Called to Now


Can you imagine the stench?
Joseph has walked and Mary ridden 90 miles in the scorching sun, the wind whipping around their faces and caking them with dust from the dirt road. More sweat pours from Mary’s brow as she experiences the pains of labor for the first time. The stable is packed with all the travelers’ animals. Flies buzz around them in the heat and the air is heavy with the smells of sickly sweet hay and manure.
And into this, a baby enters.
I have witnessed this kind of birth before. Woman sighs and baby falls right into the dirt, and in the dark of a tiny mud hut, with the light of just a thin candle, our eyes search for something, anything, sharp to cut the cord. Water is a luxury and too far to fetch at this hour so we wrap the baby in whatever filthy rag-scraps we can find without even wiping her off first.
Joseph, still merely a child himself, searches for anything he can find in the dim light to cut the cord and swaddle his child, probably rags carrying the afore mentioned stench and the dirt of the journey. Trembling and exhausted they wrap Him as best they can, and swatting flies away lay him in the same trough out of which these animals have been eating.
Behold, the Savior.
And in this moment God fulfils every promise and every prophecy. This, God’s perfect time. God does not wait for the world to get ready, He enters right into the mess.
He makes Himself very least, no more status or opportunity than an easily overlooked infant in the slums where I spend so many hard hours. Very least so that He can commune with the very most desperate – you and me. He doesn’t mind that I am not ready yet and He doesn’t mind the wretched condition of my heart or the stench of my sin. God’s time is now and He enters into the mess, ready or not.
His perfect timing, now. Now is where He has called us. And we are just not ready yet. We need to clean up the house a bit and pray a little more and seek more counsel and we don’t know how to do that yet and oh, we have our excuses. And God says, “I’m here now, and I am ok with the mess because I am here for the messy.”
God doesn’t need us to be ready for Him; He has been ready for us since the beginning of time and the Messiah is here calling us to commune with the Holy One, to eat at His table.
I want the house to be organized and kids to be clean and nicely dressed and I want dinner to come out of the oven on time, but at the end of the day they laundry still piles and there are still crumbs in the corner and can anyone remember if I brushed my teeth today? And it can’t be the New Year yet because I am just not ready for it to be a new year yet.
But I remember when I wasn’t ready to move to Uganda. I remember when I wasn’t ready to kiss the people I loved the most goodbye. I remember when I didn’t have enough money to sponsor just ten children, and I remember when I wasn’t old enough to be a mother, and I remember when I didn’t know how to parent. I remember when I couldn’t cook for fifteen people and when I didn’t want to share my house and my things and my life with sick people and addicts. I remember when I was afraid of the slum community that now holds hundreds of friends and when I was terrified that my daughter would never walk and when I was scared that we would never heal after tragic loss. And I remember that never, not once, was I really as ready as I wanted to be. And I remember that God kept all His promises, every last one, in His perfect time.
This new season looms and I don’t know what is next. But He doesn’t need me to be ready for this season because He is ready. He just needs me to be clinging to His feet.
Now. This is where He has called us.

66 thoughts on “Called to Now

  1. We praise Him for His love and faithfulness. We praise Him for you and your trust in Him. Thank you for continuing to share your heart so that we may be encouraged and challenged. Your are a treasure to Him and to us too. Our love and prayers, the fantastic five (together, in Him alone)


  2. How does one so young feel so much, have great wisdom & display incredible humility? One word – God. Through our Lord Jesus Christ you have allowed Him to penetrate your heart & have laid down your life & taken the mind of Christ. That is what we as believers are commanded to do. You are touching many lives & only God can go into the mess & love the filthy, dirty places inside of us. Thank you for allowing God to so fill you & use you so greatly! Love you heart. Can't wait to meet you & talk with you in Heaven if not before!

    Happy New Year


  3. As so many of us in the Church spend our lives going after the American dream, to live clean, comfortable lives with all of the material things we can get, some have made the difficult decision to forsake it all and serve where God has called us. No, He doesn't call us all to overseas service. And He doesn't call us all to full time “ministry” but He does call us all to die to self and live for Him. You r clearly blessed for following Him, ready or not!-:)


  4. As so many of us in the Church spend our lives going after the American dream, to live clean, comfortable lives with all of the material things we can get, some have made the difficult decision to forsake it all and serve where God has called us. No, He doesn't call us all to overseas service. And He doesn't call us all to full time “ministry” but He does call us all to die to self and live for Him. You r clearly blessed for following Him, ready or not!-:)


  5. A beautiful word, Katie.

    You talk about clinging to His feet through the messiness of life… the Lord gave me Psalm 16:8, “I have set the Lord in front of me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
    This has helped me walk the journey of my 18 yr. old son accidentally drowning 4 yrs. ago, as he was counseling at a Christian camp. The Lord has said, “Focus on Me who gives you LIFE, knowing I AM
    right beside you, and all your trembling will stop and you will have rest for your soul.” God has given me visions of him in Heaven also which have given me peace and joy.
    I wasn't ready for my son to die, but God's grace has been more than sufficient for me…just as His grace is so evident in your God-glorifying life! Blessings! 🙂


  6. Katie, Love your heart and your ministry, loved your book, hope another one is being penned so we can read about what God is doing there. I hope to at least visit there and see first hand of all that you have spoken, blessings, from a sister in Texas at His feet. Julee


  7. I was contemplating God's calling for me. And in church this morning our Pastor had us repeat three simple words. Here and now. To be content and living fully in the calling of God, here and now. And I struggle with that. My Jesus wants me here and now? Just me? I get caught up in preparing for every little thing and I never quite seem to be adequate or ready. But I love how you've brought it back to Christ. He's ready for the messy me, that's totally inadequate, thats unprepared. That needs and desires His strength. He wants my dependency to be in Him and in Him alone. I love following your story. Thank you for being that example of Christ's love and calling.




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  10. I just finished your book today Katie and have found your life inspirational.
    Just last night at Bible study we looked at The Great Comission in Matthew 28:16-25. And Jesus' words to “Go and make deciples of all men…teaching them to OBEY everything I have taught you.”
    It is wonderful to see you doing that and urging us to do the same.
    I love the way you bring Jesus' words and relationships to life. So real. So relavent for today. Peter findinding the coins in the fishes mouth, Jesus surprises & delights.
    And this rebelling of the Christmas story. Fantastic. He enters a messy world in a messy way to offer a Way.
    I hope you won't mind if I share your words with my Bible Study group this coming Christmas. I feel it would be very helpful to them.
    Katie Todd


  11. Katie,
    I really don't know what to say except that your obedience to God's plan for your life is amazing and has truly been an inspiration to me. My name is Chandni Patel and I am 23 yrs old and just graduated from pharmacy school this May and work for Walgreens. I fully surrendered my life to following Christ 2 years ago. My life has been completely transformed and renewed by His power, love, mercy, and grace. So much so that it's actually hard for me to find other true disciples of Christ to fellowship with. Since when did actually reading the Bible and living it out become classified as radical in this world? So I'm a radical. For Christ. And I love it. My first mission trip was to Nepal last October and then Haiti in December. It has completely changed my life. My heart for missions, as is God's heart (don't understand when other believer say “oh you just have a heart for that”) is growing deeply and I just daydream about my future life in another country with about 13 kids 🙂 I LOVE kids. Currently serve in the kids department at my church and I can't get enough. My heart just breaks though because I am constantly thinking about kids abroad who don't have anything. I want to be their something. My plans are currently to pay off my student loans (which I am blessed and shouldn't be long) and then I'm leaving! I don't know where I'm going yet. Nepal? Has a special place in my heart since it was my first mission trip. But then Africa keeps coming to mind and heart often. My mentor has a huge burden for the orphans in Africa (was in process of adopting two but plans fell through due to some circumstances and she's heart broken). We are going to take a trip to Uganda in July 2015. After that I feel I should have more confirmation if I'm being called to Uganda or Nepal. I don't know how many people actually write you and tell you they are also leaving the comfortable life they know and surrendering it all to God. I'm sure you get a lot of “you're amazing I could never do what you're doing. God bless you”. I can only imagine lol. It's frustrating because I get that now just about how I live my life and that's just being obedient to Christ. I also don't know how many people write you and tell you that they are also planning on moving their entire life abroad for the glory of Christ and are actually serious about it. I am. I am an outcast in my Hindu family and I have basically had to break my mom's heart about a lot of things. I choose Jesus. I hate it when people say “oh I feel so bad for you it must be so hard with your family” and I'm like “Don't feel bad for me! I LOVE being an outcast for Jesus!” Anyways, I just wanted to share that giving up a closer relationship with my mom for Jesus is how I know I am ready to give up anything for Him. I take the “leave your mother and father…” verse very seriously. After paying off my loans, I was going originally try to save a little before moving. I'm assuming you have sponsors that support you and your parts are helping a lot financially correct? I won't have that. But I know my Father will provide more than any earthly parents could. I just get nervous sometimes thinking of the fact that I may not be able to have enough to care for so many kids and for them to receive proper care. But I know that's just satan. I kindly would like to ask for some encouragement from you. I KNOW this is what I'm called to do. I'm excited that I'm leaving everything I know in exchange for just Jesus. It's scary at times thinking about it, but at the same time beautiful. My mom doesn't know yet. Praying for her salvation. Will you pray too? Lastly, would I be able to meet you if I came to Uganda in July? I would love to see your beautiful face. If you will also send me all 13 names of your kids I would love to pray for them. Hope you get to at least read this. I love you!
    Your Sister in Christ,


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