for twenty sevens.

it’s simple, really.

i’ve had a desire to set goals and actually keep them.
to make hard changes and feel & see the results of them.
and by being held accountable to the stretch & strenuous nature that are inevitable in the process, i still know i will succeed. after all, God says to “be still & know.”

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here’s what’s happening:

1. by my 27th birthday, which also happens to be my GOLDEN BIRTHDAY on December 27th, i want to have lost 27 pounds. traveling the nations and coming back to the states and moving to a new state and a total lack of consistency in routine and food has resulted in additional weight i didn’t ever see coming {until i tried to put on my favorite pants, and they ripped, & i boohooed for about an hour. no joke.}

i plan to do this by cutting out gluten, dairy, and sugar {except for one treat per week}, exercising daily either at the gym, by doing Insanity workout videos, going on runs/walks, or by my own Pinterest moderations, and drinking tons of water + getting 8 hours of sleep per night. with my busy travel schedule for work, this seems impossible, but we all know that’s a lie, amiright? satan get behind me, {& feel free to watch as i slim down, casting out your lies one at a time}!

2. by my 27th birthday, i want to have paid off 27% of my debt, which is $690.

i plan to do this by getting a second, part-time job, and using that income solely to pay down my debt. i believe this is a biblical principle, and it’s one that i’ve needed to be more intentional about incorporating for a while now. i don’t believe in asking for my supporters to pay off my debt, but instead believe it’s solely my responsibility to rid of. yet again, with my busy travel schedule for work, i’m not even sure i can maintain a part-time job; heck! who would hire me? i ask that you join me in prayer for finding the best, most understanding employer possible for this a-typical situation, one that will work with me and be flexible.

3. by my 27th birthday, i need to have 27 people who have pledged to support me with $27 per month for the next year.

this one is interesting, because i haven’t wanted to fundraise since i came to work in Georgia as a “non-tradish” missionary. i’ve dreaded it, to be completely honest. some of you still have questions. some of you couldn’t care any less. but i’d love to take the time to explain more about why i’m here, why i feel that it’s where God’s called me, and how, in many ways, i actually believe it’s part of my “promised land”. in order to do what i do, i have to support-raise part of my salary. that’s just the realistic truth. i’ve tried to live off of my monthly stipend, and while it’s possible, it’s not logical. 27 people joining my support team with a reasonable donation of only $27 per month would mean my income would increase by about $730 per month, which is $8,748 for the year. This would put me in the bracket of what a college graduate should actually be making. There are so many other things i hope to be doing with my life & time, including supporting other missionaries with my finances & going back to a few of the countries i ministered in last year, to continue the work i started there.  Simply put, I need your help to do these things.

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i’m boldly asking for you to pray about this partnership, and what it could really mean for the nations, as well as how it could really help a sista out. amen?

thank you for taking the time to read over these 3 huge goals of mine.
like i said, i can’t think this stuff up on my own; they really did come straight from God Himself.
and because He has such great ideas, He told me to document the journey, being candid about triumphs and stumbling blocks, hash-tagging my life away with #27by27 ! {keep an eye out for that on facebook, & instagram: @suzyhachey.}

if you think we don’t serve a relevant, hipster King, i beg to differ.

i’ve literally never made a big fuss over any of my birthdays, but He seemed to think I needed to do otherwise this year, really celebrating the life He’s given, the gifts He’s given, and the ways He’s already provided.

cheers to that.

{message me privately for to schedule a time to find out more information at suzyhachey@adventures.org }

for new Septembers.

the greatest salesman couldn’t have sold me on this.

the idea that all things considered, my heart would actually move forward & press on.

no, i would’ve held up my hand, seemingly telling you to save your words, mr. salesman, because my heart had never hurt so profoundly, and you’d be full of shit to convince me that the best was yet to come.

i don’t speak of this much any more, but i was stagnant. i was livid. i was ignored and dismissed by the person who had become my best friend, my dearest companion, a true comrade i was choosing to do the rest of my days with. what we had was crumpled-up and tossed into the waste-basket, never to be addressed again. i wanted to get lost, because that was easier than actually figuring out how to let it all go.

a new friend recently told me about a study he’d read, proving that our brains react to being ignored in the same way they react to physical pain being inflicted, with the release of the same chemicals, and the same urgency for defense & protection. well geeze, does that ever resonate. {maybe i should take time to study the human brain more often.}

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as Christians, we’re not often very honest about our deepest woundings. nonetheless, i feel it’s time to be transparent about the thing: following Christ is the hardest freaking thing we’ll ever outwardly & inwardly decide to do.

such high standards beckoning us.
so much prayer & obedience required of us.
& for what? all too often, a broken heart in us.

that’s the simple, honest truth, my friends, and most of us don’t like to talk about it.

Life is hard ...
but it is a big deal. pain is not polka dots and bows. 
it’s messy, it means something, and it’s real.

that’s the thing about pain; it demands to be felt (1), with the brevity and honest-to-goodness side-stitches that leave you doubling-over, out of breath, almost unable to keep running. pain is often seen translated into the crosses we are to carry, the kind-of-heart-sick-stuff that makes us want to throw-in-the-towel for good.

but Jesus never promised peachy. He promised war.

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as I was driving home from this last leg of my summer recruiting tour on Labor Day, in the passenger seat of our large, over-packed van, feet stretched up onto the warm, sunny dashboard, i gazed out the window at all of the corn-fields & sunflowers darting past me. it was in that moment of stillness where i was confronted by this new reality: i’m more at rest than i’ve ever been. i feel at home wherever i am, with strangers who become fast friends, with beds made-up of mats, & bags that are the mark of my gypsy self.

why? because He’s brought me through the valley, and His presence is where i now make my roots.

in that messy van i often call home, Mumford & Son’s lyrics blared through the speakers, declaring the truth about how i’ve been on my knees, looking up for so long, feeling completely out of luck. but i’ve gotten over so many hills with the Grace that’s in my heart, with flowers in my hair, and the profound peace that Love did not come to break my heart, but to dismiss my fears of it all (2). I have this lyric posted about 27 times on this board, but thats just because its so beautiful

i heard Jesus say, “& because of all of that pain, just look where I’ve brought you.”

“…umm, a corn-field in Iowa??”, I thought.

“no. not just here. everywhere. My Kingdom. to My children who needed a hand to hold & a song sung over them & a home built to shelter them. you brought them a glimpse of Me, a glimpse of Heaven.”

i nearly burst into tears, as this truth was nearly too much to bear.
why did He choose to use bitter & doubled-over in pain, ready-to-quit, little old me?
i couldn’t fathom it.

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but here’s what i concluded: had i chosen to make my bed there in Seattle, i’d be biking my ass off and working menial jobs just to make ends meet in one of the nation’s most expensive cities. i would’ve made roots with a person i cherished so deeply, & yet i would’ve forfeited the chance for Kingdom come. my heart would’ve slowly died bit by bit, day by day. the dreary rain would’ve consumed me. i would’ve kept striving for this man’s love & affection, a one-sided pursuit. i would’ve eventually deflated.

i would’ve given up part of my portion, the beautiful faces of the Nations. 

no, i wouldn’t have had the chance to fall head-over-heals in love with God’s children, learning two of the countries i am to adopt from. i wouldn’t have become a true adventurer, abandoning things of this world. i wouldn’t have conquered fears. i wouldn’t have worshiped freely. i wouldn’t have a family comprised of forty-something people who i know i can call at the-drop-of-a-hat to cry with, pray with, laugh with, be my truest self with.

the infinite joy that has come with the pain of the last two years confronted me like a head-on collision in that van this Labor Day. exactly two years ago, i chose to drive east, head-strong, and not willing to turn around or sacrifice any more of myself or my heart for someone with a false invitation, someone who was only pretending & trying to convince himself.

home

Mount Rainier in my rear-view mirror, tears puddling in my eyes, and pedal to the metal, i headed toward the direction of my bountiful, abundant destiny.

since then, my heart has prevailed through more deep pains and let-downs. i’ve experienced some of the greatest triumphs & victories. i’ve taken back what the enemy has stolen (3), marching onward toward the finish line with sass in my step & gumption in my voice.

it’s been a domino effect of sorts: the pain produced movement from my stagnancy. & that movement gave me the chance to take the road less-traveled which has bettered me. & in that chance, i found strength in my pain. & in that strength born from pain, i made the conscious choice to prevail, despite the once crippling hurt & confusion that plagued me. & because of that choice, i’ve been on the craziest of journeys, experienced new loves, & am working toward something that i actually care about.

it may seem cliche, but when we finally stop laboring away all of our days and learn to rest in the fullness of the Only One who matters, Septembers begin to look different because we are different.

What have you chosen to walk {or literally drive} away from?
How has that decision made you better, more whole, more alive?