Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 28th...

July 28, 1998...

The words hit me like a brick wall. For years, I had been operating under the assumption that the prayer of salvation didn't stick. That every sin condemned me to hell. That every confession of faith only lasted long enough for me to mess up again. I lived a life of fear, a life of guilt, a life of conditional love based on my performance. I had "accepted" Christ as my Savior about 50 times by that point...and was prepared to accept Him 50 more times.

My 16 year old heart craved a love that would last...and when I heard those words, I felt an immeasurable weight lift from my heart...

"You can't do anything to earn your what makes you think you can do something to lose it?"

Between that simple sentence and Galatians 3, I finally got it. I went home, fell on my bedroom floor, and with the rough carpet scraping my knees and my forehead, I prayed the kind of prayer (with the kind of faith) that sticks. I finally trusted Christ as my Savior, finally rested in the assurance that Christ's blood was truly enough for me.

That same night, thousands of miles away, in a one room shack on top of a mountain shrouded in clouds, a baby girl cried her first cry. As the sun dipped behind the peak, the baby's mother whispered a name..."Luz...light."

She was the fourth baby and there would be three more. There would always be more mouths than food, more bodies than beds, more need than money.

Two lives began on July 28, 1998. I drew my first breath as a new creation in Christ, and Luz drew her first breath as one of the Lord's perfectly designed creations. It wasn't until many years later that the Lord's work in both of our lives intertwined. Marriage and motherhood had happened in my life...16 seemed far away. God had slowly been awakening my heart to the needs of the poor and I had just started to speak up for children in poverty through the ministry of Compassion International. In early 2009, I was opening my first order of child sponsorship packets when I saw this face:

And this number....

And our worlds collided. Only through letters for a while...and through the special "birthdays" that we shared.

Last year, the connection became real. I traveled to Honduras to meet my Luz, my light. And she was all the things I could have wanted. Lovely, kind, energetic, enthusiastic, curious. Her smile was priceless. Yet she was all the things I feared as well...desperately poor, robbed of her father only months prior because of alcoholism, a child with enough responsibility to make any adult collapse beneath the weight.

When I came home, Jonathan and I made a vow. We wanted to be there for her 15th birthday...her Quinceanera...the day when, in her culture, she would become a woman. The father plays such a big role in this coming of age ceremony; with her father gone, it just seemed right for Jonathan to be there. We made plans...many times it seemed as if it was not meant to be after all.

But in 3 days, we are leaving for Honduras. We will be celebrating two 15th birthdays, celebrating life and life in Christ, the light of His love, and the life and light of a beautiful girl whose life holds so much hope and promise.

I have the dress, the tiara, the high-heeled shoes, the rhinestone jewelry, all tucked carefully away in my luggage...and all the beauty that Christ has lavished on my life tucked away in my heart, ready to live this day like the treasure that it is...

July 28, 2013...


  1. Oh, Kim...this is such an incredible and beautiful story! God bless your Luz and you as you continue this amazing journey together!

  2. So beautiful. I had no idea about the background story of your sponsorship! How perfect that you will get to spend that special day together. I cannot wait to hear all about it. "Seeing" you prepare has made me miss Honduras and Melania so much. Oh, and I just noticed that our girls' ID numbers are only 13 numbers apart. They must have been registered at the same time. :)

  3. Wow. It is beautiful- the story, the girl, the dress. Who would have thought that this is where you would be back that day in 1998......

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this. Your story brought tears to my eyes! What a beautiful story! And I look forward to hearing about your time in Honduras, celebrating with your precious Luz! Our Nicaraguan, father-less child is celebrating her 15th birthday on heart aches that we cannot be with her, but we made sure to send her lots of gifts...hopefully she'll know that we wish we were there in person!

  5. I am so blessed to read this! What an amazing testimony of how God works in & through our lives. How you were put in that sweet girls life and in the lives of the people surrounding her. The fact that y'all will be there for her at this very special day in her life, she will never ever forget. This touches my heart just reading it, I can only imagine how it is for you and yours and sweet miss Luz. Congrats to her on her 15th birthday. May God bless you all! So glad I got to read this Kim.