I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home. My parents loved the Lord and loved each other. What a precious way to start life!
When I was in the 8th grade, the Lord began to place a passion in my heart for ministry. As I made myself available to the Lord, He began to open doors in the area of missions. At age 18, I ended up in Heidelberg, West Germany, working in a mission church with American military youth. The Lord used this time to begin to develop a passion in my heart for student ministry...a desire to see teenagers fall in love with Jesus and live for Him with a true zeal!
The Lord was very gracious to allow me to minister for almost 11 years with students. I served on staff with several churches, traveled and spoke at youth retreats, camps, rallies and conferences. It was an exciting time for me, and yet, as a single woman, my heart also yearned to be a wife and mom.
I began praying for my husband when I was 15 years old, keeping a journal of the prayers I prayed for him. My prayers were for his salvation, his safety, and the character and patience that he would need to live with me!! I knew that he was "out there somewhere", and that as I walked in obedience to the Lord, He would allow our paths to cross in His time. As I neared my 28th birthday, single and in full time ministry, my prayers began to change. I prayed, "OK Lord, now please just TELL HIM WHERE I AM!"
God IS faithful, but He will not be rushed! A month after my 31st birthday, I married the most wonderful man. God's gift to my life. Todd is a man of solid character, full of integrity, with a heart after God. What a blessing to wait on the Lord's perfect gift!
Now, more than 20 years later I am a wife and mom. God has blessed us with five interesting, lovely, funny, challenging kids. Life is never dull at our house and the marathon of motherhood has stretched and grown me in so many ways!
In my early 20's, during my years in student ministry, I went through a very difficult, dark time. The enemy dug a pit, and my sinful heart walked right into it! During this season, I became so very aware of my desperate need for God's grace. The Lord allowed me to see so clearly that apart from Him, there truly is no good thing that dwells in me!
For years, my "ok-ness" had come from the fact that I was the "good little ministry girl". God, in His graciousness, allowed me to go through a season where I could no longer "perform" for Him, I was broken, my heart shredded, and I had to lean into His grace in new, deep and desperate ways.
Although I would never want to walk through that situation again, I wouldn't trade the journey for anything! I saw my own depravity, and tasted of His mercy in ways that endeared Him to me afresh. He drew me in "under the shadow of His wings" and restored me. Words like "mercy, grace, and redemption" were no longer "church words"; they became my life line.
For over a decade, the Lord has surprised me with the privilege of traveling and speaking to women’s groups.
As I have had the privilege of sharing with women who have been through their own "pits" of darkness, I have been touched by the truth that we must lay down our posturing and posing, and in transparency, share with one another the grace that was so freely bestowed on us.
There has been a growing passion in my heart to see the Lord raise up a team of women of “like heart”...who have walked through different trials…who have seen His faithfulness...a team to come alongside women in our city and be used of the Lord to touch lives and see them transformed for His glory!
In 2005 the Lord birthed Passionate Heart Ministries. In His graciousness, He has built a team of women committed to a message of His grace...willing to pray, serve and be used in whatever way the Lord asks..."For such a time as this!"
My desire and prayer is that God will use this ministry to be a source of encouragement to other women. I am SO aware that apart from His grace, and His help, what we do will just be activity, words and thoughts and ideas. These things don't bring true life, true zeal, and true passion. Only a touch from His hand can do that!
So this is what I pray, "Lord, each step of obedience I take, would You please touch it with Your grace and allow us to clearly, daily, see Jesus lifted up!"