This was my last view of Kansas City when I was 12. That was seven years ago as of tomorrow.

My parents, my brother Jordan and I had all lived there for four months alongside the International House of Prayer (IHOP) where my parents were staffing a DTS. A whirlwind of packing, playing in the fresh snow, saying goodbye to new friends (who are now my old and dear friends– Cori and Savannah) and thinking of faraway familiar Kona. Those were my last days there in 2005.

However, the Kayla returning to Kona, my hometown, was not the same Kayla who left four months prior. This was a girl who was now responsible for her own relationship with God… one who had encountered Him as her Lover– even amidst her own tittle-tattle of iPod shuffles and doll clothes and sleepovers and playing hide-n-seek at birthday parties. Kansas City– or, falling in love with GOD there– changed my life. 

However, then, I was not who I am today. I was still a kid, as my 19-year-old self realized this evening. Out of the green plastic bin in a storage room upstairs… I fished out my black canvas diary. There? Hopes, dreams, general doings of my 11-12 year-old self. It was all written in neat but humorous pencil paragraphs. As I skimmed through the months we were there, I expected to see more of relationship with God. Wasn’t this such an impactful time? But I was just going on and on about birthday parties and presents and DTS students who hung out with me etc etc. 

Then… three days before we flew out of Kansas City… I found this entry hidden in the rough. I thought I would share with you guys:

Thursday, December 15th, 2005- 8:55pm- cloudy, full moon somewhere 

Dear Diary,

Once again I’m writing under the flashlight. But I have some things that I think need to be written down.

Today has been crazy. Me and everyone else has been really irritable today with packing. I was really snappy and stuff, too. We have no furniture (except mattress’) and we sold the computer to the Bartels’. But, like I said, I wasn’t very happy today.

But:   Lord, your mercies are new every morning
Lord, your mercies are new every day
And it your kindness that leads me to repentance
It’s your mercy that draws me to you…

That’s a verse in a song by (IHOP person) Lisa Gotshall. I usually sing it before bed now.

Sometimes I want to hide away in a corner and curl up and cry, away from everything. I get so frustrated when I can’t describe what I think or how I feel and I collapse. But I collapse into Jesus’ arms.

Thank you my friend,
Kayla <3

Oh, the romance of Christ. He sure knows how to write a love story. Thank you my Friend. True and dear you have been to me. So thank you for that time– though hard– seven years ago. You have shown your faithfulness all the way since then. Thank you. Amen.