Today I’m linking up at (in)courage after banding together with the Five Minute Friday girls to write fast and furious over at Lisa-Jo’s for five minutes of ordinary extraordinary. These words are about trying to be in control, being scared of community, and ultimately finding my way home. It’s Five Minute Friday and (in)courage combined, two places that feel like home. It’s about finding my people and refusing to let anyone tell a twenty-one year old girl to dream small. It’s about the rainbow in the storms that come.

I avoid mud.

I step around and jump above and will walk all around it but no ma’am, I’m not going through.

Give me a pair of rain boots and I’ll play all day, but unless I come prepared I’d rather not come at all.

That’s fine and good until that mentality sneaks into other areas of my life. I’d rather not go too far down the path of relationship, get too close to each other, because the road may narrow and you may go your own way.

I’d rather not pour my heart out because I’ve seen it before and I know it can happen again. I watch the boys come and go, the issues come and go, and I stay the same but it’s never my name that gets called.

I check the forecast of the weather like I check the temperature of the oven or peer in on how I’m loving.



Before rolling out of bed I pull open the app and check for rain.

I’ve got to be prepared – not just for the day but for life {like that’s even possible}.

When the storm clouds roll into the relationships and the thunder rages close by, more than anything I just want to run. I’ve lived the storms.

Someone has said it before and my life shouts its truth: You are either headed into a storm, in the middle of a storm, or coming out of a storm. But no matter what, you’re close to a storm.

It’s depressing, really.

But then I did this thing that felt so crazy and stupid that I shake my head now and think, “Oh Kaitlyn… you silly girl.”

And then I follow it up thinking, “Aren’t you so glad you risked being brave? What joy you would have missed.”

I chose to dance in the puddles and make houses out of mud. I chose to let community heal what it had broken and sometimes the choosing happened so subtly that I didn’t notice. Other times it happened in late night talks or sonic happy hour runs.

One time it happened in a hashtag. #192HoursOfPrayer

PrayingForKaitlynBecause you prayed me to Haiti and you prayed me right back and all along the middle, every hour of the day, you prayed safety and peace and love right over me.

Under the shade tree at 4:00pm I would hear, “Hey Kait, who is praying for us right now?” Some times at late night meetings we would look at the screenshot on my phone and pray over the woman praying for us right then. Over and over we pulled up your names and my smile grew so wide because finally I saw it all merging together:

My people, in real life and online, all sharing in daily community and loving each other thousands of miles and Internet cables apart.

We would pass it around and I’d hand you over and they didn’t know it, but as they zoomed in to look at a spreadsheet they were looking at my heart.

You hold my heart in a way that terrifies me, but you hold it lovingly, safely close to your own hearts.

And so I’m in it for the long-haul. For the push and shove and love so deep it tears something inside.

I think I’ll put on my rain boots and stay a while.




I’ve gone and done it and yeah, I’m sitting here wondering what I’ve gotten myself into.

I feel like I’m dancing to the tune of truth mixed with lies and the tape is scratched and wound up all wrong.

I don’t have a “following.” This doesn’t feel like a platform. I do my best to not look at the numbers because that’s not what it’s about for me. The hard part, though, is that I want my words to make a difference. I want to have an impact, to leave an after of love.

I want to tell His stories. I want to encourage others that it just takes one and every story matters.

So I signed up to go to Rwanda. And I knew, even as I clicked submit, that it would be a very very very long shot. Because to go requires votes. Lots of them.

Remember how I don’t have a “following”? Yeah.

So I’m out on a limb with my hopes high and dreams deep and I’m typing these words trying not to cry because Haiti, she did something to me. There are so many stories to tell and although I’m just beginning to scratch the surface, these are stories you may never hear otherwise.

Stories I never would have known.

Someone has got to tell them. I’m willing for it to be me. Even if Africa messes me right up.

Especially if Africa messes me right up.

Because Africa doesn’t need me – I need Africa.

I’m not Jesus.

It sounds ridiculous and small and so very obvious to type it out right there in black but I need to see it and I need to hear it come from my own self.

I am not Jesus and I am not made to have a following. I am made to follow.

So I will. Right into a possible trip to Rwanda.

If you feel led to vote, you most certainly can. You can vote once every 24 hours from now until May 28th. You can tweet the link to my page or Facebook it. Or you can click around and vote for another woman who is equally deserving and wonderful – because they all are.

We can all follow together the One who loves Africa and Haiti and Birmingham and London and every single one of His daughters spread round this world.