A letter to FFA Seniors-


A letter to FFA Seniors from an Ag Teacher:

Dear FFA Senior,

I come to you with a heavy heart knowing that your Spring semester was not what you expected or even anything you would have planned… the same goes for us, your teachers, as well. I remember watching your face fall and then grimace and alter as you tried to decide if you wanted to scream words of anger or have tears of sorrow fall as, one by one, major stock shows were cancelled. You grabbed ahold of hope as judging season had yet been altered and maybe, just maybe, you would get to step into that arena, room, barn, or lab with that clipboard in hand, ready to make some important placings. Once again, as I read your emails, your texts, that you knew all of that was done… there would be no more judging seasons for you under that FFA Chapter name that you so proudly represented on that National Blue and Corn Gold corduroy jacket. I know that prom was taken and graduation is still lingering on the balance of staying or going but your heart lies within this organization.

You see, we understand the power that the FFA has placed on so many of you. We have watched you grow and mature from a shy, quiet, lacking confidence member into the bright and shining, very mature, and confident member that will graduate and step into this world. We have watched you pour hours into an animal project, so you could step into a ring to prove to yourself and others around you that you do have the heart and dedication to make it through anything in life. We have watched you get tongue tied as you practiced the Creed, Issues, or Radio script over and over to find the perfection that you were seeking after. We watched you come out of that contest room, beaming, knowing you did it! It was your best yet, only to see that your best wasn’t the best that day. Instead of giving up, you powered through, wanting to make your best THE best. We have seen you judge everything under the sun from cotton to the vegetables in the produce aisle while grocery shopping with mom. You would eat, sleep, and breath competition because you wanted to succeed… no, you craved it.

We saw it all. We saw your tired eyes and messy hair as we loaded the bus or suburban to head to a CDE contest. We saw your excitement and nervousness as your class was being called to the show ring. We saw the many selfies taken in official dress. We saw the miles. We saw the memories. We saw the joys and the discomforts. So know this when we say:

We will miss you, with our hearts full and tears wanting to fall. We will miss celebrating your last banquet and ultimately watching you walk that stage to be given your diploma. Also know, we have seen you prep for adversity. We have watched you face challenges and disappointments, everyday, and we have seen you joyous through all of it. These memories do not fade when you hang up that jacket, they stay with you, for a lifetime. You will be able to reach back and pull out every emotion, memory, maybe even animal you showed. This spring semester does not define your FFA career and it certainly won’t stop you from achieving your dreams.

Always remember, you are greater than any adversity, you are stronger than any boundary, and you are wiser than many. Keep these memories close and know, that your chapter will step up for you. They know that you didn’t get your spring semester, and they will not let that fall in vain. I can guarantee, next year, the competition will be steeper, the practices harder, because your fellow members want you to know that your spring semester wasn’t lost.

Be ready for the new chapters in your life, embrace the memories of the past, and know that you are ready for these next steps. We believe in you. You should too.

-An Agriculture Science Teacher

The Minor Character.


Have you ever been in the middle of your ‘send me, I will go’ moment in your walk in faith and then all of a sudden God whispers to you,

My child, you have done all that I have sent you to do.

And then you sit there, feeling almost defeated, because you felt like you hadn’t finished your mission?


I’ve been there, a few times… okay, more than a few times, but over the past year I have battled with the thought that, I didn’t do anything!? I didn’t change anything! Lord, you sent me, I was there, and then you called me back saying I had done what you needed me to do… BUT I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING. I remember that moment, all too well. When I yelled at God, opened my mind and bared my entire heart and soul. I sat there, lost, not understanding the ways at which God works. It wasn’t because I am naive in His ways, but I thought I would be more significant; like I would do mighty things like Moses or change the hearts of millions like Paul or hide spies because I had that much faith like Rahab. Yet, that isn’t how I felt at all.

See, often I feel that, as Christians, we are slightly steered in a direction that if we are doing God’s work we will become those infinitely famous characters like Moses. We will begin changing lives and seeing a large ripple effect that goes for miles, and we will know we were the initial little mark for that. But, as I have learned all too well, that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, God uses the minor characters to change the course of history, and they are almost the forgotten ones. Much like Ruth’s mother-in-law who simply didn’t refuse to let Ruth come along with her back to her home land; she allowed Ruth to press forward and inevitably, that is how Ruth and Boaz met. Had it not been for that mother-in-law allowing her to press on, Ruth wouldn’t have met her Boaz and the line of Jesus would have been changed, entirely. Had a boy not brought his lunch on a particular day, he would have never been the reason that Jesus was able to feed the five thousand with just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. A miracle happened due to one minor character.

The minor characters are just as vital. They are the ones that play a part in a storyline they know nothing about. They remain faithful and true to who they are and their character, and lives are changed. God uses those moments to shape hearts and history.

It is okay to feel like the minor character.

It is okay to seek counsel for every aspect of life, and not understand, one bit, about God’s plan. You don’t have to be a Moses or a Noah or a Paul in order for God to use you.

Had I not played a minor character, I would have never met such amazing people while in Ghana, I wouldn’t have taught sweet babies ballet or tap, I wouldn’t be changing the lives of girls in a detention center by being faithful and joyous in all circumstances, and I wouldn’t be teaching the subject I love to kids I love dearly in a school that cares for me.

You may never understand a role that God gives you, but He will make sure, that whether it be major or minor, that you change the hearts and lives of others all around, and maybe, just maybe, those blessings and changes will come back to thank you.

-Hope Sorrells


On the ‘days’, be patient.


Cue the:




Lack of understanding.








Wanting to be completely transparent but also wanting to avoid the vulnerability.

I haven’t hid the fact that I am battling through health issues that do not have a diagnosis. They do not have a solid action plan. They don’t even have a name; I only can state how I feel and what doctors suspect. What I have hid is how bad I feel due to what I am battling; especially when those battles are out of my control. I deal with excessive heart rate, heart attack like sensations, extreme fatigue, uncontrollable gastrointestinal pains, chronic cramping in joints and muscles along with pain in those joints and muscles.

But the thing that I have kept hidden the most is how others treat me. The lack of understanding begins almost instantaneously especially when I seem “fine” and then turn around 2 seconds to 10 minutes to 3 days later and feel miserable. You begin to see the disbelief in people’s eyes, you hear the comments of “You look way better!” or “You don’t look sick!” or the best one “Are you sure you it isn’t just all in your head?” You feel people begin to treat you differently because you have cancelled plans one too many times because you know your body and know you could risk fainting or having to be in bed for 4 days if you do go out. Even a simple trip to the grocery store is exhausting. Driving… usually out of the question. But people expect me to get up, dressed, make up and hair done, to then stand on my feet, or walk around – – that probably won’t happen. Even a simple shower causes almost two hours of a resting period so that my body can slowly begin to function normal again.

I ask, if you have friends dealing with unforeseen circumstances, be patient with them. They will have days where they shut the world out, bottle everything up and avoid all. They will also have days where they want to go out and try and conquer everything they are battling. And those ‘days’ can happen within minutes or even hours of each other. At 9:00am they want to go out and do multiple things and then by 3:00pm they can barely walk across the house without feeling like their own body may fail them. Be patient with them. On the days where you aren’t quite sure how truthful they are being, be patient with them. When you want to coddle them and let them know that you are 100% there for them, regardless if the support is via a text, be patient with them.

I can promise you, they “cue all” the feelings that are listed above and more, all they ask is patience. You don’t even need to understand any of it, but instead, give patience.

So on the ‘days’, please be patient with them.

Sugar Coat.


“I will not be returning back to Ghana…”

I want to sugar coat everything. I want to put on a strong face and claim that all is well, I am okay with decisions, I am okay with everything that is happened. This is a time that I will be happy. However, that all would be a lie. I am not here to lie, I am hear to share my testimony {finally} since coming back home from Ghana and realizing I would not be returning.

Flashback to November 6, 2017:

I was day dreaming back to when I first accepted my position in AgriCorps and I would be living in Ghana, West Africa for 11 months. “Wow!” everyone exclaimed when I would tell them. I had so much support surrounding me that I couldn’t even comprehend what was going on. I was going to be living in Ghana. When I finally arrived along with 7 other of the most amazing people, I knew that this wasn’t going to be easy, but it was definitely going to be amazing and life changing. I figured out the culture, the language *kinda* and had fallen in love with the people. I met my host family and, although, it started off very rocky, it soon became an amazing bond that I will forever have. I met my students, taught classes, and had my first 4-H meeting. I was loving life but I didn’t feel “right”. Right in the sense that my body was trying to tell me something and I wasn’t sure what. I began to just feel bad. I was tired, all the time. I couldn’t focus on small tasks or even perform them because I was hurting too bad.

Side note: I have battled chronic pain for 10 years with no answer.

My body was weak. I didn’t want to eat, couldn’t eat, or if I did I would get sick. I wanted to sleep. I couldn’t stand up for long periods. I was miserable but I tried to remain strong and faithful because God called me to Ghana why would He take it away from me!?

But on November 6th I boarded plane that was bound for Lubbock, Texas and I would not head back to Ghana. I left new friends, I left my family, my students with unfinished business. I left a life, a job, and so many things that I would never get back.

I was bitter. I am talking B-I-T-T-E-R! I was confused, mad, upset at God. He called me to go to Ghana, He sent me out on the waters, I got the call and I obeyed, He said, “who will go for me?” and I said “SEND ME LORD!”

. . .


I screamed at Him more than once; wept and wailed like I have never before done. In Old Testament times, during times of extreme grief, one would rip their clothes and weep. I was to that point. I wanted to rip my clothes and just scream:


WHY LORD!? Why Lord!? Why Lord… !? … Why…

I had walled up my heart. I was lost and confused and didn’t understand why I would have that much obedience. I would leave the U.S. to head to a developing country to teach ag to then be called home because my body wasn’t cooperating. Are you kidding me!?

So I began to feel like a failure and guilty. If I couldn’t make it over there then how could I make it anywhere else. I left Ghana even after all these people had encouraged me, prayed for me, given me aid in all forms… I let them all down…

I am here to say that it is okay to not be okay.

Yes. I said it. It is okay to not be okay. I was upset and bitter. I had such a negative thought about who God and it wasn’t even remotely close to the truth. I had let the enemy dictate my thoughts and even my heart for so long that my heart began to believe every lie it was being fed. But once my eyes were opened back up, and those blinders were pulled off, I realized that it is okay to ask the “whys” but it isn’t okay to have that much bitterness and resentment built up. I know that the way gets troublesome. I also know that bodies fail, that plans fall through, that the calling changes but one thing that will forever remain the same is our Sovereign God.

I still do not have the answers to my questions, but I have freedom and peace in knowing that this is all apart of my story; apart of my calling; apart of my testimony. I can still tell stories of Ghana. I can say I lived over there and I have a family over there. But I can also say that this journey I am going through with my health is all apart of a greater plan, too. It’s also apart of my testimony now. I will sit and wait, bask in the Son, soak in the Word, and ask God to tell me who I should pray for and be a blessing too. It is not my will but

Thy will be done.

As I sit back and think through everything I have gone through and everything I will go through, all I can say is that there is nothing too small or too big for God. If you are struggling for whatever reason whether you are having financial problems, career problems, relationship problems, health problems, or you just feel lost; it is okay to not be okay. Ask the questions, but do not do what I did. I asked the questions, but I didn’t listen for the answers. I didn’t listen because I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to hear the truth. I wanted a sugar coating of the truth, and thats not who God is. He doesn’t sugar coat, but what He does do is work all things for the greater good.

Remember that “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 and that no matter what, better things will be coming. Just ask, and sit, and listen.

And having faith in the God of redemption and forgiveness I know that the sorrows of today, will turn into a sugar coating of blessings tomorrow.

Burritos & Burpees.


Burritos OR burpees?

Chips OR crunches?

How about tacos and tortillas?

Let’s be honest for a moment, there has been a huge push lately to eat healthier, be healthier, work out like crazy, and plan for our bikini bodies months in advance. But there is also another push; to eat good food, lots and lots of good food.

Why can’t we have both? Why can’t we have our cake and eat it too?

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Ladies, listen up:

To all the ladies who love to work out, this is for you.

To all the ladies who hate to work out, this is for you.

To all the ladies who meal plan like crazy, this is for you.

To all the ladies who don’t eat the healthiest, and prefer captain crunch over a carrot, this is for you.

Remember, you are beautiful. No matter what color your skin is, the texture of your hair, the blemishes on your face, the number on the scale, or the amount of cardio you do a week. No one in this world should dictate how you view yourself. Be that boss woman who has confidence for anything she sets her mind to. Let your confidence radiate. Next, remember that being healthy shouldn’t be a “have to”. If you are unsure about your weight or the way you look in a mirror, step back and evaluate who you are trying to impress. If it is anyone BUT you, you will always have a negative viewpoint of fitness. Like the famous Elle Woods stated, “Endorphins make you happy.” Walk into a gym or your living room and know that those endorphins are about to make you happy. Feel empowered and strong! But, lastly, enjoy this life! And more specifically enjoy food. There is no law that states you can’t be fit but LOVE food.

I’ll be honest, I love a good cheeseburger and a big coca-cola, also, love pizza, and cake… and pretty much any food that is flat-out delicious.

Hear me out, one more time. It is okay to treat yourself! It is okay to work-out hard, and eat a cheeseburger or experience amazing pasta at an Italian food restaurant. It is okay to want a burrito or a couple tacos, or even queso and chips!

You are living this one life. ONE.

Live it up. Tear up the dance floor on a Friday night and then work out on Saturday. Enjoy that meal that is delicious while still planning out your bikini bod strategy. Keep a mindset that everything you do is for you. And push forward to make you a better woman even if that means avoid a few burpees to enjoy a burrito.

So if you ask me, I’ll choose burritos and burpees.

Dear students trying to change gun laws,

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No. I have not gone what you went through. I haven’t prayed prayers that could have been my last, texting my parents that ‘I love them’ but not giving in to telling them ‘good bye’. But I have been through high school. I have sat in those desks, been through the crazy times of growing, learning, and changing. I have also been on the other side of the classroom. Taught. Saw the faces and the smiles or the frowns. The excitement of it being a Friday and the discomfort of someone that didn’t feel they fit in at school.

The main thing I have witnessed is how much high school has changed since I was in those seats. Kids have become more ruthless and cold-hearted. Social media is running rapid and rumors circulate faster on the internet rather than in a hallway. Bullying has changed and blind eyes have been turned towards the victim and the abuser. Blind eyes from not only other peers but teachers, principals and parents. High school is tough and it continues to get tougher not because of the curriculum placed in front of the students but because of the hearts of others.

However, I do feel that change could be a possibility, and maybe drastically changing gun laws will do that. Students should feel safe going to school… but that safety should radiate from every thread of clothing, from every tile flooring, from every wood piece in every door. That starts from the inside out.

So, students who are wanting radical gun law changes I want you to sit down with some people and talk with them; learn history from others who have been through situations involving guns.

  1. Find a veteran that was a POW (prisoner of war). They were most likely striped of their guns. Ridiculed. Abandoned. And never knew if the prayers that they prayed was going to be the last.
  2. Find a holocaust survivor or a close relative that knows their stories. Talk to them about how it was growing up in the Nazi driven countries. Guns banned, homes taken, lives destroyed. Talk to them about how they would have wanted gun laws to be.
  3. Finally, find someone who knows the whole and complete history of the Trial of Tears– the Cherokee Nation who walked endlessly, under government supervision. They had no forms of weapons, only the government did. They suffered, died, pushed forward, learned to survive. Ask them what their take on gun laws are.

Talk to these people. Learn. Listen. Do not stand up and talk against them. Listen to their stories, and then listen to their advice. And then, look at yourself. During the time at school, were you the POW or was the shooter actually the POW? Were you the one growing up to feel as the ones in Nazi driven countries or was that the shooter? Were you the one standing against them while they walked aimlessly around school, suffering against your hands or was that you?

Ask those hard questions. Look into your own hearts. Change that perspective and then your mind will change. Do all of those things, and then, watch how the division will change, how others will see, and then maybe, the gun laws you are so passionately trying to change will no longer need changing.


Someone who thinks change needs to happen but the approach should be altered


(P.S. for those that may state I am siding with the shooter. I am no where near doing that. I want all sides to be evaluated. Hearts, mindsets, motives. The death of those students is heart wrenching and I, as a future teacher, do not ever want to even have to think about mourning the loss of my students but I want to be given the chance to battle for them. Again, things change from the inside out. Classmates, teachers, students, you need to be unafraid to state when a student is acting different or posting threatening things. Take a stand. Even if that means that gun laws need to be changed.)

Where Monsters are Found.


[Not one of my usual posts, but it is something that is unique, and different. Some want to hide from this, others live with it. As for me, I am just wanting to show a soul that has touched me. This may be harsh for some to read, but it shows some insight to what others deal with.]

There are many unseen battles that people fight. Battles that are of the illness sorts, the emotional, and the psychological. Battles that, for many, have to be hidden away from society. I have had the privilege to meet a young lady, not through a formal meeting of face to face interaction, but through her writing. Writing that touched my soul; not in ways that are magical and whimsical and white, but deeper and harsh, in a world that is dark and rough. A world that she battles through, every single day. Here is a step into her world, her writing that grasped my soul, and had me take a step back and think:

I never tell people about my inside monster because I think they won’t believe me. So he’s here with me, getting stronger and wiser trying to lower me into his trap. 

He doesn’t care where I’m at, embracing every part of my body, living in me everyday

Picking at me, growing at my heart, memories all gone and extinct.

Will you help me get rid of him?

Will he ever leave?

Last night I was about to give him what he wanted, but I told him no. He didn’t like that one bit so he came up to me and started to break my ribs and gashing out my heart. I cried out in agony, I cried out to God, but the demon monster said that I’m all his no on else. I’m scared. I’m terrified. I don’t know what to do. To say every time I see him. I fall deeper and deeper into his dungeon.

There’s a monster inside me ripping at my intestines and breaking my ribs. This kind of monster shows no emotion, no empathy for me at all. he told me that I was worthless and ignorant. When I’m around people the monster really acts out. I see him in every dark corner of this room I lay in. I’m so scared but he’s more terrified. He knows I can get rid of him. I just don’t know how. Last night he was in my room telling me to fall with him to hell. 

Creeping into a dark tunnel, after losing faith, I cry till my eyes are puffy.

Crying because there’s no way out, having demons coming to steal me. My mind plays tricks everyday I fall deeper and deeper.

I’m tired of being tortured by the demons,

My good memories gone. Faded into darkness.

After he’s done he leaves me to bleed out. Laughing at all of the pain I’m in. Ignoring like a fresh scent. I’m terrified whats going to happen next.

No is what I want to say but my mouth won’t open. 

Going with him might be a good idea after all.

At night I’m scared, the most because he’s out lingering like smoke. Last night I had a dream, a nightmare. He crept in my room, got on top of me, and started to rip out my tongue so I wouldn’t scream. He told me that God can’t help me. He made me an offer. 1. He can take over my body. 2. Walk with him slowly to hell. I don’t want to choose, thats what I told the monster. Then he called his demons and started breaking my bones and shattering my heart. I shrieked in pain and started to cry out to the universe. I hate the monster, I really do. No one can save me. No one can see my pain or even come close to my pain. I’ve been with the monster for a long time. Now its time to tame the monster.

Is that a good idea?

Out of the heart and mind of a 15-year-old girl comes the truth that she faces, everyday.

I remember as a little girl, I loved watching movies on magical places, enchanted castles, true love, princess’ and princes’, that saving of souls. But I remember one movie, in particular, that scared me more than any of the others. A wicked woman turns into an evil dragon, and tries to destroy the innocence of one. That is what I picture when I read her piece. Not about a girl who will be saved by her one true love, her prince, and live happily ever after.

More of a girl who is a knight, saving herself, day after day, battle after battle with the dragon of a monster that she fights.

I don’t know about you, but there are so many monsters that people fight that we are all oblivious too. Some are harsh and gripe and rip and tear at the innocent ones thoughts and heart and even action. Other monsters are softer. They creep in and stay a while, find a home within and then, eventually, move on.

But I do know that, when I hear of such stories, that I always hear of how they are battling through. No matter what is going on in their life, they find a way to push forward and win another day.

So I say to you, no matter where your monsters are found,

Pick up your sword, put on your armor, and

win that next battle. 

And so I wait.


My breathe catches as I pull up the lab results, and as I look through I see a reoccurring theme “Normal.” My eyes scan over and over on the screen, as the tears begin to form beneath heavy eyes, and the thought crosses my mind as the tears fall down my cheeks, “How can I feel this bad, and labs show nothing?” Nothing.

Many would say that I should be grateful, that I shouldn’t want to find something wrong, but after 9 years with no answers, along with leaving a country, after only one month working there, to pursue medical assistance because I felt absolutely miserable; frustration grips my heart. Frustrated that I was following my dream and career in and then made the decision to come home, to heal, to get answers, and to get stronger in order to head back.

Nine years is a long time to constantly deal with chronic pain, fatigue, and migraines that are life stopping; for days when food can’t even be kept down because of the pain you feel. Nine years is also a long time for frustration to set in with doctors, with your own abilities, and with your faith. I have been told by doctors that I was faking, that it is minor, that they do not understand therefore it is not present; if the test results do not show, then that must mean you are healthy and that there is no way that you should feel this bad. Let’s try some pain meds, and rest for a few days. Nine years of all of that. Over and over. Until you stop going all together. You learn to deal with the pain. You learn your warning signs, your flare up factors, and you take a rest day and then push forward.

Then I heard, “My child, thy will be done.”


This frustration was covering up the will that The Lord had set aside for me, set aside before I was even in my mother’s womb. Frustration covers up who and what God is, how He works, and the plan He has.

In life, things happen that are out of our control. There are moments when you feel like giving up, where you do not understand your purpose or the plan. Instead of focusing on the frustration,

find the waiting and patience.

Abraham and Sarah waited to be blessed with a child. Although they had moments of frustration, of confusion, moments of doubt, yet the faith was sustained and they were blessed.

Ruth followed Naomi wherever she was. She was faithful and true, even if that was not the plan that she had placed in her heart. But Ruth found her Boaz.

Job was tried and tried. He had family, property and his own physical body effected. Satan was given a task to break Job, yet he used all of that and pushed forward.

They all found their strength through waiting and through patience.

There is a plan and a reason for all that has happened. The medical frustrations, the leaving a country, and the normal results, but I find my strength in the waiting and the patience. There is comfort in knowing that the ones that God called also had trials and tribulations that tested their faith and they found frustration. But what helped to define their lessons was the strength found during their waiting and patience.

And so I wait.

Seek patience.

And find strength.

“Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.” – Isaiah 40:31

New Waves.


Ever feel so incredibly small, yet significant in the moment you are in? In the season of learning that you are experiencing? In a single segment of a larger picture and design for your life? 

I bet it was a sight to see…

 The waves strong and forceful, sending foam and salt all over the sandy shore, like a welcomed blanket on a cool evening. You could feel the earth breathing with every web and flow that was sent ashore. It wasn’t an overpowering breath, but a strong and steady one. The wind carried with it the salty air that consumes and intoxicates anyone that enjoys the steadiness of a powerful force, like the sea. The music from the restaurant added to the excitement that was resinating with the three that entered the water. There was shrieks and laughs, a few choice words when a wave swept feet out from under, and lots of dancing. Three black swimsuited beings, that were having the time of their lives.

Let me tell you, it was a sight to see, and fun to be apart of. The moon was out, and the music was loud, and I had two of the craziest, most interesting women by my side as we ran, jumped, danced, and laughed ourselves into the sea. We sounded and probably looked like little kids, enjoying a moment of sheer bliss. Trying to outrun waves, run out to waves, and simply embracing the power behind the tide. There were no consuming thoughts running through my mind, nothing more than simply living in the moment.

As we were wrapping up our fiasco in the water, and walking back to where our discarded sandals and cover ups lay, I couldn’t help but stop and listen to the force behind me, around me, and billowing up within me. It was in that moment where the being small matched with the significant moment. How lucky am I to experience something that could possibly be a once in a lifetime moment? The opportunities that arise when you simply kick off your shoes and run into the waves.

Too often, we try to consume our lives with tasks and schedules, details and times, that dictate every moment of every minute of our lives. Moments of childlike pleasures, like running through waves, are nonexistent because the thought of, “I am too old for that,” ventures through and talks you out before you even attempt to consider it. Take the time to be young, forever. Breath in the salty sea air, and go splashing in the waves because sooner rather than later, time catches up. The seasons move on, the adventures fade into something different and maybe, even, a little more dull. But if you take the time, to find the segment of life that pulls you into a larger moment, and you begin to realize that there is something more in this life than just surviving. This life is full of moments of new waves to run and jump in… but you have to stop, take a breath, and listen to everything all around you that reminds you that you are meant to be here for a purpose.

And then, for just one night, you feel completely and totally alive, in the middle of a beach in a country that is unlike your own.

-Hope Sorrells

Experiencing Worship for the First Time.


Church. A word, a place, a feeling that I have been apart of since I was born, but more importantly when I was saved at the age of 7. I knew, well, thought I knew the true meaning of worship, but that changed, today.

Carrie and I were invited to Holy Ghost Centre church by our host sister, Euince. Of course, the response was a quick “yes!” Church started out just like I was used to. Greeting the pastor, finding your seat in Sunday school and working through a lesson. We finished Sunday school, moved spots towards the front of the church, and service started.

When worship began, the atmosphere changed. The rustling of bodies surrendered to the beating drums, and the electric guitar which added a nice modern twist, along with the keyboard that kept a rhythm. All the sounds were so known to me, but they were put  together in such a foreign way. But, it was the singers. The worshipers in the audience, that changed everything.

I closed my eyes, and breathed in a deep breath as a woman with a powerful voice took over. The peaceful tapping of tambourines guides how I begin to sway to the music. There is raw emotion. I see for the first time the true surrendering during worship, and it was only song number one. The air is humid, but the fans move it around to keep it cool against my skin. I watch as the emotions of true love for Christ pours out from every heart and soul in the room. They do not just sing, they pour out everything they have to the one true King. As the song ends, another person takes over the worship and it changes to an upbeat song. Our host sister warned Carrie and I at the beginning, “I hope you can dance…” and I thought, “uh, what?” Sure enough. As the beat gets faster, the smiles begin to grow on everyone’s face, including mine. I look around and sure enough, the whole church has erupted in dancing.

Pure rejoice.

I begin to get more of a sway going, hand clapping, and a nice knee bounce as I just watch everyone enjoying worship; enjoying being in the presence of not only Christ but their brothers and sisters in Christ. At that moment, you could feel the Holy Spirit in and around everything, working its way through every chair, every skirt fiber, every vein that carries life. It was over powering, and moving. I just smiled and whispered, “Thank you, Lord.”

So often, there is a stigma that Christians and churches must resort to a particular image. You have to have your service go a certain way, have specified people for jobs. The worship will be planned out. We have to look and act like we are standing in a service that is full of prim and proper motives. But here, there is nothing like that. Their was rejoicing, outcry, and sheer hope.

I have never been in a church where I felt so comfortable amidst loud singing, and a pastor that shouted more than he spoke. I have never witnessed true worship until now, and I will forever be grateful.

If you see someone at your church praising a “different” way. It may look different, sound different, and it may make you feel uncomfortable, but think for a moment, “How in depth is their love for Christ that they have the comfort and openness to have an honest and raw worship moment, and you get to witness it.”

-Hope Sorrells