Looking for my Dream

Have you ever been in the middle of a crazy, busy something or other fighting a melt down and then the perfect words come along and all the sudden you have nearly an out of body experience?

I did this summer. All my life, I have fought the battle of “who am I?” and “there’s nothing special about me.”

It was even worse this summer when I was on the creative arts team with four girls more talented than me in one way or another. I know what you’re saying here, “Jackie, you’re talented too” or “Maybe you aren’t an amazing singer but you have other talents.” But for the sake of this blog, just put away those thoughts and start with the premise that most of the time, I feel plain and inadequate for recognition. 

Back to this summer, one of the songs we performed was “Free to Be Me” by Francesca Battistelli. One of the times in July after I had just turned 20, I was having a really rough day of feeling like there was no real reason for me to be there. Then came time for me to sing this song with two other girls.

At this stage in my life, nothing describes me better than that song. Even more specifically, the first line could have been written by me. I do not know who I am or where I will be in a few years even though I am constantly asked the question of what I’m doing after graduation.

But that hot July day in Orlando, Florida when I was close to tears and falling apart, I realized that it was okay that I didn’t have a clue because God is control and he has plans for me. I could live in a big city or a tiny town. I could get married in the next 6 months or I could stay single forever. I might graduate and start working right away or I might go to grad school or even seminary.

Who knows? Oh wait. God does. And that is what gives me peace in the middle of chaos.

One day I might find a dream but for now it’s just loving God and his people and that’s alright with me. 

The lyrics to the song are below in case you don’t know it and you took the time to read this far. If you did, feel free to say paisley out loud… Promise I’ll hear it 🙂 

At twenty years of age I’m still looking for a dream
A war’s already waged for my destiny
But You’ve already won the battle
And You’ve got great plans for me
Though I can’t always see

‘Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together 
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I’m so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me


Home sweet home.

Home is where the heart is.

Home is wherever I’m with you.

I spent the summer in Orlando, Fl missing my Mississippi home. Then I got home on July 31st and discovered that home wasn’t quite the same. In fact, I missed my “home” in Florida. It was like my soul couldn’t quite figure out where it belonged anymore.

So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household Ephesians 2:19 

I learned so many things this summer. I changed and grew in so many ways. I could probably write a book about everything I learned and then remember more stuff. I am still learning from this summer, a month after I’ve been gone. One of the biggest lessons I learned was that my home is not on this Earth. My home is with Jesus in Heaven and I am just a wanderer waiting on his call to leave until then. I do not know what his goal for me being here is but “To live is Christ; To die is gain.” At the moment I am a junior at Mississippi State University majoring in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. What will I be doing in two years? I don’t know. I’m not even certain of what I will be doing in two days. My purpose is to be a christian who happens to be a college student not the other way around.

Week 8

So it’s been a little while since I posted and in the craziness of schedules, somewhere along the way I missed a week or two of updates. I cannot believe I am in the 8th week. At the beginning of the summer, ten weeks sounded insurmountable and now I’m already considering the possibility of other, possibly longer and farther away, mission trips. 

Several Kids Clubs in a row my partner and I had no kids so on Thursday, we decided to pray hard for the upcoming Saturday. This did indeed pan out.  We met a family of girls. Twins age twelve with an eight year old sister and their cousins eight year old twins from New York. It was quite an experience. The only thing they knew about the South was from Hannah Montana. The girls told us they didn’t go to church and they didn’t know what church really was. We gave these girls salvation bracelets and a Bible. When I got back into the pool with the girls, I hadn’t told them what the colors on the salvation bracelet stood for. So before entering the pool, I prayed asking Jesus to do it for me because I needed his help and didn’t know how to approach the subject. Well, as soon as I got into the water, one of the girls, Samantha, came and said thank you for the bracelets, which I saw as the perfect opportunity to tell her what the colors meant. After I started telling her, the rest of the girls gathered round without any prodding from me. They listened intently until they had to leave. I can only hope and pray now that the seed I planted is fertilized by someone from their home.


God has taught me so much this. Living and working with nineteen teammates has taught me has taught me a new kind of love and a more extensive depth of patience. I have learned to rely on God and not myself. When I am weak (which is always), he is strong. The times I think I cannot go on, God tells me that I am right I cannot go on. I must let him do the work. I’ve also learned the importance of being a hard worker and being respectful no matter what. I love being here and having a purpose to do intentional mission work. It inspires me that I can do this at home as well. 

Prayer Request: The most important thing at this point in t he summer is to finish well and not be mentally home and physically here as well as to love each other in all that we do

Week 5 Update

Week 5
I cannot believe I am already writing my week 5 update! This marks the halfway point of the summer for me. I love the work I am doing here. I feel like I am growing and learning so much while I am here. I love getting to hang out with kids in a pool three days a week. It amazes me how trusting and loving kids are! You would not believe the global impact being in Orlando has unless you came here and did ministry yourself. I personally have talked to people from at least 5 different countries and several different states. The team has a whole has talked to people from over 25 different countries!! And we are only half way through the summer. The CA team performances are getting better each week. It amazes me what an impact it has as well. People actually stop and pay attention and talk to us afterwards.

Last week I have helped with VBS at FBC Taft, the church I am serving at on Sunday’s and Wednesday’s this summer. It was been such a joy to take part in that! Kids are so funny and cute! On a side note, for VBS, my team and I were required to wear togas. When I got my assignment of Orlando, Florida, I never dreamed I’d be wearing a toga to church. They weren’t kidding when they said “be flexible.” Then, this past Monday, the very loving and godly pastor of FBC Taft took the five of us serving at his church to Animal Kingdom! It was a wonderful experience for all of us. 

We are at the point of the summer where we all know each other very well and have become like a family. This can sometimes be a double edged sword. It can be very helpful for ministry because we have great love for each other and know people’s strength’s and weaknesses very well. It can also be a hindrance because like any normal family, we get irritated, fuss, fight, and occasionally lose focus of the reason we are here: To glorify God. Sometimes it is hard, however I am convinced there is a reason I ended up here in such a roundabout way. Such things are never coincidence.

Prayer requests: please pray for the team so that we can continue to be unified and loving even when things get tense, pray for the health of the team, and pray for our paths to cross with people who need to hear as well as boldness for us to proclaim Christ’s love and Gospel!

Be Content



I keep seeing the quote of “Dance with God and he’ll let the perfect man cut in.”
No! Dance with God and bask in the fact that the creator of the universe loves you so much he sent his son to DIE for you, sinful and selfish though you may be. Christ’s love on the cross has got to be enough. You will never be satisfied with relationships on this earth. Christ alone can shower you in love.
Dance with God. Period. The end. Don’t worry about the rest of it. If God sends a non perfect human man at some point, that’s beautiful but God doesn’t owe you ANYTHING. So be thankful no matter what your ultimate relationship status.

God burdened my heart with this and I wanted to share it with as many people as possible. Learn to be content. 

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13

Break My Heart for What Breaks Yours

Week 4 Update
The main thing that Jesus has been doing this week has been internal and not external. At the beginning of this summer, I prayed for Jesus to make my heart compassionate once again. Having a compassionate, bleeding heart is a double edged sword and a hard cross to bear. While I am blessed with the ability to love and care deeply for people who are hurting, my heart breaks for situations that I have no control over. It’s emotionally exhausting. So instead of using that gift, I chose to cut my emotions off, be selfish, and become cynical and judgmental. I didn’t even realize that God had my changed heart until last night when several girls kept commenting on my sweet spirit and how much I cared.I knew that this change was not from me! God has blessed me with the ability to love deeply and he wants me to care for and comfort his children. I apologize if this isn’t exciting because the bulk has been about me and not my ministry but God has to change my heart before he can use me to change the hearts of the broken. So here’s to emotional vulnerability and casting all my cares and the ones of others that Christ has burdened me with on him who cares for me.
Now, to the external ministry in Orlando. Let me say it again, I was blessed with an amazing team. The girls I’m serving with have blessed me and challenged me to grow in ways they will never understand. I love the fact that I have 15 new sisters. 

Kids club have been going great. My partner and I never have many kids but we have had great quality in spite of the small quantity. Last Thursday, I met a 9 year old boy from England who studied the Bible in school. He thought our story of Jesus calming the storm was really cool! However, when we began telling him how God created him and the universe, he promptly told no that’s not how it happened. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such stout atheism from a child. It broke my heart. I don’t understand how you can be on Orlando, Florida with lush green grass and palm trees even in the middle of town and doubt the existence of a greater power. That is definitely an important prayer request. We gave the boy a Bible and highlighted a few verses in John and Romans so hopefully, my partner and I have planted a seed in this boys life that will grow to fruition later in life. 

Creative Arts Team: Things with the creative arts team have been wonderful! I love getting the opportunity to share Christ’s love with nonbelievers as well as encouraging fellow disciples of Christ. I never realized how much of an impact I could have on fellow Christians. God is already using me in ways I never expected. 

Prayer Requests: Pray for the boy from England that God will place someone in his life to further point him to Christ. Pray for the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of myself and the rest of the team. Pray for divine appointments with all that we do. 

Thank you for your interest and concern! I love y’all! 

Relying on Christ’s Strength

“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful God’s best may be for us” C.S. Lewis

“Jesus asks nothing of us without giving us the strength to perform it.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I can’t believe I am already in my third week at Rock Ministries. Part of me feels like I got here yesterday while the other part can’t believe the unconquerable ten weeks is already whittled down to seven. 

Things are finally starting to get busy! And for that I am very thankful. Yesterday, the creative arts team had our first performances of singing, dancing, and puppets. We performed at Macdonald’s and on the lawn of a hotel off of I-Drive. For those of you who have never dealt with puppets, its hard word, y’all!

As much as I was not looking forward to all of that, at the end of the day I am a performer at heart and I love to be in front of an audience glorifying God while making people laugh, smile, ooh and ahh. The performances went very well and will continue to get better as the summer progresses! I am not sure why God wanted me here at this time and place so much, but he always wants and achieves the best for me and his glory. Even when I think, it’s too painful and hard. The process of getting me here at this specific time and place started at the very least three years. That is why it is so important for me simply to be faithful and follow him without question. Everyday, I have to pray to Jesus to give me the strength to perform the duties he has called me to do because I CANNOT DO IT ALONE. 

Kids Club this week have been great. Thursday, my partner, Carley, and I gave a Bible to a girl from Liverpool, England who had never heard of the Bible or God. Y’all, that broke my heart but she is heading back with a little seed of God’s love that could grow into anything at all! In addition to that, I also met a Chinese lady from Boston with an adorable three year old who was thrilled to learn that we were summer missionaries there to share God’s love and I met a little girl from Venezuela who could not speak any English but enjoyed doing the craft with us. On the back of the craft I wrote “Jesus Loves You.”  When her mom read it, she indicated that she loves Jesus as well. It is so encouraging to meet people who love Jesus and are excited we are there! 

Prayer requests: the health of the team again, specifically myself, and the wisdom to follow Christ wholeheartedly even when his best is painful