a rebel with a cause

Five  random facts about Lorretta that you may not care to know:

1) Lilacs are my favorite flower. I’ll take a fist-full of lilacs over a dozen roses any day.

2) My middle name is Lynn…making me, yes…. “Lorretta Lynn”. My mother hoped I’d be the next Country & Western star. She tried naming my baby sister “Tammy Wynette” but …thankfully, no.

3) I skipped kindergarten, becoming the only 5-year old in first grade and sealing my fate for social awkwardness for the remainder of my school career and… possibly for  life!

4) I come ridiculously undone in the presence of Jelly-Belly jellybeans.
It’s not pretty people; all social courtesies go out the door. #donottouchmyjellybellies

Finally…

5) I have a warrior spirit.  I am a fighter….and a bit of a rebel…  with a cause.

a rebel with a cause

I almost joined the Air Force right out of high school and seriously considered the Peace Corps as well. Neither happened and I don’t quite remember why but in my heart, I knew it wasn’t a good fit.

I was right.

By God’s grace, I married instead and for many reasons, I  see how that decision has been used to hone my rough edges and temper this Warrior Spirit within me.

 

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My husband has a warrior spirit too. I oughta know; he’s fought for me.

This is the guy who wanted to be a war photographer.  Back in his photojournalism days, he loved being in the middle of that breaking news story or on the edges of that raging wildfire. He did join the Air Force and for a time, that experience took us on many little adventures.

This is a drawing from the journal we kept when the Air Guard moved us to Reno:

Reno or BUST 2

As you can see, it was quite the adventure, and the adventures just keep coming!

Nearly twenty-five years of marriage and the raising of three children have served to purge a great deal of selfishness and immaturity from us, leaving behind a friendship forged and tempered in the merciful fires of God’s testing.

It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t always been great, but it’s good and getting good-er all the time.

So why am I telling you all this?

 

Well, many years ago….yes, many, MANY years ago…God began to speak into our lives and gave us a vision. It was then that our walk with Him got real. We started seeking hard and praying together and in the midst of a very large move-of-God project, we heard HIS call to missions.
Unmistakably.
We got all excited. Hubby quit his job. We started our own video production company with a media missions emphasis and knew deep in our hearts we’d be on the field telling God stories in no time .
And we weren’t going to do weddings because only lame film companies do weddings. We were media missionaries and we were gonna do important God-work.

 

Which meant…. weddings. Lots of weddings.
And humbling. Lots of humbling.
And pain. Loss. Uncertainty. Fear.
Bad choices and  bounced checks.

 

Feeling….thinking, ” Were we wrong? Did we misunderstand God?” No, we didn’t misunderstand God but obviously… we needed some schoolin’… and some time.

 

MANY years.
It took every one of those bless-ed  years to learn what God’s call to missions is  not. To learn how to serve Christ alone, leaning on God alone.

To learn how to serve with a Spirit of humility, working hard at whatever God brought our way. Weddings, volunteer projects and short-term missions with (and outside of) our church, cultivating in us a sensitive heart for God’s people everywhere.

We’ve had to learn to do it joyfully, often thanklessly and with complete humility and integrity. We’ve had to learn how to fail, repent and rise and walk again.

Most of all, we’ve had to learn to trust in the Spirit’s leading and God’s timing–to hear his voice, and to take our eyes off our selves and OFF THE CALL (yes, off the call) and keep them fixed on Jesus and letting the ministry of the Gospel apply to our own lives first.

 

 Sounds easy, right?
A bunch of years people.
Apparently we rank up there with Moses and Joseph at the top of the class in the School of Hard Knocks and Great Love.

 

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the spiritual life
So we come to today with humble hearts. Because God is sorta “graduating” us to the next step. There’s more to this story (always!) than I can relate to you here and now but I’m grateful to announce that we
are going to to the field.

We are not moving …yet, no. But there’s a wonderful project I need to tell you all about, done through an agency I’ll tell you more about, working with partners and fellowships already in place and seeking to meet the needs of people all around the world.

It’s BIG.
It’s BEAUTIFUL
It’s so very GOD.

 

So with our 15-year old son we’re headed to Kenya and Swaziland! We’ll be gone most of July visiting and encouraging partners in the field as we seek to tell the stories of the lives being touched through Baptist Global Response and their hospice bucket project.

 

Hospice buckets….for the dying...from old age and terminal diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
HIV/AIDS is taking lives by the thousands every day in these countries. Swaziland alone is on track for EXTINCTION (no lie) if  something doesn’t change.

 

So we’re going to tell the stories of what’s being done to help and of the Great Healer and Hope behind it all.  We’re going to help connect people in need with people who care.

Can I be honest?  I’m rightly terrified.  For all the reasons I could be and should be, I go in fear. But my awe and trust in God is far greater. All I have to do is look back at what He’s done and see how He’s patiently prepared us for this moment.  Fourteen years.

And if God thinks we’re ready, who am I to argue?!
But we need you. We need other warriors.

Prayer warriors who will join us in praying for wisdom and discernment, for provision and protection as God sees fit.

We need prayers for our strength as we travel to places we’ve never been, and for our hearts as we seek to hear God’s story through the lives being touched by this project and changed by Him.
Then prayers to do His work and tell these stories well.
We’ll need prayers to discern what God’s next steps might be.
Join us?

 

open road of prayer

 

I hope so.

In the meantime….nothing’s changed. Not really. I’ll just be hammering away and telling the stories of our very real God, very real and present in my very real life today. And I’ll be telling you more about this adventure along the way.

And weddings….if you know someone getting married, we’ll gladly come!  After all, it’s where Jesus began His work as well.   Let’s celebrate!

 

In Christ alone,Lorretta signature

34 thoughts on “a rebel with a cause

    1. Oh Mary, thank you so much for your cheers and encouragements! It’s been quite an adventure– even on the “normal” days! And there’s plenty of journey and adventure in the life ahead. As you may know, it’s all in how you look at it! Thanks for your prayers dear Sister.

  1. This was so awesome to read and had me smiling BIG! Congrats on the long-awaited opportunity and it would be my honor to partner with you in prayer! I cannot wait to see your pictures and hear your stories from AFRICA!

  2. How wonderful, Lorretta! I’ve read a couple of things this week about concentrating on God HIMSELF, not on what He might be preparing you for or what you might sense Him doing, but HIM. Praying for you as you prepare!

  3. I love how you tell your story here and the reminder that God’s timing is often so different from our own. But HE is always right on time, so I am just thrilled for what he wants to do in and through you this summer. VERY exciting! So God!
    Can’t wait to follow along!!!

    1. Thank you Becky! I do hope only to tell the stories with the grace and dignity the Gospel merits. There’s so much real hurt and pain in this world, you know? And as hard as I know it will be to just go and tell, oh I want to do that more than anything. God must.. God can be glorified even in this. Thank you for joining us!

  4. AHHH!! Pee-my-pants excited for you to see God resurrect your dreams, knots in my stomach for what you might see… but I know it’s just God and He’s with you. So glad I get to at least virtually come with you. Know that you have my prayers. xo

    1. You honestly made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! I immediately read this to my husband and said “SEE! This is what blogging sister do!” We are real and honest and lovely with our emotions and wow Amanda, thanks for jumping up and down in spirit with me on this. Thanks so much. Love, love LOVE!

    1. Thank you Lisha! To serve Him anywhere is what my heart desires. In July, the people in Africa. After that, who knows? Currently it’s my neighbor here and the kids at church and the lady at the grocery..it’s a Go Ye Therefore lifestyle that will and should take you way beyond the borders of your mind. I’m just so thankful I get to dream big with Him. And for friends along the way who get it. Bless you!

  5. You have me shedding big happy tears! Oh my friend His ways and time are perfect, and it am soooo excited for you! And yes, I want to go with you. It would be a privilege to fight with and for you in prayer… Sign me up! ❤️

    1. Oh yes, thank you Jesus because having YOU on my side dear Katharine is a MUST. No joke. I just remarked to someone else that the beauty of God’s timing is such that I now have such a wonderful prayer base and support system This was definitely NOT the case fourteen years ago! Love you Lady K!

  6. I know you are beyond excited. I also know this is a place in your lives that you have been preparing for. I am and will be praying for you all. This brings tears of joy and sadness, as I see this as a stepping stone, that you and David will have that fire for serving fully fanned now. God has you, my friends, and He will lead you, as always. I love you.

    1. Peggy.. you have been a soul so sensitive to our family from the start. I still remember the day you spent helping me get my mom’s stuff sold at the Estate sale. Thank you for your love and prayers. And for all your support. Love ya!

    1. Thank you for sharing in our joy Sandy! This journey has been worth every moment and I’m just so grateful for God’s timing in that here and now I have a Sandy in my life…and others who know Him well enough to encourage this in me. Bless you!

  7. my spirit is leaping for you
    as we too are preparing for Africa
    Malawi, long term
    I love hearing how God has moved and not moved you
    to suit His purposes, His plans
    as He once said to me
    “when you go, and go you will
    it will be all about ME and nothing about you”

    1. I can honestly say I’m grateful for the time He’s taken to work out His salvation in us with fear and trembling. Yes, I’m nervous about this and whatever else may be on the horizon. But here and now, I know only as much as I need to know for today and I’m satisfied with that much. Amen Sister! I can’t wait to hear more about Malawi! The lady who’s been our liaison and in charge of our planning was a missionary in Malawi! AIDS is a huge issue there too. Blessings!

    1. Thank you Debi! Oh my yes, I do need those planning prayers. I’m not a naturally organized person (can you tell? maybe just a little? 🙂 ) So I’m leaning wholly on God to give me the skillz I need to be what He needs me most to be in these moments. You are a great friend and cheerleader.

Welcome to the discussion!