Friday, June 29, 2012

The Best Day of My Life

Our wedding day was perfect. 

All photos courtesy of The Mango Pack -> GO CHECK THEM OUT!! 

And after looking through all those beautiful photographs, you may be wondering why my blog is named Dirty, Ripped Dresses.  I started this blog after my second trip to Africa as a voice for the voiceless - the little girls in dirty, ripped dresses (and all the other needy people of the world!).  However, as I post my wedding photos, I can't help but take the opportunity to share the gospel.  :)

We are all wearing dirty, ripped dresses if we really think about it.  We all sin.  We're all not good enough for God.  We don't deserve Him, nor can we earn eternal life with Him. But when we have faith in Him and join the family of God, He no longer sees our dirty, ripped dresses, but He chooses to see us in Jesus' righteousness, in pure, white wedding gowns.  What a great God!  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

heal the broken & break the proud

If you only follow this blog, not my facebook/tumblr/pinterest, you're probably wondering about my wedding.  And I'm going to tell you all about it and show you pictures soon, but this is more important.  The wedding was the best day of my life, but what I need to tell you about today is life long and eternal.

I've been interning at the pregnancy center for the last several weeks.  Lots of observing sessions, envelope stuffing, sitting through parenting videos, etc.  Today I got to be the counselor and was observed by my advisor.

I love my internship.  I am 100% dedicated and passionate about everything the pregnancy center does.  I was skeptical going in.  I was scared that I was going to be judgmental or intimidated.  I was nervous.  But as I've watched people and learned the swing of things, I've fallen even more in love with my job.  It's incredible.  It's the most humbling thing.  Sometimes I think it's even more humbling than doing work with orphans in Africa or prostitutes in India.  Because these girls, I could have been.  If I would have made one wrong move in the 10th grade, I could have gone into a different group of friends and had a totally different life.  I could be 19 with two kids.  I could be a 21 year old smoker with an abusive boyfriend trying to get an abortion.  I could be 15 taking honors classes on the varsity basketball team with a positive pregnancy test.  I could be single 34 and pregnant for the 8th time.  I could be.  [Those are just examples, not actual people I've met.]

Today, for my first client ever, I had the most broken girl my supervisor said I would probably ever have.  She said it would only be easier.  I guess they broke me in good today.  I left the center heartbroken.  My spirit was so heavy I felt like vomiting.  They say carrying others burdens is a weighty task.  That couldn't be more the truth in this field of work.  

I got to share the gospel with this girl - a girl with no religion who had never really heard the real gospel.  A hurting, broken girl who knows pain and suffering more than most.  I got to tell her that Jesus loves her and forgives her.  She knows she's sinful and dirty.  She didn't need me to remind her of the law of God that she has broken.  So I didn't.  I told her about God's grace and mercy and love.  His Father love, His Daddy love that this little one did not have.  

I left the pregnancy center upset and heavy-hearted.  I drove straight to the bible study my husband and I go to on Thursday nights.  I wrapped myself in my husbands arms and told him I wanted to cry for this girl.  The night went on.  We shared a meal with the body of Christ and this bible study, then we opened the Word; and wow was the Spirit there.  We studied Mark 10.  We have this incredible way of studying the bible through observation, interpretation, and application.  The section we worked through tonight was "The Rich Young Ruler."  I'm sure everyone can recall that story.  The rich young ruler asks Jesus how he can have eternal life, Jesus tells him to sell everything he owns, he leaves unhappy.  As we talked through it, I had some major revelation.  

Whenever a broken, sick, injured, hurting person came to Jesus, Jesus healed them.  I could give you a thousand cross references, but I'll just tell you to read any of the gospels and you'll see it.  

However, when this rich young ruler who had "never" broken the Law came to Jesus, Jesus broke him.  He was humbled, his "spirituality" was shattered. 

I've never understood evangelism like this before.  We don't have to shove sin in the broken's face to convince them to repent and follow Jesus.  We have to love them and show them our Father's love.  We have to tell them the good news!  But the proud have to be broken.  We have to show them the Law and help them to see that they are not a saint, but were born a sinner because of the Fall.  

Heal the broken & break the proud.

Give them all Jesus. 


Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I'm going to be a wife in exactly 11 days.  Tomorrow I can check the 10 day weather report in hopes of seeing that our beautiful outdoor hiking trail wedding will indeed be a beautiful outdoor hiking trail wedding.  Recently all Kevin and I's conversations have been consumed by wedding plans.  A constant influx of checking lists and making lists and starting crafts and finishing crafts and going to the store and going to weddings and hoping that we'll be able to carry all we've created in Oklahoma back to Virginia on the airplanes.  

It's frustrating. Although I'm so stoked to have my teeny tiny dream wedding, I'm more stoked to be married to my best friend for the rest of my life.  The wedding day is nothing compared with the happily ever after.  

Thankfully, we had some friends bail on our double date last night, and we were able to invest the entire evening into our future, post wedding. 

Kevin told me about a crazy idea he had and his fears of us "settling" in America.  Let me show you some pictures of us in our element:

You guessed right!  Our element is INDIA.  

I'm not going to tell you our tentative plan that involves India just yet, but you can know that we spent hours yesterday dreaming about our future there.

We also spent a good portion of last night planning for the immediate future, after the wedding.  When we get back to Virginia and finally get to move into our apartment, it is going to be fun to decorate and organize our living room in a way that will be best for housing the small group that we plan to start.  We are so excited to have the Lord use dour home as a place of redemption and gospel sharing to take place.  

And there will also be ample time spent staring at God's beautiful paintings in the sky out of the kitchen window.

Kevin and I have a thing where we read books aloud to each other, every single day.  Yesterday we were blessed with so much free time, that we were able to read Mark Driscoll's book Real Marriage to each other, taking turns, for well over an hour.  There is much controversy surrounding this book, but Kevin and I have both taken a ton from it and the Lord has taught us a lot through Driscoll's words.  

I get to walk down the isle in 11 days, into the hands of my best friend, and I couldn't be more excited to begin the next chapter of my life as the newlywed wife of Kevin James Knight.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Our Engagement Story

On the night of Easter, after a full day of church and a fun dinner with our best friends, Kevin and I packed up the car with random items, including lunchables and sleeping bags, and drove up to the Peaks of Otter.  We slept in his car for approximately 2 hours before beginning our ascent to the top of Sharp Top Mountain at 3am.  We hiked for a couple hours, making it to the top, just prior to the sunrise.  It was FREEZING and although the sunrise was pretty, it wasn't breathtaking like we had hoped. 

We were planning on hanging out up there for a while (I got really bad blisters on my feet while hiking up), but because it was so cold, we started back down after the sun was up fully.  By the time we made it to the bottom, it was around 8:30am.  We got back in the car, sleepy, cold, and hungry.  Kevin decided we would drive to Roanoke along the Blue Ridge Parkway, then hang out in Roanoke for the rest of our day off.  

As we drove along the parkway, we passed several beautiful pull offs.  We stopped at one to take a couple pictures.

We got back in the car and continued journeying until we came upon another beautiful pull off.  We decided we should just kick back and hang out at this one for a little while.  We were literally on the Appalachian trail.  Kevin backed his jeep up so that we could sit in the back in our pile of blankets and sleeping bags and look out and see God's beautiful creation.  Kevin grabbed his bible and asked if I was interested in starting our day off with God's word.  Of course I did!  There is nothing better than hearing my fiance's sweet voice reading the Bible.  He started reading in Ephesians 3.  Ephesians is my favorite book of the Bible.  He read chapters 3, 4, and 5.  He stopped and started talking about the passage he just read.  It says:

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."

He starts talking about how the passage says that husbands are to wash their wives with water through the word.  He jumps out of the jeep and walks around the car, coming back with a bottle of Fiji water, an Egyptian cotton towel, and a bar of Dove soap (I include the details because he is very proud of them).  He proceeds to get down on his knees and wash and rub my dirty, blistered, and bleeding feet.  It was a beautiful picture of God redeeming us from our filth.  After washing my feet, he sat back in the car with me and read the entire passage I typed out above, again.  He then talks about how it tells husbands to feed their wives and take care of her, just as he takes care of himself.  Kevin got back out of the car and then returned with a small loaf of fancy bread.  He broke pieces and fed me and himself.  He talked to me about how he would die for me and I'm the first person he's ever told that.  We talked about unconditional love.  He then read the passage from Ephesians 5 one last time.  He then said, "But we're missing one big part of this..." and got out of the car and went to get something out of his backpack once again.  He returned with a bag from Bowen's, a local jewelry store.  As he fumbled to open the bag and pull out the box, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  I said yes, he put my dream ring on my finger, and I started weeping.  HAPPIEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE.  

We recreated the ring scene.

Here are some more pictures from the beautiful morning we got engaged.

Kevin proposed to me in the most amazing, beautiful, biblical, perfect way.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jesus is Worth It All

I made this video tonight after opening up to my boyfriend about some crazy things I experienced in India.  If you have a couple minutes, I'd like to ask you to watch it.  It was pretty emotional to make and experience.  I hope and pray that it challenges you and encourages you and motivates you.

The Gospel is beautiful.

Jesus is worth it all.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

1 Thessalonians 1:3

“constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of loveand steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father,”
I pray that the future ministry I go into will be marked with those attributes.  This morning I was reading a book and it was talking about what one thing is you want to do before you die.  Would you care to know what my one thing is?  I want to invest into a prostitute, going into the brothel she works in and flooding the place with the light of Jesus I carry within myself.  I want to pour my love and Christ’s love into this woman.  I want to pay her debt and lead her by the hand out of the doors of the brothel and into my home.  I want to wash her feet and give her the bread of the Eucharist.  I want to see her fall in love with Papa God.  
The gospel isn’t easy.  It’s simple, yes, but it is not “easy.”  The gospel takes awork of faith, much labor of love, and steadfastness of hope.  Work, labor, and steadfastness are not easy little things.  They take time, effort, prayer, and passion.  Christianity is not easy, but it is totally worth it. 
As the Lord leads my future husband and I into war-torn nations and persecuted villages and redlight districts and the realities of hell on earth, I know and trust that it will take our work of faith, labor of love, and steadfastness of hope to see victories in Christ.  I can barely wait to see the love of Christ prevail across the earth.