Faith

Guest Post : Randy Fuller - Post Hike Reflection

Randy Fuller Micah's Promise

It's been three weeks since I finished hiking the Appalachian Trail. I walked 2,192 miles in 191 days, a bit over six months. That investment of life and time kept me from family and friends, so I've been driving from Georgia to Tennessee, Virginia to North Carolina reconnecting with loved ones. Yesterday I walked into Elevation Church Matthews and wasn't recognized by several friends since I'd lost 50 pounds and maybe gained some gray hairs and wrinkles. The bigger changes, however, happened in my heart.

I think I'm now more relaxed, less anxious. After my hike, I'm less prone to worry about things that troubled me before. I'm not sure how to describe or share how this happened - it is more an experience and life-change than revelation or knowledge. Living with a very simple schedule (walk, eat, sleep, repeat) definitely helped. Spending all my time in the woods helped too. Somehow that experience pulls you from the modern economic transactional mindset. I wasn't anxious about earning, saving, spending. One cannot own a beautiful sunrise or brilliant sunset, you only enjoy it. I can't purchase the experience of hiking miles in nature, but I can live it, breathe it, soak it in moment-by-moment. In the Great Smokey Mountains this past spring, I walked miles of trail surrounded by the same wildflower. It seemed the profusion of lavender-white flowers would never end. I camped beside streams that never stopped flowing, thousands of gallons of water trickling, singing every moment. I saw the lavish wastefulness of God. It seemed he was showing off, providing massive doses of nature and beauty on a daily basis. That changes you.

Psalm 23 gives some structure to my experience.  The Psalm speaks of God as the good shepherd who leads us.  Indeed, my journey felt like this.  Even before the hike, God's presence was evident as  Kosara and I walked "through the valley of the shadow of death."  God was with us.  After this tough experience, the trail called and I answered by showing up and walking.  God met me there, leading "me beside still waters" and ultimately "restoring my soul" after months of trauma from walking with my beloved through cancer and death.  I wanted to stay strong for her and for my family through the valley, but it takes a toll, you cannot help but suffer trauma.  Something in me knew I needed time to heal.  If you had stuck me in a chair on a beach for six months with instructions to recover and heal, I think I would have lost my mind.  But walking off nervous energy every day, hiking miles in nature while meeting wonderful people and seeing how God maintains His natural world, it healed me.  Some of my friends have used the term "Pilgrimage" for my hike and I would have to agree.  It was a very healing, spiritual experience.

I received what I feel is one revelation from Father God about our family's ordeal which I may share in my next blog post.  In the mean time, please pray for me as I navigate the waters of "What's Next."  People ask me all the time what are your plans?  Thankfully, I'm not anxious about the future.  But I know I need to walk into the next thing.  Right now, I'm taking one day at a time, reconnecting with family and friends.  And if I can share my story or testimony with your group, event or church, please reach out to me - I love telling others about what God has done for me.  For now, I'll just keep walking.    

Randy Fuller Micah's Promise
Randy Fuller Micah's Promise

Fundraising Update

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At the end of September, we reached $1.3 Million towards our goal of $1.5 Million to build a therapeutic treatment center for girls 12-17.

From Bobbi Starr, Executive Director of Micah's Promise :

Dear Freedom Fighters,

I am excited about the updates and progress I have to share with you! The Lord has been moving in mighty ways and bringing strategic advocates who have helped us reach $1.3 Million of the $1.5 Million dollars we need to break ground on our therapeutic treatment facility!! Once we complete our Capital Campaign, we expect to be providing care to child survivors within a year. This is the most exciting time in my 10 year journey of studying and fighting the issue of DMST. Micah’s Promise is actively engaging at the state level with the Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force as well as continuing to provide evidenced based, trauma informed trainings to our community.

Along with our encouragement and excitement is also the hard reality that the need for this therapeutic treatment center is only growing greater by the day. Already this year, over 1,000 children in Georgia, have been identified as victims of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking. I know these numbers make this issue seem daunting, but I also know the power of one person’s persistence and the change that is possible when caring people engage and work together for the good of the most vulnerable and worthy amongst us…our children.

We have many exciting events on the horizon and will be hosting an “On the Table” event at 8:30 am on October 22nd at Christ Community Church and would love to see you and would appreciate you sharing with friends, family and colleagues about our work.

In closing I pray that each of you remain blessed, protected, and especially encouraged that you have played a role in the advancement of our mission to see the Restoration of Stolen Childhoods.

Blessings,

Bobbi Starr

Hebrews 10:35-36

So do not throw away your confidence (hope); it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.

WE PRESS ON!!!!


Truth

 By Patti Kelly

We all have stories where life was going along fairly predictable, comfortable and then an incident happens that shatters us.  It can be something we’ve done, something done to us, or something that happens around us but our world becomes unstable and unpredictable and we come to brokenness like we’ve never known before.  In my brokenness, lies kept me in bondage to shame, guilt and feeling alone, convincing me that no one could ever care or understand.

When I was saved, I finally knew that God understood.  He saw it all and he knew the pain.  And I wanted to be set free from the past – I really did – but God knowing and being known by him didn’t change how I viewed myself.  Even knowing how he viewed me and loved me didn’t go to the dark recesses of my soul where the lies still stood in sharp contrast to God’s truth.  Oh this wretched soul was saved, but in the deep recesses of my soul I was still in a prison of my secret shame and fear.

It took me going back and facing my past by shining a light in all of the dark places of my soul and challenging the lies, and facing the fear head on, to truly make peace with the past.

Making peace with the past allowed me to replace the lies I held with the truth of who I am in Christ!  New name, new identity, new beginning!  We aren’t called to live desolate, alone, afraid, ashamed, guilty, like Tamar, the princess daughter of King David!  We are called to the fullness and richness of life in Christ! 

Yes I may have been broken, damaged, battered, abused, but the new truth is I am born again.  The old is gone and the new has come.  I will claim my identity as a child of the most high who tells me I am clay in the potters hand; I am God’s handiwork, a masterpiece – uniquely created for good works.  He takes what is broken, damaged, battered, abused and makes something more beautiful than the original!

Yes I used to believe that my life is too big of a mess, too tangled, too heavy, too much to share, and no one cared – but – the lover of my soul unties the knots that bind us, lifts the burdens that are too heavy, and is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.  Nothing is too great for him!

I have replaced the lies of “Alone, unlovable, worthless” –  with the truth that with my redeemer I am never alone, that not death nor life, angel or demons, nor the present or the future, no power whether above or below, that nothing in all of creation can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. -  I am a child of God, an heir, I am known – even the hairs of my head are numbered.

The liar claims that I am Weak and afraid – the truth is I don’t have a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.  I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  For when I am weak, I am strong.  I am more than a conqueror!  I have been set free and I am no longer in bondage to a spirit of fear.  I am loved and chosen, because the gospel has given me power, the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.  I have suffered grief in many trials, but these have strengthened my faith which is worth more than gold.  I am an overcomer.  I am part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,  a holy nation, a purchased people, called out of the darkness into his marvelous light.   He who is in me is greater than the one in the world. 

Your story is my story and is his story!  It’s true that in this fallen world we are broken, we are hurt, we are orphaned, and we lose our identity and our name.  But the story of our life isn’t over!  Our story is still being written and the ending is yet to come!  And we are co-authors with Christ and we get to choose the rest of our story!  God still replaces ashes with a crown of beauty, still gives us the oil of joy instead mourning, and still bestows on us a garment of praise out of despair.  Captives are still being set free!  We do belong, to his family.  We are known and loved, by Him!  The King really sent His Son to rescue his beloved princess from captivity and bring her home to the kingdom that cannot be shaken; to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to God, a consuming fire, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect… to Jesus. 

Let God into the secret places, name the lies of the enemy that have taken root, and hold them up to the light of God’s word to reveal the truth!  It is a battle, but it is a battle worth fighting because you are worth fighting for.  And you are not alone!  God is with you and He is for you!  Read who you are in Christ until the old lies are replaced with TRUTH!  Truth doesn’t change.  It’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Lies on the other hand are tricky things and will shift and will whisper “yes, but”.  That is the enemy!  Doubt, confusion and half-truths!  Beloved, meditate on the real truth in scripture about who God says you are in Christ until you really believe it in your heart, soul and mind!       

 

 

 

 

Brave

A little over a week ago when I went to read my Bible, the pages opened to Judges Chapter 1 so I started reading there.  I read through Judges, Ruth and am still reading 1 Samuel.  It really was more captivating than I remembered (no pun intended) and I knew that God would speak to me through His word, so I just read and waited.