For most of 2017, this line from a song defined my life:

I’m smiling in everyone’s face, I’m crying whenever they leave the room.

In November of 2016, I began to experience shortness of breath and throbbing pain surrounding my heart. Doctors wouldn’t figure out what it was until the following April. You know when people say, “my heart hurts?” Well, my heart was literally hurting.

But God was calling me to a season of putting my own physical pain on the back burner and to pursue His people and their pain over my own: I began leading the Young Professionals small group in January of 2017.

I had a deep desire to respond to God’s call that I can only attribute to the Holy Spirit within me, changing me and making me new. I felt pretty beat up, but the incredible people around me all had their own difficult journeys they were figuring out.

God was calling me to seek to understand them over being understood. During this time, I was humbled by how much I don’t understand about people, their own journey, their pain, their joy, their victories and their failures.

The Lord showed me that I need to be a woman that pursues people’s hearts, no matter what. There will always be a reason not to, but I strive to be a woman that says yes, and digs into the family around me. I’ve never regretted saying yes to the Lord and embracing my church.