I decided to check my facebook today.

The first thing I saw when I opened it up were pictures of my awesome little (much bigger than me) brother at his Bellarmine University signing. I cannot describe how proud of him I am! He is officially a Knight, going to a Division 1 lacrosse school on scholarship! While this is SO exciting, it doesn’t begin to be the reason I am the proud big sister I am. Brad may be the most kind-hearted, loyal, genuine guy I know. He loves Jesus, his family and his friends; they always come first. He is an extremely talented athlete, but may still be the most humble guy you will meet. My husband one day may have his work cut out for him, because Brad has taught me what it is to be treated like the most important lady in someone’s life. He is a shoulder to cry on and a friend to laugh at everything with. I miss him more every day.

As I looked at these beautiful pictures, I could not hold back the tears, because you see, these pictures are missing something. It’s me. The part of my heart that will always stay in Brentwood, Tennessee with my sweet family throbbed and ached. I longed to be here…

I wanted to be here….

(so did Wes. did I mention that because Brad is the greatest friend ever, he HAS the greatest friends ever…)

I wished I could be here…

Every day of my life is filled with immense, extreme Joy. More Joy than anyone ever deserves, the Joy that comes from KNOWING that Christ died for me and LONGING to give my whole heart, my whole life back to serving him. The Joy that comes from standing in the center of His will and just watching Him orchestrate everything perfectly. The Joy that comes from being able to look into a little brown face that seems hopeless and tell her that Jesus loves her. The Joy that comes from being called “Mommy”. But that does not mean that it doesn’t hurt. Hurt deep in the pit of my stomach where Paul’s words, “I want to know the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in death” ring true. Where I believe that when Jesus said I must “leave my father and mother and follow after Him,” He was not kidding. God’s word is simple and straightforward. However it is not always easy. Today was one of the heartache days. Some days I just long for that first home, for my mother’s smile as I walk in the door, my dad’s bear hug as he gets home each night, and late nights of movies, ice cream and laughter with Brad. Missing things will be a part of this life, because I will hardly ever be able to be with my American family and my Ugandan family at the same time. But, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold every thing he has and bought that field.” Missing things hurts my heart sometimes, but is always a gentle reminder to me that giving up EVERYTHING really IS worth it. HARD and worth it.

Brad, I am SO blessed to call you my brother and my best friend. Thanks for loving me, for loving my girls, for being there for me, supporting me when I may be crazy, and for funny texts in the middle of the night. Thanks for sharing your life with me. Thanks for loving those around you the way Jesus loved and for being kind, patient, loyal respectful, hilarious, wise and humble. I love you so much.

Mom and Dad, Wow. I know that you must (because I do) have moments as parents where you wonder if you could have done better. I think that by looking at your children you know the answer to that… You ARE the greatest parents anyone could ever ask for. Thank you for teaching us about Jesus and loving those around you so well. Thank you for reminding us that ANYTHING is possible and to reach for our dreams. None of this is possible without your love and support. I love you.

*thanks Ms. Dykes for the great pictures!

49 thoughts on “

  1. What a wonderful post to your brother! Your parents did do a fabulous job of raising 2 children to be loving and caring people. My 2 daughters are very close (even though there is 6 years between them). I hope that they grow up to have the relationship that you have with your brother.


  2. That is a very emotional post, I can only imagine what you feel. You hid the nail on the head about when Jesus said the kingdom is like a treasure. You sell all you have in order to get a piece of it. Don't give in and ask for your stuff back you have found the path! Your bro has found favor in your eyes and I love to hear young people loving like crazy! May he be the most awesome as he strives for his piece!


  3. Sweet post! I know its hard not being with your family, but you are right where you need to be…such an inspiration! I found your blog through my best friend…I'm pretty sure you know some of her friends from Nashville. I look forward to following you through your journey!


  4. What a beautiful post too. I love my brother so much and it's nice to read some of the words I hold dear to my heart too. I just wish my brother new Jesus like your brother does. I love the end photo of you guys. A stunning picture.


  5. Ah, Katie, my heart hurts with you. But it also soars with your's. To be in the middle of what God wants for you right now will comfort you (after a good cry). Praying daily for you!


  6. Your stories are so encouraging to all that read them. I found your blog through another friend. Your post today brought tears to my eyes. I am in Peru, and my greatest sacrifice was leaving my family (who I am very close to) behind. However, isn't it a blessing to have family to miss? And isn't it even more of a blessing that God gives us family through his people wherever we are. I am glad that this life is not all there is.

    I enjoy reading about your journey. I am from a town about an hour from Brentwood–Tullahoma. Have you heard of it? I used to play soccer against some Brentwood teams. Anyway, God be praised in all we do. God bless you.


  7. What a great post, for a great “little” brother.

    From a Mama's heart, I must tell you that you are missed as much as you miss them. Yet, at the same time, I am sure that your parents are rejoicing that you are just where the Lord has called you to be.

    Last year, I had a son serving the Lord in Amman, Jordan … a daughter serving the Lord in India … and a daughter serving the Lord in Argentina. My friends would often say, “Oh … don't you miss them so much.” “Well,” I would reply, “Yes, I miss them. But, I am so very excited about what the Lord is doing in them and through them, that complaining about “missing them” would be just plain selfish.”

    I don't dwell on being sad about missing them, because I am just so plain excited about where they are and what they are doing for the Lord.


    mama of 13


  8. Beautiful post…. and how proud your parents must be of both of you… stay strong and know that your Father is looking down on you with love, and mending your broken heart.


  9. I would love to read a post about what your parents did do make you so great. Their parenting style and how they raised you. I am a mother who longs to teach, love, and raise my children to be passionate about God and to make the right choices. I would love to know how your parents made such amazing children!


  10. Katie, thank you for sharing your heartache…This may sound silly, but it reminds me that you are just a person, being used by God to do incredible things. I am only slightly younger than you, and sometimes I read your posts and, while being blown away at the things God is using you to do and challenged to open myself to what God can do through ME, I have a hard time believing you are just a girl like me! This post opened a door to your heart…to the part of you that longs to be somewhere other than where God has called you. Honestly, I think any normal human being will experience those longings…the incredible challenge you lay out for all of us is to REMAIN IN HIM…even when our longings are trying to pull us in other directions. Thank you for answering His call for obedience, for sharing your incredible journey of faith, for being willing to go where few will, for loving those many might prefer to avoid with the same love we, the unlovable, have received from our God…How my heart longs to be serving right alongside of you! God has said “wait,” but maybe one day that can happen…until then, blessings to you and your beautiful children…all dear sisters in Christ!


  11. katie: thank you for sharing so openly and honestly all the time. i am greatful that you let us in and will continue to pray for you as you stay smack in the middle of the Lord's hands. what a humble place to be, what a sweet place to be, and a very hard place to be at times. thank you for pushing me to push to be more in the middle of His plan!


  12. How awesome it is to see such a close relationship between a brother and sister! I love the last picture that you posted! I can't imagine how hard it is to be so far away but you can be sure that you are right where God wants you! You are living purposefully and passionately for the Lord! You inspire so many, including myself to love and be an advocate for children all over the world!


  13. Katie, thank you for sharing this awesome post about your brother and love for family. I've been blessed with 2 incredible brothers who love the Lord and family!! You reminded me today that I have so much to be thankful… be the loudest cheerleader and encourage even when we're far apart! You have a beautiful family and believe me, a huge part of you was there with them on that special day!!


  14. Katie – what a beautiful love filled post!

    I pray our children will stay as close as they are today forever! I pray that they will support each other in the way you are doing now!

    Our hope is that they will encourage them to be each others greatest cheerleaders and always point each other to Jesus!

    God bless you and big hugs!


  15. Praying for Jesus to hug and hold you in your ache. Congratulations to your brother!! I praise God for the wonderful relationship you have with your brother … and the love you both have for Jesus and others.

    Praying that my own little 5- & 6- year-olds will love Jesus and others that way.


  16. I can relate to your longing and ache for your family, but in a different way. I experience it as well – every day.

    Our fourteen year old son went home to be with the Lord just over three years ago. There isn't an hour that goes by that I don't miss him – that I don't recognize his absence.

    However, as you said, the Lord calls us to obedience to His will and in that we do find joy – in ALL circumstances. We also have joy just in being His child and daily living with the blessings that brings.

    I just have to say that I LOVE your blog, but more than that, I LOVE your ministry. I have become a supporter and will do all I can in prayer or financially to be a blessing to Amazima.

    I have a twenty year old daughter and the thought of her living in another country with thirteen (is that correct?) daughters bloggles my mind! πŸ™‚ You are amazing – NO! Our God is amazing!!

    I am drawn into praise to our Lord for His sovereignty, grace, and power as I read what is going on with the people you touch with your life. You inspire, encourage, and convict all at the same time!


  17. I loved reading this…every word of it and every word of your last post, too. I love that you speak truth, whether it is hard or easy. And more often than not, truth isn't easy to speak.

    I also love your firm resolve to love the Lord with every inch of your being…even when it is hard.

    I can only imagine the strange mixture of emotions–the sadness of what you miss and the beauty of seeing God work through you in a place worlds away.

    I wish you didn't have to hurt. I rejoice with you knowing this is only for a while, and when we are finally home, there will be no more sadness or separation.


  18. Hi Katie,
    I dont know you, but I do know how much it sucks to be so far away on everyone and miss out on things and miss family so much.
    I want you know that I am praying for you and those beautiful kiddies every single day!
    Anytime you feel lonely or sad, or miss your family back home, know that you are covered in a million prayers and blessings, and I am sure that they are so proud of you and love you.


  19. Katie, You are an inspiration and encouragement to me!!! I just turned 20 and I am moving to Sierra Leone in 44 days to teach, love and serve an orphanage of 90 children!! I found your blog two weeks after I made the decision to move.
    I love your heart and so many of the things you say and how you express yourself sound just like what I think and feel!!

    Although we will probably never meet this side of Heaven, I rejoice to be serving along side of you in a beautiful continent filled with precious young souls needing mothers and loads of love and talking about Jesus!!

    – Deborah L.-


  20. Oh my goodness! I can barely stand it! Katie, bless your heart. You are an inspiration to so many. I am so sorry you couldn't be there with your brother and parents. I still pray for you every single day along with so many others I am sure. Thank you for doing what you do. Heaven is a loooong hello. No more good bye's anymore.


  21. I love your sweet, sincere words of encouragement to your brother!And congratulations to Brad! I had a great lunch with your mom today and fun with her at the Welcome Home Party at the Nashville Airport for Josie Love Mayernick! (She did great! so happy to say that! We missed you and talked about how much we love you a lot! I know brad misses you every bit as much as you miss him!
    Love you tons!


  22. Yall are adorable.
    Your family, in TN and in Uganda are adorable.
    Wow…thank you for sharing your life with us. Not only are you changing lives in Uganda, you are changing our lives too. It is CHRIST in you, the Hope of Glory!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We pray for you everyday!


  23. Katie, Since someone introduced me to your blog a few months ago I have read through every post. I want you to know from an onlooker who has never met you, that I see Christ's love being poured from your life. I pray so much for Him to increase His love in your life so you will continue to shine brightly and inspire others to live deeper for Him and with Him. We were ALL created to do what you are doing in various ways. For the last year and a half I have been enthralled with a group of 80 orphans in Sierra Leone Africa. By God's grace I have been able to go spend time with them 4 different times….I am compelled to keep returning. Your posts have helped me feel a little less 'crazy' about how much my heart aches when I am away from them! Please know your life is the sweet aroma of Christ in a hurting world. You are precious to the Lord…so precious!


  24. Katie… your love for Christ is incredible. Heartache or not, I know that, by reading the words you write, you're exactly where God wants you. Be encouraged by 1 John 4 today. For, God's love triumphs over every thought, feeling, emotion, event… everything. Cling to Him on sad days, just as you do when you're on a mission to patch up scrapes and show compassion to sick children. i'm praying for you…


  25. May God bless you and keep you safe. May your words motivate other to go behind you presenting the Good News of Christ to a lost world. May all you needs be met before you ask. Thank you for blessing me today.


  26. You have a beautiful family Katie. I wish I could talk to your parents and get some parenting advice. πŸ™‚ We have five young kids and this mothering thing is the hardest thing I've ever done. Praying for kids that are sold out to Jesus like you and your brother!


  27. Thank you for sharing your heart Katie. The amazing miracles that you see everyday and the hurt of missing your family. You are one special girl!! I live in Brentwood and have been following your blog for a few months now. God is SO good and I am encouraged to see how he is using you across the world.

    I am praying for you this morning. That the Lord will continue to fill you with His Spirit to do his great work!


  28. How wonderful!!!
    And btw, you should think about putting ads up on your site to raise more money. I sure wouldn't care and I would love to know my “clicks” were going somewhere helpful.


  29. You know Kate, another way to read the treasure passage is that YOU are the treasure and Jesus is the buyer. He sold everything to have YOU. He is so in love with us that He gave up everything for us. You en-courage me to give up more and more for each child I see. Would that we would all see every orphan as a pearl of great price, a treasure in the field.


  30. oh, I am so sorry you are missing your family. You and your brother look so much alike ;o) Same beautiful smile.
    Prayers for your heart that hurts for those left behind yet rejoices in all that He has given you.



  31. Thank you for this. You are just another way of God confirming things that He has asked of me. He has recently asked me to give up the man that I have felt for the past 4 years to be the one He designed for me. I have to believe that if He is asking this of me, He is going to work this for good. Thank you for faithfully walking a very hard walk for Him. I know He makes the burden light for you as He carries you through all the events of your days.


  32. Katie,

    Each time I read your blog, I am brought to tears filled with joy knowing that you serve our Most High God in a way that many can't conceive. Thank you for being an example and for loving so much. God has your heart and it so obviously shows. Thank you for demonstrating and living out that all things are possible through our Lord Jesus Christ.


  33. You are MAGNIFICENT! Sometimes we wonder if we are enough for our parents..but you're enough for your parents and you are making your most important parent (Lord, heavenly father) ever so proud…you are amongst the few…and I admire you. God made you a hero as well a perfect daughter & mother! God Bless you cupcake…rich blessings are in store for you. God will fill your heart..every detail of your life will be magical..because GOD is great!!


  34. Katie, I feel so blessed to have “stumbled upon” your blog. I know that I was meant to. I am so blessed by your testimony. I am in process for adoption thru the foster system and have had so many thoughts and prayers about my inadequacy as a single Mom. Your story has given me courage. Thanks and God bless you and yours abundantly.


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