threw those papers, and any other personal items, into the fire. Any soul ties, lies, strongholds and generational curses that were robbing us, were noted on the paper and it all died as the paper became consumed by the flames. It was very invigorating!!

After doing that, we were invited to take part in communion, to really come before the Lord and thank Him for everything He has done for us and for what Jesus did for each of us on the cross. I was looking forward to that, so I made my way to the 'Homes for Hope' and got comfortable.

Closing my eyes, I began to pray for God to clear my mind and heart of all distractions and I began praising and thanking Him for everything that He has done for me since I've been here. I just couldn't say thank you to Him enough!!!! Then God came over me with a hush and I became still. He began to clear my mind and heart of every distraction and He began to speak to my heart in that still, small voice I adore and love to hear.

He told me that He wanted to show me my past. He filled my mind with a picture of myself standing beside Him as He showed me my past. There was nothing there, it was gone. It was clear and purified. Everything from my past was gone, like it never happened, and so it should be. Then God spoke, "This is your past now and you will have a new history with me. The only man and lover you had in your past was me. I want to show you real love."

I broke down and sobbed intensely as I began thanking God over and over and over again. My past WAS gone and all I could see in God's picture was a clean slate, as white as snow. God filled me with peace and love that quieted my soul and I knew I was ready to take part in communion with my God. I can't even describe how this act now means to me. To take of the body and blood of Christ. I am in awe, I am new and pure. I am clean. Praise God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As a side note, my nicknames just expanded. To my family, or should I say to my 'kids' on my team, I am known as: Melly, Mel and Mama Mel. I am truly blessed. Thank you, God. Thank you.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Coming Full Circle

Front Row (left to right): Riley, Ben, Joel.
Back Row (left to right): Doug, Tammy, Jorge, Luis.

Many of you know that I was in Costa Rica in March of 2011 as part of an OCC team, distributing shoeboxes to children in the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica.

Well, ever since I have returned to Costa Rica to be a part of YWAM, it has been a prayer of mine to be reunited with my boys from that trip, three of the translators that accompanied myself and the team during our 8 days in Costa Rica, who impacted my life and heart greatly.

Well, this past weekend, this prayer was answered in ways that touched my heart and moved me to tears. I just could not stop thanking and praising God for making it happen and the timing of everything was perfect, including the addition of one of my dear roommates and sisters in Christ from that trip, Tammy. As much as the trip in March affected me, it affected Tammy in profound ways that she is still experiencing.

As a result, it was her desire to bring her husband and two kids to the same place where God moved in her and through her in ways that were incomprehensible but also wonderful!! I'm still soaking in the extreme blessings that God poured out over me during the weekend. So much peace, so much joy, so many tears but they held happiness and gratitude to God!!!

So, for me, my time at YWAM has already come full circle for the prayers that were within my heart have now been answered in seeing these three amazing and anointed men of God and how God is working in them and through them! I know that each one of them will do amazing things for God and set this world on fire!!! Amen!!!

However, there was one piece of the puzzle that was missing, my other roomie, Laurel. We thought of you often, Laurel, and so many hugs were exchanged on your behalf to everyone here. Thank you for being such a blessing to me, girl!

This week's class topic is 'Inner Healing - Freedom' presented by a speaker from Colombia, Diana Busar. I have goosebumps of anticipation for what God will do within me and my team. There will be breakthroughs, redemptions, and walls will come crashing down in ways that will make the earth move!!! I can't wait to be free, redeemed, made pure, healed!!! Come, LORD Jesus, come. Amen!

I love you guys!!!!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Holy Spirit Smackdown!!!

Well, last week was nothing short of incredible and filled with such blessing as God's work drew us even closer together as a DTS team! I see the LORD working such majesty and anointing into my sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, that all I can feel is JOY!!! Great and extreme joy!!!! I praise God each moment that I have these beautiful men and women in my life and watching as God slowly transforms each of them....stripping away the old self and bringing about the new creation that God sees in each of them!!

Hearts have been opened more and more through last week and with so much more to go, I wait in anticipation for the things to come!! So, here are some highlights of last week whose topic was: Identity in Jesus!!

Our speaker, Pastor Steve Shank, from Colorado, and his spiritual brother, Tom, took us into the depths of how we used to identify ourselves while in the world and how important it is to change our mindset to seek and know our identity in Christ. This day was one of lecture and intense teaching of how important it is to gain a firm hold on who we are in Christ and to sink into the Word of God to find ourselves and embed those very identities upon our hearts and minds.

This morning took us to downtown San Jose to shoot a video outlining identity. Some of us were given negative identities while others were given new identities once we have accepted Christ. My identity was, 'I am what I have achieved'. We had to develop our own costumes that represented our identities as we would be statues and unable to speak. So my costume emphasizing this identity consisted of a graduation cap and a paper with an A+ on it plus the identity sign. Other negative identities were, I am what I have, I am what I do, I am my music, I am what I play, etc.

One of our team leaders, Morgan, represented Jesus and carried a cross with him. Then others were given new identities, as would be obtained once we accepted Jesus into our lives and hearts. Identities such as: I am loved, I am forgiven, I am a child of God, I am beautiful!

Before we left for our destination, we were asked by Pastor Shank to use this activity as an evangelism opportunity, should the Holy Spirit move us. To speak to the people of San Jose in respect to how they might see their own identities. Below is a picture of us waiting for the bus to take us downtown! My first bus riding experience! Not really any different than downtown Calgary but certainly more people!! hee hee

As we were wrapping up the video, we moved to a stage that had us positioned in a circle, facing outwards. God had me placed in such a way that I was in direct line of watching a young couple interact. The girl's actions strongly showed that her identity was in the guy she was with, while he seemed rather indifferent about the amount of affection. It wasn't long before I heard the voice of God tell me to go and talk to them, to find out what her identity was. For she reminded me of my old self, of being identified to the guys I dated.

God's movement in me caused me to grab one of my team leads and bring him over to translate as I asked each of them what their identities were, how they defined themselves. The girl became a bit skittish and went away from us, talking on her cell phone. After speaking with and praying for the young man, God was telling me to go and retrieve the girl. I went over to her and brought her back to where we were and began asking her the same questions I had asked the man. As I suspected, her answers were similar to his and I knew she was like my old self.

I asked if I could pray for her and she welcomed it. I began to pray that she would be injected by the love of God and that, someway, somehow, would be shown her identity through God's eyes. I felt so alive while I did that. But before I prayed for her, I told them my testimony and how I saw my identity. That it was in every man I dated. That I wanted to like what they liked and do what they did and that I had lost my identity in them. The more I did that, the more I lost myself and was so unhappy. But then, when I received Christ, I came to know that my identity was in Christ, that I was now defined as a woman of God. Praise God!!

This day brought more lecture and heartfelt teaching from our speaker as well as a breakthrough of my own. I had been praying, for months, to fall in love with the Word of God. Through Steve's teachings and his constant encouragement to dive into the Word of God to find ourselves there, I found my love for the Word. I am changed in ways I could have never dreamed possible!!! Now I hunger and thirst after the Word and grow in anticipation of my next opportunity to be in God's heart, through His word!!! Now when I come into the Word, my heart melts and continues to melt as I feel God's strong draw upon my heart as He wooes me through his Word! Woo Hoo!!!

Before ending class time, Pastor Steve and Tom gave each of us in the class words and/or verses that God had placed on their hearts to share with us! My words were 'Restoration' and 'Rescuer'. Restoration represented the work God desires to do within me and within my heart to redeem my past and to make me new. I mentioned to Tom that this word from him was an affirmation of God's promise to me two years earlier, that God would restore my fortunes before my very eyes!!! (Zephaniah)

Steve's word to me of resuer represented the spiritual gift that God is instilling within me to be a spiritual Mom. That through the clearing out of my past and old self, God will use that to draw in girls to help them out of their own trials and difficulties in their lives as young women. WOW!!!

This day was the day of our special activity as a DTS team and it was foot washing. Our leaders of the group said that they wanted to serve us by washing our feet for us. Because I had washed the feet of others previously, I knew the profound significance of this action and I began to cry.

It wasn't long before I was selected by one of the staff, Jose, and he was then joined by his beautiful wife, Marianela. Since I arrived here at YWAM, she has become God's gift to me of my own spiritual Mom, while being away from home. She has brought me such encouragement and support during my time here. I feel so incredibly blessed!!!

As they began to wash my feet, Jose started speaking to me, telling me what God had told him to share with me. He told me that he sees me as a butterfly in a cocoon, struggling and fighting to get out. That this program is the process of me, the butterfly, painfully working to get out of that cocoon, in order to fly. That as I go through the process, of being reshaped and stretched, that by the end of this program, he sees me emerging from that cocoon as a beautiful butterfly that flies heavenward, free!!! I began to cry even harder.

Then Marianela came behind me and began speaking to me about a vision she was given of me. That I was dressed in white and had a flower in my hair (left side behind my ear). That during my time here, I will be made pure and made new as a woman of God and as a pure woman for my husband. That I will discover my true love, my first love...God, and that I will come to know what real love is all about. My crying became more intense as I knew everything that was being told to me was God ordained. The crying continued as I returned to my other classmates and one of them, Brandon, called me over and began praying for me. I cried intensely again as I felt as though I was being prayed over by my son. The words coming from his lips were so precious and so sincere that I couldn't contain the overspilling joy that was held within my tears. Others soon surrounded me and embraced me as his prayer continued and I felt surrounded so completely by my children. As much as the tears were flowing, my mind, heart and spirit were at total peace. So many blessings, so much love, incredible peace!!!

Once we gathered in the classroom and listened to the remaining words of our gifted speakers, they wanted to conduct an impartation with each of us and as we all stood in a circle with our eyes closed, waiting for our words of wisdom and knowledge, Steve and Tom approached each person, leaving them with pieces of God's heart for their lives.

Coming to me, Tom issued words of affirmation of God's desire to wash away my past completely and he told me that I would have a new history. Then Steve issued a confirmation of my strength and blessing of being a spiritual mother. More joy, more peace.

This was a time of sharing, of four of our class members sharing their testimonies with all of us. I couldn't help but smile at how God had now turned all of that darkness around into light....bright, blinding light! Such servants of God, such strong followers of Christ who will be continually renewed and restored during this program!! Amen!! And more blessings for me!!!

Before signing off, I leave you with more pictures, this time of the base so that you have an idea of what it's like here. Enjoy and all my love to all of you!!!

The YWAM community garden where we each got a plant during, I believe, our second day on base, and planted them where we wanted within the garden. I put mine in the top right hand corner of the garden, to which it is now slowly dying. I take this as a symbol of my old self dying here and leaving a renewed creature in Christ!

This has become my workout area and personal devotion sanctuary each morning. I get to come here early in the morning and have a piece of quiet time with God and be in His beautiful word!

The YWAM base sign!!

Miniature orchids that grow on base!! Beautiful!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Working for the Weekend

Well, as promised, I have some pictures of this weekend that, as a team, we enjoyed. It was fun and encouraging.

It also turns out that I have both felt like and told that I am the team 'Mother' as everyone in my DTS team is 16-20 years younger than myself and after church today, it became official...I guess, from a 17 year old guy in the group named Jimmy who, all of a sudden, let out a, "Hi, Mom!" to me as I exited the church. Mamma mia! Oh well, we'll see how being a mother to 12 others goes. I'm a bit afraid. LOL

Anyway, here is the first picture of our bonfire Friday night where we roasted marshmallows and sang songs around the campfire on base. It was part of our fellowship night of playing games and just hanging out on the base as a DTS team.

It was interesting as, that night, I was approached by one of the base staff, Pedro, who told me that he had a dream about me the prior night. I wasn't able to fully understand what he was telling me in Spanish, so I had one of my leaders translate. He went on to say, "Last night I had a dream about you. There was a tall staircase that reached to the heavens. You were on the first step and were wobbly, then you took the second step. Then as you kept going, you looked back and had a smile on your face and was happy. I see you climbing the rest of those steps to the top during your time here at YWAM. You will keep climbing and changing and overcoming a lot while you are here."

I couldn't help but start thanking him over and over again for that encouragement. When I first arrived here, I wasn't sure what my purpose in being here was, but now I do know, just after one week what it is and even though it is multi-layered, I am ready to surrender to God even MORE and have Him do in me whatever He wants to do!

The next picture is of our day at the beach, well beaches, as we visited two. The first was Playa del Jaco (Jaco Beach) and the picture after that is a beach called the Horseshoe but I forget how it's spelled in Spanish. hee hee They were both equally breathtaking and I just took everything in, being still and walking in the water from time to time to feel the cool water of the Pacific. Ahhhh!!

The final picture is that of the river that houses hundreds, perhaps, thousands of crocs! It was incredible how many of them there were! I snapped this picture with as many of them as I could in one shot but there were over twenty of them spread out when we were there! Wow! We were watching them from a bridge over the river and the rain happened to be pouring down on us so it was a short sightseeing venture.

One week down, many more to go! I've never been more ready for God to work in me and for me to be even CLOSER to Him! I know that it's going to be just as painful as it's going to be joyous. As I've said before, "God's best doesn't come without great sacrifice."

For those of you out there praying for me, pray for continued good health aside from my digestive system being thrown completely out of whack with different food being served here than I'm used to. Also, that God's drawing of me closer to Him would just continue, without any distractions. Amen and thank you all!!

Dios te bendiga!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Mis-Understanding

My heart was heavy as I came into my personal devotion time this morning, outside on the stage area of the base. The place I've chosen to do my morning personal devotion time each day. I didn't understand why I was feeling so heavy hearted with things like unrighteousness, hurt and rejection. I had no reason for feeling these things.

As my personal time ended and I headed to the classroom for the morning session, the feelings continued. The topic our speaker had begun yesterday, continued. The topic of love. The love of God and how that love manifests itself in us and in our lives to increase our own love for others around us (friends, family) and for our eventual spouses.

Within this topic of love our speaker began to explore some of the perversions of love that the world has made not only available to anyone who wants it but the same perversions that have made many believe that it's completely acceptable to access these same perversions. Things like pornography and prostitution. These perversions are born of hurt and pain and can become a disease to not only those to buy it but also to those who supply it.

Our speaker went on to say that God promises to redeem us from past sexual hurts, no matter what they might be. It was, literally, seconds after she said that that God spoke clearly to my heart. He said, "I want to heal you of your past hurts, the sexual hurts." The tears started to flow as our teacher continued. I couldn't stop them, they just kept coming. I was face to face with something that I thought I had healed from years ago, but God knew otherwise.

See, before I became a Christian, I spent most of my adult life seeking love from the wrong place, men. My definition of love at that time was sex. I didn't feel loved unless I was involved, on a physical level, with a man. And there were a lot of men. I was living the life of a prostitute without ever taking a dime for my 'services'. My self-worth was so low and my self-hate so high, that I didn't care. As long as I was being 'loved' by a man, I was okay. I was accepted, not rejected. I was needed, not denied. I was messed up.

After I became a Christian four years ago, all my wrongs were erased. I was redeemed and forgiven. I was made new and whole but my misunderstanding of love remained right up until today. Today was my breaking point when God's revelation struck me like a Mac truck. I had not been healed from my past sexual hurts like I thought I had just because I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I had not been completely renewed from my ill perception of love like I thought I had when I chose to follow God. Not even close.

The more our speaker spoke of God's truth about REALLY knowing God's love in order to exhibit godly love to your spouse in the RIGHT way, the more I cried and the clearer God's voice said, "I want to heal you. I want to make you whole. I want to redeem those past hurts." I didn't even hesitate when I said, "Okay, God. Yes." The tears came again.

One of my roommates was sitting next to me and asked me if I was okay, I looked at her and said, "No." Then I began to tell her about my past and what God was speaking to me through our teacher's message. My roommate prayed for me and I let the tears flow freely. Before this, everyone in the classroom had left for a break and it was just her and I. Moments after she began praying, the teacher came into the classroom and then joined us in prayer. She prayed over me once my roommate was done and my crying became more intense. She affirmed that it was okay for me to grieve, which I knew I was doing.

As the praying continued, I felt the peace and comfort of God come into me like a wave and the crying began to subside even though the grief was very much there, almost tangible. I need to grieve, God commands us to grieve. It pains me to know how much of my soul was carelessly given away to so many who never really cared about me. Who only cared about the temporary pleasure of something that left me empty and unfulfilled.

So now, I wait for the LORD to call me to healing of this past hurt. No, I EAGERLY wait for the LORD to call me to healing. I know I need this, I need to dive deep into God to see His love revealed so that I can know the RIGHT definition of love. So that I can be redeemed and made whole, to be sanctified and prepared for that time when I can love freely and serve my husband joyfully, and he to me. Amen.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bits & Pieces

I know that many of you are waiting for pictures of this place and, perhaps, of some people and I had every intention on posting some of them. However, when I was taking pictures yesterday, I decided to look through my menu and see if I could improve some of the settings to get clearer pictures. One choice was to format my memory card. Apparently, formatting equals deletion and many treasured pictures I had taken in the first few days of arrival are now gone, as well as some treasured ones from home. SO....stay tuned.

For now, you'll just have to be satisfied with some bits and pieces in word form that have been filling my mind, heart and classroom time. I hope that you enjoy!!! These are my notes, my thoughts, my heartbeats!

Marriage is the union of two forgivers. A union of two people who have to change and grow through each season of their life together. I will forgive and forgive and forgive and love and love and love but I will NEVER leave you. I will NEVER forsake you and I will NEVER hurt you!

There is NO fear in love!!!!

You said You would challenge me,
You make the furrows deeper with every passing day,
You speak to my waiting heart,
I am stilled by your voice.
My love grows deeper while I'm waiting,
In the shadow of Your wings,
When You call my name,
I awaken and appear.
I sit at Your feet,
Waiting for Your words,
You speak in ways,
That reach my longing heart.
You break me free from this unquenched desire,
You lift me up to sing Your praise,
My lips they utter glory,
To Your eager ears.
"Come closer", I whisper,
You draw me nearer,
You capture me with your gaze,
I am wholly surrendered.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Well, with my safe arrival to San Jose, Costa Rica came the stark realization of being a woman of almost 40 years old entering into the twilight zone of being a YWAMer. A WHAT??? It's the metamorphosis of someone who has chosen to take part in a 5-6 month YWAM program designed to draw one into a deeper and more intimate relationship with God and the more deeply one gets drawn in, the more intense one's reaction and outward response will be.

Although I didn't feel the label being affixed to me quite yet, I did feel the presence of God intensifying within me. It certainly wasn't there in the first 24 hours, however. Even though I was met by several people I had been corresponding with over email, prior to coming, and that I could finally put a face to the many names, and am still meeting more I've heard about, and apparently many more have heard about me. Uh oh! I couldn't stop the overwhelming feeling of being completely lost and asking myself the question, repeatedly, "What am I doing here?"

I was questioning my purpose in treking all this way, becoming jobless AND homeless and leaving everything familiar behind because when God told me to go, I said, "Yes, LORD." I was relieved to find that I wasn't the only one struggling with this. It appears that my 6 other roommates were in the same wobbly and uncertain boat that I had travelled here in. With that came some relief but I still struggled and immediately pursued God for the answer.

That answer didn't come until Saturday morning when I engaged in some personal devotion time and read the words God was waiting for me to read. The devotion I laid my eyes on spoke of being plowed like a farmer's field. Being cultivated, over and over, in preparation to yield a great harvest. To be transformed into an even greater woman of God because I was getting a little too comfortable in my life in Calgary. I was having things a little too easy and if I needed quiet time, well I lived by myself and it was a matter of staying in my home to create the much needed solitude.

Well, that has since changed and it couldn't have been more clear than the night I arrived that I would be HUGELY stretched at YWAM for the small room that would house 7 of us for the next 5 months practically screamed out the words, "I am going to stretch you in every possible way!" Affirmative!!!!!!!!

But in spite of knowing that I will be challenged and God will refine me over and over again while I'm here, God's grace broke through my nervous and uncertain exterior Saturday night. That was when they had the welcome dinner for myself and my teammates of the July DTS and God spoke to my heart as I sat at the table waiting to be served dinner by the YWAM staff. He said, "Don't you remember? Why are you scared? Do you need to be reminded of why you came back for me? Well, okay. Hold on for the ride."

Dinner finished and it was time to engage in corporate worship. The music began and chords of familiar songs began to fill the air and my heart....melted. I bowed my head and became still as God said, "Now do you remember?" I amswered, "Yes, LORD, I remember now." It was the words of the first song being played that brought me back to life. Like the Holy Spirit just performed CPR on my soul and I took in my first deep breath.

I was back. I was in Costa Rica again...back to the place where God's call all began and I raised both of my arms to the heavens as I poured out my heart and voice to God in love and thanksgiving. For never leaving me, for never failing me and for being just as faithful to me as always. I suddenly went from being a piece of a chaotic puzzle that just didn't fit, to a puzzle piece that now fit perfectly into the centre of the puzzle....God's will.

Now I sit here, chuckling at how much has already happened and it's only day three! Not only has God spoken to my heart about what He is beginning to do in me but also what He is going to do in my roommates. It already began this morning during our class time! I also felt prompted to tell my roomies, last night, that God would be doing amazing things in them and through them and to be prepared to have their worlds rocked!!! I guess I feel a bit like a den mother, watching my own children wander into unfamiliar territory, being the only one who knows what is to come. The spectacular and supernatural movement of God in their lives....but I'm not about to spoil the surprise for them. :D I'm excited for them and wait to watch the Holy Spirit move within this incredible group of girls who I just met but feel connected to in this short time.

And I think about my friends who are here now, engaged in YWAM programs, taking them on various paths, following God in incredible and life changing ways and I smile. And I pray for them for the things that will happen to them and in them will be, often, overwhelming, as they have already been for me. I pray for their safety and protection, as well as the protection from the enemy for my teammates and the staff. Well, for everyone here, in fact because God's work doesn't come without great opposing movement from the enemy.

They weren't kidding when they said bring rain gear, either! It has rained everyday since I arrived and it's almost like clockwork that it begins. At times it's a mist, others an absolute monsoon-like downpour but it's rain. It will come again tomorrow during this, the rainy season of Costa Rica.

I hope to post daily, if able to, to tell all of you of the things happening here and what it means for me and others. I will certainly do my best! As part of the program, everyone in the group is assigned work duties and mine just so happens to be clean up after dinner. The kicker about this assignment? I am one of the first to EAT dinner then get ready to clean up after others. God is so good as He knows how much I love food so He wants to bless me with eating dinner first with my teammates assigned to the same duty! LOL

But the one thing that stands out, the one thing that was with me from the moment I said goodbye to my home in Canada, remains. That one thing is peace and that peace tells me that I am exactly where God wants me to be for this time and His peace will continue throughout these five months as He continues to reveal Himself to me and as I seek to go deeper with Him.

I am well, mi amigos y mi familia. I am in the will of God and He is holding me steady. I am answering to His challenges and embracing His continual direction. I am eating well and being loved by those around me. I am enjoying the chocolate I brought with me from home in small doses so that it lasts as long as possible. I am thanking God for surrounding me with people I know and friends I've already made and look forward to the things that God will show me and teach me to become better for Him and to grow closer to Him.