A little over 1,800 days ago I pulled up a blank page and said yes. With the words “it just takes one” rolling around in my mind, I created an online space just for me with the tag line “learning to stand up in a fallen world.”
I was sixteen and just a few days into 11th grade but somewhere inside I knew it – if one person can change the world, then I wanted to be that one girl.
I also knew at sixteen I didn’t want all the Internet stalkers to find me and so I needed a fake name. OneGirl fit.
What I didn’t know is that every person is that OneGirl and that OneGuy because when every story matters, then it really just takes one story to change this whole world. When you change the world for just one person, you flat out hands down change the world.
When I wrote those first lines and saw the black text spreading across the screen as I tapped those keys, I had no idea that a simple blog about worship songs and reality TV (yes. bless it.) would become the heartbeat of a broken girl, wary of community, hurt by the church, and certain that love was just a silly word no one actually understood.
I didn’t know God would use my blog to save me, to show me the darkness and the depth of my sin, and to show me His continued faithfulness despite all I am. And then, miracle of miracles, He used this broken journal of a space to bring back the broken community.
He used It Just Takes One to reconcile me to love and to restore a long-gone friendship. Sometimes we walk through the desert and God hands us a microphone and simply says “speak.” And we don’t know what to say and so we just share our heart and slowly people come and sit and listen and it’s there that we find that sometimes we heal stronger. Our broken places often become our ministry.
He laid Story on my heart last June and it has been a glowing, burning fire in my soul that I can not shake or quench. If you were to ask my closest friends what I’m passionate about, they would say “story” without any hesitation.
And so when I was asked this past February what my ministry is, for the first time in my entire life I began to see my writing as more than a tool to encourage – I began to see it as a gift. And that has changed everything.
I have grappled and wrestled and denied it. I have wondered and worried and questioned. And I have submitted, handing it back over to the One who holds the pen in the first place.
I’m twenty-one and days away from entering my senior year of college. I don’t know what I’ll do come May, whether I’ll pursue grad school or a job, whether I’ll live in Nashville or Colorado or Haiti, but I do know that it’s time.
Months ago I claimed each of these 500+ posts as His and gave over however many more He would have me write, whether 3 or 79 or 1,000. But today I share them.
With friends, with family, with strangers.
With my name.
I’m saying yes, inviting everyone over, pulling up a chair, and crossing my fingers that you’ll sit down and stay for a little while. I’ll put in a pan of brownies and even pour a few glasses of milk.
If you line up what I know and don’t know about this ‘Yes,’ there are a million things in the Unsure category and only one in the Sure: He will be Faithful.
And so I will be faithful in my yes. One yes at a time.
I’m no longer that sixteen-year-old broken, bleeding girl. He has wooed me back to community, led me to love and serve His Bride, and shown me what Love really is.
Just like Kristen says when talking about her trip to Kenya, I probably should have moved on from the lessons and the experiences and the miracles – but I can’t. I cannot be “over” what God has done. I am changed and I am daily figuring out what this looks like lived out.
More than anything, I want to love much and love well. When I’ve taken my final breath, the only thing I want to be known for is how I loved. I want to say a million yeses to loving extravagantly, against all the odds, when things looked hopeless, and when it would have been okay to walk away. I want to press in and love much.
It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving. Mother Teresa
I feel Him stirring inside and turning the pages to a new chapter in the Story of my life. I grew up at It Just Takes One and I’ll say a million little yeses at KaitlynBouchillon.com.
A year after the power of Story shook my life upside-down, I read these words with tears falling down while a boat rocked underneath me, my friendship-miracle friend sitting just a few feet to my left:
I love how God can turn the thing that hurts you into the thing that heals you. He can take community-inflicted wounds and mature you, make you dependent on Him, and allow the body of Christ to play a big role in your healing. Kristen Welch, Rhinestone Jesus
He turns messes into masterpieces and tests into testimonies. Not everyone will believe in me or understand my heart or these words, but as Kristen says, “That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. It just means you’ve got to remember who you’re doing it for. We aren’t called to do big things; we are just called to do something that fulfills this command: Love God. Love others.”
And in the margins I simply wrote “it just takes one…”
Today, this is my yes. This is my broken story, shared so that He may receive the glory only He deserves. He is doing a new thing and I am saying yes.
What is He asking you to say “yes” to, friend? It doesn’t have to be big. Sometimes small is the biggest brave there is. I would love to hear your “yes” in the comments below, to personally welcome you to this new home where we’ll simply continue the conversations, and to gift one of you a copy of Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch.
I read Rhinestone Jesus while spending a week with this beautiful friend. I said “I can’t stand this book” so many times that she began to laugh every time I reached for my pen. Because the thing is, every few pages I would take another deep breath, underline a a paragraph, and be challenged all over again in what it means to say yes to God. Saying yes isn’t always sparkly, shiny, or well-known. Saying yes often means serving in the background, wrestling and fighting for Truth, and simply loving His people.
Rhinestone Jesus is a much needed wake-up call for this generation. Trust me, you’ll be saying the same thing as you highlight and underline every other page.