never, ever, EVER Plan Your Life

I am stunned.

I am shell shocked.

How did this happen?

Every good thing I thought I was going to give my life towards.

Every person in that city that my heart breaks for.

All the struggle we pushed through in order to keep loving in that place.

The very purpose for which we uprooted, moved 8 states away, and endured hours of study and preparation.



or seemingly so.

Anyone who knows us, knows our heart beats for the poor, the broken, the marginalized. Especially for those in the city of Newark, NJ, which contains such a high concentration, a vast majority of such people. with so few resources. so few fathers. so few stable families. SO FEW GOSPEL PREACHING, GOSPEL-PROPELLED CHURCHES.

I have merely tolerated the suburbs. these past two and a half years.

while my heart has broken over the dwindling, struggling, and eventually dying ministry we left behind.

So eager to return. To jump back into the lives of those people we left behind.


never, ever, EVER plan your life.

The Lord will change it all up.

I wrestle hard with the why?
Why wouldn’t You let us go forth to obey the commands to spend ourselves on the hungry?
Why wouldn’t You let us go to a people I am passionate about serving and loving?
Why wouldn’t You let us go to a place with such need and so few laborers?
Why do those street kids that I’ve come to love so much not get the chance to hear and see the love of Christ (at least not yet)?
I Do Not Know

But I do know the promises if Isaiah 45:9-12
9 “Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker,
those who are nothing but potsherds
among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
‘What are you making?’
Does your work say,
‘The potter has no hands’?
10 Woe to the one who says to a father,
‘What have you begotten?’
or to a mother,
‘What have you brought to birth?’
11 “This is what the Lord says—
the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Concerning things to come,
do you question me about my children,
or give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 It is I who made the earth
and created mankind on it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens;
I marshaled their starry hosts.
13 I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness:
I will make all his ways straight.
He will rebuild my city
and set my exiles free,
but not for a price or reward,
says the Lord Almighty.”

So, as I wrestle, and mourn, and grieve…
I cling with all my heart to the fact that


And He has said, “come follow ME”.

not the ministry,

not the people,

not the need.

follow ME.

(more to come in these posts. at this point, I am only emotionally capable of processing one piece of this at a time. Jesus, be my Good Shepherd that walks with me through this valley of the shadow of death… of my dreams and expectations)

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brandyn Boyd
    Feb 23, 2013 @ 06:56:08

    I’m so sorry to hear that your world has flipped upside down. I will be praying for this transition time for you and your family. God is taking you to such deep places. And, you’re so right, we follow Jesus the person, not a plan or a ministry or a gifting or anything else.
    love you!


  2. Eileen
    Feb 23, 2013 @ 17:18:02

    Kimberly and Danny,

    From early 1988 to late 1989, Paul & I (and our growing brood) were preparing to serve with MTW seconded to Africa Inland Mission, with Paul teaching in a boarding school run by the Africa Inland Church of Kenya. We were learning Swahili, preparing to live on the Equator, and learning about butchering chickens, making our own mayonnaise and using gasoline-powered refrigerators. We had given away our winter clothes and sold our cars. TWO WEEKS before we were to arrive in Nairobi, we got the message that we couldn’t go. They could not find the right combination of a teaching position for Paul, housing for a family of six and dependable transportation. We had already been commissioned. We were “all packed up with nowhere to go.” It was rough to say the least.

    Our comfort was that Jesus is the one who “opens the door that no one can shut and shuts the door that no one can open.” We felt He had SLAMMED the door to Kenya in our faces. But we trusted Him as Lord of the Harvest to send us, His laborers, into the right place in HIS harvest field.

    Three weeks later we got a phone call from a stranger named Dan Iverson, who told us about the ministry in Chiba, Japan and interviewed us. God melted my heart (long story I’d love to tell you sometime) and I knew, “I want to work for that man!”

    Ten weeks later we stepped off the plane at Narita to join a team where we didn’t know a soul! They welcomed us like family. It was one of the greatest privileges of our lives to work with such godly, gifted and humble folks. Paul taught English, disciple the short-term single guys, and served as team treasurer. I was a wife, mother and homeworker, but I also led a weekly women’s bilingual Bible study (a Japanese Christian was there), offered hospitality, and began the Ask & Receive ministry. God used our gifts in special ways in Japan, and part of my heart is still there! And by His grace, wisdom and power (and sense of humor?), He is still using me there through my prayers, prayer mobilization, and Japan Partnership work.

    Many years later, I and my son Thomas (the one who was conceived in Japan but born in the USA) were able to serve short-term in Kenya through our church.

    Jesus is the Lord of the Harvest. I know it hurts to not be going back where your heart is (returning to Japan, if even for a visit, is on my “bucket list”), but God knows where you can bring Him the most glory and that will bring you the most satisfaction. Praying for you daily (as I have for years) and love you so much!



    • kimzhis
      Mar 02, 2013 @ 17:19:04

      Eileen, thank you for your encouraging words and story. I am praying that, just like your story shows, that God will do far bigger things than I could even imagine. You are such an example to me in your faithfulness in your prayer life. The Kingdom advances, and God’s children are on their knees crying out for it! Thank you for your faithfulness!


  3. livinginobscurity
    Feb 23, 2013 @ 17:28:02

    Sometimes God calls us to a place we are not passionate about, and a people we do not understand to expose some things that are in our heart. This transition may be about that. It is not until we are in a place hard for us to be, that some things get exposed. I know this first hand, and much richer for the painful process. It is hard to look in the mirror sometimes. Just know that He is forever faithful and will not call you to a place His grace cannot keep you. Mourn the losses and in time you will embrace where God has you. Realize too, it may only be for a season. I am praying for you!


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