a moment of transparency

I need to be needed. I need a purpose.

This is one of my more recent conclusions. I have, however, not yet determined if this is detrimental, purely selfish, okay or possibly even positive.

I hate this in between time. I am tired of being transitory.

In Ukraine I’m needed. In Ukraine I have purpose. Here  I feel useless, out of place and constantly calculating my deficits.

It feels like I am always behind, waiting for a miracle to materialize, and forever unsure of what to do or say.

I know it is just a season. I know God has everything in control. I “know” a lot but somehow that hasn’t stopped me from melting into a puddle of tears on an almost daily basis.

“Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.”
Psalm 42:11





It’s Strangely Quiet Here

Training camp is over and I am back home in my nice, comfortably large bed in my cozy, warm room, which is oddly entirely too quiet and filled with too few people. There are no silly conversations and familiar giggles to fall asleep to and no one to call me “Pridge.”

This morning I awoke, as if by habit, around 7:30 a.m. and remembering that I was not responsible for anyone or anything today I quickly rolled back over and slumbered to the sounds of a thunderstorm and the feel of Hershey the dog curled at my feet.

When I did finally decide to remove myself from such comfort I was reminded of my swollen, pained knee the instant my feet touched the floor; however, unhindered in my pursuit of coffee I trekked downstairs.

I am happy to report that I did NOTHING today except to make myself lunch and start reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It kind of makes me think of what you would get if you put 1984, The Giver and the show Survivor all in one, and while it did not have me on paragraph one, it certainly captured my attention by the end of chapter one. I haven’t even finished and I think I already recommend it.

I promise some more training camp photos. I may even find the way to write something serious in the next few days. For now I am going to finish my book, ice my knee and do a little more recouperating from the past week and a half.

Anything in particular you want to hear about, let me know and I’ll see what I can do ; )


Currently I am sitting in a rocking chair, overlooking a valley full of fall colors and enjoying the cool breeze brushing against my skin.

In these north Georgia mountains it is training camp for almost 200 World Racers. The hills echo with declarations of God’s freedom, love, healing and amazing grace -the sound of a generation seeking the Kingdom of God and coming alive in the knowledge of Him.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Here are a few photos from the past few days.

All photos property of  © 2010, Stephanie Pridgen   
All Rights Reserved.

Of Tuk-Tuk Drivers and Thai Bars

If you spent only a few weeks in a city of approximately 1,328,000 people on the other side of the world, would you expect that your main transportation contact would remember your name a year and a half later?

I wouldn’t.

However, I received this e-mail from my teammate Tim Dixon who is out on the field squad leading:

I was seeing a team off Monday morning that was going to Siem Reap and heard a familiar voice call out my name, and it was Puun.  My memory is terrible and so I didn’t remember his name until after our conversation but he proceeded to name off all of you and ask where you were.  It was a complete encouragement for me because sometimes when you just spend a month in a place and move on you wonder what impact you had.  Well a tuk tuk driver we worked with in month 3 remembers our names over a year and a half later.

Honestly it made me shed a few tears.

Team Manna with Puun

It also reminded me of one of my girls in Thailand, Ae. The first night I met her in the bar I doodled while she served other customers and at the end of the evening I handed the picture to her. I don’t remember what it was, but I do remember her reaction and it was shock that she was on the receiving end of a thoughtful gesture. She had a precious, gentle nature about her but it was evident in our conversations that she felt worthless and without much hope.

Several months ago I received an email with picture attachments. Ae was smiling, joyful and surrounded by people. She is no longer working in the bar but is on staff with a Christian organization that “reaches out to women and teens working in the red-light district who are in, at-risk of, and coming out of prostitution and trafficking.”

When you travel so much and only live somewhere for a few weeks you wonder if it really made an impact. It is encouraging when you find out it did.

I encourage you to intentionally build relationships with others, even if it is only for a short season, you never know how God may use that time in their life… and yours.

What If You Commit

Seth Barnes posted a great blog today on the need for commitment despite an unknowable future. Here is an excerpt:

Too many people want to keep their options open and miss the opportunity that commitment affords. If I could give my children’s generation a gift, I’d get them out of their coffee shops and parents’ basements and I’d give them the gift of commitment. You’ll never find your future until you launch – you find it as you commit.  (for the rest of the blog, click here)

This summer I intensely waffled for weeks over a decision to step into full time missions abroad even though it has been part of my daily prayers for much longer. I knew God’s answer long before I gave mine. It required a level of commitment that frightened me. What if I fail? What if I can’t handle it? What if I can’t raise the support? What if…

Zambian wedding

For two years I read blogs and pondered pursuing the World Race and then held onto my application for another couple of months. What if I couldn’t raise the support? What if I was in a situation where I needed to swim (I was convinced I needed swimming lessons just in case)?  What if …

For a decade or more I have considered what it would be like to design a line of greeting cards, write a book, and, in general, have a creative business that would not only generate income but be used to touch lives around the world. What if the world critiques your creativity? What if it’s not good enough? What if…

I am part of the generation Seth speaks about, the ones that do not like to commit. It seems so boxed in, confining, FINAL. What if you commit to something and then a better opportunity comes along? What if it doesn’t?

Commitment brings responsibility and the potential for failure and letting others down. All things I avoid like the plague. But why?

I think I hold onto this wrong idea that I have to know, without question or doubt, what I want to do, where I want to go and the 10 easy steps to accomplish it. I want all the answers. I want the rewards without the risk. I want instant gratification. Commitment gives you none of that.

In a culture of sound bytes, fast food and one night stands I think waiting, hard work and commitment is cheapened. We are always looking for the easy, speedy, guaranteed solution, which works for, say, deciding what washing machine to purchase, but is a completely errant decision making process for life.

I have committed to helping university students in Ukraine. I am terrified of the winter ahead, unsure of how support will come through and completely removed from my comfort zone. For some reason I think that is just what God intends. One thing I can say for certain is that there was more freedom, joy and peace AFTER I committed.

However, I’m still working on committing to greeting cards and novels.

Why do you think it is so hard to commit? Is there something you need to stop wavering on and commit to?

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