Hard to believe a year has come and gone.
If I (Kelly,) had to sum up in just one sentence what I have learned most thus far…
It would be this…

“Don’t despise discomfort.”

Discomfort has a way of disclosing the depths within…
And if we let it…
It has a way of reshaping us for greater things.

For me, this year has been excruciatingly stretching.
It’s been a year of evaluating whether or not I truly  live out of what I say I believe…
A year of seeking Him in the midst of battling the darkness that has inhabited my own mind.
IMG_4032It’s also been also been a year of emotional extremes.
Extreme wonder
Extreme fear
Extreme trust
Extreme anxiousness
Extreme lack
Extreme provisions
Extreme emptiness
Extreme overflow
Extreme joy
Extreme sadness
Extreme desperation
And extreme Hope.

I’m not afraid of feeling.
Feeling keeps the soil of the heart alive and soft.
Some people call this emotionally unstable…
I like to call it “open!”


Openness that allows me to ascribe value to the hearts of others…
To enter into their pain.
It still shocks me that just a little over a  year ago we loaded up a few personal belongings…

IMG_8642We left our church family.

We said, “goodbye,” to our family and those we dearly love.


And headed towards the COMPLETE unknown.

Risk feels much easier when it’s simply a conversation…
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Walking it out … proves much harder!
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Answering the call to be missionaries has been much lonelier than we had anticipated.


One simply cannot put a price tag on relationships.
Leaving them behind has left its mark.

Truth be told…
The hardest thing for us has not been…
No Target or Trader Joe’s, year long rashes and odd sicknesses, limited variety of food, extreme weather, bug infestations, living in a house that loves to break and catch fire, being robbed or…
Fear itself.

The hardest has been missing those that have been ingrafted into our stories…
Missing out on the celebrations and memory making…
IMG_3878Missing the face to face, heart to heart, physical proximity.

My Good Pastor and I discuss the fact that we are still in a “grieving mode.”
It’s important to grieve.
It doesn’t mean that our focus has changed…
It simply means those in our lives deeply matter.
It means we are alive in the living.

In the midst of missing what was…
We continue to embrace and celebrate what is…
The new!

IMG_4223Like seeing God stir in new and unpredictable ways…
IMG_4063Seeing Him use our children to carry His loving presence…
IMG_2174 (1)Seeing transformation take place in a country that is becoming home…
IMG_2805And seeing a little-girl mom teaching her Smalls…
It’s ok to feel totally lost while journeying on the right path.IMG_9811
Our family is relearning just about everything.
IMG_9887And in the learning…
The dreams He put in us are now being planted in others.
IMG_3983 (1)We are not despising discomfort.

And each new friendship is an indescribable gift…
Teaching us something we might not have known otherwise.
Like learning to dance in the midst of discomfort…
Because love always promises to show up.

IMG_4237He has sustained us just as He promises.
And He has used YOU to offer us radical courage when we felt scared and alone.
We recount this first year with great humility,  thankfulness, awe, and joy!
Thank you for believing in us.
It has reminded us to believe in ourselves.
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Much love and gratitude,
Kelly on behalf of The Backwards Missionaries