The Tears, They Were Aplenty Today…

By May 30, 2011Compassion

Hello from the Philippines!

This has been one of those days so full and so deep that I will likely not be able to process it all until the trip home…when I’ll cry for the entire 27 hours of travel.

If you’re not familiar with my story, a little background might help you appreciate this post.

A Nervous Wreck

It’s been a day I know I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

But can I be honest with you? I was completely, utterly terrified about this trip. The week before I left, I cried more times than care to admit. I had that “top of the roller coaster” feeling, wondering if it was too late to get off the ride.

Frankly, I should have renamed my blog, Inspired to Wimp Out.

I was nervous. Nervous about the travel. Nervous about all the emotion. Nervous about getting sick. Nervous that the possibility of meeting my mother’s family wouldn’t work out. Nervous about being away from my husband and children.

It was hard to say goodbye to my kids. It was hard to step on the plane.

I even cried going through customs. Who DOES that?!

Everything about this trip is so riddled with emotion for me.

I was probably even nervous about being nervous.

Why Be Nervous?

Today I had the privilege of meeting Maricor, the beautiful girl we sponsor through Compassion. She’s 16 years old and I love that we look so similar! I even bought matching headbands for us (because I’m cheesy like that…)

I just adored being able to talk to her for hours face to face about our lives and the things we love. She mentioned that she performs dances often at church during worship so, I asked if she was ever nervous and her reply will stick with me forever. With complete honesty she said,

“Why would I be nervous when it’s all for God…?

I wish I’d heard her wisdom two days ago as I started on this journey. Why be nervous when it’s all for God?

Profound wisdom for a 16 year old. What are you facing in life that makes you nervous? He is the author of your story, no need to fear…

It was a powerful start to my day, but it didn’t end there…

My Anthem for this Day of a Lifetime

A song by Christa Wells, called Thousand Things, has long been a favorite of mine, but now that this trip to the Philippines is a reality, her song has become my anthem.

The idea behind it is that in every moment a Thousand Things are happening. In every season of pain there are echoes of hope. We often only see one side, but God is weaving an intensely intricate story and each moment of our lives, easy or difficult, plays an important part in that story.

I imagine sharing the song with myself as a little girl saying, “Hold tight, sweetheart. There’s much beauty for your ashes….it’s all coming around.”

Today….It All Came Around

Tonight some of my Mother’s family came to my hotel in Manila to meet me.

Eighteen of them. Some traveled over 20 hours. Some had stayed a week in Manila just to be here to meet me.

And the rest of the family? Called on cell phones while we were at dinner…

All this on Monday…Memorial day. I think God loves to throw in those thoughtful details.

Seeing my face, so much like their beloved sister’s, left them all in a huge pile of tears.

Seeing their faces, so much like my mother’s, left me in a huge pile of tears.

A. Huge. Pile. Of. Tears.

I can’t even tell you the emotions that ran through me.

Brother’s and sister’s who long ago hugged my mother goodbye for the last time, hugged me, her daughter, hello tonight for the first time.

I never dreamed this would happen…

A Word of Thanks

Can I say thank you? Thank you for reading, thank you for being a part of this community.

Because if it weren’t for you? Tears of joy wouldn’t be streaming down as I type this from Manila. If it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have met Maricor and my family today.

Thank you, with all my heart, for being a part of this story!

Here is Christa’s song, Thousand Things. I think you’ll quickly see why it’s become my anthem.

And if, in your life, there are more ashes than beauty right now, I pray it will be your anthem too.

He is good. He redeems. He loves you beyond your wildest imagination. He is NOT finished writing your story.

How to Follow The Compassion Bloggers In the Philippines

We are only one day into this trip and it’s already been amazing. But this is just my take on the day. I have been so honored to be traveling with Tsh, Emily, Lindsey, Stephanie, Keely, Patricia and Shaun. And they all have their own incredible words to share.

You can read all of their stories on the Official Trip page.

You can also follow us on Twitter

And if you want to really be connected to this trip and begin writing a story of your own, here are the sweet Filipino children awaiting sponsors.

Read the rest of my trip posts here:
Day 2 – My Bathroom Is a Portal to the 1980’s
Day 3 – Grab Your Passports! I’m Taking You On A Trip
Day 4 – What To Do When You Can’t Do Anything
Day 5 – The Power of Being Known

Leave a Comment



  • Jill Foley says:

    So glad you had today. Praying for you and the team as you are in the Philippines.

  • Aimee says:

    Hi Kat… I have tears streaming down my face just reading your blog post! There have been more ashes than beauty recently in my life but God is faithful and He is indeed good! So beautiful… your story.

    I was born and raised in the Philippines. And this summer, less than 2 months from now… I will be returning there with my husband and our two *Canadian* kids 🙂 (first time for them) and we will be visiting our Compassion sponsor child! So. Excited.

    Can’t wait to experience the story that God is writing… thank you for sharing your heart!

    • Kat says:

      Oh, how wonderful! I pray you have the most incredible time. What a wonderful opportunity for your children!!

      And to meet your Compassion sponsor child too…What a blessing!

  • Patti says:

    Oh Kat, words fail me. Bless you for sharing your journey with us. I am rejoicing with you in our Father’s abundant goodness!

  • Shelby says:

    i’m so proud of you! and gosh, you are so gorgeous! 🙂

  • Tracey says:

    Oh wow! What a special and precious gift to meet all those family members!

    That Christa Wells song has long been a favorite of mine too.

  • Teena says:

    Wow how awesome. Thank you for allowing me to follow… so excited for you. Praying for you!

  • Leslie says:

    Kat I just wanted to tell you I believe your story is beautiful…..and to share that my husbands parents are missionaries to the Philippines. I have seen those very Jeepneys while there visiting them. I gave lived following you and your journey!!! Thank you for giving me inspiration, for allowing me to see that God is writing my story too. I love your blog!!!

  • Julie cleeland says:

    Absolutely beautiful! What an amazing journey and privilege to be able to have a tiny glimpse of this special time you’ve been able to share in the Philippines. Thank you for taking me there with you:)

  • Stacy says:

    Dear Kat,
    I can’t believe this wonderful and amazing gift you have been able to give and receive! Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Nerves and all.
    I didn’t expect to cry reading your post, but once I go to the part that explained how much effort your family put into coming to see you, I couldn’t help it! I feel so happy for you and for them. It is just completely awesome.

  • Susan says:

    Wow, tears are streaming down *my* face now! I am so very happy for you, Kat!!! What an absolutely fabulous God we have! And I love how you and Maricor look so similar {especially the headbands!}. I’m excited to read more in the days to come. Praying for you all!!

  • Jenn says:

    Oh Kat, I’m so happy for you. Tears here too, and I’m just blown away by how God put this all together! You have a beautiful family! The quote from your 16 year old girl you sponsor has touched me deeply. Praying for all of you.

  • daniella says:

    I am choking with tears, woman! Blogging can be an ugly world, but this is the most beautiful way I’ve seen God show His wonder through a blog. Only He can use such a small thing to bring such big blessings. Can’t wait to open my laptop and read about your journey every day. Much love to you!!!

  • Shari says:

    I just found your blog last week and read your “about me” section and just wept and wept when you shared about your dear mother. And now? I’m sitting here weeping tears of JOY with you!!!! What mixed emotions you must’ve been feeling when you got to meet her side of the family- joy in meeting them and seeing their faces and sadness, too, I’d think, in missing your mother all over again.

    Praying for you as you are on this trip!


  • Kelli says:

    We don’t know one another and will likely never meet, but I just want you to know that you are being bathed in prayer. This was an absolutely beautiful, inspiring 🙂 post. Thank you for sharing your heart and your time and you experiences with all of us!

  • Meagan says:

    Kat ~ Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story with us! I am filled with joy for you and so very grateful to our Father for the amazing gifts He has bestowed on you in just the first day. How good He is!

  • katsmom says:

    How exciting and I’m crying with you – what a wonderful experience for you and for your Mom’s family!! Praises to God to allow you to be able to go and have this time with them. We love the picture too…we’re proud of you, love you and are praying for you.

  • So great to hear about your adventure. My tears are always flowing uncontrollably, so I can relate to your emotion. Praying God does a great work there in all of you!

  • michelle says:

    Sweet friend, when I remembered you were meeting your family as I drove around today, I had to praise God for being so amazing. I read this through watery eyes, hand clamped over my mouth, in complete awe of this experience (while the cake I was baking for a picnic burnt in the oven). I couldn’t be more thrilled for you. You look so much like your Aunt and the girl (front, center) who must be your cousin, but could pass for your sister. Praise God, that’s the only other thing I can say- Praise God!!

  • michelle says:

    ps – Maricor is so beautiful! I just love her hair in the one photo on Keely Marie’s blog.

  • Kristiana says:

    Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. How much goodness God has already crammed into this short amount of time. This is nothing short of a beautiful divine miracle, and I am so happy for you, sweet friend! So glad you are capturing and sharing this amazing journey. Common Grounds will have to kick us out, again, and again, and again until I hear it all. Enjoy every second. Love you.

  • Kris M. says:

    Yaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy! I can’t wait to hear of all the beauty you experience on your trip!

  • Roberta says:

    Wow…okay now I’m crying…I think I saved the best post for the last! What an awesome oppoturnity for you to meet you family as well as for your sponsored child. btw…love the cheesy headbands ;P
    Out of the mouth babes…just find it so amazing that this child has found such grace in what many would consider unbelievable living conditions. Amazing grace for sure.

  • Joelle @goldenchances says:

    Thank you, Kat. May this trip continue to unfold in beautiful sacred moments such as these. Following and praying, Joelle

  • Alexis says:

    I also started crying reading about your day (and was glad to read in the comments that I wasn’t the only one). What an amazing experience. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Tears of joy on my face too, friend. I can’t remember the last time I heard such a beautiful story. Oh, praise you, Jesus!!

  • Diana Drexler says:

    Hubby came in and asked me if everything was okay… I told him I was reading your blog. Love you and so excited for you!

  • Seeing you meet your mother’s family, your family, for the first time is a moment I will never forget. I saw Jesus do what Jesus does – bring beauty from ashes and strength from fear. It was the most profound, beautiful picture of redemption I think I’ve ever seen. Thank you for the gift of letting us be a part of that. I will never forget it, sweet friend.

  • Kari Coppinger says:

    Praying for your as you continue to process all this and grow in relationship with God and with those you encounter on your trip.

  • Alison says:

    Oh, I just cried all through this post. I’m so excited for you. He truly redeems!!!!

  • Erin says:

    KAT! Oh, how the Father loves! What an amazing day for you and for Maricor and for your family! What a healing this must bring to your heart – to touch the same ones who touched your mom. I’m ecstatic and overflowing for you! Thank you for sharing it all!

  • oh amanda says:

    Oh, Kat! I’m a huge pile of tears!

    What a beautiful thing God has done. And oh, oh, how He loves us. Seeing your face and the so similar faces of your family–it’s just miraculous.

    Thank you for sharing your huge story with us.

    Continuing to pray for the ministry this week. And the big story that started today with your family.

    Love you, friend.

  • Stacey says:

    Kat you are a treasure and the story that Jesus is writing on your heart, the story you share here is beautiful and rich and such a blessing to read!

    So glad you did it all for God! Now watch what He is going to do for you!

  • Mela Kamin says:

    Oh you write so beautifully – I felt the emotion with every word … am in tears trying to imagine what it’s been like. What a gift to be given and to share with others … thank you for going faithfully, even though nervous. I always think of nerves as a reminder that apart from Him, I can do nothing. Your sweet Compassion daughter is a wise, beautiful young lady. I’m praying for you all right now. God be near.

  • praying for you, crying with you, blessed by you

  • Morgan says:

    Oh wow, I’m a puddle of tears. How beautiful. How incredibly beautiful is the story of your life! Praying for you from Taiwan (a couple hundred miles to the north of you). 🙂

  • Sometimes it’s ok to cry. I have to remind myself of that… regularly actually. I just graduated college and I have no idea what comes next (well, other than a trip to China to teach English), and I’ve been crying a lot lately. Fear, concern, nervousness… they’ve become my good friends lately.

    Why be nervous when it’s all for God?

    I’m going to lean on that for awhile. Thank Maricor for me!

    Praying for you. May God continue to reveal Himself to you and use you this week (and always).


    PS: Love the song!

  • Oh, Kat, I am SO happy for you. I can’t even imagine the depth of emotion you felt in the days leading up to this trip, but what a beautiful, beautiful demonstration of family. Thanking God for making this trip possible for you. And thank you for allowing us to be part of it! Now to find some tissues…

  • michelle says:

    thank you for sharing! I am so grateful that you are there. I wonder if you will meet our Compassion child, Jearald Bermejo, while you are there. We can’t wait for the day that we can make that trip too so that we can meet our little guy that we love so much. If you meet him, give him huge hugs and love from us. Many prayers for you on your journey.

  • Lara says:

    I don’t even know what to say except, “GOD is AWESOME!” Wow. Oh friend, thank you.

  • Dionna says:

    I got chills just reading your post. I can feel your emotion and how this day moved you. And I totally empathize with your fears for the trip. I go through that each time I go on a missions trip and God is ALWAYS faithful.

  • RaD says:

    Awww…. What a wonderfully magnificent reason to be crying. I would have cried from nerves, leaving my children, being uncertain. I am incredibly shy at times and the thought of doing something like this, this trip, makes me wanna cry, and I’m not even there! Someday maybe….

    I can’t wait to see what God reveals through your eyes on this trip, tears and all.

  • Ann Voskamp says:

    A thousand things….
    A thousand thanks.

    Singing with you and Christa, sweet friend.

    A thousand things happening tonight… and He makes them all grace.

    All is…

  • Elizabeth says:

    you are welcome! and thank you for sharing your world with us and what God is doing through it all.

  • Lori Mills says:

    Thank you for allowing others to travel with you on your trip. What a blessing! God is so good. Your times are in His Hands! God bless.

  • Amy Sullivan says:

    This group of bloggers is such a fun mix of people. I am seeing new things through all of your eyes, and loving it. Thanks for being brave and going on this trip. Your Inspired to Whimp Out comment cracked me up. Can’t wait to read more.

  • Kat…all us folks who are joining you and reading His story unfolds through you is crying. So beautiful. Beautiful! I’m thrilled beyond words you got to meet family, both by birth and by adoption!

    Much love and prayers to you and the entire team…

  • Phillip Lid says:

    HOW DRAMATICALLY YOU HAVE TUGGED AT MY HEART! When I was just a boy of nine, I was seriously injured in a building accident where my face was badly damaged. There were no doctors that dared to try to reconstruct my face because of the complexities of the repairs. So I lingered in the hospital for weeks, awaiting the arrival of Dr. Phillips. He was a visiting physicial from the Phillipinees. He told my parents, who already had another son that was severly physically and mentally impared, that they shouldn’t worry because he knew exactly what was needed. Aparently, he had a great deal of experience repairing war injuries even more serious than mine. Think about it, Dr. Phillips, with his vast experience, from the Phillipines, sent by God to fix another Phillip…me! And yet, there are still doubters out there that question God’s presence.
    I am so proud to be connected to by your words. Your courage and grace are evedenced in the debth of your love for a family that you have never seen. You are truley proof of God’s love. I think that the reason that you have touched me so deeply is because I have always wondered why God spared me. Why did He single me out above all the others to save? Through out my life, why did He always keep me out of harms way? Why am I still here at the age of seventy? What does He want of me? Perhaps it is to simply read your words and feel His presence. But I do believe that there is more. Perhaps I too must journey to the Phillipines. Perhaps my soul is forever connected to the Phillipines.
    In reading the book, The Complete Gospels by Robert J. Miller, Editor, there is listed a book, The Gospel of Thomas. For me this has been the most enlightening biblical words of my life, because they speak, not in story fashion, but rather in only sayings that Jesus spoke. The revalation here is in verses 19 and 84 where Jesus speaks of past lives. If this is truley part of His secret teachings we can only conclude that it is true, then, you my dearest one, are a very old soul that God has known for a very long time, and I am so proud to have witnessed you today. Please accept my dearest love and appreciation for sharing the debth of your heart.

  • Kelly says:

    Tears streaming down my face too. What a might God we serve! Thank you for sharing your life with us!

  • Susan Buan says:

    Hi, Kat! I am the Compassion staff you met and had lunch with yesterday. What a privilege for me to have met you and the whole group of bloggers who have such a noble cause for the children. And what a blessing to have witnessed your joyful meeting with Maricor! Thank you for caring enough to give this young lady love and inspiration. I’m sure she will forever cherish this sweet memory of having spent time with you. May the Lord continue to bless and prosper you so that more children like Maricor will be blessed through you.

  • […] about Compassion and how they help children all over the world. I also loved this post by Emily and this post by […]

  • Lisa says:

    Thank you for sharing the beauty through the ashes. Beautiful song!

  • Amber says:

    Oh Kat………my heart is smiling for you from the inside out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Amy Davis says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow! I am so glad I am getting to “travel” with you on this journey. This trip was a lifetime in the making and now every step you took in the past has lead to this moment. God has had this plan for you all along. This trip is also setting up the plan God has for your children. I can’t wait to see what this impact will have on them one day.

  • bendedspoon says:

    Thank you for coming to the Philippines. Thank you for caring… 🙂

  • hobbs says:

    I have always admired the family’s love that Filipinos have…you are very blessed. I live in Taiwan… in many ways very similar to the Philippines (one island north) but with money…people work all the time to make money…but families have very little love for each other… yet in my visits to the Philippines they have great love for each other…money can buy most everything except true friendship and love…so in many ways families in the Philippines are very rich….

    • Melissa says:

      That is so true!

      Best wishes to all of the compassion bloggers! It is a blessing to know that families can be together forever!

  • […] if she was ever nervous performing at church during worship.  She’s a sponsored child of Kat through Compassion. There were […]

  • Amanda says:

    God is so good.

  • Anna says:

    Wow! Amazing!

  • This was just beautiful. Chills. Thank you for going, Kat. I know how hard that is.

  • Joyce says:

    I am so happy for you Kat! What an amazing Father we have.

  • Carrie says:

    Wow, you could be sisters or mother and daughter you look so similar. What a gift. I’m so glad you met your family as well. Thanks for the reminder that there is nothing to fear with God in charge.

  • Kim says:

    Tears of emotion right along with you, sister. Excuse me while I wipe off my keyboard…

  • How very, very special! I love hearing people’s stories of God’s overwhelming power, specificity, and beauty in how He weaves the details of our lives. And the wisdom of Maricor is a perfect example of how WE walk away changed by a trip you’re on. Blessings and peace!

  • […] hadn’t been forgotten. I was treasured. That is what meant the most about meeting my Filipino family this […]

  • […] all of my trip posts here: Day 1 – The Tears, The Were Aplenty… Day 2 – My Bathroom Is a Portal to the 1980′s Day 3 – Grab Your Passports! […]

  • […] all of my trip posts here: Day 1 – The Tears, The Were Aplenty… Day 2 – My Bathroom Is a Portal to the 1980′s Day 3 – Grab Your Passports! […]

  • […] all of my trip posts here: Day 1 – The Tears, The Were Aplenty… Day 2 – My Bathroom Is a Portal to the 1980′s Day 3 – Grab Your Passports! […]

  • […] reconnecting with a part of her heritage. And yesterday she shared the story of her reunion with members of her extended family. Today, she’s triple dog daring us to take action. Will you accept her […]

  • […] picture because you’re going to meet your mother’s family. You’ll even go to the Philippines! They’ll travel from all over the country…just to meet you. They miss her […]

  • Mel says:

    I am a missionary who has lived in the Philippines, who wandered across your blog thru pinterest…God sure is amazing and using you for his Glory!!! God bless you for stepping out of your comfort zone!!

  • […] motherhood journey with you all. We’ve done HelloMornings together, we’ve gone to the Philippines together, and we have realized that moms are kind of a big deal […]

  • […] has opened doors I never, ever, ever would have imagined possible, including meeting my mother’s family and my sponsor child for the first time because of Compassion […]

  • […] woman and author, she also had the misfortune of having to put up with me as a roommate in the Philippines on our Compassion trip. (I may be a bit […]

  • […] have to say that going to the Philippines on a Compassion blogging trip in 2010 was certainly the farthest I’ve ever stepped out of my comfort. Traveling with (then) […]