I’ve never camped a day in my life.
When I was 11, I read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and convinced myself I was the reincarnate of Tom Sawyer. I ran through the woods around our house, bare-footed, building forts out of branches and trying to fashion a make-shift raft for our creek. I sweat and I climbed and I crawled. But when I heard my dad’s voice echo from our front porch, I ran home to a hot shower and a cozy bed.
That’s the closest I’ve ever come to “roughing it”.
You can imagine my surprise when my cell phone buzzed in early December and after an hour long conversation I realized that I had just committed to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. More notably, I had just committed to 8 days without a shower. In the hot season. In Africa. Did I just say yes to that?
I’m a firm believer that God has a wonderful sense of humor. And I’m a firm believer that He is going to be cracking up at the end of this month as He sits back and watches me brave the wild wilderness. Heck, I’ll probably be laughing at myself most of the time, too. But I’m more than willing to swat mosquitoes, sleep on the ground, and trek the highest free-standing mountain in the world in order to make the Gospel known.
If you’re as confused as I suspect you are at this point, allow me to rewind a bit and share with you what God is doing in my life right now. Are you ready for the run-down? I will try to keep it concise…
After I did not make the LSU football in August of 2012, I sold all that I owned, donated the money to my sweet friend Kate (Check out her website & support her here: http://kategoeler.theworldrace.org), packed up my pups and moved back to my hometown–Atlanta. It was bittersweet saying goodbye to the college town that captivated my heart, but I knew that God was calling me back to Georgia. And I knew that I’d always have a home away from home in the beautiful bayou.
I moved into our new house in Vinings and found myself dizzied with joy as I finally had the opportunity to spend daily time with my magnificent mom and hilarious sister. I had forgotten how much I loved their regular company. Through every one of the adversities and hardships our family had endured through the past 4 years, I had always been 500 miles away. Now I had the opportunity to hug my sister, kiss my sweet mom whenever I pleased, and relish in the small daily splendors of “family”. My heart overflowed.
I took time to settle, rekindle old friendships, and build new relationships with so many wonderful people. I found a new church home in Passion City Church and have loved learning and growing under Louie Giglio. There are few people in this world who I believe are truly anointed communicators. Not only is Louie one of those people, he is also a beautiful example of a humble, wise, and God-fearing leader who wants nothing more than to make Jesus known. It’s been an absolute joy seeing the church-body at Passion City move in response to God’s overwhelming presence at PCC. (Plus, it doesn’t hurt to praise and worship with Chris Tomlin’s band every week!)
I started my own business–BOLDLIFE,llc–and began navigating the many obstacles of building a solid professional platform, and associating with the right people. BOLDLIFE is a managing and marketing entity that handles all of my professional endeavors. The largest of which being professional speaking. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to travel the country speaking and sharing my heart with businesses, churches, youth groups, athletic teams, young leaders, and more! I have bounced from Georgia to Alabama to Colorado to Florida to Louisiana–requests have poured in and God has been so faithful in seeing to it that I have steady work and a wide reach. 2013 is booking up quickly and I am in the process of building a full website, starting a non-profit organization, and continuing to be sensitive to God’s will and direction in how He wants to use me and how I can honor Him with my days. It is my heart to inspire, empower, and encourage this generation to live BOLDLY for the Gospel.
I have also been working some with ESPN. While we are in the brainstorming phase of what exactly my role may look like with the network–whether we may pursue a continuation of the “Meaux Vs.” series, or structure my involvement in a different way– it has been a fun adventure visiting their headquarters in Bristol, seeing how their systems operate, and getting an opportunity to shake hands and have conversation with some influential people in the sports media world. I have had the privilege of appearing on ESPNU’s college-geared show, UNITE, several times in the past few months. And while I have always been a guest in the past, I am thrilled to announce that they have hired me to co-host two episodes this coming week (Monday, Feb. 4th and Tuesday, Feb. 5th). I look forward to learning and growing through the experience. I hope you’ll tune in!
It has not been easy following God’s calling in my life. There are so many times that I–a creature that craves organization and structure–have found myself drenched in tears, frustrated, tired, and desperately bargaining with God to just show me the 5-year plan. Sometimes I wish He would just lay out what my finances are going to look like, what course I’m going to take, and the detailed checklist of what He wants me to do. It’s hard waking up each day and trusting that He is orchestrating a bigger picture. Yet every time I doubt His presence and His provision in my life, He never fails to gently remind me that He has a perfect plan.
Case in point: the early December phone call.
As some of you may remember, last year I had the special opportunity of sharing my testimony as a part of Next Step Ministry’s video series. (If you haven’t seen the video, you can view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7ptcSmKIihA ) Next Step is an organization passionate about getting kids and teens involved in missions work. They have several locations around the U.S. that they host mission trips to throughout the year. Each week-long mission trip hosts nightly gatherings in which a video is shown as a part of the program. My testimony happened to be one piece of the video puzzle last year, and I was thrilled to learn that thousands of kids were impacted by God’s brilliant message of hope through my messy, broken words.
I was also thrilled when Next Step reached out AGAIN and asked me to be a part of their 2013 video series. My thrill turned to intrigue when they continued on to explain that this year’s video series was going to be slightly different and that I would be woven through each video in the series, rather than just one. And my intrigue turned to shock when they said it was because this year’s video was documentary-style. And that the documentary was going to be shot in Uganda. And Tanzania. And, oh yeah, on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro–19,341 feet above sea level.
(My inner Tom Sawyer was giddy!)
I’m proud to announce that I will be partnering with the Next Step Ministry team as a contributor to their 2013 video series. We will be leaving February 14th and traveling first to Uganda. While there, we will be highlighting the work done by several missionaries and ministries in the cities of Kampala and Jinja. This includes Fields of Life (http://www.fieldsoflife.com) , Sole Hope (http://www.solehope.com) , Light Gives Heat (http://www.lightgivesheat.org) , Charity Water (http://www.charitywater.org) , and New York Times Best-Selling Author Katie Davis’ Amazima Ministry (http://amazima.org). I would love if you would take the time to click each of these links and learn a little bit more about the heart of these amazing ministries. I am so excited to have the opportunity to spend time serving with these organizations and learning more about the nation, their needs, and how these missionaries are impacting people’s lives as the hands and feet of Christ.
After a week in Uganda we will hop a flight to Tanzania and prepare to climb Kili. This will not only serve as a beautiful portion of the documentary–interwoven into each video within the series–it will also be a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual test of endurance and fortitude. Preparation and training for the climb has already been taxing, and I have no doubt that the 8-day endeavor will be one of the most challenging and exhausting feats any of us have ever attempted. (I’m not quite sure weight-lifting with a bunch of football meatheads is anywhere near as overwhelming as facing Mother Nature’s grandeur and finding a way to navigate terrain, climate, energy, and will. But don’t tell the big strong boys I said that…ha!)
And so I find myself here. Two weeks away from embarking on a journey I’ve always dreamed of taking. I find myself in the grip of a King who reminds me, in tiny ways and in MASSIVE ways, that He is ordering the days of my life. I find myself recklessly following the footsteps of my Lord with an eager heart and an open mind. I find myself challenged, sustained, anxious, and eased. I have no idea what the Lord has in store for my heart during this time, but I cannot wait to find out. And I cannot wait to share the journey with YOU.
Would you like to join me? Your support would mean more to me than I can express. Above all else, I would appreciate your prayers. I am seeking, whole-heartedly, God’s purpose for my life. I trust that He is guiding me and using me as He sees fit and that, through my ministry, lives are being touched by Him. I am just a vessel, and I want to remain a vessel that is unobstructed, flexible, and pliable to His will. I would appreciate your prayers that He continue to shape He into the woman He has designed me to be–no matter what that calls from my life.
If you feel led to support my ministry in any other capacity–whether it be through written encouragement or financial contribution–I would be honored to connect with you. I am working to raise funds to cover my expenses for the trip (medical expenses for specialized vaccines, appropriate clothing and required climbing gear), as well as funds to allocate to the various ministries we are connecting with. If this sounds like a way you may feel led to bless the work God is doing through my journey, I would love to hear from you. Please don’t hesitate to email me at:
I hope that is a sufficient recap of the past 6 months for my wonderful family, faithful friends, and fantastic followers. Thank you for your constant love and your loyal readership. I am so grateful for YOU!