Looks Like Love


“I won’t run, when it looks like love,

I won’t hide behind the fear of how my past has come undone

I won’t run, when it looks like love,

I won’t spend another night alone, regretting what I’ve done.”

Looks Like Love-Needtobreathe

Right now, it’s nearly 2am here in Madison, I haven’t written a post in 3 months, and I’m raw and exhausted. We leave for a conference tomorrow at 7am, and we leave for outreach in exactly 10 (9!) days.

God is teaching me things here on this classroom floor at 2am.

This is the spot (not exactly, but pretty dang close) that has been my teaching grounds since January 10th. The girl that walked in this building didn’t have a clue what vulnerability looked like, inexperienced in risking myself on, well, anything.

Love involves risks. Lots of them. Sometimes its joyful. Sometimes it rebukes. Sometimes you don’t get all the answers you wanted.

It’s always Jesus.

I always took the verse about perfect love casting out fear as almost platitude, someone slapping a Band-Aid over bullet-wound, crippling anxiety.

Until I got a taste of that perfect love.

But God, what if I don’t know what next looks like?

But God, what if I never know why?

But God, I don’t see where you are in this…

I love you.

And right now, that’s enough. And it’s safe. My heart is safe in the questions. In the “I just don’t knows”. Does it still hurt sometimes? Oh my goodness, yes.

Still love you.

Now, if it’s a platitude, it’s straight from the mouth of Jesus. And that brings it to life (so it’s a no to that whole platitude thing). A current favorite around here is called Pieces, whether it’s in the shower or doing chores, I always seem to hear it 16 times a day. It’s alright. God knows I need it right now.

It’s never disengaged
It’s always present
It hangs on every word we say
Love keeps its promises
It keep its word
It honors what’s sacred
‘Cause its vows are good

That’s the perfect love that I can trust. When I am in deep pain. When I am so full of joy, I can’t keep it in. Even if none of the problems ever get solved, even if I never know why. Even in goodbye.

Still love you.

I engage. So I love full and big and wide. So I ask for God’s heart even when it feels like too much to carry. I am never alone, and I am never unsafe, and I am so, so weak, and so, so strong. It’s all an enigma I haven’t figured out how to carry yet.

But I’m learning. And He asks, are you hands still open?

Yeah, God. Yeah, they are.



Sunday Mornings.

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 9.05.37 AM

Did you know this morning that Our God is all of these things? Did you know that the God who has painted these sunsets goes before you? He is ever present, he is good. He gives good, good gifts. He is for us. He is all of these things all the time.

I know well, as does most everyone, that sorrow exists. Sorrow is all encompassing. We are in a place where sorrow taints everything. Sin taints everything.

God is a god of joy. Or he wants to be. Will you let him?

He wants to know you in the smallest detail. Don’t ignore those big loves that God has put in your heart. I’ve learned this week, that God can lay you flat at 7:30 and radically change everything it is that you thought and expected. And He can join you singing Disney songs in the kitchen with new friends. Dance parties. Laughing. Macaroni and cheese pizza. Midnight McDonald’s runs. Good coffee.

I forget that God made laughter, too. I can’t remember the last time I laughed this much. God made us for community and love and relationship. God made us to create with him. He made these stunningly beautiful flat plains with sunsets that just can’t even be done justice with pictures. He made the trees.

He heals us.

“Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
    tell of his salvation from day to day.”

Psalm 96:1

I Used to Think Depression Was My Fault

This season is hard. Really hard. It’s dark at 4:30. Nights feel a lot longer. This is a season of less than proud anniversaries for me. Less than proud anniversaries make for less then proud memories.

I used to think depression was my fault.

I used to think depression was a side effect of my perceived not enough-ness. I used to systematically root my life from every form of “evil” every time it rolled up. In high school, it meant putting nothing but Christian music that I sort of liked on my iPod, not swearing and keeping my bible in my backpack instead of my nightstand. If I could somehow obligate God to show up, I couldn’t be sad. I could just skip these broken spots of my life if God, will you just show up?

In college, it meant not having friends, because everyone had the potential to make God leave. I went into college with that pesky 85% of students lose their faith in college. Like God could lose his children. Ever. God doesn’t leave. Ever. You don’t run faster than he can keep up. Ever.

It meant being at church whenever I could be and blasting teachings every. single. second. It meant spending time with people for what I could get, asking them to heal me because I wanted to ignore that mind numbing feeling of there’s no way you’re here, God.

God and depression could not coexist. God and anxiety could not coexist. God and medication could not coexist. It was one extreme or the other.

Please remember in this season. Grace is always the middle ground. Grace is the exhale. When depression hits, when anxiety hits, make grace the answer. Grace is knowing that no sadness, depression, grief, anxiety is ever bigger than the room God has made for all of us.

When you are doubled over crying because you just had another panic attack and thats the second time this week, and you just can’t place why and you feel like you’ve just run a marathon.There is grace, and there is room.

When you can’t get out of bed. Again. When you can’t make yourself feel anything. There isn’t even sadness here. Just nothing. There is grace and there is room.

When you are overwhelmingly joyful, there is grace and there is room.

When you are angry and there are questions and they don’t ever go away, there is grace and there is room.

I used to think depression was my fault and now I know there is grace here for all of us and God is bigger then anything. I know now, that because depression is here doesn’t mean God isn’t and I can know him here too. I know him better than ever here. I can’t obligate God to be where he already is.

And even when it is my fault. Even when my selfish decisions put me there. There is grace and there is room. And there is hope and there is Jesus.

“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:24-26

Answering Questions

Hey guys!

So this was supposed to be weekly. Obviously, that has failed. But I have been busy. I am still working (25-30+ hours a week). There has been tons of baking, mainly by my mother (try the peanut butter Reese’s cookies). I have a Scentsy fundraiser going at the moment (IT SMELLS SO GOOD). All in all, I am blessed and grateful. The total is just about $1500. That is humbling and crazy to me. We are looking at flights. And packing lists. My passport application went out this week. I presented the need to church just over a month ago. I’ve had a lot of questions, so here’s my sort-of FAQ. Some place to answer a lot of the questions I’ve been getting. Always feel free to shoot me a message. I really love (and by that, I mean vastly prefer) one-on-one conversations with people. Please give me a call, shoot me a message, find me in person. But here’s some nutshell information.


Kahli’s YWAM Trip in A Nutshell

What The Money Goes To:

Lecture- $3900: This is the 3-month phase that takes place in Wisconsin. Here I will learn more about my relationship with God, God’s heart for these children, and the conditions in these children’s lives. This includes my housing, food, local outreach and books.

Outreach-$2500-$4000: This is the final 2 or so months of the program and what it involves is GOING with what we’ve been told into the lives of these children and using what we’ve learned to serve these people and communities. Past outreaches have gone to Mexico, India, Malaysia, Thailand, and Uganda. They just had a team this week return from Samoa. If you want to keep up on the trips they have going right now, like them on Facebook or follow on Instagram. They post all the time about what they are up to, and what trips they have going.  This is determined within the first month of my DTS.

Some links that give you an idea of what I might be doing:

  • Latvia: Sarah is a current staffer from YWAM Madison working with an organization called Freedom 61 that works with women in prostitution in Latvia.
  • Samoa– This team just got back this week from teaching in a school in Samoa. This was YWAM Madison’s first trip to Samoa, and the stories and pictures just keep coming. They spent six weeks in a learning center, teaching kids ages 6-17.
  • Thailand– This was a DTS student from this past year that went to Thailand on her DTS. She puts into such beautiful words why going into this is worthwhile.

Airfare and Insurance-$900- As we’re beginning to look, my flight into Madison will be about $310. Insurance is looking to be between $500-$700

Some have asked me if monthly or one-time would be best. My answer is go how you’re lead. There will still be regular expenses  (phone bill, toiletries, incidentals. My hope is to do most of this with my own savings) and any remaining outreach funds that I don’t have by January.  But the immediate need is my lecture as that is needed when I get there in January.

How You Can Help:

Prayer: Some specific things: In the last month or two, anxiety has been huge. I’ve struggled with this for a while but lately it has been paralyzing. Please pray for the discernment to see this for what it is and move through it. Thank God with me for how I’ve been blessed so far. God is good. Really good. Pray for his guidance as I move forward and buy flights, insurance, etc. Pray for my leaders, and my fellow DTS-ers.They are going through this same thing. Pray for our unity.

Spoil The Orphans: This is a program specific to YWAM Madison that put’s together physical items to give to the children we go to on outreach. We desperately want these children to make sure they know how much they are loved by our Creator and by us. I’ll attach a link down below to the ways you can help with this project.

Financial:I have no doubt that where God guides and leads, he will provide. If this is where God leads you to support me, then the need is definitely present and know that I am so blessed. A couple of things that have been happening:

  • Taste and See: This is my mother’s baking page. She has been baking up a storm. Cookies primarily, but moving into the holiday season this is great for having homemade food without having to make it yourself. Go and like the page for what’s coming out of the kitchen from week to week.
  • Scentsy: This is the link to my online party. It runs until November 9th, and 25% of what you buy goes towards the trip. A lot of people love these products. Links to the website to order from are on the Facebook page linked above.

I’ll continue to update as different fundraising opportunities come up. My YouCaring page is still up, and I update that as donations come in. To everyone who has donated? Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Any other questions? Shoot me an email (under the contact me tab) or find me on Facebook.



On August 11th, 2007, I left the US for the first time. Boston, Massachusetts to Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta, Georgia to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I was 14 years old and my mom put Twizzler’s in my suitcase for the flight. I kept my passport close, the constant fear of it being lost or stolen forever in the forefront of my mind. I still have the boarding passes and the notes my parents packed me tucked away in an Altoid’s tin. That was 8 years ago. A lot happened in 8 years.

High school happened. College happened. Another trip to Honduras happened. I cared. I cared a lot. But for some reason, in your teens, it isn’t cool to care about things, or people. It’s a lot cooler to be selfish. Since I was small, I knew I wasn’t meant to be something normal. Not a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher (For those of you who know me, the irony.). I wanted to be a marine biologist, to save the manatees. I wanted to be a neurologist, to save my grandfather. I wanted to be a writer, to save the moment, hold it still and never forget it. Salvation started at 4 years old, when I heard about heaven and knew that if I never went anywhere else, I wanted to go there. I wanted to save and be saved.

Just about a week ago, 8 years and 1 week from the first time I stepped on foreign soil, I found out. Some Important Information about Winter DTS. But wait.. I’m not in a DTS. I spent this morning sobbing because I’m not in a DTS. I scroll a little further down, and there it is. Congratulations! I am in a DTS. I call my mom, my best friend. I’m leaving in January. And here, God saved the last shreds of my hope.

A poet I love said, “I know how to talk to God, and he does not expect me to use my inside voice”. I had gotten the rejection email for the fall that morning, and my hope fell. And I yelled at God, cried. Hope deferred makes a heart sick. Oh how tired I was of hope deferred.

I’m not saying this is how it works. I can think of more instances in my life where my hope has been deferred, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been told to wait. But hold on. That’s all I can say. The things God worked out in me, in the waiting, in the wilderness, were lessons that can’t be learned when my every hope is met.

So August is an important month. It is the month where hope was awakened, and the month where my hopes were realized. God has saved me, I’m sure of it. God didn’t save me, just for me. August is a month of salvation, the last hope of summer, and where these hopes of mine come alive.