Copyright 2018 - Ministry on the Move

The Heart of Heather is….Her Journey!!!

When I was born, it took a team of doctors, nurses, and my parents to nurture a three-month premature baby back to health. Even though I did not know it at the time, God was the biggest help. I was born with Spastic Cerebral Palsy, (CP) which comes with a package of muscle contractions, loss of hand-eye coordination, and fine motor control. Also, the left side of my body is more spastic (tense and contracted) than my right side. I have full function and feel throughout my entire body. However, my body makes the turtle from the Tortoise and the Hare look like Speed Racer, although not with my wheelchair.  CP necessitates me to have help with bathing, dressing, transferring, and repositioning from one spot to another.  My care givers also travel with me either by car or by plane.


When I was young, I participated in Girl Scouts, piano, and horseback riding lessons. I went to summer camps at Baylor and at Camp Summit. (These camps were designed for the young and the young-at-heart, who were affected with disabilities.)  Kids like me got to swim, play sports, do arts and crafts, dance, and go to Baylor football games.
 
For my education, I was in mainstream classes. Some of the administrators wanted to put me in special education classes because I used a wheelchair instead of “real legs.” Nonetheless, they put me in regular classes with a teacher’s aide to help me with the reading and writing. This was the “Heather System”, until I graduated from high school. My senior year I was a part of Health Occupation Students of America. Even though I did not place, I still got to see the wonders of Disney World. Also, I was selected as a part of a handful of local high school students to go to Washington D.C. to participate in Presidential Classroom. 450 students from all across the country got to learn about the government and see the beauty of the Nation’s Capital.  It was an experience I will never forget, and D.C. is still one of my favorite places. My family comes from a hodgepodge of denominations. It wasn’t until I went to Baylor that I discovered the fullness of a life found in Christ.

Baylor University and Truett Seminary

In August of 1998, I started at Baylor University.  My family and I hired two care givers in order to take care of my daily needs, (bathing, dressing, preparing, cutting up food, and traveling). Throughout my life, my parents took care of my needs, but when I moved away to college, we needed aides to provide these services. These ladies have continued to help me for more than a decade.
 

The first week I had many physical difficulties.  I could not find my classes, just like every other freshman. I got stuck in the elevator, in the mud, and caught in the sprinklers. This was just the beginning. A few days later, my right arm (my good arm) got caught between the bed and the wall, when I was attempting to roll over.  I tried to scream for help for about an hour.  Since it was 3 AM, and my assistants had gone home, no one heard me. I did a GI Joe scoot to the phone and grabbed it with my teeth, turned it over, dialed the front desk with my left hand, and the person on the other end of the phone thought I was a kid making prank calls. She told me repeatedly not to call because it was not funny. This was the response I received each of the six or seven times I called.  So, the only thing left to do was breakdown, cry, and call out to God for help. I knew about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit because my parents had given me a basic foundation (because they came from different traditions and they allowed my sister and me to find which fit us the best.) I had not come to know God personally at that point. Then, I heard an audible voice in the dark, alone in my room, that said, “Don’t give up.” I immediately stopped crying because I figured that I was either going crazy or that was God—and it was God.  About then, my neighbor came through the bathroom door to help me.

 

The very next Sunday, I went to church with a hunger and a passion that I had never felt before, in an attempt to figure out who God was and why He had chosen to reveal Himself to me in such a powerful way. Six months later, after going to as many Bible studies and revivals as possible, and after having several in depth conversations with the college minister, I gave my life to Christ.

 

In February of 1999, I was going to church and praying for God to tell me when the right time was for me to give my life to Him. I went into church; the sermon was about unconditional love. The preacher began to ask questions. The first thing he asked was, "Do you say you believe in God just to say you believe in God?" I shook my head no. The second question was, "Do you celebrate holidays just to celebrate?" I shook my head no because at that point God was becoming a very real part of my daily life, even holidays. The third question I do not remember because everything went silent; I couldn’t hear anything for a couple of minutes except for my heartbeat, which should have been the first sign that something needed to happen, but I was stubborn and wanted more just to make sure. Then, my body started to shake and my hands started to sweat.  A few seconds later, I heard a yes. I made my way up to the front to give my life to Christ.

 

Before, during, and after the day, I became a disciple of Jesus and was active in my college group. We would visit senior citizens, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities around the community. We would try to go visit every two weeks or so. And, this is where I first learned that ministry truly is a two–way street. Though I can’t describe in words what I learned from a wonderful group of elderly people, I definitely think that I got more out of it then they did.  That’s one of the experiences that I wouldn’t change for the world.

 
Also, with this college group, I traveled to D.C. in 2000.  I got to work with the homeless and the underprivileged.  We were able to serve them food at soup kitchens and share our stories with one another. The next year, I traveled with another group of college kids to Juarez, Mexico.  Both of these trips were over a spring break period and allowed us to take a quick look into the obstacles other’s faced.
 

In December 2002, I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Psychology. That summer, I took my last trip (at least to date) to Washington D.C.  I was a camp counselor for inner city kids between the ages of 8 and 15. So, one can imagine all of the questions I got. Everything from, “How did God create the world in seven days?” to “Are you a mommy, or are you a child?”

 
 
crazyFamily2.jpg
Shortly after that, God called me to go into seminary.  Then, all of a sudden, I was going to seminary to pursue ministry. Yea, exciting! There was something new and fresh.  I loved God so much. I applied to Baylor’s, George W. Truett.  I remember the first day, when I went to get the application, and the doors were heavy.  So, I said, “Okay, God, if you really want me to do this, you will find someone to open the door for me.”

Just then, my friend from my sophomore year at Baylor came through the door.  (This was the same friend who, back then, suggested that I go to seminary instead of graduate school. At the time I thought it was funny).  So, it was definitely a divine appointment.

I think more importantly then learning how to research and discuss theology, God taught me how to be more confident. Wherever I am, my home is in Christ.  All the Disciples of Christ are examples and instruments of His teaching.  Despite being wounded by the world, we are all holy healers...in one way or another. When life doesn’t exactly turn out the way that we planned, God is still sovereign; things come about according to His purpose and timing.

Vacations

When I was not working in India or on some event, I was blessed to go on some amazing vacations.  For graduation, I went to Paris and Italy. In Paris, I got to see the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. In Italy, I saw the Statue of David, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and The Sistine Chapel.   I also went to Germany and Austria with my sister and my brother-in-law. My favorite part of that trip was the Sound of Music Tour. I took a couple trips to New York with friends and family to see some plays, central park etc. It’s always easy to find someone to go with me for a week or more on vacation. It is much more difficult when you’re looking for someone to go with you for the whole summer to do an internship in India. I’m including all my travels in my story to show that I am really not afraid of distance. The world is really small...when it comes to traveling and technology. Having said this, I know that the different places I have been to are not the most significant part of my story. I just hope it shows my adventurous spirit.

Persevering

I have experienced the loss of dear family members, including aunts and uncles. Two of my grandparent’s battled cancer and one died naturally, my sophomore and junior years at Baylor. Also, I was engaged, once for about 5 months. The breakup was one of the hardest things I’ve been through, because it was a loss of marriage, family, etc. I still have hope that god will provide the right person and we can love each other for who god has made us to be. In addition I went through a CPE program one summer that was physically and emotionally rough. I realized there I was not cut out to be a Chaplin.  “Failure” and “disappointment” are not words I use often, but in CPE they fit. I tell you these things because every journey with God is different and somewhat difficult, but HE IS ALWAYS WITH US. Through the good, bad, and in between, I see His hope all around me.

Past Events

In 2012, I was a keynote speaker at Texas A&M International University’s Voices of the Monte series. I spoke on publishing.  I officiated my first wedding and performed my first Baptism. In 2011, My Friends and I was published. (available for on Writing page.)  So, I did book related activities.  In 2008, I organized, lead, and was a speaker at Many Forms: One Body Conference (with Potter Vessel Ministries). In 2006, I was a guest speaker at the Joy Conference: God’s Special Purposes for God’s Special People. Then, at The Acts 1:8 Mission Conference, I spoke about my experiences in India. I have spoken at the Seventh and James Baptist Church in Waco, Texas a number of times, in part because I was baptized there, and eleven years later I was ordained there in 2010.  (So, I grew up in that church!) I hope that the heart of heather website will continue to add to my events bringing glory to god!

India Mission Trip

 

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
f t g m

Spiritual Quotes

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 
Romans 3:23-26