For Micah,

(and for Graham)

Wow.

I don’t say that lightly. I mean really, WOW.

You are amazing. You have DONE it. You have ANSWERED the call of Christ with a resounding 

YES LORD. SEND ME!

Wow.

It’s amazing, really. A lot of people will probably call you crazy or naive. They’ll say things like, “Oh, I could never do that.” They will say, “I’m jealous. That’s so cool.” And they will tell you that a group of fifty-odd twenty-somethings can’t change the world. And you know something? They’re right. On all counts, they are right.

Because whether you say you can or you can’t, you’re right. And it is really, amazingly cool that you’ll be in more countries this year than you have fingers to count them on. And your group of fifty-odd twenty-somethings can’t change the world.

But the Jesus inside you can.

The Jesus-love within you can.

And what’s more, that Jesus, that Jesus-love can transform those fifty-odd twenty-somethings from the inside out, so that the world changing you do doesn’t stop when you come back from the nations, but translates into your families, your churches, your country.

Because Jesus loves you enough to take you out of the “with” and into the “without”. He loves you enough to wreck you with the wrecking ball of eleven nations coming complete with their own, individual identity crises and then, oh right, your own. 

Excited yet?

Tonight, you are both cruising at an altitude of 30,000 feet to destinations most of us can only dream of. And I am sitting in a comfortable chair in my bedroom, remembering my own first flight and the beginnings of a journey not unlike your own. 

I will tell you–as I was told last year around this time–that this is the best and hardest year of your life, but it is not by accident that you are here. It is not by accident that you have come from where you’ve been to get to where you are and move to where you’re heading. Don’t you think that you were made for such a time as this?

You were.

When you doubt your ability to lead vulnerably or to confront lovingly or to just s.t.a.y. where you are, remember that you have been called here (wherever here is at any given moment) for just such a time. Remember the boldness you have in this moment and know that our God is a God who loves us and gives us above and beyond all we could ask or imagine. 

And then, dear ones, hold tightly to the hope you profess, because He who promised is faithful.

I promise you, this year, in all it’s brokenness and glory, is unspeakably worth it.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to tell the story. 

Our America desperately needs to hear it.

Love and Blessings and Prayers Always,

Heather

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