Oh, boy.

About a week ago it started.

That feeling.

The last time I remember having it this strong I was seventeen.

We had been at the beach, then, when it all began to sink in.

Back at home in Ohio was a bedroom full of loot — bedding and towels and crates and hangers and soap and shampoo to last me for a semester — while I made one last soiree to the shore as a full dependent of my parents. Short weeks after returning from the beach I’d jam-pack all those things into a minivan and make the three-hour drive to my new home: a 150 square foot dorm room.


I sat though dinner overlooking the harbor with my best friend and my mom, trying to ignore that feeling. And it was that feeling that wanted to be more than just a feeling — it wanted to allure me to crawl into a hole and forget hours of prayer and filling out applications and weekends of college visits. It whispered: stay where you are, it’s safer here. 

Somehow I managed to trade it in for a college sweatshirt and a room key a few weeks later.

And here I am again with that same feeling and that same whisper and seventeen feels like it was yesterday.

We’re weeks away from having my story available for your eyes and I’m needing to make an every-day choice (um, let’s be honest — sometimes every hour) to resist what that thumping in my chest tells me and still step out into this yes.

I never wanted to write a book. And when my fickle thoughts remind me, I begin to list the other things I never wanted to do …

I never wanted to travel to Africa.

I never wanted five kids.

I never wanted to marry my once Young Life co-leader, Nate.

I never wanted to wait nearly a decade for a baby.

Some of the best adventures of my life are reminders that His story for me is way better than my tight-fisted list of “I will never’s.”


I’m giving you as much of a front-row seat as my introverted self will allow. Coming up next week, I have a beautiful surprise that’s been all summer in the works that I can’t wait to show you. Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, it’ll be live — here — on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In the meantime, here’s a glimpse into some of the sweet spots where He’s meeting my thumping heart. Have you joined us, adoring Him?:

So as the start of this school year brings with it, for me, a book — in print — I invite you to ask Him, with me: where am I resisting Your perfect leadership? (And then bite your nails with me as we lean in to the “nevers” He puts in front of us and find new parts of Him there.)

Images one and two compliments of Mandie Joy