Oh happy day! It's facebook-friend-interview Friday.
I'm ever so pleased to introduce to you my friend Amy F.
A few words about Amy: Ah, my friend Amy. It's so very nice to call her "friend" after years of us really only knowing of each other via our circle of mutual friends. In the last several months we have had a couple of chances to actually spend time together in the same room (and when you add those two times to all of our previous in-person interactions, I think that brings the count up to a total of four). However few and far between, every time I walk away with deeper affection for Amy. She's a woman, wife, and mama trying to live all of this life out with the sole purpose of knowing Jesus and making him known. She has a musical ability that's like butter, just comforting and rich. I'm fascinated by Amy and who she is by design and the way I see the design unfolding in her. I can count on my fingers the number of times I have ever met in my entire life someone with as strong a resolve and clarity of purpose balanced with an authentic humility and humor that draws you in and makes you want to know more. Recently she shared her heart and vision with me for the very real and raw work she has done, is doing, will do to rescue women out of the warped, twisted, bizarre, surreal, nauseating, devastating, rampant reality that is sex trafficking and modern-day slavery. Amy talked to me from her heart, and I was moved to find it full of countless years of educational and experiential knowledge, as well as her passion and emotion. Because of the fire burning in her to rescue what's been lost to darkness, my heart burns now. Amy is one of the realest real-deals I have the privilege of knowing. I'm in awe that our paths have crossed and our destinies are linked, that we will know each other more in all the time to come.
I am a trainer for Out of Darkness (a 24/7 rescue hotline for women being prostituted in Atlanta) and am in the process of opening a long term recovery home for survivors of sex trafficking, ages 11-17 (Sparrow's Nest Ministries)
2. How did we meet/how do we know each other?
In my imagination, we have known each other since you were pregnant with Brilliant Beauty, but in reality you are a FB buddy, the main character in so many Kathryn [our friend] stories, and I have only seen you face-to-face like 3-4 times (?????). It does, however, feel like you've been my friend for a looooong time. In the immortal words of Anne: "We are kindred spirits."
3. Single or married?
Married to Shane for 14 years.
4. What’s the greatest thing about being single or married?
The best and worst things about being married are two sides of the same sword. Marriage is a real flesh-burner. Conflict breeds intimacy and, when marriage is working best and we are allowing the Lord to work in us, we get such a beautiful, working picture of forgiveness and restoration. No (earthly) relationship has more power to wound and more power to heal.
5. What was your first vehicle? Love it or hate it? Why?
My first vehicle was a baby blue 1978 Volkswagen Beetle that was $1200 in 1985. Loved it in theory, but there was tin foil involved in keeping part of my engine together and I think I nearly died from leaded gasoline fumes. My favorite part about it is that (duh) it was my first ticket to freedom and I ADORE the sound the old Beetles make (sounded like a vehicle from the Jetson's).
6. Beach or mountains? Why?
So hard. Mountains for the low temperatures and coziness factor. It would be ideal if I could just HEAR the ocean from the mountains. I really adore both.
7. Darkest time of your life?
Hmmm. There are a few to choose from in that category: A period of about 1.5 years that I lovingly refer to as the "Threshing Floor" season, where my marriage almost did not survive and I, quite literally, lost my best friend. When I was sitting at the altar one Sunday night the Lord said to me, "Will you come with Me to the threshing floor?", to which I quickly responded, "Yes!". He then replied, "Do not answer in haste." (I had never heard Him say anything like that to me before). So, I went home and researched the threshing floor of the Bible for the next week. Then, better informed, came back and answered Him with a little more solemn "yes." Thus began one of the darkest years of my life, even pre-Christ. It was a time of pain, loss and suffering; blessing, increase, and God's favor; costly sacrifice, and ultimately, the presence of God in ways I have rarely experienced. It was a time of GREAT loss and loneliness, but a time where I learned how to authentically lead worship from a seat of grief and how pain is not only an acceptable offering when my hands are empty of anything else to give the Lord, but a beautiful one He much desires from us. I learned that the Lord will stop at nothing to become my One and Only "Source" and that EVERY other human relationship should fall only under the category of "support."
8. Happiest childhood memory?
Playing outside until dark EVERY night of the summer, growing up in Chicago (Wheaton, to be exact). Every memory of those years outside was my happiest memory (ages 4-10).
9. What would people be surprised or shocked to know about you?
That I have always sworn there would never be a firearm in my home and I had not, in fact, touched a gun EVER until 2013. I now own a Glock 19 and know how to use it ... Now, if only it came in pink and sparkly.
10. What work of art (book, music, etc.) has heavily influenced you? Why?
Different ones at different times. Childhood - heavily influenced by "Little House on the Prairie" and longed to live in that era. As an adult - I have been HEAVILY influenced by the lives of three women (in book form): Corrie Ten Boom, Amy Carmichael and Jackie Pullinger Books that altered my walk with the Lord - "Passion for Jesus" (Mike Bickle) "Unto Death" (Dalton Thomas) "Hinds Feet in High Places" (Hannah Hurnard) --- I've read it 7 times and counting.
11. Favorite place you’ve traveled to? Why?
Alaska, without a doubt. I had NO idea there was a place on the planet that looked like that ---- glaciers are BLUE . . . who knew?? Stunning and I can't wait to go back some day.
12. What brought you to the city you live in now?
I married Shane and we needed to live somewhere in the vicinity of Atlanta (suburbs) but wanted to still feel like we were a bit in the country. My best friend and sister lived in Flowery Branch at the time. Why not?
13. What is your favorite trait about yourself? Why?
Well, I can't hold a grudge to save my life which, actually, used to infuriate me growing up. But I have come to be so very grateful that forgiveness comes swiftly (not to be confused with easily). That, and I simply adore people.
14. Vintage or brand new?
Furniture - vintage that has either been restored or brand new that has been weathered. HA!!! I'm a retard!
15. Fill in the blank: It’s quiet and no one is around. I think I will __________.
. . . read or watch a movie. (IF all my dang housework is caught up, that is)
16. What would you describe as one of your biggest triumphs in life?
I don't know that it's "mine," but from a spiritual standpoint when I FINALLY understood - deeply - that Jesus loves me; like, LOVES ME, loves me. That was MAJOR and I can still see where I was sitting (a Marriott in Nashville with my feet propped up on the window sill in my room, reading a book). Total and complete game-changer forEVER. I've never once doubted it since that moment. I don't UNDERSTAND it, but I don't doubt it for a minute.
Oooo . . . country, but within an hour, driving, of a city. Love 'em BOTH!!
18. If today was your last, what three things would you do?
*WRITE DOWN everything I ever wanted or would want my kids and family to know about how I feel about them and, more importantly, how the Lord feels about them. *WRITE DOWN the "small stuff" and the guidelines for "choosing your battles" -- and how to choose your spouse by checking to see if they are KIND to people, smile easily, love Jesus, and race to out-give each other. Period. *Clean the microwave (Lord knows, I don't think anyone in this house knows that you have to do that!)
19. Fast food or “just say no”?
Hmmmm . . . I despise fast food for the most part, but I love Zaxby's and Chick-Fil-A occasionally. So, mostly "just say no," I guess.
20. If you got a tattoo (or another one) what would it be?
Something to do with my kids. I have scripture and flowers on my wrist now, but I would love to have a small, subtle, indelible nod to my kids' lives somewhere.
Something else about Amy that I want to share . . .
Amy shared with me through this interview process a link to a previous interview she participated in. She did it so that I could know her better. I asked her permission to share it and she granted it to me. Her story to tell is messy and honest and painful and redemptive, like all of us if we would be honest. I hope you'll watch and know her better, too, and that through it you will know hope the most.
Here's a complete list of all the facebook friend interviews.