Monday, August 15, 2011

Far and wide: Bold and bright A testimony by Mindy Horr

When wondering what I could possibly write for my testimony that would explain everything that God has taught me, I was at a loss. How do I write about what brought me from when I was a little girl - trying to figure out why it was wrong that I played hide-and-seek when my parents closed their eyes during prayer - to now.

Then I figured, as the Mad Hatter would propose, I should "start at the beginning, and when I get to the end, stop." So, here goes.

As you may have read between those lines, I grew up in a Christian home. I owe much of my faith to my parents today, and I want everyone to know that having Christian parents can be the greatest asset to developing your own strong faith if you allow it. I say "if you allow it" because many of us let the shortcomings of our parents, or conversely, the strength of our parents' faith, determine too much of why or what we believe. If your Christian parents have failed at showing you the Father, remember - they are still human and are working out their salvation with fear and trembling. If your parents have succeeded, and shown you the unconditional love of an Almighty God - remember, their faith will not be enough to save you, you must make a choice to follow that same God.

All this to say, my parents, Cliff and Casey Horr, are the best people I know. Not best as in perfect, but best as in, I have watched them seek and choose the things of God every day since I can remember.

I was in the latter portion of those children above for a long time, living in the glow of their faith as I believe the Bible intends - one needs to know good in order to follow it. I allowed them to lead my own faith along behind them like a little stuffed animal led along by the leash of a child. But I had to grow up sometime, so I went away to school, and for a variety of reasons, some of which included wanting to follow God, chose Biola University. Ahem. It was in Southern California.

Now, those tumultuous 4 years in a heavy and exciting culture were more than enough to pull me away from God, push me towards God, and everything in between. I will say one thing about my time there, something that is exactly what I want to always connect with those years - God introduced me to beautiful, strong, vastly different women, who helped me through, grew up with me, and allowed me the first bud of what I like to refer to now as my "feminist" side.

I'm so sure that I may end up losing some of you at this point, but please, stay with me. As opposed to what many people think when they read the word "feminist", I am neither one who is fighting vigorously for women to be allowed the same rights, wages, and jobs as men. Nor am I one who scoffs at the attempts of men to lead the world, and claims that women could do better. I would actually like to stop this whole comparison and figure out something else.

From the very beginning in Genesis, God told us we were different. "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (1:27). There is something distinct about God's image that He put only in females, and it was put in me - but what is it? And THAT is what I'm all about figuring out. Not, how do I stack up against the image of God that was specifically placed in man.

I believe I've gotten way ahead of myself. Well, maybe not. This thought of femininity was racing through my head and heart about the same time I decided that Southern California was again pulling me away from God - not to mention I couldn't get an interview anywhere, was making balloon animals for tips, and was living on a sailboat near Venice Beach - I was making all the wrong choices. Not exactly where I saw myself post-a 4 year degree and a heart that knew better.

Along with three of my other friends, and with one waiting for us there, I moved to Korea in August of 2009 to teach English for a year. Reasons being: 1. I would have a job that would make use of all that school I had done, 2. I would finally be able to start paying off loans from that school, 3. I could save money once the loans were paid off so that, 4. I could travel.

I think, at this point, God must've been looking down and chuckling, saying "oh, that's cute, Sweetie, you think THAT'S why you're going to Korea."

Within the first month, I realized. Community.

I say this word with so many images racing through my brain, that it will be extremely hard to pinpoint where exactly it changed for me - from being just another word to describe a neighborhood or group of people - to being this vibrant, life-giving, moving thing that would replace the institution that church has become in an instant if people really understood what a church, as a body of people, was meant to be.

I've come to realize that I will never (well maybe not never but it will take quite a long time to) unpack what God was doing those long months in Korea. Months where I couldn't believe what I was a part of. Months where I would've given any thing to be out of it. Months where I felt both at the same time. Months where I knew, with every single atom of my being, that whatever this uncomfortable, awakening, and glorious thing was, it was from God. 

And it was God's.

There wasn't anything that any one of us there had done to orchestrate it, though God did use specific actions and words and emotions of certain people to be very instrumental in its growth. And, though there were a handful of men that God used as brothers in Christ to show me a good many things, it was the women He had placed around me to affirm and encourage me, that I, ME SPECIFICALLY, was someone that God NEEDED, to show an aspect of His image to those around me, for the glory of HIS kingdom.

Two stories to tell in illustration, and then I'll conclude.

I think it was the third or fourth week after I'd arrived in Korea, when I experienced my first outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Not on me, but for me, from someone whom I barely knew. Our group of teachers, recruiters, friends, and family all gathered together to worship, pray, and just fellowship, during which this man was given a vision for each of us in the group. As I listened and watched the reactions of people I'd known for years, and people I'd only known for weeks, I was skeptical yet intrigued, as I'd never grown up in a charismatic environment. Yet, when he came to me, the words that he spoke gave me goose bumps and brought tears to my eyes.

"Mindy, I had this vision of you, with your ponytail being tossed about in the wind, and your heart yearning to be taken more seriously then the little girl that everyone sees you as. You have such wisdom and maturity, but you're afraid to use them because you're young, and look even younger, and feel unqualified to speak up. Don't."

How could he know what I'd never voiced aloud to anyone, ever? How could he see to the very core of my insecurities, see everything that was limiting me from stepping into that person God needed me to be? Truth is, he didn't. But God showed him. I believe this with my whole heart.

Through this word, and the people present who had heard it, over the next several months I was given the space in which to practice at being a fully functioning part of the body God was forming in Korea.

Yet I still battled timidity outside of that core community. February rolled around, and our group of women gathered for a women's retreat, in which we were all asked to petition God for a new name. What? No, not like Samantha or Allison, but what would God call us to, or call us for, that we hadn't ever considered being. I was at a loss.

I wrote down every word I could think of in a journal. What had I not asked God for? Believe me, I'd asked for a lot. Doesn't mean I'd gotten them all, come on - patience? - that's taking forever.

And then it hit me.

There was one thing I'd never thought to ask for, and it makes sense, seeing it was the one thing that I didn’t WANT to ask for. So I wrote it very little at the bottom of my page.


I'm not sure if my writing it smaller made me feel better or not, but it's quite comical when I look back at that journal. And in looking back, I wonder when it started happening. It wasn't immediate, and it wasn't all at once. About two months after returning to the States this last fall, I found myself talking with a friend and I heard myself speaking the name of God quite frequently and with a familiarity that was as comfortable as my best friend. Speaking in awe and adoration of all that He had done. Not hushing down my voice to an almost whisper because we were sitting in a smaller Starbucks with tables closer together. And it wasn't just this one time, one place, one friend. I looked back over the last months in Korea, the 3 months of traveling, and the two months of being home. When had this become normal?

I think my mind did a double take. Was this boldness? Wait a minute. I wasn't standing on a soapbox, shouting to the world to listen to me. But I was living a life that naturally brought about these conversations, whether I started them or someone else did. Me, bold? That was all God.

So where have I come - from that little girl hiding behind the speakers with a grin to now seeking out ministry with women wherever, whenever and in whatever capacity I can.

I am no longer my parents' faith. I am no longer a girl who is content with people knowing I'm a Christian because my dad is a pastor. I am no longer an opinionated woman among a wealth of immature men. I am no longer a spectator of the Spirit moving in others. I am no longer a sitter-byer as someone more qualified steps up.

I am a talmidah of my Rabbi Jesus. I am a girl whose greatest desire is to continue stepping into all that God has equipped me for. I am a strong, intelligent woman, made of the image of God who needs to encourage the men around her to seek out who they are in God's image. I am being moved by the Holy Spirit for His purposes that have Kingdom value. I am entrusted with much and much is being required of me.

This isn't the story of how I became a Christian. This is the story of how I've become who I was always supposed to be - a woman who knows the purpose and plan for her life is something that God is so fiercely passionate to see through, how could she not succeed?

This is the story of how I became me. And am continual becoming.

So, sorry, Mad Hatter, there is no end.

Mindy Horr, a BOLD woman of God
Dearest Mindy,

I praise God this morning for the BOLD woman that he is developing within you.  That in your boldness the gospel will be shared and your testimony will grow and grow.  I love your last line and you are right…there is no end.

As I sit here and think about your words and your journey’s that you have taken in your life I have a moment of pause and awe.  What an amazing adventure.  You are so blessed to have these special times, special adventures, and faraway travels.

So often we get stuck in a rut, in a place, in a time, and we don’t look outside and realize that the world is a big place and that God is wrapped up in hearts all around it.  Grow where you are planted, is a saying that I have been told, and I love it.  You must be planted in a flower pot, and you get to be taken many places.

I loved looking at all your pictures on Facebook.  They scream character!  Excited to see where the Lord will take you.

I just realized that Kael was being very quiet.  Too quiet.  Here is what I found…

Looks like Momma needs to run to Walmart and get new make up.

Oh joy!

"Hey you in the 'tighties' what do you think you're doing?!?"  And my I just say, getting make up off a toddler is not easy.  I triumphed, but it was a trick.

Lord bless you little lady!  Bold and bright.




  1. Thank you for Mindy's testimony. I sit and just drink in her words as a very proud and blessed older sister Blessed to call her sister and have her living close to me and my family now. She has been such an encouragement to me these last few months as she reaches out to me in community as well. We don't often think of how much even "happily married women with children and a wonderful church" still need the close friendship and community of other women. Thank you for letting her share her heart. It is indeed bold and precious.

  2. I really was blessed to read Mindy's testimony too as her Aunt who has only been able to watch her grow from a distance - and pray for her. How wonderful to hear her say she is finding her identity as a woman created by God and gifted by Him to be His Woman and servant. There is so much joy in that. Being an 'older woman' I love seeing how God connects us and uses us in each others lives. Across generations, and cultures there is just something so special that we are able to share as we speak God's truth into each others lives.
    Thank you, Aunt Cathy