15 March 2017

more so

I don't think I've ever been this exhausted in my life.  I'm not even kidding, and I have HAD BABIES.  The last three days have been nuts, and then today before 6 getting myself ready, then getting all the girls ready, then driving the carpool at 7:10, rushing back to send Sofie off at 7:30, teaching from 8-11, chapel at 11:30, then leaving at 1 to spend the afternoon chauffeuring our film crew and students to DuFour, translating testimonies, getting home at 5, then spending tonight in the chapel recording music with the crew and students....like, I'm ready to drop.  I dropped.

I would pay someone 8 million dollars to bring me a pint of Ben and Jerry's right now.

And I need to say that I NEVER could be doing all of this without Matt if it weren't for the mighty help of a mighty community, like Julie taking Sofie to school and Erin bringing her home and Shelley bringing Lily home and Katie and then Micheline and then Emily watching Nora and Haley taking the girls to prayer meeting with her.

So why am I blogging instead of in bed.
I am blogging because today God faced a series of my doubts with His mighty hand, victorious, and I'm bubbling authentic pride in my God and His children.

Can we be proud of God?  I don't know.  That might not be the right sentiment.  Amazed.  Awed.

Here's the confession of my doubts.

Matt set up for this awesome film crew to come and try to capture, like in 5 minutes, all of the complexities and depth and community and calling of Emmaus.  They're supposed to capture transformation and light and freedom and special-ness.  And we were all pumped, and then he left, and then the day came for them to come, and I'm on the way to the airport, and it hits me.

What if I've been WRONG all this time?  Like what if I bring them home and send them to classes and church plants and chapel and it's all a DUD? What if they feel like we're wasting their time?  What if the think there's nothing to tell? What if I interview a dozen students with them, what if they see three days, what if they film, and it's NOT...what if it's NOT transforming, and NOT powerful, and NOT special...what if I've been rosy-eyed or over-pumped or in-too-deep or WRONG?  What if when it's time to boil it all down to five minutes on film...there is NOTHING.

Control-o-Stacey started to crowd in...maybe I should prep the students ahead of time what they should say, or tell the staff what it needs to look like, or only create moments for them that look how I think they should look, or...

I brought them home, and this morning, I just started my day, and they did their thing.  I didn't have the time or the energy to control one single thing.  

Praise the Lord.

And this afternoon, I piled them into the back of our truck with seven of our dear brothers and sisters, and we made our way to DiFour's weekly Wednesday Bible study, and there was nothing I could do but watch and listen and pray.

And the person who learned the very most today about God was Stacey. 

How arrogant of me, to suddenly have God's work at Emmaus on display and to think that I have anything to do with it, or should.  How untrusting of me to think for a second that God or the students needed my help shining His work in a certain light.  How obscene of me to worry.  Worry in the hands of a Mighty and Powerful God, to second-think all the mighty works of His hand already.

Forget stupid cameras.

I've never been so proud in my life.
I wondered if it was all real, and it is MORE so.  

I wondered if it was all truly important, and actually life-changing, and transforming, and it. is. MORE. so.

I wondered if the servant-work of Emmaus was as vital, as special, as powerful as I thought it was, and it. is. MORE so.
The answers the staff and students gave were more direct, more powerful, more inspiring than ANYTHING I could have ever come up with.

Watching them...watching Belony lead the little children with patience and enthusiasm and grace and joy, all while holding a teary two-year old, through scripture passages and songs...

Watching Leme crouch down in his work clothes and hold hands and wipe noses and sing a the top of his lungs.
do you see those tennis shoes? Those are Belony's beautiful feet, bringing good news RIGHT where it's needed, right where it's never been given
Watching Phida with the young women, hanging on every encouraging word she said, seeing and wanting Jesus in her.

Watching Nosebin transform from our shy student to the lead-pastor, taking command of the tent with grace, everyone immediately following along, listening to him disciple simply and directly a large group of people, many of whom could not read, calling upon them by name, preaching the true Gospel.

Watching Jacsene's smile light up as right-then-and-there he led an elderly woman to the Lord, simply by saying, "Maman, I've been continuing to pray for you.  Don't you think it's time to stop following your own path and start following God's? Couldn't I tell you how?"

I listened.  I asked the crew's hard questions.  I watched.

And it is MORE so.

And with children singing in the background, with the Bible study carrying on behind us, Emmaus told me how God brought them to himself, how God brought them to Emmaus, and how God has used Emmaus to completely and totally transform their lives, not just teaching them to GO, but to SEND them, to be SENDING them, to be GOING with them.
I listened as they talked about all the many obstacles and how God has used Emmaus to encourage and uplift and overcome them.

I listened as they talked about having never known family, having been disowned, having been ridiculed, having been persecuted, having been hungry, having been homeless, and about how the family and love and guidance and authentic Christ-following they have found at Emmaus has equipped and trained and enveloped them into men and women who are hungry for the Gospel, who are urgent to live and share it, who have miraculously found family alongside.

What I thought God was capable of doing, what I thought was His strength and power and provision and calling, what I thought God was doing through Emmaus...

It is MORESO.  

And I am very blessedly NOT in control of one stinking thing, but along for the ride, a poured out vessel, a tongue to translate words NOT my own, a dirty pair of feet to spread not MY Gospel, to follow NOT my path, a heart to deeply love NOT my people with NOT my love, an ambassador of reconciliation NOT of my own making, a servant not even fit to untie His sandal, and I am humbled.

I am pleasantly and deeply humbled, for I doubted Him, and today tasted and saw that He is More So.


  1. Hi Stacey. Thank you for your honesty as well as making the time and effort last night to share. I'm very glad that you have learned and grown through this experience and want you to know that I have done the same through your testimony. God is good. Barry.

  2. How very exciting. It will be enlightening to see how God boils all of this down into 5 minutes!! Love you Stacey for all the extra effort you put forth for Him.