Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 14

We begin the day every morning with devotions and worship. This morning the Lord had something special in mind. Many of the women are post abortive and are in various stages of healing. Some have been silent for decades, while some have more recent scars of loss. All have been forgiven and washed by the blood of Jesus, but few are completely free from condemnation and shame. One woman began sharing this morning of an encounter she had with Jesus during our walk yesterday. She received divine revelation of the powerful and beautiful mercy of Jesus and accepted the grace to forgive herself. Through the utterance her revelation, it began to set other women free. The Holy Spirit did what He loves to do when He is free to breathe on the human heart and began surgery. One by one, the women opened the door of their heart to the One who says, " Woman, where are your accusers now? " As the women began mourning the loss of babies they would never hold, some grieving for the first time, we held each other and wept with those who wept, and mourned with those who mourn. As a whole, we entered into pain, loss, regret, and suffering. We repented on behalf of the church, who does not know how to help the women trapped in fearful silence. We repented on behalf of mothers who did not help their daughters become mothers but pressured them into the termination of pregnancy. We repented on behalf of the men who did not honor them as women and become fathers to their babies. We repented on behalf of family and friends who do not know what to do with the honest confession and choose to pretend it never happened instead. And we received the sweet presence of the Great Healer, who alone can fill this place in their hearts.

Then, we laced our shoes and walked in silence, in honor of babies and siblings that we will never meet in this life. Through walking in the pain, we were acknowledging that these brave women are making a way for thousands to come behind them into healing and freedom. These women chose not to stay silent behind the shame and grief, but to live their lives out loud in front of the nation. They chose not to stay in the safe comfort of home, but to become a prophet to the nation through testifying of the inconceivable redeeming power of what JESUS did at the CROSS. They chose not to believe the voice of the accuser, but to trust in the scandalous mercy of the loving Father who loves to forget. They will each unashamedly share their story on our webcast and believe that in living rooms across America, the truth of their words will pierce the hearts of women hiding behind walls of shame and regret. We believe as this sound of freedom is released over the air waves, it will BREAK the power of deception and release the power of TRUTH!

God, release a moral outcry from the women of this nation to beak our covenant with death and save the unborn of tomorrow!!!

As you can imagine, it was difficult to walk 13 miles after the emotional journey of the morning. We all felt much heavier and physically tired than we had so far. But what I love about that is that this journey is costing me something. I can not expect to walk this trail of tears on behalf of 54 million babies and it not be painful. I count it honor to shed every tear, wrap every blister, and lift my foot every step.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 13


The following is the telling of "a day on the walk" by my friend author Susan Tyrell with Bound4LIFE. If you don't already follow the Bound4LIFE blog Moral Outcry, I highly recommend it!  She joined us for one day and beautifully captured a day in the life...just though I'd share it with you!


12 miles in their shoes

On Tuesday I joined the Back to Life ladies and walked the whole day with them. This blog is a bit longer than usual, but I hope it conveys some of what their daily life is like and the special grace they have for this hour.
As a graduate student in Texas in 2008, I often drove 3.5 hours from College Station , TX to Lindale, TX. It takes a series of back roads to get between the two, including one merciful stretch of Interstate 45 between Normangee, TX and Buffalo, TX. Most weeks, I drove this route; on Tuesday I walked part of it as I joined my friends at Back to Life who are walking from Houston to Dallas. (Please click here if you missed our blog on what they are doing and why).
As I walked along I-45 with plenty of time to remember my drive, I wondered how many times I’d driven that same stretch of highway, as a genuine committed believer and follower of Jesus, but with no real vision for LIFE. It would be several months before my call to LIFE in late 2008. On Tuesday, as I walked up that road with the 39 women giving up their lives, comfort, and convenience to spend three weeks praying and standing for the ending of abortion, I gazed at the wildflowers and realized what God had done in me in such a short time.
I didn’t know I’d get to spend the day walking with them until last week so there was no time for training. I happened to be in the area on vacation, and, thanks to their graciousness, was able to schedule a day to walk with them. The walk was one of their shorter ones so far, 12.4 miles, mostly hills (!), which don’t look too big until you walk them. Someone (me!) was ill-prepared for a 12-plus mile walk in the heat (and I have the sunburn to prove it), but what I learned was worth every one of those 20,000-plus steps.
There are things I wish I could convey to you. I know my words can’t do this movement justice but walking in their shoes for one day I learned many things I want you to know. I knew some of the girls beforehand, but even the ones I did know, I’d not spent much time with. What I saw was beautiful.
For over 12 miles these girls walked in total unity, they sang worship and praise songs at the top of their lungs, sometimes with dance motions as if they were in church, rather than walking uphill on an interstate feeder road. They prayed, they laughed. No one complained. No one snapped at anyone else. This wasn’t a workout; it was vision for LIFE and 11 days and over 140 miles in, it was still going strong. They weren’t putting on a show for their guest; they were living their call before the God who has called them.
Every so often a volunteer car came along holding up a few fingers “three!” And three girls who needed to be taken to the restroom would get in the “go car” and be shuttled to the RV. They’d come right back and rejoin the line, often before I knew they were missing. A couple who had been sick or injured still walked most of the way, even when they had to rest in a car for a while. Another car with more kind people toted water, fruit, protein bars–and encouraging words. Every time they went by me they’d ask how I was doing.  As I walked along with the girls I’d fall in line with a few different ones each time, catching up with some from when I lived in Kansas City, getting acquainted with others I only knew from Facebook, and meeting some for the first time. It all felt like I was walking down the road with friends I’d known forever. We were, for that day, all in it together. I wasn’t treated like an outsider, even though I’d had no idea of the training and gruel of their days. On Tuesday I was one of them and walked in their shoes.
Every morning they spend the first 39 minutes walking in single file silence. It’s a solemn start to the day, with personal worship, prayer and remembrance of why they are doing what they are doing. Later, sometimes, the word would come from the front of the line, “single file!” and each one called it back to the next person in line, usually indicating there was traffic or some other hindrance that necessitated us being in one line. Other times when they had to organize us to cross a major intersection near and exit, we’d group up while someone held a flag and crossed this mass of 39 women, and all the volunteers. It was certainly a sight! But mostly we heard honks of support, usually from truckers on the interstate; it was heartwarming. A couple times someone slowed to take pictures of us. But mostly it was just walking, praying, worshiping and remembering what the whole purpose of this walk was.
As I walked, I also observed. Whether I want to or not, I sometimes look at groups from my research background. This was no ordinary group. Any group analyst who studied them would be stunned that after 11 solid days of strenuous activity and being thrown together constantly, they were acting more like people excited to be at church on a Sunday morning than anything else.
What they do is physically hard. Texas, even in springtime, is warm, and sometimes rather rainy. It’s not for the faint of heart but their hearts soar as they do it.
It didn’t escape me the whole time that I was walking down a road I’d driven, never knowing I’d be back to walk it as a small part of a big movement. For me personally, it was a picture the Lord put before me by placing me there at that time on that road and reminding me of the road of His call to LIFE for me.
For these ladies there are many stories, all different, with one united thread: All have a story that called them to LIFE, some are tragic and have been redeemed; all are hopeful. Perhaps that’s why an outsider could come in halfway through and walk the day as if we were all connected: Because that’s the part of the story no group dynamics research can detail well. It’s spiritual unity, as the Psalmist says in Psalm 133:
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—
Life forevermore.
Behold how good it is when the Back to Life walkers walk in unity, under an anointing and grace of prayers and LIFE forevermore!
These are strong godly women speaking out to change a generation, to reverse the culture of death. They have stepped out to take the land. My favorite moment of the day was when we had to detour because of a construction zone on the feeder road. Even the cars couldn’t come with us, so we were led around it, on the grass, and it felt like we were walking through Bible history.

      
My words can’t adequately convey the awe I felt with these ladies Tuesday. They feel your prayers. They get that they are being carried by a loving Father through the prayers of His children who are giving them love, prayers, and financial support.  They have made the sacrifices to give up weeks of life as they know it to fight for the Life of those who may never know it.
Today is their 13th day on the open road. They are well past the halfway point and are going strong. So strong! Please commit to pray for them as they finish strong as well.  This seemingly small act from us is a huge surge of strength to them. Each walker will tell you it’s not their physical prowess that is carrying them but the spiritual strength the grace and prayers.
Thank you, ladies, for letting me walk in your shoes for a day; than you for standing for LIFE in such a powerful way!
Walkers who arrived waiting for the others at the finish point for day 11.
Editor’s note: Each day Back to Life webstreams live three times a day, as well as provides a prayer guide for their prayer focus, so you can join them even from afar.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 12

  Today was a "move" day, meaning we loaded our bags this morning before our walk, and then go to a new town for the next couple of nights.  The last three nights we have been in Centerville, and today moved to Fairfield.  A small Assembly of God church "hosted" us in Centerville.  The church was just a few hundred feet down the "feeder road" from the hotel, which worked out perfect, because there was no meeting room for meals or stretching at the tiny hotel.  They fed us, did our laundry, and served us continually as we walked!  This morning, as we were about to leave, the Pastor and his wife anointed our feet and prayed for us.  It was moving and beautiful.

  As we faced another 12-mile day, I decided to change tactics of how to conquer the mileage.  Typically the walkers tend to separate into the fast(er) and not-so-fast walkers.  It has been a challenge to keep everyone "happy" as we have so many fitness levels represented.  I've been concerned about the morale of those walkers who typically finish at the end of the group.  So I challenged the team with Philippians 2 and to "think of others as more highly than yourselves" and change their places in the line.  We honored the girls who generally finish last and allowed them to finish first!  It was a lesson in humility for some, and a feeling of victory for others.  It was all worth it to see the smiles at the end of the day!


Not quite...look again!


Nate thinks this is taking awhile!


Day 11

Here are a couple of video updates.  Sorry about being a day late; the internet has been a bit unavailable in some small towns!

In other news, I DID end up taking an ice bath.  (Nate encouraged me by standing there and laughing.)  The first two minutes were comparable to labor pains...I endured for five minutes.

Our prayer focus today was on the hearings at the Supreme Court concerning Obamacare and the abortion provisions contained within.  We have been praying for righteousness and truth to prevail in the government of our nation.  I find it amazing that there was no way to predict or plan that we would be walking at the same time this law is being reviewed.  The Supreme Court agreed to hear this case in November (2011), but the walk has been planned for well over a year now!  I believe heaven is hearing our prayers!!!


(Also, I say "Day 10" in the video, but really it's Day 11...)
HAIL, HAIL, LION OF JUDAH!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 10

Today, as a team, we covered 18 miles!  Knowing that we needed to make up some miles, I decided (as personal trainer) to break our team in to relays.  So we divided into three groups and did six miles each.  Today was also the day with the most hills which made even six miles challenging.  However, we managed to cover the distance in five hours.  There are 11 days to go, and we still need to average 12 miles/day to reach our goal!
My job as personal trainer for the team can sometimes be a bit overwhelming.  Our goal was to have a full-time nurse or physical therapist with us on the walk.  But since that didn't happen, I am serving as all three!  This includes assessing injuries, taping/wrapping feet and ankles, examining blisters, massaging muscles, and other various needs of 38 women!  I am relying on God's grace and wisdom to address these needs!  But I am learning a lot, and loving the challenge!
Last night, the entire team got to be treated by chiropractors who drove in from Dallas.  They are a team of Christians who believe in what we are doing, and will visit us 3-4 more times before the walk is done!  This was a great blessing...just in time for the hills we faced today.
Tomorrow, some of the girls have an opportunity to take an "ice bath" provided by one of the coaches here (a member of the host church).  I'm gonna pass...I'll let you know how it goes for the others!

Yesterday, one of our prayer points was government, and voting.  Here is Nate on the 5:00 pm webstream talking about Vote4LIFE!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 9

Today was rather intense.  We are all aware that hearings over The Presidents Healthcare Bill (referred to as Obamacare) begin tomorrow at the Supreme Court.  You can read here how, if upheld, this nationalized bill WILL BE THE GREATEST EXPANSION OF ABORTION SINCE 1973.
The next three days of oral arguments at the Supreme Court, as well as the following few weeks of deliberation are crucial.  Please join us in praying!

Day 8

So there seems to barely be enough time in the day to take care of all the things you have to do continually as a backtolifemovement walker. Taking supplements, taping your feet, drinking constantly to prevent dehydration, going to the bathroom repeatedly since you are drinking continually, walking 4+ hours, stretching, eating, and.....sleeping.


Here is a day in the life...


8:00 am.    Wake up. Take supplements. Begin prepping feet for wrapping. Get dressed.
8:30.           Breakfast.
9:00.           Morning devotionals. Tape, cover with lubricant, and wrap feet.
9:45.           Warm up stretch
10:00.        Get on bus. Apply sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses.
11:00.         Begin walking.
12:00.         Walk
1:00.           Walk.
2:00.           Walk
3:00.            Um......
3:30 ish.      Get on bus.
4:00.           Stretch again. 45 minutes.
5:00.           Soak in Epsom salt.
5:30.           Eat. (we are burning approximately 1200 cal/daily)
6:30.           Get stuff ready for tomorrow.
7:30.           Take evening supplements. Ice injuries.
9:00.           Remind yourself why you are walking 274 miles....
9:30.           SLEEP!!!   

Last visit with kids...they're off to Tulsa with Nana and Papa!

Just the basics...

Supplements!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Day 7


Well, one week down!

Crossing over I-45
Somehow, this sign has more significance than before...!



The sign says it all.
End of Day 7 

Yesterday's Video!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Days 5,6

Day 5

Yesterday was an emotional day for me.  As I was finishing mile 10, I received a call that my mom had been in a car accident in Dallas. Thankfully, she is doing great!  Thank you to all who were praying faithfully!
My mom is joining the 21-day prayer effort hosted by the Dallas House of Prayer, which coincides with the walk and leads up to the Esther Call.  She is serving faithfully in the day-time, where they had a need for more intercessors.  So not only is she covering me in prayer continually, but she is participating in the city-wide prayer effort happening in Dallas!  So even after a very serious car accident yesterday, she was back in the prayer room this morning!  She is also continually updating all my prayer support!  This is an incredible gift, and I appreciate her support more than words can say!
All is well!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 3

Today was an incredible experience.  I saw my city like never before as we walked from the southern end of The Woodlands all the way through Conroe!  It was so great to have my friends, family, and supporters come out to cheer me on!
Today's highlight...seeing Kai and Anila for the first time since Thursday!
The Woodlands
4 hours later

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 2

Today we finished 13 miles in just over four hours!  Most of us have blistered feet
Ouch!

Day 1

We left Planned Parenthood with the crowd lining the streets, and cheering us on...it was such an emotional and encouraging start!  I know there were some issues with the web-stream of the press conference, but it will be on the archives soon.  It was so powerful...you'll want to watch it when it becomes available!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Orientation

Orientation was amazing.  It was the first time all 39 were together in the same place.  We spent the day building community and doing a "warm-up" walk of 3 miles.  I'm encouraged by everyone's excitement!

Our first bus ride!
My walking shirts...
On Friday night, we had a gathering in Houston called The Launch.  Several pro-life leaders from around the country flew in to pray with us and see us off!  It was an awesome time and truly a blessing!
Mistie


Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Tribute of Thanks

I could not have endeavored to take on such an undertaking without incredible support from my family and friends. Obviously, the commitment that I made 9 months ago affected so many people in my life. The sacrifice of many in so many ways made it possible for me to pursue my dream. Although a simple thank you is not enough, please accept it as a small token of my appreciation. I could not have done this without YOU!

 To all intercessors - thank you for standing in the gap for me!!
All financial supporters - Thank you! Every donation was so appreciated.

Jeanna - thank you for being my walking buddy, my cheer leader, buying my first pair of running pants, watching my kids, and praying for me continually! This has been an incredible journey together.

Sandra League - my muscles thank you!

Amber - you added your sweet ( clean ) touch. Thank you!

Valarie and Gina - thank you for taking care of my little people!

Georgia - thank you for trips to the school and multiple sleepovers of little Nelson's!

Kelly - thank you for your prayer support, love, friendship and delectable bath salts!

Laura - thank you for all of my amazing athletic equipment!

Layla -  um.... Way too much to say..... Indebted to you for life.

Connie - thank you for my organic power bars. I think of you every time I walk!

Jessica - thank you for media support, but most of all thank you for living your life for all too see. You are my inspiration and my greatest hero. You, R2, the twins and Tristan are with me every step I take. This endeavor is a tribute to your journey. I love you.

Carol - thank you for caring for the small reproductions of myself that have boundless energy!

Mom - thank you for healthy meals which take multiple hours to prepare, countless trips to the grocery store, folded laundry, watching the kids, and sleepless nights of whispered prayers on my behalf. But mostly thank you for having the courage to break the silence and releasing me into my destiny. You have invested decades into so that I would shine for such a time as this. I stand on your shoulders as a forerunner and and in the beside you as a contender in the spirit. Thank you.

Nate - thank you for countless hours of serving and sharing me in so many ways, agreeing to join me in the 21 days, giving up date nights so that I could rest, spending money on taking care of my body, walking with me at 5:30 am, and giving up fast food, with me (?). But most of all, thank you for letting me truly be who I am. Thank you for allowing me to fully pursue my destiny with focused intensity that occasionally lends to radicalism....thank you for being patient when I am more Warrior than Wife. Thank you for never holding me back. You are my Mordecai. I love you.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ready or not


3 pairs of shoes. 9 months of training. Over 400 miles. Ready or not...

I just finished my last day of walking multiple hours until the Walk! I started training 9 months ago so it is an incredible sense of accomplishment! The past 4 weeks have been very intense.  They have required 2-3 hours of walking daily! So pretty much from my waking moment, what I eat, how I manage my time, exercising for multiple hours, when and how I sleep and taking supplements at the right time consumes my day. Am I ready? I do not know. It is difficult to count all the time, money, sweat and tears I have put into something and then let it just be whatever it is. I mean, I cannot change whether I am ready now or not. It is what it is. I just have this nagging sense of doubt. Did I overtrain? Will I be well prepared? Will I be in miserable pain everyday? I do not know and I probably won't until about Day 4. But at least I know I did my best.

Several times a week, when I am massaging my feet or soaking in Epsom salt, Anila looks at me and says " Its for the babies, mom. It will be worth it."

I know she is right.