Seeing Life

It is hard to believe exactly one year ago at this time I was writing my annual Human Trafficking Awareness post while living in an aftercare home for young girls and boys rescued from the brothels in India.

My eyes were opened while living in that home.  It was in that home God highlighted the issue of the value of life.

I say this because many people from all backgrounds would argue that the lives of those children I grew to love while in India should have never existed.

In our world there is an argument about the idea that a life brought into adverse circumstances should not be a life at all.

I know this argument because I used to fall silent when I heard the comments.  “That child won’t have much of a life at all, why didn’t they use birth control.”  “Those parents are irresponsible those poor children are going to suffer, why were they born?”  “That abortion saved that child from growing up without stability.”

In the silence is where my heart wrestled with what I knew to be true; that every life has value.  The reason for the wrestling match in my heart is because I could understand never wanting to see people suffer.  I used to think if suffering can be stopped before it starts, it definitely should be!

I understand these arguments in a different light after going through my own experience of suffering.  Suffering has a way of turning our worst into God’s best.  To keep people from suffering is an injustice in itself.

My heart still breaks for those children I lived with last year at this time.  Their wounds are wide open, gushing pain and suffering.  I learned in that home: the wounds they possess do not affect the value they possess.  Their value was determined for them before they were born into brothels.  Anything they have gone through and things they are yet to go through will never change the value of their life.

God didn’t wait to see how we handled this life before He chose us to be His own, He chose us before we were born, still in our mother’s womb.  He did the same with these precious children.

God created our lives for a purpose and with value.  Do we believe that in our hearts?

So often I think we fight for causes because we are covering up the pain that comes from the lack of purpose or value we feel in our own lives.  We want to feel significant, we want to prove our life has value so we do something, we fight something.  Meanwhile, the cross and empty grave prove our significance and value.  Jesus fought and won our biggest battle for us so we could hold onto His victory.  Any battle we now face, we face holding onto God’s victorious hand.

The injustice of human trafficking can feel overwhelming because it does have so many aspects.  Yet we face this injustice with God’s victory.  He is fighting for each life impacted in one way or another by slavery.

He is also fighting for you.  You cannot give someone something you do not have.  If you struggle to find value in your own life, how can you possibly tell someone who is held captive, trapped in misery, that their live has value and purpose?

Let the reason you “do something” about human trafficking be embracing and professing the value and purpose God places on every life before they are ever born into any set of circumstances in this world.

Little Disclaimer: Since being home I have felt my passion to do something about human trafficking fade away. I had/have a hard time understanding this as I believe God is the one who put that passion in my heart to begin with.  As I write this post, I see so clearly how God wants my passion for “doing something” to be motivated by His heart not my sight.  It is easy for me to see a need and fill it, yet God has called me to see life and proclaim it valuable.

There was a time in my life, more recent than I would like to admit, that I struggled knowing and believing the value my life held.  When I read the following verse in John every lie I believed about the value of my life was washed away: children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.  John 1:13.  I am more than my parents plan for a family, I am God’s plan.  You are God’s plan and so are all of those children that melted my heart in India.

Currently, God has me in a season where I find myself constantly confronted with the question: Do you believe this life is valuable?  I am learning the value of life in ways I never have.  God is not taking these passions away; He is simply strengthening them in Him.  It is not a simple process but it is necessary and I am thankful that in this new season, His love remains.


Last Year At This Time

Lately every day I have found myself saying the following:

Last year at this time I was….

In Amsterdam

In India

In Spain

and so on and so on.

If I really think about it I guess I have always struggled living in the here and now.  Instead, my thoughts drift to the past or hope for the future.

There is nothing wrong with remembering the past and planning for the future, however there is something we cannot miss about the here and now.

I am entering this new year with almost a sense of grief leaving behind everything this past year held for me.

This was the year I was able to live in a country I call home.  This was the year I received a front row seat to the amazing works God was doing in the lives of people God entrusted to me to minister His love, healing, and grace to.  This was the year I found myself really understanding and living out true obedience to our Lord and Savior.  This was the year I found myself fully relying on God in a way I never have before, ultimately bringing me much closer to Him.  This was the year I found myself so close to God’s broken heart.  This was the year I saw God provide for me in ways that I could never imagine possible.  This was the year I learned what a step of faith looks like, personally.  This was the year I understood what standing firm in God’s truth really means.  This was the year I met the man I have been waiting for…for a really long time!  This was the year I cried more tears than usual but also laughed more joyfully than usual.  This was the year God brought me to a job where I get to learn the value of life and use the talents and gifts He has given me for His glory.

There is an almost overwhelming sadness knowing that this year is going to be completely different from last year.  Part of me wants to go back.  Yet another part of me wants to embrace the here and now.

That is the part of me I am really embracing as I start this new year.  Maybe this new season of my life will be one where the BIG things of last year will not exist.  I have decided I am completely content with that.  In fact, I am excited for that because if there is one thing I have learned these past couple of months, it is that we cannot live for these BIG moments.  We must live for all of the little moments in between.  Any BIG thing is not the end, it is truly only the beginning.

So as I reflect on the BIG moments of 2016 I look forward with excitement for the true ending with God in Heaven one day.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:14



Joyful in Hope

I meet it as I lay my head down for the night.  As I settle into my bed, it settles to the rim of my eyelids and tears fall down my cheeks and find their way to my pillow.

I meet it in those moments throughout my day set aside for God.

I meet it as I see a reminder or think of where I was and what I was doing exactly a year ago this time.

And for all of the moments in between; I meet it then too.

It is this deep sadness in my heart.

Since being home I have had this deep sadness welling up in my heart and have been trying to get to the bottom of this feeling.

God is helping me see the source of this sadness and so much more.

While I was away I found myself saying, “I am so close to God’s broken heart.”

And I was.

I hugged and kissed His broken heart as I tucked sweet children into bed for the night.  Children who were born into a horror story, rescued into a home where they are safe, but are still left vulnerable, and scarred by pain and trauma they should have never known.

I looked into the eyes of His broken heart each time I looked into the teary eyed men who were once enslaved to addictions but have made that courageous decision to get help.

I felt the weight of His broken heart every time I allowed her tears to soak my shirt as I held her and she cried on my shoulder.  She was a victim of abuse, trauma, rejection but I saw her as a victor.

Being so close to God’s broken heart changed me.  Surprisingly, I did not feel hopeless for this brokenness I came to know so well.  Instead, I felt joyful in hope.

I knew well that brokenness caused by people can feel hopeless, but God was showing me that brokenness entrusted with Him is full of hope.

I found and held onto God’s promise for this brokenness in the midst of my many tears that fell from my eyes and heart each time I would encounter yet another piece of His broken heart.

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.  Psalm 126:5

I know for every tear that has fallen from my eyes over the brokenness my heart touched, would one day be turned into a beautiful song of joy and praise for God’s redemption, love, and grace.

Now that I am home away from this brokenness I knew so well for months and months, I find myself still with tears.

These tears fall because of the empty place His brokenness once filled.

I carried an imprint on my heart of His brokenness home with me but I can no longer hug it, kiss it, touch it, carry it.

It is in this empty place I’ve found this deep sadness settle.

All I can be reminded of is the same promise God spoke to me then;

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.  Psalm 126:5

This life will have us in tears more times than we would like to admit.  When we encounter brokenness it is my prayer that we can entrust it with God, knowing the hope we can have and the joy we can find to replace the sadness welling up.

And as for my tears that are still falling, I am waiting for the moment God turns them to tears of joy instead of tears from sadness.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Romans 12:12




Meeting in a Moment

Tonight, my eyes saw one of the prettiest sunsets.  The sun was only visible through its reflections on the clouds.  These reflections brought so much beauty for our eyes to see.

How special it was that God made the sky breathtakingly beautiful in that moment just for us to enjoy.

This beauty faded quickly.  In an instant the sun set and all of the unique ways it was shining through the clouds was over.

How easy it would have been to miss that beautiful moment from God tonight.

Coming home from about nine months out of the country has landed me in a difficult time of transition in my life.  It is a time I know more than ever that I need to fully rely on God.

Maybe this is why this moment with God tonight reminded my heart of the importance of stopping in the moment to really see and enjoy what is in front of us-not our problems, fears, struggles, or doubts…but rather God Himself.

To be still in His presence knowing that He is God.

To be quiet long enough to hear His voice for comfort, reassurance, direction, acceptance.

To be open to these moments with God as opposed to missing out.

Since being home it would have been easy for me to miss out on every moment God wanted to meet with me.  I found myself in a place of doubt, fear, anxiety, worry, sadness, and confusion. The very things clouding my vision from seeing God in the midst of it all.

The beauty I have seen tonight reminded me that God wanted to meet with me right where I was, in that dreaded place.

I am so thankful that God is shining a light on a new path with Him.  I am stepping out of all of the things that want to hold me back from seeing and enjoying God’s beauty in my life.  In these moments is when everything else fades away and all we can do is behold the beauty of our God in every season of our lives.

I desire for my eyes and heart to be open and ready to meet with God in those special moments He creates just for us to enjoy with Him.

Thank you Jesus for the moments you make throughout our days for us to behold your beauty.  Help us Father to never miss out on the best moments of our days-with You. 



King of My Heart

Let the King of my heart

be the mountain where I run

The Fountain I drink from

Oh He is my Song

Let the King of my heart

be the shadow where I hide

the randsom for my life

Oh He is my Song

These lyrics are from a song I have simply come to love.  We sang this song at a worship night and God used it to speak straight to my heart.

Earlier that day I was wrestling with my thoughts yet again.  It is just so hard to be “home” after making my home in foreign places during the last nine months of my life.

My time away encouraged and highlighted these passions I have deep in my heart.  The most obvious of passions being India and women rescued from sexual exploitation.

Now that I am home I find these passions fading away, or so I thought.  And is exactly what I thought just before I walked into worship.  Fear and doubt knocked on the door of my heart as I wondered how these passions could possibly be fading away from my heart when I was certain God was the one who had put them there.

Then we sang the song above and in an instant God asked me the following:

What is the king of your heart, Diane?

When I thought about my answer everything became clear to me.

These passions of mine aren’t fading away they are just falling into place.  It is not the easiest process to watch passions of yours fall away from places of your heart they are just not meant to be.  But it is oh so necessary because of the following:

I am not to love what God has called me to more than I love Him.

I am not to focus my attention on the things I do for the Lord more than I focus on Him.

I am not to do for God more than simply being His.

I am not to get caught up in the needs all around me more than I get caught up in sitting still in God’s presence.

With passions as the “king of our heart” we cannot rely on them, depend on them, trust in them for anything.  Only when God is the King of our heart can we rely fully, depend completely, and trust wholeheartedly in Him to keep these passions and fulfill them in His time in His way.

When these passions of mine fall I trust they are landing in the places they need to be.  The places where God wants them to be for Him to grow them deeper and use them best for the purposes He has planned since before I was even born.

And as the song continues to play, my heart fills with thankfulness to God for protecting the throne of my heart to be only His.









When You Don’t Know

In April, I made my way back to Amsterdam to attend a six week seminar surrounding the topic of human trafficking and the Christian response.  The seminar was quite intense, hearing from just over 20 speakers from all aspects of this injustice: prevention, awareness, aftercare, law-enforcement…just to name a few.

I remember one of the first days being bombarded with the following question:

After you see what you see and hear what you hear are you going to be able to say at the end of the day that God is good?

For the remainder of my time at the seminar and during my time in Spain working in an aftercare home for women, the question was on the back of my mind.  Now that I am home, this question remains.

My answer has always been and still is, of course, God is good no matter what.  The problem with this answer is that it was not the answer of my heart until recently.

Being home has its own set of challenges.  I have had so much change in the last nine months.  Being home brings more change and a lot of unknowns.

I do not know what this next season of my life will look like.

I could think of all of the unknowns.  Trying to come up in my mind with different plans and ideas and thoughts of what I could possibly do or where God possibly wants me to go and do.  And this is what I have been doing a lot of.

The only thing this does is cause an unnecessary and ridiculous amount of anxiety.

I realized that I have a choice to make during this transitional time of my life.  I can continue to focus on the unknowns driving myself into an overwhelming pit of anxiety, doubt, and fear OR I can choose to give God the unknowns and focus my thoughts on all of the things I do know.

Because when it comes down to it, God knows each of my unknowns.  I do not need to think about them because He already has.  I need to think about all of the things I do know.

In this process of making my little list of things I know that I am going to focus on from now on, I realized one of the things I know that I know that I know is:

God is GOOD.

This isn’t just an empty phrase.  This is truth that has been rooted deeply into my heart especially during the last nine months of my life.

As I followed God into dark places, His goodness remained.

As I saw heartache and despair, God’s goodness was found.

As I listened to stories that should have never been a reality for God’s precious children, I learned of the goodness God alone is using to rewrite these stories.

I always like to remind myself of the following, if God has done something before it is a good indicator that He is going to do it again.  It will look differently but it will be His best.

Reflecting back on all of the goodness of God that I have seen and experienced reminds this weary heart of mine that His goodness will continue.

So as I sit here with the threat of unknowns ready to devour my peace, I hold onto the goodness of God.  I hold onto my little list of the good things about God that I am going to focus on.

As I continue on this path God has me on to see the brokenhearted and journey with them to Him, this question will continue to challenge me.  Knowing God’s goodness will not always come naturally, but I am thankful for those moments I have had witnessing His goodness and as I focus on those I wait with eager anticipation for all of the future goodness of the Lord.

Thank you Jesus for eyes that see Your goodness no matter what.

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Psalm 27:13





Into the Depths of His Love

Spiraling downward…that is how I have felt.

Downward into what?  It would have been easy to be convinced I was going to a place of despair.  A place of darkness.  A place so filled with doubt and fear there is no space for light, love, peace.

For many moments throughout my time here in Amsterdam I almost lost hope and accepted this pit of despair.

Thankfully, when fear invaded my heart and tried to paralyze me, God was there through prayers of sweet friends.

When I wanted to give up and go home, sermons from back home encouraged me to persevere.

When doubt filled my mind, I emptied my mind into God’s hands and received His truth to meditate on.

It was in each of these moments I realized the truth of the depths I was diving deeper into: God’s love.

The enemy wanted to discourage me.  He wanted me to believe the lie that I was drifting away from God’s love.

In these moments God gave me His eyes to see.  Clearly.

I am drifting into the depths of God’s love for me every time I find the courage inside to stand against the enemy’s schemes of destruction and hold fast to God’s Right Hand.

God is with me in the quiet green pastures and He is with me in the valley of the shadow of death.

This past six weeks has been hard, but it has also been a time where I have felt moments of God’s joy like never before.  Moments where I have been more sure of God’s never ending love for me than ever before.  Moments where I have just held His Word in my hands and heart knowing I am secure.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,…Ephesians 3:17b-18

Thank you Jesus for taking me deeper into the depths of your love.