In September I attended a conference called Debriefing and Renewal (DAR) for people who served overseas and are either leaving the field or going on Home Assignment/Furlough.

It was a rich and worthwhile time, in part because DAR helped to clarify my thinking and confirm some of the Lord’s leading. As much as I’d like a clear plan and direction, this year is being used to create space between “China Amy” and “What’s next Amy.” For the sake of not looking foolish, I’d rather hurry along through this phase; but that doesn’t seem to be the plan.


On the first day of DAR we had to draw a picture representing where we were. I drew a road ending in a forest and I was standing at the end of it, smiling. It symbolized I had come off of a clearly defined life path that wound here and there, but as long as I stayed on the path it kept moving along. I am now in this lesser defined part of life (I am smiling in the picture, it’s not horrible, but it is not clear) and here I am in the forest of life. In the picture, amongst the trees are dollar signs.

I can monitor my stress level during transition by how concerned I am about money. While the deep foundation that God has the cattle on a thousand hills IS my foundation, there I days I wonder how many cattle will be on my hill.

Turns out, “money worries” can be a pretty good barometer when it comes to how I’m doing with trusting God about the future. They are not often, but there are nights I wake in the middle with my stomach hurting and churning and I know the root isn’t physical.

I am learning to lean into those moments and trying to receive them as a gift from my body. A gift that says, right now, even subconsciously, something  less than Eden-esque is going on in you. Don’t feel bad that you still have these moments, instead see them as ways to let know of certainty and move towards the unknown.

I have a feeling money is going to be a trust trigger in some fashion throughout my life.

And you know what, if it wasn’t money, it’s would be something else. Right? Right. We each have them. Mine is money. What’s yours?


The year with trust … thus far:

January whispered trust uses both hands. She holds the present in one hand and the long view in the other.

February joined in with trust can build a bridge others walk on. 

March offered a legal life lesson. Trust doesn’t happen in a vacuum; ultimately trust is about relationships, valuables, and legacy.

April (with taxes) reminded me we all have trust triggers and mine is money.


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Leave A Comment

  1. Sarah S April 15, 2014 at 5:50 am - Reply

    Know your triggers…good advice….sometimes hard to follow. This month my one word…present…has brought me to an understanding that just being here…isn’t enough. Being present fully here…means being united. Present and united in my marriage…allows me to be still, know God is in control, submit to my husband, and in doing so…serve God. Present and United. First in my marriage. Second in Christ. Still no blog. Merely present and united.

    From your Oregon friend transplanted to Virginia.

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      Amy April 15, 2014 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      Oh YES on the hard to follow at times :). Thanks for sharing the insight that “present” is offering you — I can see that “just showing up” at times, may not be enough. Appreciate you chiming in!

  2. Elisa April 15, 2014 at 7:16 am - Reply

    Amy, thanks for this post. Know my trust trigger…Hmm. That is something I need to think more about. But in looking back over my life it seems that just walking “the path of unknown” is what triggers my trust issues. Daily life ambiguities normally don’t bother me, I couldn’t live in China if they did. But big life moments and transitions where the path keeps going (kind of like yours) into the forest of unknown. That bothers me. Sometimes more than others. Sometimes it’s also the realization that I don’t have control. When I can’t plan. I’m sure there are more but I’ll have to start paying more attention and asking Abba to show me my trust triggers. Thanks again for this post! :)

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      Amy April 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm - Reply

      Elisa, I love how you dive right in to examining your life :)

  3. Annie April 15, 2014 at 7:33 am - Reply

    Thanks for these thoughts, Amy. I know money is a huge indicator of trust and peace for me. I hate that I want to control that aspect of my life so much, but living with open hands has been tough. Thank you for this reflection! (Finally over from One Word, after all these months…!)

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      Amy April 15, 2014 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      Annie! No “finally” about it … whenever is fine! Warmly welcome and I’m off to read your post. Thanks for linking!

  4. Morielle April 15, 2014 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    My number one trigger is probably relationships. It really messes me up when a relationship gets messy in ways that I can’t see a way to fix. I just really don’t want to trust God in those kind of situations — I want to put things right FAST. Boy has He been challenging me in this area recently….

    The great thing is, I think the more He asks me to trust in ways that are contrary to my inclinations, and then days (or months…or years….) later I can see ways He was in control — this strengthens my trust. It’s why I think the Psalmists find it important to look back on the Lord’s faithfulness in situations that once seemed hopeless.

  5. Jamie Wright Bagley April 16, 2014 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    My word is “enough” and it goes along with some trust issues I have about money and scarcity and all the scary words that have to do with lack. I am learning the art of gratitude and embracing a contemplative approach to living. Most of the changes in my life are within, but they are huge for me. I’m discovering that financial peace is not just about budgeting and working toward being debt free, but it’s also about living in the present, seeing the sacred in the mundane, and practicing generosity. All of these are new things for me. I’ve held so tightly to everything in my life, and now that my hand is unfolding I find that I am not losing everything as I expected, but gaining new and fresh vision for my life and my future. Thanks for sharing your word update. Bless you.

  6. Suzanne April 17, 2014 at 9:27 am - Reply

    Oh, money is a trigger for me, too. That’s probably what I feel most insecure about.

  7. Holly April 17, 2014 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Hello Amy! I love your blog! So much so that I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Award. It’s a great way to share appreciation and get to know one another in the blogging community. Visit for more details. Congratulations!

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