I don’t think I imagined my life quite this way, and I love that.
Five years ago, I started my final semester of college. I wrote about marbles in a jar, their finite number mirroring the days which had become so very normal to me. During my senior year, my brain swam in questions about the future.
Where would I live?
What would I do?
What would happen to my college friendships?
2015 Kate didn’t know what was coming, but I don’t think she wanted to. I believe she would have stood frozen in fear if she knew what the Father had in store. This Kate mustered just enough courage to move to Pennsylvania for a summer internship. She dreamed about the future with abstract ideas and rosy ideals. She talked about traveling and writing and discipleship. But let’s be clear about something—2015 Kate never imagined being called a missionary, fundraising her salary, and living in a constant state of transition.
2020 Kate would stress out 2015 Kate, and I sort of love this. It reminds me of Philippians 1:6.
I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will put his finishing touches to it until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Sacred and Holy Roots
We’re never quite done, are we? We are always becoming, becoming, becoming. In the last six months, the Father has held me in Jeremiah 17:7-8.
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
This picture of deepening roots—roots reaching to the earth’s core—grabs my heart. It captivates my soul and draws me closer to the heart of the Father. Deeper and deeper these roots stretch—past rocks and shallow soil—to undisturbed dirt. They grow and ground towering trees to the very soil once breathed into existence by the creator Himself.
Storms of uncertainty come. Droughts and doubts threaten to tear limbs from the trunk. Seasons blast the bark with sunlight and rain and snow and everything in between. And still these trees stand. They weather every element.
Becoming, Becoming, Becoming
Growing and grounding is a process—a lifelong thing, a constant battle between faith and fear, between hope and doubt, between uncertainty and confidence. But in this process, we hold a promise.
Those who trust, who make the Father their hope and confidence will find stability and certainty not in their external circumstances but in who the Father is. Even in their chaotic world, marked by heat and drought and storms of all kinds, the Father holds them. He sustains and keeps them grounded.
Their roots and trust stretch. They groan with growing pains, but in becoming, they experience the Father doing a sacred and holy work in them.
This journey with the Father, this deepening and growing, is painful. It leads us into seasons of uncertainty. More and more I’m convinced the Father builds our capacity, grows our faith and then asks us to say yes to the things that used to make our knees knock.
Living with Anticipation
Often, we pause and reflect at the start of the year. We look back at what we left behind. We see how far we’ve come in our mind, emotions, body, and spirit. This kind of reflection reminds us of the faithfulness and goodness and love of the Father. Even on the days when He seemed far away, He was closer than we could have imagined.
But this year, I’m caught up in something different. It’s a looking back and forward—a prayer for the next five years. Who knows what it will bring. I’m done trying to pretend I understand what the Father is doing in my life. I’ve found it builds boxes around who He is. Instead, I find myself with a spirit of anticipation, ready to say yes and step in the place I never could have imagined He would lead me.
Friend, as we become and grow and stretch, may our roots reach deep into who the Father is. May we trust his sustaining life. And when He asks us to say yes to the thing which scares us more than anything else, may we follow Him with confidence, trusting the ground that holds us.