A few people have asked me recently where my inspiration comes from. I laugh at that question because for someone who see’s the face of Jesus in her Pumpkin Spiced Latte and whose heart pounds wildly while scrolling through Pinterest- it’s not a hard question to answer.
In a word: Everything.
Lets try a different question.
Maybe a better question is: ‘who?’
If you wanted to know who inspires me to love Jesus with my whole heart, to think less and do more, to get up, throwing off all reasons why it doesn’t make sense, and to run, full force, shoeless after the dreams God’s placed on my heart… that’s an easy answer.
Doug, Ryan, Ethan and Matt.
They’re the first Christian guys I ever met.
Doug was the first guy I ever heard pray.
He prayed to end the first night of my very first mission trip in Costa Rica, and I couldn’t keep my eyes closed. I stared at him in disbelief as he professed his love for Jesus in a way that was totally intimate- in front of everybody.
It was like seeing a cat walk on its hind legs- I just didn’t know that was possible.
These guys walked out of that mission trip and into the world with me- learning about Jesus and our place in His story together.
We made some pretty major mistakes- acting like complete idiots and not realizing at all that we might have some influence as leaders in the Kingdom of God- and then, together, we began to figure it out. Not completely by any means- but we took some major strides.
We’d drive up to the top of a mountain in Boulder, Colorado and look out over the city. We’d talk and dream and get ourselves totally riled up about the crazy things we could do with Jesus. With Him- the sky was the limit- and we weren’t even sure we had to stop there.
It’s because of them that I went on the World Race actually… they sort of started it.
You see… they have this really annoying thing about them… you could call it a ‘bromance’, you could call it ‘the boys club,’ you could call it a mini fraternity without the letters (but with an equally messy house)- but whatever you call it, they made it look really fun.
I loved it because they’d let me tag along every once in awhile. I proved to them that I could hang with the boys when I beat Doug in a chugging contest, and from there I was in- sometimes.
But there were still some things that they left me out of… and I was furious.
They had this crazy idea… they wanted to take a group of guys to the most dangerous countries around the world- doing God’s work, and loving the forgotten.
And I wanted to go.
But, with the countries that they were going to- it sounded like they’d be spending more time making sure I didn’t get stolen, or killed simply for being a woman- and so they had to say no.
I wasn’t about to give up, so I started poking around on my own. At about the same time, people began talking about something called the World Race.
I signed up- deciding that- boys or not- I was going. And I left (six months before them… just saying…).
And true to their word, they left six months later and are now a few months from the end of their year-long journey.
Jokes and lack of chugging abilities aside, these guys have set the standard for men in my life.
Those crazy guys are some of the godliest men I’ve ever met. Not because they’re boring or because they are scared of girls- because they’re not… and they’re not… but because they love God- like… actually love Him.
When I think of ‘faith like a child,’ I think of them.
Doug told me a story once of how his parents gave him a mini tool box for Christmas when he was little. He took his mini saw, went out front, and promptly cut down their neighbor’s tree.
His parents couldn’t be mad- I mean… you kind of have to laugh… and be a little impressed.
And I know that’s the way that God sees them. He sees them as the little boys that they are. They’re boys that take what He gives them and run with it as fast as they can- sometimes tripping, sometimes falling, and sometimes doing really, really stupid stuff- but always with the best of hearts and always in an attempt to make their Daddy proud.
God loves them ferociously and it’s obvious. His love radiates out of them, drawing crowds to them… just like the disciples.
And they love Him too. They love Him so much that they’ve thrown off everything to run with God as fast as they can- and it’s not going to stop any time soon.
And it’s beautiful to watch.
It’s even more beautiful to be a part of.
Doug and Ethan and Ryan and Matt have taught me so much over the past few years- drawing close to God’s heart with me.
They inspire me like nobody else.
I haven’t seen them in awhile- an occupational sacrifice as missionaries- but I hear from them every month or so.
And every time I do, I’m amazed.
These men know my heart so well that when they speak to me, it cuts all the way through and hits exactly the place that I didn’t realize was in need of encouragement.
They push me and love me and wont accept any less than me sprinting like a child after my Daddy- my shoes an inconvenient afterthought.
They remind me that God is good and that life is fun. They remind me that nothing is worth holding onto but the kingdom of God. They remind me that my Daddy loves me so much that He could never be disappointed in me- only laugh a little when I accidentally cut down a tree.
I’m forever grateful for the presence of these men in my life, and ridiculously, ridiculously proud of them.
If you want to get to know them a little better- check out their website. Their writing is captivating and their videos are beautiful. But be careful- they’ll challenge you and inspire you to live a life that is wild and free with no limit at all. Not even the sky.