Posts tagged Calling
Yearning for More {Team Journal}

Our Team Journal today comes from our Tech and Design Coordinator, Mindy Braun.

“There comes a time in the life of every believer and of every church where the voice inside us simply asks, Now what?” This is the same question I struggled with for a long time. And it wasn't until recently that I've felt like I understood the answer. 


For a few years now, I’ve had an itch; a yearning for something more. I felt like there had to be more to this life as Christian. I wanted to experience God in more ways, that the life of a Christian had to go beyond what I’d experienced in my own life. But I just kept telling myself to ignore it; the feeling was just the enemy telling me that my life wasn’t good enough. I told myself I was just discontent and I needed to work through it. It wasn’t until last year with IF:Dayton when I started reading the book Just Courage by Gary Haugen that I started to understand it. We read it as a book study; but instead of digging in and learning,  I treated this book like homework and skimmed it. But, God (oh, He's so good!) works even when we are skimming. There was a part within it that stuck out to me and forever changed my view on my life, on the cries of my heart and the work God has for me. 

Gary had a name for what I was feeling: divine restlessness, a holy yearning for more. “It’s the moment in which we can see all the work that God has been doing in our lives and in the life of the church is not an end in itself; rather, the work he has been doing in us is a powerful means to a grander purpose beyond ourselves. This is the supernatural moment when the rescued enter their divine destiny as rescuers.” Our rescue was never the end result; there is more to it. We are rescued and redeemed for an even bigger, better purpose.

Throughout the New Testament, Jesus is constantly teaching and asking his disciples to look beyond themselves, to see the world lost and desperate for a Savior. He wants his disciples look beyond their own desires, beyond what their eyes could see and their hearts could imagine and take in the greatness of their calling. He was showing them that they were each important characters in God’s grand plan, that their true calling was far greater than they ever imagined

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
— Matthew 5:14-16

The rescued become the rescuers. The restored become the restorers. The equipped become the equippers. We were brought out of darkness so that through Jesus, we can be the light of the world. We are the ones through whom God works out his plan to rescue the world.

This world we live in is a dark and scary place. It’s lost and hurting. God, the Creator of all things, has one plan to bring light to it through Christ. We are that plan. How amazing it is that we get to be a part of that redemption story! Through grace, we get to be a part of the story that forever changed the world. It's so much bigger than us, goes beyond what we can imagine. As small and insignificant as we may feel, He chose us to be a part of it. He chose us to keep the momentum going.

Could it be done with out us? Yep. But that's that beauty of it. He chose to bring us along for the ride to see His beautiful story play out. So are we taking him up on this offer? Are we hopping in and joining the ride? 

Mindy Braun is an Ohio-born-and-raised, small town girl who has grown to love the city of Dayton. Her family resides in East Dayton.  While she's not being mama to her two kids, she and her husband run a photography business out of their home. Mindy has a love for deep friendships, fried chicken, sleeping in, the outdoors, serving the Church, and Oreos after bedtime.

To Follow Fervently

We welcome our friend and sister, Steph Duff, to the DWITW blog today! Enjoy the beautiful story of how God gave her a passion for global orphan care by giving her a passion first for HIM.

India will inundate your senses. Purple becomes the most plush and succulent shade of plum. The clatter of a new language being spoken, urgent and loud, becomes musical in its fevered pitch. Spice reaches new measurements of heat as curry is mixed with rice by hand. You cannot move, glance, or taste in India without an imprint planting itself in your heart.

And that will likely all occur before you sit in the soil next to soft, brown eyes asking to know about your life in America, quietly calling you ‘sister,’ and clicking their tongue between their teeth to answer no.

India took the orphan crisis from two words used to label an injustice in this world to an injustice I would begin to feel viscerally, weep over openly, and ultimately be called into as a voice on behalf of those without one.

Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. –Habakkuk 1:5

Long before India became a seed in my heart, before I felt called to step into full-time ministry, I highlighted those words above in my worn, brown Bible and didn’t really look back on them.

Months later, as snow blanketed my city in hushed whispers of white, my blood began to pulse for a country I knew little about and possessed an accumulation of fears for. I felt, with a certainty I’d never known before, a nudge from the Lord to board a plane, travel to an unknown land, and wait on His next move.

As friends and loved ones graciously supported my trip to India, I was given a card with those familiar words from Habakkuk written down and I felt a calm move over me. As I lugged that beloved Bible across oceans and through time zones, I came back to those highlighted words and began to understand 'the work I would not believe' may very well be a shift within my own wandering heart.

I spent nine days in Hyderabad, India in June of 2015. I went as an act of obedience, nearly unwillingly, and with an ever growing chip on my shoulder. I returned with fading henna on my hand, a journal full of every last detail I could muster from the rooms of my memory, and a deeply-shaking soul desire to return, and as soon as I could.

Because that’s what God does, isn’t it? He calls us into the unknowns, gently nudges us into possible fears; He is ever plucking the corners of a heart’s comfort zone and stretching it – an hour south, around the corner, into entirely different time zones. He whispers, ‘come,’ and if we know what’s good for us, sisters, we take a shaky breath, admit we’re terrified, and follow Him into the dark. And He leads us to a place we couldn’t have dreamed up if we tried.

He writes loves letters to our worn, tattered, yearning, wandering hearts in the form of a 14-year-old boy and spicy, potato curry. Or in motherhood. Maybe behind a camera or traveling to that one land you’ve always wished for. He writes letters, is continually penning love into our stories in ways unimaginable. And then He flips the lid off the box we tried to put our lives in and knocks out the walls, for good measure.

When the Lord invites us into something frightening or unclear, we need to trust our lack of answers won’t alter the ending. India was an answer to prayer I never knew I needed to be praying. It was a bold and clear calling over a heart that was far flightier than I ever wanted to admit.

I spent nine days in Hyderabad, India in June of 2015. I went as an act of obedience, nearly unwillingly, and with an ever growing chip on my shoulder. And I returned with a calling; a burning passion from the center of my heart.

Stories matter. The lives of the children served in India, and around the world, hold Kingdom weight. They will shape the Kingdom. And now I have the privilege of sharing some of those narratives. When the Lord asks us to say yes, sisters, let us be a generation of women that follow fervently after the One who crafted what it is our hearts beat for to begin with.

Steph Duff wants to live in a world where every voiceless child is given articulation and Jesus is the name on every lip. When she's not sharing Kingdom-shaking stories with Back2Back Ministries, you can find her drinking copious amounts of caffeine, curling up with her nose in a book, laughing loudly, continuing an on-going attachment to semi-colons, planning her next trip to India, and making snail mail cool, again. Her favorite scripture is "Look among the nations and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told." Habakkuk 1:5 ESV. Learn a little bit about what makes her blood stir and the yearnings of her heart at