Kelsey’s Story | Part 1

Why I Love Kelsey (And Why You Will Too)…

It was my first time working for a Christian organization, and it was my first month on the job. I was still adjusting to life outside of a corporate environment and was filled with awe and excitement as I learned the behind-the-scenes of ministry and heard countless testimonies of what the Lord was (and is) doing in and through His Church: Here, and to the ends of the earth.

Kelsey was one of my co-workers, and I was immediately captivated by her unapologetic authenticity, passion to make disciples, boldness of faith, and devotion to Jesus Christ. As I spent more time with Kelsey, I learned that her “ministry” didn’t end when she went home for the day. Her hours outside of the office were spent intentionally pouring truth and love into young women, serving strangers at a local laundromat, and creating a safe space for others to come and worship and pray. Kelsey was living out the faith in Christ she spoke about, and it was absolutely beautiful.

Despite the Lord leading each of us away from that organization, Kelsey remains one of my dearest friends. She is not only an example and encouragement to me of what it looks like to abide in Christ and desire what He desires, but also a sweet sister that I can count on to pray with me and for me. 

If you have ever questioned God’s plan for your life, or found yourself wondering if your prayers were being heard at all – keep reading. Kelsey’s story will inspire you to keep leaning in to the Lord, teach you how to hear His voice, and remind you of His loving kindness. You are seen, Beloved. God has not forgotten you. May Kelsey’s words increase your awareness of God’s presence and goodness today.

You are dearly loved,

Marissa Hays


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From 80 mph to 25 mph

It’s hard to believe it’s already been over a month. 

I moved from God’s Country (Texas) back to the beautiful Pacific Northwest (Washington State). I had been living in the metroplex of Dallas/Fort Worth where going 80 mph on the freeway is the norm, there’s always great food available any time of the day or night, and where I had built a life of my own including a strong community. But God called me back home to Sumner, Washington, where the speed limit for the whole town is 25 mph (the cops will be anxious to remind you of this, should you ever visit), everything closes down before 8:00 p.m., and I’d be starting over when it comes to community. As I reflect on this cross-country move, I am amazed at how much the physical situation was an analogy for what the Lord wanted to do within me on a spiritual level: slow me down and lessen my options so as to get me dialed in on what He had in store for me.

For me, the answers weren’t the priority in these small times. Being with God was the priority…

The physical transition happened at about 80 mph, but the spiritual transition – months of preparation prior to the move, and the ongoing processing since the move – has puttered along at a leisurely pace, about the speed of a Sunday drive in downtown Sumner clocked at 25 mph. If I’m being honest, most of the time during this transition, the process hasn’t been enjoyable. Full of purpose, yes, but enjoyable? Eh, not so much. But there still has been that small percentage (we’ll say 20%) when I have leaned into God. It’s in these small times (they’re small because of me, not because of God – let’s be clear about that) that I found contentment. These small moments somehow made it okay to not have answers to all of the questions stored up in my heart. For me, the answers weren’t the priority in these small times. Being with God was the priority, and I started to experience the words of David in Psalm 63: 

“O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.”  

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It took a while to even reach this 20%. But when I did, I wasn’t quick to leave it… I’m still not quick to leave it. This 20% is a whole new level of divine contentment. And with contentment comes peace. And in this contentment and peace I hear the Lord so clearly, so often, and His presence truly is enough to satisfy me. I eventually did reach a point where the transition was actually enjoyable, and not just something to endure.

Last summer (summer of 2017) I knew the Lord was transitioning me, but I had no clue what that looked like. Would it be a career transition? Geographical transition? Ministry transition? With so many question marks on the table, I tried my best to focus on continuing to be present where I was at in vocation and ministry and all other areas of my life.

And in this contentment and peace I hear the Lord so clearly, so often, and His presence truly is enough to satisfy me.

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When I first sensed God ushering me into this season of change, I had initially assumed it was a change in job. I searched for new opportunities, and even put a few resumes out there, but I had no peace in those actions. I clearly heard the Lord call me out, “You know you won’t find the kind of job you’re truly wanting on a job search site.” The Lord followed the statement by lovingly telling me, “I got this. I’m already working on it.” And with that I quickly threw my hands up in surrender and thought, “Yep, all You!”

“Yep, all Him” is the most accurate wording I can use to describe my life and what has unfolded since the Lord let me know that change was on the horizon over six months ago…

Click HERE to read Part 2 of Kelsey’s Story: “The Little Things”


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