Hayley’s Swim

Welcome New Friend to the fire Haley Steinbauer. I met Haley via my son. They became friends their first day of their freshman year of college. I am deeply grateful for the wisdom shared by this young woman. May you be encouraged as you ride the waves of her personal journey to a closer walk with the Lord.


You know, I’ve been struggling to write about what happened on March 10th, 2020 for multiple reasons. For one, I don’t want to sound like I am boasting in my suffering.

Even calling it “suffering,” seems like an overreaction. I didn’t even die. No one died. It is painful to remember. It brings back feelings of fear, uncertainty, anxiousness, and hopelessness. Part of me wants to move on, not make a huge deal about it, and forget. But I’ve realized that I can’tforget, and I shouldn’t forget.

Alan Redpath in ‘Victorious Christian Living’ writes,

“Sometimes in the course of human experience it is good to sit down and reflect on what has been conquered by the grace of God. Not boastfully, but with a humble and grateful heart, to survey the years that have gone and to go over the pages of memory carefully to recall where the grace of God has triumphed, so that we will be able to look into His face and say,

“But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

God did something marvelous, extraordinary, and miraculous, and to forget would be ungrateful. I NEED and WANT to recognize his grace. For once in my life I have a memory where God screamed,

“I’ve got you my child. Trust me, Hayley. I am all-powerful and all-knowing.”

That is what I have always wanted – a sign, a mighty voice from above, anything that would show/prove to me that God is real. I have always struggled with trusting God in all areas of my life. I believe and I know that Jesus came, died, and rose for my sins (it’s been grilled into me my entire life), but I absolutely suck at trusting Him. I have come to realize that trust and faith are two sides of the same coin.

How can we have faith in something we don’t absolutely trust? How can I expect God to act in my life if I don’t trust Him?

I’m a thinker, so in my head I hand over my future, my relationships, and my worries into God’s care. But the moment doubt, feelings of insecurity, fear, or uncertainty creep in, I run away from the source of discomfort to a place where I can feel in control again. The problem with having faith in Jesus but no trust is you aren’t seeing His spirit at work and that means you aren’t growing. You are constantly wearing a mask to avoid fear. As Max Lucado says in his book Fearless,

“When fear fills our life, safety becomes our god. When safety becomes our god, we worship the risk-free life.” In the end, “The worship of safety emasculates greatness.” (p. 10).

It is when you believe that the King and Creator of the universe – the God who “shapes the future…and controls the sun, moon, and stars” – is for you, that fear loses (Isaiah 45:11-12).

To know Jesus, is to know the source of strength.

What happened over spring break opened my eyes to His power and showed me the importance of truly trusting in Him, even when fear strives to take me over. God is a Father who delivers, provides, and strengthens His children, especially in the deepest of waters. To forget is to let the devil win.


It was a day much like any other. I woke up, immediately

hit snooze, eventually dragged myself to breakfast and got

ready for the day. The plan was to take Jacob’s parents’

small, green jon-boat to the boat dock by St. Augustine; he

would go fishing while RJ and I read books. I was just

starting to read RJ’s book, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, and she

picked a juicy romance novel.

We drove to the marina, unloaded the boat, and

navigated the inlet until we found a bridge to anchor

ourselves under. For two hours I was in introvert heaven. It

was a cloudy day, but it was still warm with a slight breeze. I

was enjoying my book while eating Chex Mix and listening

to country music. It was everything I wanted for my spring

break – relaxation, time to read, and the ocean.

About two hours elapsed when Jacob saw two dolphins

poke above the water. We watched in wonder as they

rhythmically glided above the surface and then dived back

down into the dark blue water. RJ was in awe. Dolphins are

her favorite animal. We decided to try to get a closer look, so

we steered in their general direction. Having been satisfied

with our dolphin escapades, Jacob asked if we wanted to go

see the inlet. RJ and I replied,

“Sure. Sounds like fun.”

My hair was flowing in the wind, the air smelled like salt,

and the country music filled my ears. It was pure bliss. We

zoomed out into the wide expanse of the inlet, past the first

buoy, and towards the opening. The water started to get

rougher. Instead of a smooth glide over the water, our small

john-boat was smacking the waves. I remember thinking,

“Ok, it is a little rougher, but Jacob has got us. He has done this

before. Nothing could possibly go wrong.”

The waves grew higher and the wind blew stronger as

we drove farther and farther out of the inlet. My heart

started to quicken slightly, but I forced myself to trust Jacob.

Jacob turned the boat a little bit and a wave slapped against

the boat spilling some water onto RJ who was in the front..

She squealed and Jacob laughed.

He decided to turn the boat around toward the marina,

and we started to go towards the waves from our wake. A

wave from behind propelled us forward and a wave from

our wake started barreling toward us. I remember having to

hold onto my seat so I wouldn’t slide forward as the tip of

the boat went straight into the wave. The water

automatically filled our small boat, taking all our possessions

with it. RJ screamed and Jacob yelled that we needed to

jump. His face is printed in my memory. His frozen

expression resembled someone who was caught mid-sneeze

and was angry at the same time. I held back my desire to

laugh because I knew that it was an expression of fear.

Oddly, I wasn’t afraid. The cold water was a jolt, but I

managed to keep my book and phone above water. In my

mind, it wasn’t really happening. We capsized—no biggy.

I was a sailing counselor the summer before and we

capsized our boats for the fun of it. Sure, it was different this

time because none of us were wearing life jackets, RJ

couldn’t swim, and a lake is a little different from the ocean,

but everything would turn out just fine. I could figure it out;

I always have been able to figure out a conflict or problem

on my own.

Whenever I think about worst-case scenarios, I can trust

myself. Worst case scenario, if I flunk out of school, need a

break, or need time to explore my options; I have my lovely

family to support me. If my house burns down, we have

home insurance. No lives are lost, no biggy. But this time I

had no fallbacks, no long list of options to comfort me that

all would be fine. I had two options: swim or die. No other

options. No rescue boat or time to think and pick the next

best step. I had to fight the waves and the current or never

see my family again. Never graduate from college. Never kiss

a boy. Never tell people about Jesus.

So, I started to swim. I didn’t even think about trying to

flip the boat, staying with the boat, or trying to grab

lifejackets. It seems so foolish to me now. There probably

was a smarter option, but something inside of me said that I

needed to swim.

The first couple of minutes I struggled to make

headway. I felt the current quickly sucking me away from the

shoreline. Every free-style stroke seemed useless. I felt like I

was running on a treadmill, using all my energy and still

staying in the exact same spot.

I knew from stories that the best way to escape a current

was to swim parallel to shore, so I fought the waves and

started to propel myself forward. I looked back and could no

longer see the boat. I could see RJ struggling to keep her

head above water. I yelled to Jacob,

“Stay with RJ. I’m going

to swim to shore.” I knew that there was no way RJ would

make it to shore. We were so far out that you could see

figures on the shoreline but couldn’t distinguish if they were

male or female. I remember screaming for help, but I knew

it was a waste of time.

It’s interesting that in a boat or on the beach, waves

seem peaceful and benign, but when you are in the water

and the only way to keep from drowning is your legs and

arms, the waves take a different form. You are at the mercy

of the strong, powerful, menacing water, unable to see the

horizon or what is lurking under you. You feel small,

powerless, helpless and alone.

Long after tossing my book I eventually let go of my

phone. It was too much effort to hold onto. When all you

have set before you is life or death, there is no need for a

phone. When faced with what seems like an insurmountable,

terrifying situation, all you have is God. So I stripped my

flannel and tried to take off my heavy shoes.

I started to grasp the seriousness of my situation. I

wasn’t getting closer to shore. I was quickly getting sucked

out of the inlet. My arms and legs were tired. I wanted to

take a break, but I knew that I had no other option. The

shoreline was my lifeline. If I didn’t keep swimming, I would

just keep getting swept out until eventually there would be

no shoreline to swim towards. I had to save my friends. I

didn’t want to die, so I pleaded with God. I said,

“Lord, give me strength. I need your strength, because I am tired,

and I don’t know if I can keep going. I don’t want to die. I have

so much I still need to do. If you deliver me and I survive, I will do

whatever you want. I will change my major, hop on a plane and

become a missionary, marry a nice farm boy, whatever you want.

I’m done fighting. Help me. Help me.”

As I kept swimming, I started to imagine the worst-case

scenario. I thought about what would happen if I failed to

reach shore. I pictured myself spending my last moments

alive alone in the wide expanse of the dark ocean, unable to

see land, floating on my back until I got so exhausted that I

drowned. I pictured the phone call to my parents. I

envisioned RJ struggling to stay above water and eventually

failing. What would happen to Jacob and RJ’s families? I’ve

never had a situation where trusting in God was the only


This worse-case scenario was real and hopelessly

terrifying because it was completely in God’s hands. This is

what I struggle to put into words and explain to people. My

life was in His hands; it was completely out of my control. I had no

scapegoat, no second option where I could swoop in and

save myself. In complete and utter hopelessness, the only

thing I could do was turn to God and ask for help. It was

the first time I completely trusted in Him. All I could do was

pray and plead.

As time went by, God started to answer my prayer. I

escaped the current and swimming became four times easier.

The shoreline was within reach. The waves were still high

enough that I had to dive under each one to keep from

getting taken over, but I was just thankful that I was finally

moving. Just keep going. Just keep going. You can do it, I told myself.

Eventually, I swam until I realized that I could touch the

bottom. I was dazed, unable to be relieved until I knew my

friends were also safe. So, the instant I stood up, I tried to

run. I needed to find help. It felt like I had been swimming

for a long time and I knew RJ would not be able to last for

much longer. The water was about at my hips. I felt

lightheaded, and my legs felt like Jell-O. I fell over in the

water and had to catch myself. I ran onto the beach and

looked in both directions to find the nearest person. The

current carried me to the very end of the beachy peninsula

and there were very few people in site.

Then, I noticed people to my right. I started to run in

that direction as I saw a rescue boat come flying from the

mouth of the inlet. They glided across the water out towards

the last buoy in the inlet. For a moment the boat began to

search with little luck. I started to cry because I thought my

friends had drowned. I had failed. I was picturing what life

would be like without my hilariously joyful best friend and

roommate by my side and without my frustratingly, caring,

and stubborn friend Jacob. I cried out loud to God, Please,

Lord. Please, Lord. They can’t be dead. No, Lord.

The moment I stopped my prayer, the boat stopped. I

couldn’t see anyone getting on or off the boat, so I was

uncertain if they were found dead or alive.

I noticed a four-wheeler with four Coast Guard workers

only a couple of meters away. I took off my clunky shoes

and ran over to them. I was sobbing and asking if they had

found my friends. They told me my friends were safe and

asked if I was the third person. A wave of relief flowed over


They set me down in the four-wheeler with a blanket

and Gatorade, and I sobbed. I rarely cry in front of people,

but I couldn’t hold it in. I cried so hard I was shaking

(actually, the shaking could have been from the fact that the water was

60 degrees or that I swam for 25-30 minutes, but even so I was shaken


I couldn’t stop smiling. All my anxiety, fear, and worry

were replaced with gratefulness, don’t-care-who-knows-it

joy. I was laughing and crying and praising God. I’ve never

been more joyful in my life. We were all alive. They put me in

an SUV with a nice man who drove me back to the marina.

As we made the 25-minute drive, the entire experience

started to feel surreal. Did it actually happen? I was just

fighting for my life in the ocean and now I am sitting in this

warm car learning about this nice Coast Guard’s family

history. I couldn’t help but feel like I was a completely

different person from the girl that was gawking at dolphins

an hour earlier. I wanted so desperately to cry and call my

parents to tell them I loved them. I wanted to process the

experience and figure out how I could uphold the promise I

made to God in the water: I will do whatever you want, if you help

me. But I chose to put on a brave face and be strong. I

decided to process later once I had the time, space, and



When we met at the marina, I hugged Jacob and RJ and

we drove back home. We processed the rest of the day and,

to be perfectly honest, I am still processing.

I want to remember that hopelessness and how God

delivered us along with the joy that followed. I want to

remember how my relationship with God matters above all

earthly possessions and how I need to trust him with the

little and big things.

The experience has taught me to be brave and has

inspired me to live more courageously. Fear no longer is a

major roadblock because I have experienced the power of

God. I know what real fear looks like and how MY God can

overcome it. If I can survive that fear, nothing should stop

me from doing His will. I think this is true for everyone.

We shouldn’t just trust him when we have no other

options. Even when everyday life is uncertain and small fears

swarm us, we have a God who is unstirred by the waves for,

“If He is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). And, boy,

is God for us! He is given to us. He took on our flesh and

blood to die for us and so to save us. And as He died to save

us, so He lives to provide for us.

I am just extremely grateful and in awe of how God

provided for us on March 10th. We didn’t get eaten by sharks

or sucked down into an even stronger rip current. I was in

great shape because of my half-marathon training, and RJ

was in good shape because she had started lifting three

months prior. Even so, if Jacob and I had switched roles, RJ

may not have survived because I wouldn’t have been able to

give her breaks with my body size.

If a couple on the shore hadn’t seen us swimming, the

rescue boats may have been dispatched too late to rescue

Jacob and RJ. If the waves had been higher or wilder, I don’t

know if I would have survived. All in all His goodness is

shown through his providence that day.

His grace abounds in the deepest of waters.


This experience has taught me to live more courageously. That’s why I support ATLAS; a ministry helping people meet their emotional and spiritual needs whilst finding joy in the journey of discovering their unique potential in Christ. ATLAS is a mentor based, prayer driven personal development service whose goal is to help individuals and families attain truth, love, and self-control through the power and love of Jesus Christ. ATLAS is a free, safe, and confidential place wherepeople can be heard, encouraged and prayed over.


370 12 th Avenue NE, SIOUX CENTER IA 51250


Contact the Author:


Free Ebook:

“Hayley’s Swim” by Hayley Steinbauer

Copyright 2020-present. All Rights Reserved.

You may make unlimited copies and redistribute.

Please do not charge whether electronic, soft or hard copy.

Be the kind of _______ you want to be

It was just a quick blurb that came across the computer screen, and I only heard it by accident. My boys were finishing up a youtube video and at the end, with no explanation or reason, a voice came through the speaker saying, “Be the kind of parent you want to be.”

Uh, yeah… that seems to go without saying.

But my brain caught that trite little phrase and played it on repeat… as I was driving the car… as I was washing dishes… as I was checking my phone… as my kids played loudly in the living room. I was bothered by it.

Of course I was being the kind of parent I wanted to be, right? Right?? As I was drawn more to my phone than my kids, I wondered. As I noticed how I hadn’t really snuggled with my five-year-old all day, I cringed. As I chose the easy road over the better road, I doubted.

You see, sometimes, I forget what it takes to be the kind of [fill in the blank] person I want to be.

I need regular check-ins to reorient my character. Those typically need to come from something outside of myself—a book, a friend, a podcast. These things encourage me, “Yes, you’re on the right path!” and challenge me, “Have you ever thought about doing it THIS way?” So often I get this “character reorienting” naturally from people around me—those people I run into every week. In fact, in-the-flesh people are often the BEST way for this to happen in my life. (Left to myself, I often gravitate toward podcasts, publications and perspectives that don’t differ too much from my own.) However, I can’t control what kind of guy is in front of me at the ice cream shop, and I can’t “subscribe” to a certain type of mom that hangs out at the park after school. People are unpredictable and unpolished; they make me learn differently, think on my feet, and evaluate my own character and actions. But, hello! I am just not running into as many people these days as I used to… at least not here in CA where we are still very much under COVID restrictions.

So, it took a random voice on a youtube video to knock me back a bit and reevaluate whether my actions and my goals aligned.

Apart from that fluke youtube quote, my biggest “external reorienter” during this time has been the Creator of this world. His perspective is way different from mine, i.e. much, much bigger. As I read his words in the Bible, he challenges and encourages me. He has reminded me of my humble state before his sovereign power. He has shown me areas where I have been ignoring things he is passionate about. He has been revealing his holiness and my sinfulness.

But unlike a podcast or a youtube video or even another mom at the park, God doesn’t just leave me to reorient on my own. He shows me how. And the how ALWAYS comes back to Jesus. Because of Jesus, I do not need to prove myself to God. Jesus has given his perfectly-oriented life for my own disoriented one. It is his life in me that is my reorientation! Without Jesus, I would never be truly reoriented, living constantly aware that I am unable to be the parent/friend/spouse/daughter that I want to be. But through Jesus, my reorientation is perfected and kept permanently before God. #ohthankheaven

If you struggling to find that “outside” voice that sees the world differently than you do, will you allow God to reorient you this week? Try opening up a Bible and believing that his words are true. He loves you, and he wants to reorient you for good!

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:1-2

If You Are Invited to a Potluck in Hawai’i…

(A Celebration of Diversity)

If you are invited to a potluck in Hawai’i, then you should probably say yes.

If this is your first time, then you might be surprised by the amount of food crowded onto the tables.

If you are overwhelmed by the amount of food, you might want to start by narrowing down a specific food with which to start.

If you like chicken, then you’ll probably want to head for the foil pans of chicken katsu, chicken long rice, or adobo.

If you decide on chicken katsu, then you’ll probably want some tonkatsu sauce to go with it.

If you prefer pork, then you might look for ti or taro leaf wrapped lau lau, or scoop yourself a nice helping of kalua pig (kalua pork).

If you go with the kalua pork, I suggest you pair it with a side of mac salad.

If the mac salad filled up the last bit of room on your plate, you’ll probably need to grab a second one so you can help yourself to the kielbasa and sauerkraut hot dish or green bean casserole before you get to the rice cooker table.

If you are confused by the large number of rice cookers present, then you will probably be surprised when the potluck runs out of sticky rice later.

If you are a rice enthusiast, then you might want a scoop of both sticky rice and fried rice.

If you see a deli-size container of what might look like chunky salsa, you’ve probably stumbled upon some poke (poh kay) (but unless you’re one of the first people in line, it might just be an empty container).

If raw fish freaks you out (and I won’t spend too much time convincing you so that I don’t have to share) then you might be more interested in some spaghetti.

If you are surprised to see hot dogs in the spaghetti, don’t worry, that’s normal.

If you like hot dogs, then you’ll probably enjoy a nori-wrapped spam musubi.

If the musubi reminds you of sushi and you’re looking for something with a little heat, look on the tray from Genki Sushi for spicy tuna rolls and get some wasabi to go with it.

If your mouth is on fire from the spicy tuna, you might want to go back for some dessert.

If you like healthy desserts, you probably will scoop a helping of mango, pineapple, or papaya.

If you want something both refreshing and fun to look at, then also scoop up a few lychee or dragonfruit.

If you have a helping of fresh island fruit, you might want some mochi to go with it.

(If you have only had mochi ice cream, then you might be surprised to see the tiny squares are not melting (my favorite is butter mochi.)

If you want something deep fried, you will probably grab a Sata Andagi or Malasada (just make sure they’re hot).

If you’ve finished your plate, then you’ll probably want some POG to wash it down.

If you’re full, but just noticed another table full of vibrant purple Okinawan sweet potatoes, a box of pizza (hopefully with garlic balls from Big Kahuna), and shoyu chicken, then you’ll probably want to be invited to another potluck.

Author’s Note: This list represents only a small portion of the vast culinary culture of Hawai’i — many fantastic cultures and foods were not mentioned. I have tried, and eaten, all of these foods at various potlucks in Hawai’i, and as a self-identified foodie, I believe we can find some of the best connection and appreciation for others by eating together.

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” – Revelation 4:11

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Psalm 34:8

Prove it.


A deal I just couldn’t pass up.


Could you?

If you know anything about shoes, or sandals, or Birkenstock sandals…. you know that they don’t cost $35. You know they cost much more the $35. More like $135.

If you don’t know, now you do.

Well…. as I was happily scrolling through my Instagram… which is currently full of my young friends pregnancy and baby posts… I saw the ad. (side note: I scroll instagram to see my young friends posts, I scroll facebook to see my middle aged friends post . It’s a thing for sure) This ad told me I could purchase Birkenstock sandals for $35 if I just swiped up. As simple as that. It caught my attention. I had been thinking about purchasing some slip on sandals. Not only had I considered Birkenstocks I had also considered a fun color of Birkenstocks and the Birkenstocks in this particular ad…. they were red. RED. (another side note: Red shoes are one of the keys to happiness in my life. )

aren’t they the cutest?

So guess what. In a matter of 60 seconds I had swiped up, clicked on the red shoes, clicked on my size, clicked on the payment info tab, clicked on the address update tab, clicked purchase, clicked send….and just like that – I was the proud owner of a pair of beautiful, red, slip on sandals. I took a screen shot of the sandals and sent it to my daughter, wanting to share in the victory of my deal of the day. We just love a good deal. I could just feel the soft leather and perfectly formed toe holds. I could see them sitting next to the front door after having taken my dog for a walk, wearing my new red sandals. Yes… they were mine.

Well…. not yet.

You see the sandals haven’t actually arrived…..


I can’t even remember the company that sponsored these, hopefully legitimate, red Birkenstocks. I didn’t print a receipt. I didn’t check the validity of the website. Nope. I did nothing to prove that I was making a wise decision. So, I sit on my porch and wait expectantly for the fed ex guy, the ups man or the mailman to bring my beautiful red shoes. In the day of Amazon Prime and the delivery of internet orders arriving in what feels like minutes of ordering… 3 weeks is feeling like an eternity.

There are several reasons why I know I made this decision. First, if you are familiar with the enneagram – I am a 7 wing 8. This simply means I am overly optimistic, hate to think about hard things and can be spontaneous when it comes to jumping into fun things. Details feel bothersome when I just want to GO. I don’t need much evidence to Prove that what I want to do is right. I just want to believe the best and live accordingly. Second, and the real purpose behind this post is that I feel deep down, in a world that feels out of control… I’m longing for easy, I’m longing for normal, I’m longing for fun, I’m longing for carefree, I’m longing for the days when the biggest worry I had was if my red sandals would actually make it to my door.

But, as you are well aware, it is not.

And that is actually a really good thing.

Over the last 4 months I have made every attempt to gain some type of footing on the ground of a world that feels like it is experiencing a perpetual earth quake. Every single thing has been shaken.

I have two of every baby shower, wedding and graduation announcement hanging in my kitchen. Who would have thought when planning a wedding that the line item on the budget page would say, INVITATIONS X 2??

Invitations X2

I threw away the spring schedule of my daughters high school sports season and I just threw away the schedule for her college. I threw away the concert tickets to two of my favorite groups. I cancelled plane tickets to several summer events. Nothing… not one thing that I had attached my hope , my joy, my personal happiness has stayed standing. Not one thing. Every prediction I made has been wrong.

Darn it.

In my world where I live for joy filled events – I have lost all proof that my happiness can continue. Every plan I make will be cancelled… why even try??

So I pop on Instagram and buy a pair of $35 shoes – with the hopes that I can reclaim some of the joy lost in the tumult of 2020.

Oh…. but wait. This shaking, the chronic disruptions of life…they have left some evidence behind. The proof is there for me. And it is there for you. And it is, He, is waiting for us to see it.

As I have navigated this season I have been reminded time and time again that my hope cannot, nor should it have ever, been put in the things of this world. I can certainly enjoy them, celebrate them, look forward to them, but when they become the focus of my hope, I have turned them into an idol. And oh how my idols have been revealed as they each have been taken away.

And one thing remains……

Jesus. Waiting to PROVE that he his enough. Waiting to FLOOD our lives with evidence that HIS PEACE is real and true and practical and available and not dictated my circumstances. He left his peace with us when he returned from heaven. ” Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Do not be afraid.” John 14:27. and “I have told you these things so that IN ME you may have peace. In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart I have over come the world.” John 16:33 It’s a thing, a real thing that we can boldly demand because he said we could. “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Heb. 4:16

I have put this promise to the test so many times in my life. One of my favorite, GOD IS LEGIT, stories comes form January of 2018. I had just finished a glorious week with my fellow business owners at a conference in Atlanta. Its always a week of fantastic education, inspiration and girlfriend time. As I was literally rolling my suitcase out of my hotel room my phone buzzed with these words:

“Your flight has been cancelled.” CANCELLED. Not delayed, not switched to another. CANCELLED. And I wasn’t the only one. The 1 inch of snow that Atlanta had experienced the night before shut down the city. A fact that us northerners just cannot comprehend. What unfolded over the next 6 hours was nothing short of crazy. I had NEVER seen an airport so crowded – with lines looping over the entire building. No one knew what was going on but everyone thought they had the right solution and were happy to share it, loudly. ( hmm…. feels a lot like 2020). I was tired and just wanted to get home.

And… it was in that moment that I demanded PROOF.

I clearly remember standing in the line that stretched to eternity, purse in one hand, suitcase touching the other as I rolled it slowing to who knows where. I prayed one simple pray.

my insta post from the Atlanta airport

“GOD, prove it.”

Prove your peace.

Prove your power.

Prove your provision.

Prove it.

I’m waiting.

and you know what?

He 100% did.

Not one thing changed about my circumstances but everything changed about my heart. And when your heart changes your vision changes too.

Instead of seeing lines of strangers I saw lines of humans. I noticed an acquaintance and her husband a few feet away. We started chatting. We spoke of our fantastic week and the hilarity of our current situation. We left our line to drag our luggage through the airport. We squeezed into a restaurant and ate food, and shared stories. We made our way to a terminal full of friends from our town all rescheduled on a red eye flight. I love the picture of the group of us choosing to see the fun and find the true peace in our situation.

GOD showed up and he proved himself to me. I have evidence. Evidence I need now on a daily basis. DO you?

Do you have proof from your daily life that God is real. I mean really REAL. Not just a thing you say you believe and then show it by faithfully showing up to church on Sunday and saying your prayers before dinner. Not just a habit and a community you’ve joined because thats what you’ve been told is right. No – do you have FOR REAL EVIDENCE in your life that God loves you and shows up in the craziest of ways?

Guess what. It’s the perfect time to ask. In our upside down world where every plan is tentative. In a painful world where we fear turning on the news because we dread another tragic death of those thought less then. In a time when hard things happen to good people. It’s time.

And God is waiting.

He is waiting to flood your crazy with his comfort.

He is waiting to shine is light on your life.

He is waiting to PROVE himself worthy of all of our hope. The answer to all of our questions.

And he promises his joy will far exceed any and all earthly objects we desire…

even more the a good deal on some cute Red sandals.

Won’t you trust him today?