Saturday, March 27, 2010

To see beauty...

Hey Kels,
It was great to talk with you this week! I was just sitting in my apartment watching some women's basketball and procrastinating on writing a paper when I thought of the song "You See Beauty" which has really been on my mind lately. I almost immediately thought of you and how your situation may parallel these lyrics at times. It is so easy to see the desperation and chaos within the places that we are in. But when we look at it through our Redeemer's eyes, it is much different than we thought. Everything that we see of loss, God sees as value. He sees beauty that we do not always see - not immediately at least. I pray this week that you see the city of Prague through the eyes of Jesus. Not just the pain and the brokenness, but the hope and restoration that is coming to this city. He is the light and the darkness CANNOT overcome it.

You See Beauty - Kristi Northup
I see desperation, I see pain
I see a life in ruins, hopeless to ever change
I see a city, broken in two
Is there anything that You can do?

But You see beauty where I see dross
You see value where I see loss
‘Cause You are the light and the darkness
Cannot overcome it

I see condemnation, I see shame
I see the Bride of Christ covered in human stain
I see a finger pointing back at me
I’m ashamed of my hypocrisy

I see Simon, You see Peter
I see the adulteress, but You see a leader
I see a desert, You see a well
I see Jacob, but You see Israel

I see China, but You see believers
I see HIV positive, but You are the healer
I see religion, but You see the church
I see the horizon, but You see the whole world

The things that you are doing over in Prague may seem simple or ineffective at times, but your impact is farther reaching then you may ever know! I was listening to a Matt Chandler podcast and he spoke about how everything that we do in our daily living is sacred. From work to loving people to sitting down for coffee, it's all sacred. It's all worship to God. People see that. People see you, Kelsey Keizer. They see the way that you live your life. They see the difference in your attitude. They see that you have a joy that comes from something bigger than this world.

Your obedience to the Lord in packing up and heading to Prague is a great witness in itself. I am encouraged by all that you are doing and the heart you have for the people that the Lord has placed in your life. I continue to pray that you are bold in your conversations and that God opens up hearts for those conversations to take place whether on your team, on the subway, on your jogs in the city, or wherever it may be.

Blessings sister!

You are loved.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Do your best!
C rings it is!
The welcome dance party.
Sat morning worship and breakfast.
The biggest cookie pot ever.
All the mattresses in the front yard.
Winning the raffle on the plane ride out there.
The amazing pizza at California Pizza.
I be wed!
Downing shots of Jesus with the leftover communion juice.
The girl dancing with the lantern.
Screaming our heads off to O How He Loves Us.

Not sure if the link will work, but I watched this video and it made me laugh again. Just reminded me of the great weekend out in LA.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I bleed Husker red!

Isn't life SWEET!

For the first time in history, a Nebraska basketball team has made the sweet 16! That's not the only history they have made either. The women's basketball team has tied the Big 12's longest winning streak of 30. They became the first Big 12 men's or women's team to have an undefeated regular season and if they win 1 more game (I think) they will go down in history as the most improved team in the history of the NCAA having a +18 record change. Thats insane! Nathan and I have throughly enjoyed watching this team transform from a team with A+ effort but no gain last year to a team that has leapt into history with its victories and achievements this year. I know this is far fetched but I hope they can win the National Championship. It would be a great cinderella-ish (after all they are a 1 seed) story. Not only have these women put their mark on history in numerous ways, but they've done it with poise, and grit. After all, not very many of their wins have been a breeze and they have had to be creative many times this season to pull out the W. Bottom line is, they're just fun to watch, like the St. Mary's Gaels men's team. First of all they are Gaels which means IRISH (which is awesome in itself) and they are composed of Australians pretty sweet right, whats not to like? Or cheering for the UNI men's team. Watching them take down Kansas really screwed up my bracket, but was the most fun I've had watching a March Madness game in a long time.

Basically what I'm trying to say is root for the Huskers in the women's tournament! (Lets face it, I already know that you are, but I had to stake my case to everyone else reading this).

And I wrote about this because thats whats been going on in my life! Granted I go to work and come home and do my daily routine but watching basketball has been AWESOME lately and a really fun experience for Nathan and I. I'm hoping that one of these games we will get so excited and send a bowl of popcorn flying across the room, that would be ideal!

I think its awesome that you get to worship and serve through this sport. That every time you step on the court, you know you're doing something thats greater than yourself. It reminds me a bit of what I talked about at the chapel I did at Wichita State. You are in Prague with the Sparta team, for such a time as NOW. You've been equipped and placed in your position for a specific purpose to serve a people and a city and maybe even a country. That's pretty sweet my friend. I'm sure there are moments when it might get easy to forget about your larger purpose but don't forget that you're there for NOW and that God's going to do great things. Your ability to play basketball is a great gift. Sometimes it makes me a bit jealous, but I think I could take you. Actually we all know thats probably not going to happen. I can't even beat Dybs in a game of HORSE. If only I were a little taller.... (dreaming, wishing annnnnd back to reality).

I love you and miss you sister and I'm definitely lifting you up.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Hey Kelsey,

I was supposed to post on Monday, forgive me :) As always, I think of you often and about our late night chats... We are all praying for you a lot, too.

My friend Oswald wrote this for March 19th and I thought about you: "Living a life of faith means never knowing where you are being led. But it does mean loving and knowing the One who is leading. It is literally a life of faith, not of understanding and reason... one of the biggest traps we fall into is the belief that if we have faith, God will surely lead us to success in the world... The final stage in the life of faith is the attainment of character..a life of faith is not a life of one glorious mountaintop experience after another, like soaring on eagle's wings, but it is a life of day-in and day-out consitency; a life of walking without fainting" (Isaiah 40:31). Amen!

I am so glad he said it is not a life of understanding and reason.. because I am so frustrated when I can't explain away certain things in my life. Things like... suffering are not to be fully understood in this life. I love 1 Cor. 13 because God is not yet done, "Now we know in part.. and we see in part.." but when we see Jesus, it will all make sense... everything will finally come together, but until then we have to walk in faith.. believing all things happen for a greater plan, whether we know what that is or not. One day he will right all wrongs and bring justice. And I hate the thought of living in the consequences of horrific events without ever being able to say what it produced or what good came from it.. but I have got to understand that God's 'wonderful plan' is wonderful from His perspective, and not from mine. Ok and... too, Jesus never really promises peace in the sense of no more struggling and suffering in this world. HE was lonely. But he does offer Himself.. if we go to Him for other things he might send us away empty handed.. but when we go to Him for Himself, He will always fill our deepest hunger. I may have already shared that, but that hs really been on my heart.

I titled this Isaiah because God has taught me a lot through Isaiah the past two months. This week there were a few chunks that stood out to me...

"The path of the righteous is level; O upright one, you make the way of the righteous smooth. Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you" (26:7-9).


"Lord, you established peace for us, all that we have accomplished you have done for us" (26:12).

"Lord, they came to you in their distress; when you disciplined them, they could barely whisper a prayer. As a woman with child and about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, O Lord" (26:16-17).

I really love the first verse and this second chunk of verses.. about yearning for God, and it makes me think about how much of my life and desires are just longings for Christ and wanting to be filled with Him.. whether I acknowledge it or not, all of my desires for joy and companionship and success are really for Christ (in one way or another). I feel well acquainted with the last verse about barely whispering a prayer. I don't know if I ever knew, until recently, what it would be like to be speechless and to be so... I don't know, rocked, that I could barely whisper a prayer.. and while I know that the hurt and grief that brought me here are evil and awful... I am grateful for the intimacy with Christ, even though I can hardly say a word to Him.

I really like this chunk in chapter 28 (v. 27-29):

"Caraway is not threshed with a sledge, nor is a cartwheel rolled over cummin; caraway is beaten with a rod, and cummin with a stick. Grain must be ground to make bread; so one does not go on threshing it forever. Though he drives the wheels of his threshing cart over it, his horses do not grind it. All this comes from the Lord Almighty, wonderful in counsel and magnificent in wisdom."

I like that because we all face threshing. Some are rolled over, some are beaten with a rod, others with a stick.. but the grain and cummin has to be beaten before it can be made useful... but it is not threshed forever. We are all afflicted and beaten down but not in the same ways. About this passage Matthew Henry writes, "The Lord on occasion threatens, corrects, spares... Afflictions are God's threshing instruments, to loosen us from the world, to part between us and our chaff, and to prepare us for use. God will proportion them to our strength; they shall be no heavier than there is need..." I am grateful for that, that God really does know what we can bear. I heard a quote a while ago that said something like.. "The harder the training, the greater the champion." I hope that's true for Jesus too.

I have thought a lot about the idea of having joy in the middle of our suffering. Paul talks a lot about it.. I am thinking a lot about James too, where it says to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of any kind... and when I first read that (like 4 years ago) I remember thinking.. that is so stupid (chalk it up to being a baby Christian with a raging temper :D), how dare anyone tell me that I am to rejoice because of pain and suffering and trials? But as I have grown and my temper has dissipated, I have seen that God doesn't call all evil things good- he sees pain and hurt and evil for what it is and calls it such.. and enters into our pain. But the trials are the setting for our greatest opportunities for joy.. like experiencing God's comfort and Him meeting us in the middle of it- Romans 8 says God promises to work out all things for our redemptive good in the end.. and in Hebrews where it says that "for the joy set before Him... Christ endured the cross."

It says Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him. There was no joy in the cross-it brought pain and agony and death. It wasn't for the joy of the cross that Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified.. but because of the joy set before Him... the saving of many souls. Sidenote- utnil recently I had never really thought much about, or understood why Jesus cries out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" on the cross.. I just didn't get it, and thought.. man, I mean.. He KNEW that was what he was coming to earth for.. Wouldn't that make God mad that Jesus is saying he forsook Him? But someone explained to me that on the cross, at that exact moment.. Jesus LITERALLY became sin for us, and God took out all his wrath and hatred and anger toward sin out on Jesus. I still don't fully understand it, but whoa!

I also thought of Joseph, who tells his brothers (roughly), "What you intended for evil... God intended for good." Without God in my story there is just no redemption.

In Romans 5 it talks about how Christians will have pain and suffer like everyone else.. it is just as real and heartbreaking and deep.. but how we face suffering is different. God allows us to see through the suffering and to know that our pain is NOT without meaning- and in that we can rejoice.

Wow, I wrote a novel. Hah I am sorry! But I read this today and hope it blesses you too:

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus... the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.. for just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our bodies, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.. We do not want you to be uniformed brothers, about the hardships we suffered... we were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God" (2 Cor. 1:3-8).

Miss you more than you know, and praying God gives you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.


"Come until me whoever you are to who I am through whatever terrors the dark holds for you" (Buechner).

Ok one more quote... this is from Hinds Feet in High Places... this is the Shephered (God) talking:

"There is absolutely no experience, however terrible, or heartbreaking or unjust, or cruel, or evil, which you can meet in the course of your earthly life, that can harm you if you will but let Me teach you how to accept it with joy; and react to it triumphantly as I did myself, with love and forgiveness and with willingness to bear the results of wrong done by others. Every trial, every test, every difficulty and seemingly wrong experience through which you may have to pass, is only another opportunity granted to you of conquering an evil thing and bringing out of it something to the lasting praise and glory of God. You sons and daughters of Adam, in all your suffering and sorrow, are the most privileged of all beings, for you are to be perfected through suffering and to become the sons and daughters of God with His power to overcome evil with good."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

There's a difference

You've left your mark, Kelsey. BJ and I speak fondly of you quite often. You're a difference maker.

I flew back today after working in Sacramento this week. You see a lot of people and behaviors on planes and in airports. I don't have any faith-vision that can tell what commitments people have made to God and Christ in their lives, but a person can see how people treat one another.

James 3:13 says, "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom."

When you and so many of your cool friends make a decision to witness for Christ as part of your vocation, I wonder how much emphasis is placed on the "talking" portion of a personal testimony. If you tell people why Christ is important to you at halftime, are you disappointed if only 12 people are there? Honestly, many people would be. But should that even be the primary focus?

I wonder if the way you behave at the bus stop, grocery store and in your neighborhood will actually have more lasting impacts than the showcased opportunities to speak of God. I'm not knocking those platforms. Just wondering if we place enough emphasis on the way we act.

The reason I bring it up is that I'm totally convinced that you are having a greater impact that you realize, Kelsey. And in ways and places you don't even realize. Including people on this side of the pond. I witnessed behavior in the airports that was Christ-like today and some that was not. That's one of the things I love about you, Kelsey. Your testimony lives in your actions. You wouldn't have to say a word. Hence, you don't have to sweat it if words seem to fail you at times. i.e. If your Czech just seems to check out. Your presence and kindness do your talking for you. Love you, Sister. Proud of you. Godspeed.

- Lee T - the Adrianne connection

Monday, March 15, 2010


Hola Kelsey! Greetings from Barcelona, Spain. Thank you for your encouraging e-mails. You are such a blessing in my life sister. So these past few days, I have gotten a small taste of your life. Wow, I understand why you have such a love and compassion for Europe. It breaks my heart talking with people who don't have a clue about Jesus.
God has been so good thus far in the trip. I am overwhelmed with how many people have such soft hearts towards the gospel. In the past three days, my group of six people have probably gotten to go through the gospel with over one hundred people. I am just amazed at Gods grace. It blows me away to talk with these people. I have yet to talk to one person who believes in JEsus, or has a clue about grace and what it means to have a relationship with him. How unbelievable is that? Most people are athetists, most people have never even thought about what happens when they die, and these people have never had a real conversation about Jesus, or even know of a church that is preaching the gospel. Its amazing to see people say they dont people in God, yet they are willing to talk with us for hours as we struggle through spanish and our communication in general to explain to them the good news, news they have never heard of.
I just want to thank you. Europe is often over looked by most christians. Our church has been coming here for the past seven years, the gospel has gone out thousands of times, and we have never ran into one bible believing, born again christian. This city is so dark, so corrupt, so wicked. Thank you for your obedience to this mission. We need to tell them! Christians have to open their mouths. HOw are they going to hear unless we go? Unless we preach to them? The vision for our church is to one day plant a church here. We are waiting for a christian to get saved and have a passion for their city who would want to get involved. Gosh, this place needs it so bad.
Here is a quote that Leigha sent me before the trip:

"A tiny group of believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story."
- K.P. Yohannan

Keep preaching the gospel! Keep being bold for Christ! People need is so much! Love you sister! You amaze me.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

just for you

"Thank you to all the people in the world who are always ten percent kinder than they need to be." -Helen Exley

The other day I was driving in the car, scanning through the radio stations and feeling a little disappointed at all the commercials and dumb songs they were playing. And then, BAM! Hello, Miley Cyrus! Now normally I'd think about groaning, rolling my eyes, and changing the channel asap but because of you, my dearest KK, I listened to the WHOLE DARN SONG. And danced a little. And thought about the time we reinacted hopping off the plane at LAX, just so you could listen to the song a few extra times :)

You're just that great, Kelsey Keizer. I think about you often, especially the fun random times like when Miley Cyrus comes on the radio or when I yell at the tv because this season of the Bachelor was just that awful. I'm really over Jake... but really excited that Ali is the next Bachelorette! When it's on this summer I'll be sure to give you regular updates, in case you don't catch every episode. I bet I can summarize the hour long show into a reasonable paragraph, filling you in on the important stuff and saving you the trouble of wondering :P

But on a more serious note, thank you for being you. For giving your heart, your energy, your smiles and your love to people who need it the most. Thank you for being a shining light in a world of darkness, and thank you for teaching me what it means to love someone so well you'd give up your favorite tv shows and crazy 80s workout tapes (at least temporarily) to show the world what that love is all about. At the end of the day, when you're ready to refill your love-tank, just remember all the hearts on the other side of the ocean who are lifting you up. And if you're in need of a deep breath and a little quiet time, check out the links below (I gave you lots of options - no need to listen to them all at once if you don't want). They're some of my favorite tunes lately - maybe you'll like one or two of them :)

Love you forever and for always. Keep on living and loving the way you do best.
xoxo, lb

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hey Kelsey!

Hey Kelsey!
I don't really have much of an exciting life to tell you about...but we'll give it a go and see where we land. :)

One of the things happening right now is the HUGE amounts of snow we've been given over the winter are starting to melt away. It's raining right now and has been fairly rainy the past few days...Unfortunately, that is bringing some flooding issues into March. I am PUMPED for spring. You can already see the "grass" (since it's really lots of mud and brown grass, not green yet)! It is nice to finally get a taste of spring and the new life that comes with it not to mention the warm weather.

Let's see...I have my next surgery date set for April 14. It's coming right up, but I look forward to July when I'll be healed up and ready to go. Heading back home for 8 weeks again, but I feel more prepared and ready to engage in my weeks of healing and time home rather than disengage in life like my first go-round. niece has her first tumbling meet this Saturday and I'm interested to see how it goes. (Can't you already picture a bunch of 5 year-old kids running around trying to do cartwheels and forward rolls?!) Haha! I'll have to update you on how that goes, lol. Maybe my sister will even record it and I can post it for your entertainment...

Now that the Bachelor is finally over, I have more free time on my hands. It was a ridiculous season and I hope you've been able to catch some of the clips from the Ellen Show when the different cast members have been on to talk about the season. Jake and Vienna...well, I didn't think that's how it should have panned out, but it devestate me like it did for much of America. In fact - when Ellen was talking about having the couple on the show, the audience even booed about it! Funny how caught up in people's lives we get from a tv show.

Well, that's about all the excitement I can handle for one post. Haha! It's past midnight on this side of the world, so I should probably shut down. I hope that you are doing well, enjoying basketball, and loving the city of Prague with all that you have.

Blessings to you, dear sister. May the Lord's strength fill you daily. May your passions for the people in Prague continue to stir your heart with love and compassion for His people. May the Lord pursue your heart and show you the power of the cross of Jesus Christ that you will be able to share with others the mercy and healing that comes with knowing Christ. And may you continue to honor and glorify our Lord in all that you are and all that you do.

You are loved,

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Great TV. That's the only way to describe it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Kelsey, you are so great!! :)

Kelsey Keizer.. I miss you!!! Gosh, I've been thinking about you and praying for you so much lately.
So here I am, about to head over to Spain in a week and I have been finding myself getting really nervous. I've never been on a mission trip like this before, I haven't had a whole lot of experiences that I have been uncomfortable and relying on Jesus to come through. This has been a sample of my prayers lately.. "Jesus, I don't know what I'm doing. I know zero spanish, when we go over there, we have no real plan, no itenary. So I am just suppose to go up to random people, in a completely different culture then I'm use to, and try to communicate to them the gospel in a language that I don't even know? How is that going to work?" Then Jesus brings you to mind. I am going over there for only 10 DAYS! You're over there for a year and a half! I am going over with 40 of my closest friends, you are there with no one that you really know. What the heck am I concerned about? Sister, you just amaze me. I don't know if I could do what you are doing. You are so faithful, so trusting and dependent in Christ. I am so thankful for you and your example.

So, I have been learning a lot about faithfulness in the realm of discipleship. Since basketball ended last year, I have found myself going crazy! I have never had this much time to meet people, to be available for girls and to share the gospel with so many people. This has been my mindset, "I just need to meet people, I need to share the gospel with them, they need to know Jesus.. blah blah blah..." Just recently, it was almost as if Jesus smacked me over the face and was like, "Whoa Lauren, slow down... I have given you many girls to be faithful with, girls who know Christ but are babies, pour your life out for them!" I don't know if you read "My Utmost for His Highest" but there was a really great one that I'm going to share a little bit with you..

"Exhaustion means that our vital energies are completely worn out and spent. Spiritual exhaustion is never the result of sin, but of service. Whether or not you experience exhaustion will depend on where you get your supplies. Jesus said to Peter, 'Feed my sheep,' but He gave him nothing with which to feed them. The process of being made broken bread and poured-out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other people's souls until they learn to feed on God. They must drain you completely- to the very last drip. But be careful to replenish your supply, or you will quickly be utterly exhausted. Until others learn to draw on the life of the Lord Jesus directly, they will have to draw on His life through you. You must literally be their source of supply, until they learn to take their nourishment from God. We owe it to God to be our best for His lambs and sheep, as well as for Him. Have you delivered yourself over to exhaustion because of the way you have been serving God? If so, renew and rekindle your desires and affections. Examine your reasons for service. IS your source based on your own understanding or is it grounded on the redemption of Jesus Christ? Be exhausted for God, but remember that he is your supply. "

Oh baby! That's nuts!
"Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds." Proverbs 27:23

"Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all." Phil 2:14-17

"Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me." Colossians 1:28-29

Gosh, discipleship is hard! Thank you for teaching me what it means to be faithful with people, to really love people and train them up in Christ. Sorry this was long.. but this is my first blog post so.. this is what ya get :)! Know that you are loved sister. You are being fought for over here in prayer. You are admired. Keep pressing on, keep telling people about Jesus and laying your life down for Chris and the gospel like you did over here!


Monday, March 1, 2010


I have a few questions for you....

1. How in the world did you manage to misspell Kelsey Keizer on your apartment lease? Isn't your name spelled the same in Czech as it is in English?

2. "Czech-ing In" was clever. That's not a question, but I wanted you to know that.

3. I'm pretty much out of questions at this point... so I'm going to forfeit the numbering system...

I want to tell you about what happened at my last doctor's appointment...because though the tram is not a hospital, I imagine there are several parallels you can draw. So, here goes:

I went in on Thursday around 2pm. I went back to the hospital room, I got undressed, garbed myself with their snazzy gown things (I'm curious how the word 'gown' ever became used for ball gowny type outfits and hospital gown thingos--they're so drastically different! Though, I can't imagine having a heart procedure in a ball gown...awkward.), and laid flat on the hospital bed.

The nurse putting my IV in tried 4 different times and failed in the one spot on my body that nurses never fail--I call that vein old faithful. I was super threatened by her inability to put the needle in...I kept thinking, "amateur." The other nurse ended up putting my IV in my wrist (ouch) and all was well.

Then they tried to sedate me for the procedure. After the first shot of the stuff they asked me how I felt. "Normal." A second shot. "Normal." A third shot...This time I told them I felt a little woozy, but I was still fully coherent. They said, "You're sedated, you just don't know it." I responded confidently, "I'm quite sure I'm still awake." Well, they decided I had had enough sedation stuff and were convinced I was sedated despite my pleas. So, I remained awake for the entire procedure.

Next I gargled lidocaine (a numbing medicine) so the back of my throat would go numb. Then they took this WD-40 bottle looking thing with a little red straw and sprayed the back of my throat with more of the numbing stuff. They kept poking the back of my throat to see if my gag reflexes were deactivated. After choking the first couple tries, I finally went numb.

Then they inserted the long black hose of a camera down my throat and I swallowed it. They can't force these thing down people's throats or it threatens the vocal chords, so a person has to swallow it (this is why they wouldn't give me more sedation stuff because they had to make sure I didn't completely pass out). Swallowed successfully. Finally! A small triumph!

I watched the guy feed the hose into my mouth. What a bizarre scene--I convinced myself it was an optical illusion, but it wasn't. It was just easier to pretend that it wasn't real than be okay with the horribly awkward reality that something was being forced into my body.

The procedure is supposed to take 15-20 minutes. They find the hole, get some pictures for the operation, and get out of there. There were two doctors looking at the live footage of my heart. They couldn't find the hole. They didn't believe it was gone, they figured they were just at a weird angle. They proceeded to adjust the camera until they had viewed my heart from 20 different angles (are there 20 angles to look at a heart?). They called more doctors in. One by one they all agreed the hole was gone.

The numbing medicine is meant to last 30 minutes. At about minute 40 my gag reflexes started to come back. I started gagging as my throat was doing its best to remove the hose. They held me down on the bed and kept asking me to relax. I shut my eyes and did my best to calm down, but my body started dry heaving (you have to fast for a long time before this procedure, for this very reason, so I had no food in me). My body lunged forward and I heard the doctors say, "Shut it down."

The guy feeding the hose into my body pulled the camera out as quickly as possible. They undid the contraption forcing my mouth open and held me up so I wouldn't choke. Finally. Air. Rest. Freedom.

My stomach hurt. My throat throbbed. My head ached. I was out of breath and I was trying to calm myself down. I asked the doctors what the verdict was, "We couldn't find the hole." I asked them what that meant, besides the obvious, "This is the definitive test and we currently have no evidence from which to operate."

Could it be? The sound of freedom? After such intense agony could I possibly have reason to smile? Of course I was excited, but it didn't seem right...the last three months of my life have been so confused, challenged, bomb shelled, etc. I couldn't quite believe that I was just given a "get out of jail free" card. No way. I'm still having a hard time believing it. Is it that I have a hard time believing that God is capable of miraculous healing? Is it that I doubt the "amateur" operations on Thursday? Why is it hard to believe that I might suddenly be off the hook? Suddenly things are easier? Suddenly I can go for a jog and not worry about my health? Maybe I can just be married, be a student, be a kid, be an explorer....or maybe the doctors were wrong? Maybe I'm about to get a phone call that says they reviewed the video tape (VHS to be exact) and found the hole...or maybe I am truly in the midst of a miracle--which am I expecting?

Or maybe the last three months of my life have been hard so I am equipped to enjoy the beauty of a miracle. Maybe God wanted to reveal his might, power, ability, and willingness to answer the cries of his people.

4. Are you willing to watch with awake eyes, heart and mind the heartache in the world?
5. Are you willing to agonize, ache, and choke on reality--even when you desperately want to pretend that what you're seeing and living isn't real?
6. Are you expecting miracles? Or are you expecting tireless efforts to no avail?

Know that you are being prayed for. Thought of. Missed. Loved. Cheered on.
Know that I am expecting
holes to be filled

So, Kelsey Keizer, or however it is spelled in Czech... my last question is this, When you pray on the tram, on the court, on the streets.....are you expecting a miracle?

I am.