Thank You to God & Friends: You’ve Helped Me Grow

When I started writing last summer, I had no idea what God had in store for me. I became a Rebelutionary, a writer, and a champion of my fellow Christian teens who’ve grown up among worlds. I’ve grown in ways that were unimaginable to me at the time.

One way God has grown me is in my passion for using my youth to the fullest. I want to do hard things while I am young. I don’t want to give in to society’s flow of doing absolutely nothing worthwhile during my youth. I want to use it entirely for the glory of God. That’s not to say I still don’t have endless bad days where I’m lazy and selfish. I do. But He’s stretching me and leading me, and for that, I am grateful. I’m also so thankful for the Rebelution team and Brett Harris, who God has used mightily in so many people’s lives.

He’s also grown me in capability. I’m learning to be more proactive and more of a leader. I’m learning to make decisions. I’m learning more about the kind of leader I am and where I need to grow even more.

He’s grown me in passion for my fellow teens who’ve grown up abroad. There is so much that I’ve learned and wish my fellow teens would know as well. I’ve moved from simply a peer to someone who wants to see her peers changed for the better, passionate about the glory of God and about the good they can do as citizens of heaven.

One of the tangible processes he used to grow me was the Truth4TCKs 2021 conference. He taught me to trust in Him, to trust in His work, but also the work of others. He taught me to show up, day after day, even when it was hard. He taught me to model his faithfulness. I never succeeded – none of us can. But in my failure, I was reminded of His faithfulness and sovereignty, and I leaned on Him.

God also gave me great relationships through this journey – and I’m so thankful.

I’m thankful to my sweet friend Sara, who mentored me through the organization process and motivated me to make this whole thing happen. If she could do it, so could I. Thank you, Sara, for being encouraging and just someone I can cry with and laugh with. You are a joy.

I’m also thankful to my team: Clarissa, Bethany, Minjin, Kristianne, and Sophia. They have been why I was even able to put the conference together. They each contributed in their own ways, and looking back, it was beautiful to behold.

I’m so grateful for Megan, who became an encourager and friend, as well as someone who graciously helped me enter the “TCK world” of sorts. You, Megan, have been such a blessing, and you had a massive role in this.

I’m thankful to all the speakers who took their time and effort to help out. This was voluntary. I didn’t promise anyone money. Yet everyone served abundantly, and it was beautiful. Thank you, Will, Megan, Chris, Ms. Kate, Ms. C.B., Melinda, Ify, Wendy & Luke, and Sam. You were amazing.

I’m amazed at the blessing that God has given me. My family. They are so loving, so encouraging. Dad, you are the one who motivates me, gives me perspective, and helps grow my vision for what could be. Mom, you are my friend and joy, and you keep me accountable. Thank you to my brothers as well, who have been so encouraging and supportive throughout this whole thing.

I’ve grown, but I still am growing. We all are. That’s life.

Lord, thank you for growing me. Please lead me in my next steps. Thank you for being so faithful to me.

Don’t Miss the Truth4TCKs Conference

“Mom, when we get back home, I’m gonna kiss the ground.”

Those were my words as an eight or nine year old, when we were leaving the US to go back overseas. My mother was delighted when I did not do that, but she understood quite clearly in that moment that I loved our new home, and that it belonged to me. I wasn’t going to end up American… at least not completely. 

Fast forward nine years, and I’m still in love with the metropolis I live in. My life has been a blessing, and I wouldn’t ever trade it off. 

The struggle I have with my “home” is that I’m still a stranger to its people. I will never be, completely, a local. I sound like a local, and some even say I look like one. But the fact remains that I’m the “American”. I’m the one who moved here. 

It’s hard sometimes. The life of a Third Culture Kid is a patchwork quilt, a tree with roots that span continents, a network of bridges. The quilt’s squares are added, but sometimes ripped off. The tree’s roots are deep in some soils and wide and shallow in others. The bridges burn and are built again.

Yet the complexity that we call life is ultimately beautiful and good.

Sometimes, the complex stories and losses and experiences feel like too much. We need people to come alongside us and tell us we aren’t the only ones. We are understood. We are seen and loved. 

That’s just one of the many reasons why I started Truth4TCKs. It’s an online conference for teenage and young adult Christian Third Culture Kids, whether Military Brats, Expat Kids, Business Kids, MKs, Diplomat Kids, etc. It’s happening in four days on the 22nd and 23rd of May 2021.

Truth4TCKs strives to bring biblical truth and encouragement regarding the cross-cultural and highly mobile life to TCKs – especially those that might not have easy access to it. 

I am so excited! This is for all types of TCKs. Our excellent speakers come from many backgrounds: military, business, diplomatic, ministry… Also, the conference is organized by teens and young adults, who have a passion to do hard things while they’re young and to serve their TCK peers. That’s pretty cool.

The 2021 Theme is Global Citizens of Heaven. Here’s what that means: TCKs often feel an identity crisis and a lack of a home. However, as Christians, we are given an unchanging identity in Christ and a home in Heaven. Once the TCK is grounded in their identity, they can go out to live their lives as global citizens, using their giftings to the glory of God and the good of others. 

You can find out more about Truth4TCKs on Instagram @truth4tcks, and at truth4tcks.org . You can register on the link on the website for $10 or for $17 (if you want the recordings of the sessions.)

Speakers include names like Kate Forbes (the Cabinet Secretary of Finance in Scotland), Megan Norton (Intercultural Trainer), Chris O’Shaughnessy (Author and Comedian), and more. We will also have a special message from Ruth Van Reken (the author of Third Culture Kids, she’s also known as the matriarch of TCKs).

This conference is totally worth it. It’s not on Zoom, but rather Airmeet, an interactive platform that offers a fresh experience for online events. So if you’re Zoom-weary, no worries. 

I have been working, along with my wonderful team, on this for the last five months. We’re so glad it’s almost here. We hope to see you there. 

A Conference for Chronic Illness Warriors: Exhausted People Who Feel Invisible

My mother can’t listen to music and talk to us at the same time. It’s not because she’s elderly or because she’s out of her mind. She has a mild case of tinnitus – a chronic illness, and people with it feel pain whenever they hear loud noises. People with extreme tinnitus feel pain whenever they hear something.

But tinnitus isn’t the only chronic illness. There’s chronic fatigue syndrome, POTS, multiple chemical sensitivity, Lyme’s disease, chronic pain illnesses, bouts of temporary paralysis, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, autoimmune diseases. The list goes on. Some people go undiagnosed for years before finally finding out what they are sick with after visiting the 12th (or more) doctor. Most chronic illnesses don’t go away.

It’s hard. And that’s an understatement. 

I have a dear friend named Sara Willoughby. She’s the author of He’s Making Diamonds: A Teen’s Thoughts on Faith Through Chronic Illness. It was published two and a half years ago. She now hosts an annual online conference called Diamonds for chronically ill Christians. 

God is working through her work. Many chronic illness warriors can’t even go to church – and encouragement is hard to find. That’s often because these illnesses are usually invisible. People don’t know these warriors are fighting. 

So once a year, Sara brings a lapful of encouragement right to them. 

This year, Diamonds 2021’s theme is Purpose In Affliction. The conference focuses on chronically ill people’s identity in Christ and how illness strengthens their relationship with Him. 

Here’s some quick info:

What is Diamonds 2021?

Diamonds is an annual online conference for chronically ill Christians. Millions of chronically sick people battle impossible trials every single day – but so many of them feel alone. The speakers of Diamonds 2021 want them to know they aren’t — not by a long shot. 

When is Diamonds 2021?

Diamonds 2021 occurs this weekend — from Friday the 22nd through Sunday the 24th. You can join live for free, and if you miss anything, you will still be able to view the recorded version by purchasing the all-access pass.

Who is speaking at Diamonds 2021?

This year, they have twenty speakers from around the world. Each of these fantastic people has a special message of hope and compassion to share with you out of their own experiences with long-term illness.

What does Diamonds 2021 cost?

Because they know that many chronically ill warriors face burdensome medical bills, and their goal is to uplift instead of adding just one more thing, Diamonds 2021 is 100% free while it’s live. 

After that, you can purchase the all-access pass to gain lifetime access to the conference content along with some exclusive bonuses. 

Where is Diamonds 2021?

Diamonds 2021 is entirely online. They know that traveling with an illness is difficult, so they want to bring this right to you — even if you’re in a hospital bed or are housebound. You can register for Diamonds 2020 for free here.

Does the conference have a Study Guide?

Absolutely! They have a beautifully designed study guide with take away points from every talk and reflection questions and resources for further study. You can buy the e-book or paperback copy here

Friends, this is extremely important. Many chronically ill people are discouraged and depressed, and exhausted because they don’t have encouragement. This conference will fill that gap extravagantly. 


Please spread the word. If you know someone who is very sick or is chronically ill – send them this blog post. Send the registration link. The world needs these messages of hope!