An Update on Just Erica Lynne


Dear readers, so much has occurred in my life since my last personal post.

Well, let’s begin with my love life, since that usually seems to pique the interest of others. I am pleased to admit to you that I am dating a wonderful man who inspires me daily to seek after Christ and my dreams more and more. He is a blessing to me and I am currently in the process of trying to be the best helpmate I can be for him. I’ve learned countless lessons with him in my life. There’s more I’d like to share about this relationship, but I will defer this topic until another time.

Next, you should know that I have a big-girl job! After a nauseatingly laborious summer working at a pizza place, I was offered a part-time teaching position at my Alma Mater, EMCA, which is a small, private Christian school. There, I teach high school grammar and composition. It is the most amazing job for which I could ever have hoped. To say that I am learning a lot as a teacher would be an understatement. In fact, be on the look out for a post coming soon concerning a few lessons my heart has collected as a teacher.

In larger, life-changing news there are only 62 days left until I graduate from AUM with my undergrad degree. (Communication and Dramatic Arts with an Emphasis in Theatre as well as a minor in English.) Words cannot express how wonderfully excited I am to see that in just a little over two months, all of my hard work will have reached a perpetual culmination–and I will be able to say that I did it! I am going to walk across that stage, tears probably ruining my makeup, and smile as big as I possibly can!

I will never devalue my college years. They molded me into a hard-working student and I met some pretty amazing professors who have inspired me to pursue a career in education. I am thankful for all the papers, projects, boring lectures, and soul searching I was able to do while studying at AUM. I am grateful for my precious friends and family who supported me and gave me encouragement when I needed it. I am also incredibly thankful that I will be graduating completely debt free–which is something many of my contemporaries cannot say. I am thankful to God for blessing me beyond what I deserve.

Now, however, I’m at the point where I am trying to figure out how to pay it forward. How can I return to the world these blessings I have gained? What is my next step after this phase in life ends?

Well, I do know that I can begin with my students. Teaching while finishing my degree has its ups and its downs. I look forward to next semester when I can put even more of myself into my job and ministry with my students. I love what I am doing and each day I learn something else about myself as a person and myself as an educator. I do, however, find myself discouraged more often than encouraged because I know the kind of person and teacher I want to be. I often feel like I keep letting myself down. But, I digress–another topic for another time.

Life has also thrown a couple of small curve-balls at me. Last week I was diagnosed with having Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Finding out that I have this condition has given me a lot of relief about things going on in my body–I have a lot of answers now as to my recurring depression and other symptoms I have thought were “normal” for years. I go next week to discuss it more with my doctor and to figure out the steps I need to take in order for me to become healthy mentally and physically.

There is, however, a confession I should make to you all. After all, this wouldn’t be a Just Erica Lynne post if I wasn’t honest about my struggles.

I am struggling very, very much with anxiety. I have always had anxiety and in recent years, with quiet times, prayer, scriptural meditation, and fellowship my anxiety had become submissive to the Holy Spirit’s presence and wisdom. However, since my brief rebellion that I went through last year, I have had a hard time finding the will and the drive to seek God as I used to. I spend time in prayer everyday, though probably not as concentrated as I want to.  I also have been trying to incorporate scripture reading back into my life. But, can I just be honest? Sometimes I feel like such a fake. And, because I feel like such a fake sometimes, getting back to the basics of spiritual intimacy with God seems exhausting. My heart is heavy with anxiety and remorse over my sin, and I feel sometimes that it isn’t worth it to let God turn it around. That makes me sad… really, really sad because He is the one who pursued me so deeply and intimately when I was at the peak of my rebellion. He loved me and His grace surrounded me. His spirit echoed into mine that I was His and nothing could snatch me from His hand.

If I feel and know these truths, then why is it so hard to let his presence smooth out my anxiety? Why is it so hard to allow Him to get His hands elbow deep into my stormy heart and work things out? I know that the outcome will  be only for my good! I know that it will be only for His glory! I know that, after any suffering due to healing has been completed, there will only be peace!

So why… why dear readers am I so reluctant to let Christ invade every stinking bit of me?

Maybe because I know that if I do, it will cost me my control.

And, imagine, dear readers. If I would just relinquish my control, my anxiety would follow suit. But, because I cling so tightly to my control, my anxiety, in actuality, gives NO ONE control except my fearful, sick humanity. If, however, I would allow Christ the control, I would have a more trusting and peaceful outlook on life. It is when I am so busy anxiously scrapping for control that I lose it. On the other hand, it is when I so humbly place it at the feet of Christ when I realize that having the control was never meant for me anyway.

I long for my heart to be in unison with Christ’s again. With your prayers, I know it will get there.

In Christ,

Just Erica Lynne

 

Thank you! #Share4Claire


I would like to thank everyone who has shared m recent posts about my friend Claire and the way many of her loved ones I wanting to honor her memory! I am so blown away and so thankful.

Many of you have donated to our team, which is participating in the Give Kids the World Gingerbread Run in November. Because of you, we have reached a total of donations amounting to $520! I can only imagine how many of you have donated to Claire in the memory individually! I just know she would be so pleased.

Additionally, there are also a few of Claire’s family members and close friends who will be participating in the run as well–which is simply fabulous!

Our goal is met for our team, but I would like to see the income doubled! So, I’m asking you guys to keep on spreading the word! You all have been so awesome! I already love each and everyone of you!

Don’t forget to #Share4Claire

Lovingly,

Erica Lynne

 

 

 

#Share4Claire Around the World


Dear Readers,

I am beyond thankful for the positive responses I have receive regarding the #Share4Claire post. This post is merely meant to serve as a follow up post to answer a few questions about it that I have received.

1.) YES! You may join our team and run in the Gingerbread Run on November 8th.
2.) YES! You may donate to GKTW in memory of Claire and still use the awesome hashtag, #Share4Claire.
3.) Any amount is acceptable. Our goal in sharing with Give Kids the World in memory of Claire is to give to one of her favorite places on earth now that she cannot physically do it herself.

I can only imagine how she would be reacting right now if she knew how much love was being poured out in her name and for the name of Christ because of her legacy. I know that the exchange of our sadness for the joy of others in her name is making her so very happy!

Thanks again everyone! #Share4Claire and spread the word!

Lovingly,

Erica Lynne

This is the entrance to Give Kids the World, a place that stole Claire's heart four years ago. They are constantly in need of volunteers and donations. The #Share4Claire movement is one that is dedicated to honoring Claire's name by supporting one of her favorite places on earth.

This is the entrance to Give Kids the World, a place that stole Claire’s heart four years ago. They are constantly in need of volunteers and donations. The #Share4Claire movement is one that is dedicated to honoring Claire’s name by supporting one of her favorite places on earth.

Run so Far


This post isn’t really like any others I have written. This is the beginning of what I hope will be a beautiful ending one day.

Since my trip back home from Orlando, a lot has changed.

There are a lot of confessions I could make… a lot of confessions I probably WILL make (if you’re one of my avid readers, then you know how much of an open book I am.) But, not tonight.

All I feel I should say right now is that I have been running. I have been running from God… running from Christianity… running from all my questions and doubts all the while saying that I’m trying to find the answers.

And now I feel so lost.

But one thing has been so very constant in my running–

I haven’t been alone. I have been pursued the whole time. I have been pursued by a loving God Father who, for months, I have been doubting.

And, I’m sure that to any skeptics out there reading this post this sounds totally cheesy and cliche–and believe me… just a few weeks ago I would have felt the same way (even though I knew it was true.)

So, readers… I guess this post is just to say that you can only run so far.  And, trust me… I have run far.

Maybe you are in a place where you are fed up with the church or  feel worn down. Please… please take my advice and learn from me. Running is not the answer. I’m not sure what  the answer is, exactly. But, maybe I will find out soon.

At this point I have a lot of walking to do. So, please be in prayer.

I am ever mindful that I am but dust. Yet, even now as I sit here writing this out, I feel the Lord and know that He is mindful. He is forgiving. His Grace is enough. This road certainly won’t be easy, but I can’t run from God any longer. On the other hand, I can’t keep pushing away my doubts an questions. Its time I face them head on.

But, for now… I’m just glad that my heart is still tender.

May yours be also.

Love, Erica Lynne

Mud and Contentment


Dear readers,

I’m tired.

I’m tired physically.

I’m tired emotionally.

I’m tired spiritually.

I’m tired mentally.

I’m tired.

I don’t even know how long I’ve been tired– that’s how tired I am.

In retrospect, I see now that everything I learned and experienced this summer has really impacted me and now I’m feeling the recoil. I’m feeling the anxiety of knowing that a few things need to change, but I’m too tired to pursue the process.

I just want to rest in Jesus.

I get so frustrated with myself some days that my heart’s cry is, “Let me be Home with You, Father! Where I am free of all of this and totally in union with you. Let me be free of my flesh entirely! Let me come Home.”

And, maybe that’s a cop out prayer.

I’m sure some of you are feeling cynical towards my seemingly depressed attitude–wagging your heads from left to right– probably thinking, “You’re 21! You have all you need or want. You have no reason to feel so ready to be in Heaven.”

And, I suppose you’d be right.

After all… it’s not like I’m dying from starvation in some third world country.

I’m not at the bed side of a loved one, watching and waiting for them to take there last breath.

I’m not dying in the name of Jesus as a martyr.

I’m just me. Just Erica Lynne. Just trying to figure out this mess in my head and in my heart.

Do you ever feel that way? Like, you’re stuck in mud and you want to get up and get yourself cleaned, but instead you just lay there and think– “Maybe there’s a reason I’m in the mud.” So, you sit and you wait and you pursue faithfulness while resting in the midst of your muddy discomfort.

Well, that how I feel.

It’s strange, I suppose. Here I am… in my mud. I feel anxious– but not a stirring kind of anxious… not a sinful kind of anxious… just a waiting anxiety. A… peaceful anxiety.

I know something is coming. I know there is a reason I am in my particular mud. And, no one can help me out. No one is meant to help me because I am meant to be here. There is a reason. There is a purpose. So, I will rest in the mud, knowing that my Hope is in Jesus– and praise GOD that the Hope in Jesus is never fading… never ending… never absent.

One thing in which I find joy: That Jesus was  for a me a Lamb, and now is for me a Lion. He is forever my Home.

Not that I have achieved it, but I will. It is secure.

What is “it”?

My Home…. Jesus.

I have Him, and He has me! That will never change. I can always have more of Him– yet even what I DO have of Him is sweetly more than enough! But, one day I will not see as through a dirty, dim mirror… one day I will see clearly…. Oh, how wonderful that day will be!

I like to craft, as many of you know. I don’t have a lot of time for it, but it is quite pleasurable. My most recent crafting binge is where I take picture frames, paint them black and then I paint the glass with chalk board paint. I have made SEVERAL of these and a few of them are hanging in my room. One of them hangs just above my bed and it has a line from a Jenny and Tyler song, This is Just So Beautiful. It reads, “Wave goodbye-bye-bye to what used to weight me down… this is just so beautiful.” Another reads, “Feed the Spirit, not the flesh.” Another, ” Jesus is my Home.” and the last one says, “If I don’t make it back to this house, just know I made it Home.- Love Eka.”

I feel like these messages perfectly sum up my… mud and my contentment.

This is just so beautiful.

Love and blessings,

Erica Lynne

Umm, so where do I go again?– A Case of Word Vomit– And, maybe I AM an introvert


Dear readers,

Readjusting has been hard.

There. I said it.

I thought it would be easy. I thought it would be a piece of cake.

I’ve always considered myself a chameleon of sorts– an adaptable person. Aside from my idiosyncrasies and my quirks and metal blocks… I’m a fairly down-to-earth person. Or– maybe its just that I’m aware that people will be different, and I want to love them anyways. Ah! I don’t even care.

Whatever the case is… coming back home has been difficult. I feel like I don’t know where I fit in.

I am, of course, super involved in theatre right now–seeing as how it’s my senior year and I have requirements to fulfill. (16 hours of classes, plus 40 hours of theatre a week.) Which, leaves little to no time for BCM stuff. And, practically no time for friends except for maybe on weekends– but only when I can stir up enough patience to get out of the house and see people.

So, here’s the bottom line:

I don’t know where I fit in anymore. I used to spend every free minute with my friends, but things have changed since I left for Orlando. My closest friends are enjoying and living their own lives of school and relationships– which is fine! They are growing up and branching out and that TRULY makes me so very happy for them. But, what I’m realizing now, is that with them not always present in my life like they used to be… there’s something missing. A place of belonging. With my friends, most of the time I can be myself. Everything of who I am can come out with them. But, as I’ve said already… things have changed and are changing. My reality is different. It is way different than when I left and I wasn’t entirely prepared for it.

So, with things changing and even my own desires changing (I’ve been longing for alone time more and more recently) I’m left to my family…

And cue the crying.

I don’t know where or how I fit in with them. Don’t get me wrong… my family is great and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the whole world– except for maybe chocolate… I like Chocolate.

But, seriously. Since I was a kid, I have trained myself to stay in my room. My room was safe. No one could make fun of me there. No one could embarrass me there or make me feel like I didn’t fit in. Because, after all.. I did fit into my room. It was my place of sanctuary where I could cry and scream and throw things and laugh and color and play pretend. My room was the place where I could be anything I wanted and no one would laugh at me. My room was the place I could sing and practice guitar and it didn’t matter how awful it sounded.

My room was where I hid for protection.

But now, I’m older. Since I’ve been home, I’ve been trying to come out of my room more. I want to have better relationships with my family because they’re all I have right now. And, it’s been working well. Things have been really great at home and I love spending time with my parents.

How did all of this come about? Maybe I should’ve started with this…

A few days before I left Orlando, I was sitting with my hall mates– three girls that I couldn’t have survived the summer without.

That whole week I had it pressed on my heart that they didn’t understand my living habits– and why I stayed in my room so much. They didn’t seem to believe me when I said that I had an open door policy– probably because I have this weird, deep seeded need for my door to be closed when I’m in my room.

So, we were sitting in One of the girl’s rooms, and I just began to explain–without any exterior prompting from them. I felt like God wanted me to explain my behavior.

The crazy thing?

I didn’t even understand it at the time myself.

I think that maybe God wanted me to explain it to them so that I could explain it to myself.

(It’s funny how God does that sometimes.)

We all got a little teary eyed as I explained it.– and, I’ve explained it to you all as well.

My seclusion started out as a defense mechanism, but it has evolved into a way of life. And while, I think God has made me to be an independent person because of this, sometimes I know it can be unhealthy.

Don’t get me wrong, when I have the energy, I LOVE being with other people… but more and more I find that I don’t have the energy for it as much as I used to.

I know that this will all pass. But, I’m glad that God is never absent. He is always present and always working to shape me into a better, stronger vessel.

So… after all of this has been word vomited, I think what I’m trying to say is that I learned a lot in Orlando… especially about myself. And, now I’m putting it into practice. It’s a little uncomfortable, but growing always is.

Moreover, I miss my team so much, it literally hurts some days. Just knowing that they were RIGHT THERE… I miss it.

Anyways, if you actually made it through this post, I congratulate you!

Prayers appreciated.

Love and blessings,

Erica Lynne

Week 10, A Little Late Because Getting Off of the Mountain Takes a Hot Minute


This is my final post about my missions trip to Orlando. I’ve been back for a little over a week and, honestly, it feels like I should still be there. Like, sometimes I wake up and have this feeling that I’m late for Kid’s Club or that I am waking up too early to go to a performance. My life this week has been like one of those dreams where you keep showing up to class late on the day of a huge test, only to find yourself waking up mid-panic and discovering that reality is nothing more than you and your bed.

I could make excuses all day long for the lateness in this final post, but here’s the reality: I knew that once I wrote this, then it would mean that it was really over. So, here is week ten. A little late… because, after all, it does take a while to get off of a mountain. The journey down is one of processing the life I had in Orlando and reentering the life I left here in Alabama. And, in case you were wondering… life doesn’t stop.

Was Orlando a complete and total mountain top? No. It wasn’t… but, mainly because I wouldn’t let it be. I made myself stay on the ground as much as I could because I’ve experienced the effects of being burnt out once I come off of the mountain.

Don’t get me wrong. My summer in Orlando was beautiful. It wasn’t always easy, but I was molded and sharpened by God, my leaders, my ministry, and my team… especially my team. I was surrounded by godly people 24/7. Not only was I surrounded by people who have utterly changed my life, but we took what was being cultivated in our personal lives as well as in our relationships with each other and we shared it with people from all over the world.

At my last performance, the Lord lead me to talk to a man named Jeff. He was an old man with tired eyes. He cradled a beer in his hands and watched us as we set up our puppet stage. He stuck around for our first show, and then afterwards, I felt God pushing me to speak to him and to pray for him. We talked and he shared that he was, too, a believer and that God’s Grace had brought him so far. It was a sweet time. We prayed together and as tears began to fill his eyes, I remembered my prayer from three years ago.

Three years ago, in Orlando, my prayer was that I would see Hope fill someone’s eyes. And here I was, three years later. After enduring many dark times of hopelessness myself, I saw the Hope I have in Christ pour into someone else.

I can never muster up enough words to fully express what happened in Orlando. And, maybe I’m not supposed to either. Maybe some of what happened there was a Nathaniel moment between God and me. I don’t know, really. But, what I do know is that I have a message. Well, I have a few messages, actually…. But, Over all, the Lord has given me two messages to sum up my summer.

The first is to my fellow summer missionaries–those who served with me in Orlando and those all around the U.S. Maybe this message will mean something to my fellow believers who did not participate in program missions, but who have their hearts constantly on our mission. Who knows… maybe this will mean something to everyone.

Don’t be afraid to come off the mountain.

People will never entirely understand your experience. But, your face and heart are glowing with the glory of God. We have to come off the mountain for many reasons. One reason being that we have to continue to expose people to God’s glory… even when we come down and we see them worshiping idols… or we see them “wasting their time.” Have Grace and hold up the gospel like Moses help up the serpent.

We also must come off the mountain because we don’t belong there. We belong in the fields. We are called to be reaping the harvest.

Finally, we must come off the mountain because even in the midst of the deepest, darkest valley, the Glory of God is in abundance. He is everywhere we are. He is never absent. He is always available for us to abide in Him.

My second message is one that I carried with me for a long time, but I didn’t fully understand it until this summer. My message is this: Drop your mask, and take up your cross.

Dear Christian, drop your mask. Doesn’t it feel like sand paper on your heart? Isn’t the load heavy? The way tedious?

As Believers, we tend to wear masks.

“Oh no, I can’t tell anyone struggle with being gay. I’m a Christian.” So, we put on a mask that says “Straight and loving it.”

“I’m a pastor, so no one can know that I am addicted with porn.” We put on a mask that says, “My mind is pure.”

“I’m a missionary, and I have to hide that I have eating disorders.” We put on a mask that says, “No mental health problems here.”

“I can’t let anyone know that I had sex outside because then I would be ostracized.” WE put on a mask that says, “Jesus is still my everything.” 

But, I’m here asking you. Are you? Are you straight? Are you addicted to porn and masturbation? Are you lost in your mental illness–whatever that may be? Are you afraid of repenting because you don’t want to be treated like Hester Prynne? The list could go on.

Church, we don’t have to time to hide behind our masks anymore. We are supposed to be a people who deals openly and honestly with our various sins. Why– WHY do we put on fronts in front of each other? We don’t grow by hiding ourselves from the Light of Jesus, Scripture, and accountability. We grow by exposing ourselves to the Truth– we find healing in repentance! We find joy and understanding when we submit ourselves to the Lord and we subject ourselves to His Glory.

Our masks are heavy and they wear us down.

The cross, though we may lose our life for it, is more important and far less weighty and burdensome than our pride.

This summer, I learned to be myself. I don’t always like myself and I’m sure my teammates can say that they don’t always like me either… but I can’t hide anymore. I can’t. I cannot stand to wear my mask that says “PERFECTLY PERFECT BECAUSE I AM ERICA”. I can’t do it anymore.

I am selfish. Lustful. Self-centered. Lazy. Confused. Imperfect.

Instead… though it is a humbling experience… I am trying to learn how to pick up my Cross… and it reads a much different message.

“Jesus paid it all and He is graciously sanctifying me. On this journey, I may lose all I have, but I will gain what I never deserved. I will gain it because I have a never fading hope in the One who died on this cross for me, and the One who still lives. I am perfect in God’s eyes, because Jesus is my substitution. I have not reached it yet, but when I do reach it, it won’t be because I earned it. I will reach it by God’s Grace and for His glory.”

I don’t know where my cross carrying will take me. Some days I will be on the mountain. Some days I will find myself in the thickest, thorniest pits of my humanity. Maybe I will find myself in a valley of despair. I don’t know where I will find myself. What I do know is that I don’t want to hide anymore.

If we, the church, continue to cover up our infected wounds, they will never get healed. If we guilt people into keeping theirs covered, we won’t be living out the gospel. Instead, we will be living out and abiding in our own self righteousness.

Believers, let’s pursue healing. Let’s be honest about our humanity. Let’s talk about the hard stuff.

But, even in our honesty, let us not become distracted by being self centered. Let’s face our issues. Bring them into the Light of Christ’s truth and glory. Deal with them. And rejoice in God’s goodness. But, let us bear each other’s burdens. Let’s mourn over sin together. Let’s mourn over earthly pain together. But, we shouldn’t stop there. We must rejoice in our unifying Hope… that being Jesus.

So, dear readers. Drop your masks. Take up your cross. Stop back biting and bickering. Hold each other accountable and always edify. Behold Christ and run the race well.

Pray for me, that I may also do all of these things.

Love and Blessings,

Erica Lynne

Week 8/ Week 9


I understand now why God has been making my heart so tender. I understand, though not completely.

I feel like as the summer wears on, I become more and more acutely aware of my humanity. I become more aware of how obnoxious I can be. Maybe this is a normal thing that grown-ups go through… I don’t know. It kind of sucks, if we’re being honest.

Here’s an example:

Yesterday, I snapped at someone who I have been itching to snap at all summer. I did it. I finally did it and for a SPLIT second it felt good. No. It felt TERRIFIC! Then, I felt selfish. Then I felt the bitter sting of my hypocrisy and the bite of conviction from the Holy Spirit. Sure… by the world’s standards and by my logic, this person deserved to be put in their place, but by my Abba’s standards… I had no right. I had no right to speak the truth unkindly.

See, it bothers me so much because I learn these really awesome things… but then I do what I don’t want to do– I act like a human being– and I hurt people. And I do the opposite of what God has been teaching me… but that’s the point! It’s called sanctification.

And, man… His Word has been cutting through a lot of callouses on my heart.

Here’s some Scripture that can pretty much speak for itself and the conviction I’ve been under recently.

Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.”

Proverbs 12:18, “There is one who speaks rashly, like thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” (I know, right? Tell me about it. This verse pops in my head a lot… I just wish it was ingrained in my heart. I YEARN to be a bringer of healing.)

And, my theme verse for this summer:

Proverbs 3:3-4, “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.”

Which, leads my brain to this verse:

Psalm 73:28, “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.”

So, I get it now. I get why God has made my heart tender this summer. He’s made me tender to His reproof and tender the hearts of others because I asked Him to. I asked God to make me a kinder, more loving and gracious person. And, since I’ve asked for that, I’ve become more aware of just how often I get irritable… or I get snappy… or I get selfish. I also realize how that hurts the Spirit that God has placed within me. And, when I say hurts, I don’t mean that I hurt the Spirit as in “wounding” Him, but I hurt the Spirit as in it offends Him. I offend God. And, that breaks my heart.

The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. So is joy. We have joy in our Salvation because we know what we deserve (wrath), and the same One withholding what we deserve is constantly pouring out His kindness and Truth. He is constantly pouring out love and discipline.

And, who am I to withhold kindness and truth, yet pour out wrath.

There’s also another reason for which I have been receiving this training in wisdom, kindness, truth, and love. God is preparing me for the ministry to come. Many of you know that I am called to spend my life counselling and discipling the lost as well as believers. I don’t know entirely how that will look, but I’m pretty sure that I am called to be a certified counselor. I feel like God is calling me to get messy with messy people in order to be a vessel by which God can show them Himself and the glory of His gospel. My plans, as of right now, are to attend seminary in the summer of 2015 to begin my masters in counselling. I’m still researching, but my heart longs so deeply to work with people. I am content where He has me in my mission field right now and even the next year and a half, but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. What a sweet beginning I hope it will be, Lord willing.

I just have 1 week left here in Orlando… the city where this crazy season began. And, all I can say is that God is amazing… my heart, though a harlot, is beyond overwhelmed by everything He has done in me. All of these wonderful things He has shown me and taught me.

One thing I can’t get over:

He loves me. He loves me, not based on me… but on His testimony to Himself.

Hallelujah. All I have is Christ.

I have a prayer request, though, dear readers. One of my precious friends and mentors, Bekah S. lost her father this past Saturday to cancer. Please, life her up to our Abba and bathe her and her family in prayer. I grieve with her, and celebrate with her. Please do the same.

Also, please keep praying for my team and myself as we finish up our last week here.

I love and miss you all SO MUCH! Thank you for the love and support I have been constantly receiving. It has been a true blessing.

Love you all!

Erica Lynne

Week 7 (A couple weeks late, because it didn’t post)


People are messy.

Our pasts are messy.

I am messy.

This week in Orlando has been the toughest yet. It began on Sunday with my 21st birthday, which was a very, very wonderful day. I was surrounded by people who have all come to mean a great deal to me. Monday was pretty great as well. We went and visited Ponce De Leon Spring.

But, Tuesday night… it was difficult. I guess that in order to tell this appropriately, I actually have to go back to Friday, the 5th of July. We had just had a performance and it had gone fairly well. It had been a long day and my team and I were all super tired and just ready to go to sleep. Yet, as I began to settle down in bed, one of my teammates sent me a text message asking if we could talk. I was hesitant at first, but then responded and said that she could come to my room. Now, the last time she had asked to come talk to me, it was a confrontation about my harshness in joking, so I was a bit nervous about what she had to say. She came into my room with a smile on her face, but I knew she was nervous too.
“Am I in trouble, again?” I ask.

She laughs and says, “No, you’re not in trouble. I just– I really felt God telling me to talk with you about something. I had a dream about you last night, and it has me worried. I feel like… I feel like I need to share my whole testimony with you. There is a lot about my story that you don’t know, and God is telling me to tell you.”

My stomach drops. “Okay.”

In order to protect her confidentiality, all I can say is that she shared with me her childhood experiences–experiences that I had gone through. She repeated the last three years of my life to me. Of course, her story is her own, but I was flabbergasted at how the things she was sharing with me were things I had been trying to work through on my own.

For several years now, in the back of my mind, I have been trying to understand certain memories I have from childhood. I’ve been asking God to help me through them and I’ve also been asking God to give me someone a little older than me, who shares in my sin struggles, who can help me with them. And, God answered my prayer.

Here was this (by 3 years) older, godly woman sharing with me her past and the sin that she, too, struggles with. I was on the brink of tears. She finished her story, and I stared at her… but I was smiling. I couldn’t help it.

“What was the dream? What did you dream about me?”

“Ok, well, you and I were in a dark room. You were sitting in a chair, and I was talking to you. And, then, you burst into tears and said something like, ‘I feel that too.’ or, ‘I know, too.”

I’m sure I looked crazy, but I began to smile and laugh and cry and weep all at the same time. Her dream had come true. I did know. I did feel it. And, I had prayed for this very moment without realizing that it would happen.

So, fast forward to Tuesday. I was in chapel and our campus minister was speaking about sin. It was a powerful and sweetly convicting message.

He said, “Jesus has bought our sin! It isn’t ours anymore! He can carry it! He is strong! And He can use it how He wants.” Again, I began to weep, because at the same time he spoke, I felt the Spirit tell me, “I have also bought your past, too. I can carry it. I am strong. I can use it how I want.”

I wept and, thank God, the same young woman was sitting behind me and held me while I wept. Then, to avoid the awkward questions, I ran back to my room and cried some more. She came to check on me… and I had peace. I had peace because I realized that Jesus isn’t going to leave me because I struggle with this stuff. As I let go of myself and deal with my past, He will heal me and make me to look more like Himself.

Though I cannot deny that this was a sweet time with God, it was difficult. I’m still at the point where I don’t really know exactly what to do with this information… and with these childhood memories… but, I know in time I will understand.

This weekend with performances has also been pretty rough, too. Yesterday was, by far, the worst day I have had here… but my team really held me together. God used my team to support me… even as I sobbed behind our puppet stage during our puppet number of “Rockin’ Robin”. My girls, though they didn’t understand at the time, loved me through it.

People are messy. Even when we are supposed to be professional… we are messy. When we become Christians, we don’t become robots. We are still human and we still need compassion–even when we don’t deserve it.  We need community… and we need honesty. We need honesty with ourselves… with each other… with God.

We need Grace.

And, we cannot do ministry together if we don’t have grace toward our other ministers. We should have grace upon grace with each other– even in discipline.

Words cannot sum up how strange this week has been. I can say, though, that I’m glad it happened. Yet, in retrospect… it all kind of seems surreal. Almost like, it was all a dream and I’m only about to start my seventh week. But, that isn’t the case. Week seven, the strangest week of all, is over and I am about to embark on week 8.

I would appreciate your prayers. Since I’ve been here, at least once a week, I have had nightmares. These dreams have left me unsettled and I don’t know if they are supposed to mean anything or if it’s just a fluke. I don’t know, but please pray that the Lord will allow me to receive His discernment and wisdom. Pray that my heart will be softened to Him.

Finally, please keep my team in your prayers. We only have two full weeks left of ministry plus a few days and we still have so many wonderful things to do for the Lord. He isn’t finished yet.

Blessings and love,

Erica Lynne