Five Minute Friday: Promise

Along the Way Graphic Template

Gentle Reader,

I fell asleep around 6:30 p.m. last night. Woke up at 8:15, feeling confused but also deeply at one with the blanket. And I wasn’t the only one; my dog, traumatized by his visit to the groomer’s earlier in the week, snored loudly.

Kate says: promise.


I’m not a runner. I’ll do just about any other kind of physical activity. Hiking, Pilates, kickboxing, weight lifting, dancing, swimming. Hardly the best at any of these, but I’ll do them. Running, though? If nobody is chasing me, what’s the point? (And if somebody was chasing me, good chance I’d go all “deer in the headlights,” anyway). I’m just not competitive enough, with myself or others.

And yet I am a runner.

Youth ministry crashed into my life like a tornado a few months ago, almost as if God said, “Yeah, so, you’re going to stop avoiding this now.” Why He plopped these beautiful people in my lap, I’ll never know for sure, because nobody thinks “youth leader” when they look at me. Too anxious. Too reserved. Too studious. Too always trying to hide a highly sensitive heart behind an analytical, detached exterior.

Ah, but He who began the good work in me sees it through (Philippians 1:6).

That’s a promise to which we can hold. God’s ways are not our ways. His plans are not our plans. He sees things in us that we don’t see in ourselves. When we stop running, and give ourselves over to Him, we experience the strange combination of energy and rest. Passion to do what He made us to do. Peace in knowing that we do not do it in our own strength.

Why this and why me? I have no idea. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s enough for me to just say “yes” and love these people. And I do love them, fiercely. Like the proverbial mama bear, I watch as they take faltering steps to truly form community, to truly engage with the Gospel, and I know that I cannot and will not allow anything to mess with that or them, even if that means I have to access my not-so-gentle side and come out swinging.

They have my heart.

And I realize that them having it means that God has it, perhaps in a way He never has before, because i have not allowed Him to pull and stretch me like this. I have held onto the false promises of low expectations and safety.


I cling to the promise of life, rich and full, found in Him.





12 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Promise

  1. I love that you have been obedient to God to step outside your comfort zone and that it has blessed you so much! I think love for the young people is the most important thing and I’m sure you are a great influence and encouragement to them!


    1. I’m starting to see that. They need the Gospel, of course and always, but it’s important to just be there. Listen. Give them hugs. Be a person who creates a safe space of belonging.


  2. Marie, thanks for sharing your experience of our Father arresting you and setting you on a path of His purpose and, in the process, igniting (freeing?) a passion in you, you did not know was there. These words especially ministered to me, “He sees things in us that we don’t see in ourselves. When we stop running, and give ourselves over to Him, we experience the strange combination of energy and rest. Passion to do what He made us to do. Peace in knowing that we do not do it in our own strength.” Oh, what a gracious God. Visiting from FMF.


    1. Amen, sister! He is a gracious God. And I like what you said about igniting/freeing a passion in me. That’s exactly what it feels like.


  3. They are lucky to have you.
    God led me to a noisy place
    when I’d been a quiet soul,
    (except for beery parties’ grace
    when I became an angry troll).
    I thought the adventurous life I led
    full of laughs and war and travel
    would go on ’till I was dead,
    but boy, did things unravel.
    First a dog, then five more,
    then an even dozen,
    and you can guess the score
    they just kept on comin’.
    So I am king of what I survey,
    and watch them run and bark and play.


    1. I love reading about your relationship with your dogs, Andrew. There’s a real beauty and peace to it. I’m glad that God brought them all your way!


  4. Sounds like He chased you to get you right where he wanted you to be! Now you are sharing God’s promises with young people who are looking for something they can count on. Hearts will change and love will abound! Sounds pretty perfect to meet,


    1. He definitely did chase me, but in that gentle way He does. No stomping of feet. More like a sheepdog that guides the herd into the pen. He is so good!


  5. I love this so much and it has been oh so fun to watch you fall for these people and pour out Jesus to them! Also – You SO owe me a Vox! Just sayin’!


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