Behind-the-scenes: Do you ever look at someone, put them in a box, and then realize how completely wrong you are? I don’t do this too often, but Averi was that person in my life. I grew up watching her in high school, wondering what it was like to have so many people wrapped around your finger. She was—and still is—very popular. Insert mild teenage jealousy here. What I didn’t realize then was the multiple parts she would play in my life: infamous high school legend, then college housemate, mission trip roommate, and to this day, a real friend. For those of you who don’t know her, she just got back from the World Race–an 11-month mission trip to 11 different countries–and has a transformed perspective of the world and her role in it. With questions thrown at her from nearly everyone, I wanted to hear her heartbeat and hopefully hear how God changed some of her broken pieces into exquisite ones.
What did you carry into the World Race that you left behind?

“Yep, wow. This is a big one. I didn’t know that this was so heavy until I was in it.

Month 1: intimacy

“God told me, ‘You don’t find intimacy with me, you find intimacy with men.’”

Month 3: eliminating friends or distractions

“Someone in my team told me, ‘you need to have an audience of one.’ And, they had no idea I struggled with relationships and how fast I give myself—emotionally–away to people.”

Month 4: seeing men through the eyes of Jesus

“Someone had a vision of me and Jesus with a man standing in-between us. They said, ‘you need to see men through the eyes of Jesus.’ And I realized that there was brokenness and a need of healing in that area, still.”

Month 5: sexual withdrawal and wanting connection

“I had stopped being physically intimate like two years before I left for the race. When I was in Thailand, I had withdrawals from this type of intimacy that I let go of. It was a dark place.

And, where we were was heavily influence by the sex trade. So, I wanted desperately to reach out to the people of my past to establish some sort of connection. But, I didn’t.

Then–God is awesome–someone gave me a word and said, ‘there is a difference between isolation and solitude.’”

Month 8: wanting and craving to be married

“This was the first time that I said, ‘why is this taking so long?’ I wanted to be married.  Well, I heard of and then met someone, but I didn’t tell anyone how I felt.

Then, someone on my team suggested I should pray for him. When I did, I found myself replacing my craving and need for intimacy with him or men and replacing it instead with intimacy with the Lord.”

 

As I read through Averi’s account of God’s provision, I am struck by her apparent faith. She had faith in the call upon her life to go, in the people speaking into her brokenness, and in God’s powerful love to remold the eyes of her heart and how they see men.

 

I want to see God, my faith in Him, and my broken pieces intimately knit together that I cannot distinguish one strand from the next.

I don’t want to doubt His provision; instead, I want to anticipate His provision, in faith. Averi has shown me the extraordinary gifts He gives… so will you lean into this with me?

Additional questions I couldn’t help, but share:

What changed the most: your head/mind or your heart?

“They both have changed so much, but my mind. I transport back to times that are in conflict with American culture. I struggle to articulate what is in my head, and what I have seen.”

We have traveled together in the past. How is coming “home” affecting you?

“I feel—sorry if I cry—broken for the people I see in my mind and cannot be with. I’m broken for living conditions in other countries, for the work they have to do…It’s really heart-breaking.”

What has God written and rewritten onto the tablet of your heart?

“Endless pursuit. God wants my attention. He wants me to lean into Him, especially right now…even when it is hard, even when there is no routine.”

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