Apr 16, 2014

How big is my brave?

When I stated taking a class in hand-lettering, that phrase (the title of this post) stood out to me. So I used it for my first project.



Little did I know how that phrase would pop up in so many areas of my life. So let's rewind a bit before I tell you where all this is going.

A long while back, I learned about an awesome organization, Love146, through social media. To say the stories impacted me would be just about the biggest understatement one could make. My eyes were ripped wide open to a truth about human-trafficking I'd never known. I was devastated, angered, to be completely honest, hopeless. How could people be so cruel. So sick and ugly. How could this be happening. Where was God in all of this?

I immediately knew I needed to do something. Spread awareness. I wrote a bit about it here on the blog. I donated money to Love146. My heart ached for the girls that were hurt by such trauma. I wanted to do more.

But what?

I looked into several organizations who's purpose was to end sex-trafficking, to bring healing to the victims. I looked for something to either give my time or energy to in an effort to feel like I was doing something. I wanted to be more than a voice. And I really wanted that voice to champion healing through Jesus. Because I don't know how anyone could get over that life without hope in Jesus and healing found only in Him.

Fast forward to almost two years later.

My mom took my sister and I out to dinner to celebrate our birthdays. We talked about a little of this, a little of that, laughter, jokes, and then my sister all nonchalantly, said, hey, I'm going to Africa next year. You should go.

Say what?!

My sister was going to Africa.

I feel like I should talk about our childhood when she wanted to be an astronaut. I hated it. I didn't want her going on a freakin rocket into outer space. I was also a child of the Challenger days. So it was really, really not cool that she wanted to do that.

And now she's telling me she's going to Africa! I rather that than a space shuttle but it was still scary.

Then she went on to tell us about what they would be doing in Ghana. This friend of ours, Denise, created EveryDay Ministry after she took a trip to Ghana. You can read more about her story and the mission here. But in short, they provide water wells to villages that don't have access to clean water and are partners with two organizations that provide rescue care to girls freed from slavery. And they do all of that to open the door to share the Gospel.

And this upcoming trip my sister planned on going on and invited me to go with her on, was to serve in one of the houses providing the rescue care. I think I started crying when she said that.

I thought about that trip a little here and there and how it would be amazing to go. I also kind of pushed it aside not thinking I'd ever realistically go.

Then, a few months later, I was at church. The preacher was a guest speaker and talked about fear. He asked the question, what's the one thing you would do if you had NO fear and KNEW that God was behind you? Ghana immediately came to mind. I hadn't thought about it weeks and then BAM.

I thought about the fears I had keeping me from realistically thinking about going. Being away from my family for 10 days. I've only really not seen them for an entire day. 10 days is a long time. Going to Africa. Same fears I had for my sister but now for myself too. What if something happened to me? What if I didn't come back? What about my kids? What if something happened to my family while I was gone? And I wasn't there. What about the money? I didn't know how much a trip like that would cost but I imagined it had to be expensive. We don't have that kind of money. Who would watch the girls while I was gone? Was I ready for my heart to be wrecked and changed because you can't do something like this and it not change you. What if...

So all these fears. Holding me back. Stopping me from doing something I had asked God to give me. When I asked God nearly two years ago to help me find a way to do more than give money or be a voice to help end human trafficking - I had no idea He'd ask me to go to Africa and now here I was, struggling to say yes.

And then my grandpa died. It was unexpected and I haven't shared about it here because I don't have the words yet. But it's an important part to this story because it made me realize how short our time is on this Earth and if God tells you to do something, it's a good idea to say yes. Not because God needs you. But because you need it and you may not get another chance to say yes.

So I began praying about it more. And then my sister asked me to go with her to a pre-trip meeting for Ghana. I listened to more facts and felt God even more. Urging me to say yes but still wresting with questions and fears.

And then I thought, how big is MY brave? Or better asked, how big is my FAITH?

So. To sum it up, I said yes to Africa. I said yes to God.

I'm going to Ghana in July.

It's so crazy to say that out loud. It's real. It's happening. Do I still have fears? Yes. But I'm trusting God and whatever happens, happens.

There's not much I can do about those fears aside from the money part. My family and friends have financially stepped up huge to help me and their support means more than they'll ever know. But there's still a good chunk I need to dome up with.

That's where you come in. I know there are a ton of organizations, causes and all kinds of things you can give your money to, but if you'd like to help send me to Africa - I'm going to be holding an fundraiser on instagram under the user @YESTOGHANAAUCTION, April 28th at 6pm, Central, where I'll be auctioning off chalk art hoops.

Remember those things we made in Arizona? I'm working on several different ones and hope to the final money needed for the trip. The highest bidders will be giving directly to EveryDay ministry for my part of the funds needed. I hope to see you there!

I'll keep you posted! But until then, please pray for me and my sister, our families while we prepare and safety while we travel.

Thank you!

13 comments:

  1. Lesley, this is so amazing!!! So excited for you- get it girl!
    Praying for you and your sis:)

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  2. thrilled for this. praying for you, the lord has mighty things ahead through your "yes"! love you, lesley! xo

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  3. so awesome. great post, i love your brave words and your faith even in the midst of fear. God is in control. blessings on your trip

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  4. What a beautiful calling! I will be praying for you!

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  5. Hey,
    I'm normally not such a big comment writer but this post asked for the comment in my mind so I have to share it.
    I'm reading your blog for what feels like forever now, I'm also following your instagram account and one of your prints is hanging in my room because it reminds me to keep on walking, to be strong, and daring, and proud.
    And I just wanted to let you know that I think you are one incredible woman! Also for stepping up on your fears and facing them rather than letting them stop you! Aka girl!!!!!

    And the most incredible part is, just one month ago I signed up for a program where I'm going to stay in Africa(!) Ghana(!!!) or Kenya to support everyone who needs help and support there in form of social work for 6 weeks in August and September. Reading that you'll be going too just made it even more special for me now :)

    Just wanted to give you a huuuuuuuuge thumb up and so many thanks on being such an inspiring person :)
    Warm greetings
    Jo :)

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  6. This trip is going to be a huge blessing for you and those you'll be serving! I will definitely be praying for you and cheering you on!

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  7. Oh Lesley, I am so happy for you!! I'll be praying.

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  8. This is awesome Lesley! So I have this fortune cookie paper taped to my monitor at work that says "Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain." It's funny how hard that hit me the moment I opened that little fortune cookie 2 years ago. I cannot tell you how many times I have recited that to myself since then. There is always fear in the unknown but we just cannot live our lives that way. This trip will definitely change you but just think how many other people YOU will change. Not just those in Ghana but those here too. I will definitely keep you and your little family in my thoughts!!

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  9. SO very excited for you Lesley!!!!!
    I can't imagine the many fears that race through your mind ... but i pray that {IN} that moment the Peace from the Father washes them away.
    HE.IS.FAITHFUL!. "He will not leave you as orphans ~ He will come to YOU!!"
    blessings upon blessings to you!!
    oh, and i want one of those hoops...they are the LOVELIEST!!!
    xox

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  10. That was very inspiring. Keep up the faith in Almighty and hope for the best. Faith does instill bravery at heart.

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  11. I Said yes a few years ago and had all the same fears! My daughter was only 10 months old, We were in the process of buying our first home and I had quit my job to be a stay at home mom. I offered photography sessions for a donation towards my trip and everything fell into place and I was able to travel to Uganda for 2 weeks! It was one of the greatest things I got to be apart of. I could go on and on about how the people I met completely changed my life and I now have a bigger desire to go back and bring my whole family to experience it. I will be praying for you and just remember God doesn't call the qualified he qualifies the called!

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I know it can be a little scary but go on, I'd love to hear from you!