His ways are higher

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My life looks nothing like I thought it would. My 19-year-old self was the career-driven overachiever that saw myself living in New York City or Los Angeles working my way up the secular news casting industry. I swore I wouldn’t get married until my late twenties and the thought of children made me want to pass out. I grew up in a ministry home in Colorado, my parents were church-planters, my dad a pastor and a professor at a seminary, my mom a pastor’s-wife. While I never went through the “pastor-kid rebellion” stage everyone talks about, living a life similar to the home I grew up in had never crossed my mind. I loved the Lord and desired to live a life for Him, but I preferred to believe that the Lord wanted me to be a witness in the secular world as I worked through my version of the American dream.

Fast forward a few years. I graduated college in 2012. Double majored in three years, 4.0GPA. Internships under my belt, accepted into grad schools in New York and Boston, and applied for many jobs in Los Angeles. Somehow, through all my hard work, the ONLY opportunity that worked out was moving to Fort Worth, Texas to work as a photographer for a seminary, very similar to the one my dad worked at for the past ten years. Cowboy country wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. But, I felt like it’s what the Lord wanted me to do.

So I moved.

I met my (now) husband a few days later…he was my neighbor.

Michael was in seminary for theological training; He was called to be a pastor. A pastor. My head spun, again. Really, God? But, as the Lord often works, we were married a year later.

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Photo credit: Kari Crowe Photography

We have now been married for 15 months and I’m loving every minute of married life. Shortly after the wedding, Mike and I moved to a VERY tiny town in Texas where he is now pastoring FBC Kopperl.

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While I’m still in shock that I went from desiring the big city hustle and bustle to being a pastor’s wife in small-town Texas, the Lord has done a work on my heart that I am ever so thankful for.

Yes, the transition was hard for me. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have always known that God knew best, but if I had listened to myself and not to Him… where would I be now? Since I was little, my favorite verse has always been Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

I am daily reminded of this verse – it is even engraved in my wedding ring. Most of the life-changing decisions that I have made up to this point were not what I would have picked for myself in my limited view of the here and now (except marrying my husband!). But by listening to to the Lord, trusting what He says is best, and leaning on Him when I don’t understand, He has kept my path straight. For, as Isaiah 55:8-9 points out, His ways are higher than mine.

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'” Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

I know, deep in my heart, that I’m right where I’m supposed to be. While my personal desires took a little longer to catch up (and perhaps my attitude as well), I am beginning to understand a few of the reasons the Lord led me down the path I’m on. I love the town I live in, the people I have grown close to, and our church that is wonderfully kind. My heart no longer desires the successful (by worldly standards) career that I had always dreamed of. Instead, my heart’s cry is for people to grow closer to the One who matters.

The Lord is so graciously molding my heart to seek Him, and only Him, in the every day. To love where I am, what I’m called to do and to be a reflection of Him. I work full-time in marketing and also as a freelance photographer in my “free time.” However, I have come to realize that I am most fulfilled when I am doing ministry with my husband.

Because I married Mike who is called to the ministry, I am also called to a role in ministry work. However, each day that passes, I feel more of a personal call to the ministry – a ministry for women, just like you.

Last spring, as I was praying through this passion of mine, the Lord laid the idea of GLOW on my heart. I put it off for a couple months simply because of the fear of failure. After a little extra push and support from my husband, I finally put my mind to it.  And here we are. LAUNCH day. 9.29.14. My heart has overflowed into this little blog, this community of women that I can’t wait to grow closer to. Thank you for joining us!

Throughout the last few months, God has allowed me to come in contact with many women across the nation who have agreed to participate in this project! He has humbled me through these introductions – I’m so thrilled people want to be a part! Thank you to Andi and Kelsey for partnering with me! I couldn’t have done it without y’all (excuse the “y’all”…Texas has taught me a thing or two). And thank you to all of the other women who will be contributing, some frequently, some just as one-time guests. I, personally, am SO excited to read your posts…to understand your perspective. Ultimately, I can’t wait to see how God works through all of us!

A huge thank you is owed to Stephanie of How Sweet Designs for helping me with the template customization on the site. This girl is amazing and I would HIGHLY recommend her to anyone starting a website on a budget. Stephanie is very creative, knows how to make my crazy ideas come to fruition, responds to emails quickly and stuck to our agreements on the designing process and timing. Check her out.

Another thank you goes out to Corina Sorenson for designing our logo and artwork. She streamlined the process and was willing to tweak when I needed very detailed tweaking!

Finally, thank you to my husband, Michael, who pushed me to do the blog in the first place, who listened to me talk on and on about the smallest of details (that no guy in their right mind would care about) and who never complained when I said I needed to spend just a litttttttle more money for this one littttttttle thing. :) I love you, and your support has been vital in this endeavor of mine.

Cheers to the launch of GLOW: Live as Light. Leave a comment, follow us on social media, and ultimately join our conversation. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for our community of women. I pray that our hearts will be softened to hear what the Lord has to say. I pray that our walks with Christ will be strengthened as we go through life in the everyday. And finally, I pray that we will be a light in this world, that we will GLOW among our peers.

  • http://www.hugsandpunches.com teresa swanstrom anderson

    Girl, I are SO thankful you listened to His voice and the direct calling He has on your life! This blog is going to minister to so many hearts (including my own) who want beauty and wisdom and truth.

    Excited where this is going to take you (us)! xo

    • http://www.glowliveaslight.com/about/who-we-are/ Alyssa Martin

      Thank you so much, Teresa! You are so kind and have been such an encouragement to me. So glad we were able to connect! :) I can’t wait for people to read YOUR story in the next couple of weeks!

  • http://www.hugsandpunches.com teresa swanstrom anderson

    oops, I mean “I am so thankful” …haha it’s totally Monday. : )

  • http://appetitepaper.com Rachael

    Thankful for your faithfulness with this project Alyssa – your words speak right to my heart! Your story shares so many similarities to my own. Every closed door led me to a greater path. So amazing to witness God work after we finally release that TIGHT grip on our “dreams”! Sending a huge hug and burst of excitement your way! Congrats on the launch – what a great day!

    • http://www.glowliveaslight.com/about/who-we-are/ Alyssa Martin

      Rachael, thank you for your kind words. It was hard to release that tight grip on my old dreams, but it only welcomed new BIGGER and BETTER dreams! :) Can’t wait to see what’s on your heart with your posts!

  • http://Ethneglobalservices.org Allan Karr

    So proud and blessed my daughter bloomed into such a great servant of God. Thanks for the way you encourage so many people, starting with me.

    • http://www.glowliveaslight.com/about/who-we-are/ Alyssa Martin

      Thanks, Dad. Grateful for parents who taught me how to love thd Lord. Love you.

  • http://www.walnutandwillow.co.uk Lola Holmes – Walnut & Willow Flowers

    I am so grateful that there are women like you who put your spare time to use like this and create a space for others to share the works of God and what he is using us for in our lives.
    I live in the UK and look forward to reading stories from the daughters of God from around the globe!

    • http://www.glowliveaslight.com/about/who-we-are/ Alyssa Martin

      Lola, SO excited to have you a part! Thank you for joining us and for your encouraging words!

  • http://tawnimarie.wordpress.com Tawni Sattler

    I love it, and I can totally relate! My life is nowhere NEAR where I thought it’d be 10 years ago, but I absolutely love where I am and know that God’s plans are always better than my own. Whether I fight kicking and screaming, or whether I accept His plans gratefully, God KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING. 😉 I am so excited to join in on the conversations in this new community! Blessings to you all!

    • http://www.glowliveaslight.com/about/who-we-are/ Alyssa Martin

      Tawni, so glad you can relate…. that blesses my heart! I can’t wait for people to see your inspiring words in the next couple of weeks. So glad we were able to connect! Thanks for being apart!

  • Loren

    Alyssa, So thankful for GLOW. So thankful for your journey. Mine, too, has been one that doesn’t look anything like what I thought it would. So thankful for God’s best for our lives and that we can trust Him every step of the way!

  • http://fullwildfree.com Nicole Stormann

    Hello Alyssa! What a beautiful story of how God works despite our plans! He is good to bring together all the loose ends! I am really excited about this blog! Can’t wait to read more! Glow on, sister, glow on!

  • Cameron Crawford

    Love that you are clearly living as His light – beautifully said and your site is beautifully done! Exciting to see you faithfully following God’s direction. :)