I overthought this title so here.

I kind of dread moving forward with this whole blog thing. Mostly because the only way for me to be truly real, is by looking in the rearview mirror to see how I’ve gotten thus far. Which is easy to do, but not so easy to share. But, I am trusting that maybe there is somebody who is walking in the same shoes I’ve already been lost in.

So. I would say I have two achilles heels that have played a major part in my questionable decision making.

  1. I love hard.
  2. I am not afraid to jump.

Both my greatest blessing and other times my ultimate downfall. I like to weigh heavier on the blessing side but others may argue me on that one. Oh well, worry bout yourself! I have come to realize that you can’t have one without the other. You can’t love hard without jumping and you can’t jump if your heart isn’t SOLD OUT. I love people. I love family. I love the ‘unloveable’. I love kids. I love love. I love feeling close to Heaven. All of the things that have been worth the jump for me.

As long as I can remember, I have followed my heart. I would like to say that I have followed Jesus’ plans for me all along, but I’m so far from perfect- and following my heart has lead me to some really crappy places. In the past year alone I have followed my heart a few times more than normal, possibly even more than some in a lifetime. Jump after jump after jump- Okay, God… you’re stretching me. But I am not a laffy taffy… enough is enough. 

Let me rewind. My first big jump was dropping out of college to pursue a nannying job. Most people thought I was crazy, some even accused me of some horrible things because I packed up my car, deleted my Facebook and never looked back- another one of my downfalls. But the lord was preparing me, and I was learning that in order to move forward you must be willing to let go.

I was back and forth between NC and California, I was learning a whole lot about patience (I even read a book on it), I flew on private planes and saw parts of the world that I only dreamt of seeing. I gave my whole heart to three little girls who helped shape me into the mother I will one day be. I loved hard. One summer in California, I met a lady named Sue who had given her life to feeding the homeless on the streets of Santa Monica. I admired Sue so much- her story and the way she loved these people. She knew each of them by name and that left a great impression on my heart. To know people by their name.

I have always had a heart for missions, and honestly when I was 16 I figured I would have already moved to Africa by this point of my life. Living in a village with a bunch of kids, knowing each of them by name: #goals. Instead, I was organizing refrigerators and making daily trips to Target, not exactly the things that fill your heart with purpose. One Sunday morning I went to Sue’s church by myself, and my heart began to break for Haiti. I honestly don’t know how it happened. I had never been there nor knew anyone who had ever been before. I fought it for a year. I prayed into it for a year. I cried for this random place called Haiti for a year. I was just as confused as you are.

The next summer I was prepared to quit my job and move to Haiti, but God had other plans for me- typical. The doors on Haiti kept shutting. It was my fourth summer spent in California and I was beginning to feel empty, replaceable. I knew I was being called to this unknown place but it wasn’t happening. It didn’t look how I wanted it to look. So, I started my own path- but boy would I have saved myself a whole lot of confusion and heartache had I just stuck to the original plan.

To be continued,


Life + FaithMadison Nelson