I travel the country full time from the west coast to the east coast and everything in-between. I visit small towns, big cities, thriving churches and some congregations that are just barely hanging on.
I see joy.
I meet women and hear their stories. I see bits of their pain, their brokenness, their hurts and their longings.
I see joy.
I hear a woman tell me she wants something new and is leaving her husband. And then I turn and see another women broken because her husband is leaving her for something new.
I see joy.
I see a 50yr old grown women who was locked up and tortured as a child just now learning how to breath. I see her broken and curled up in a ball.
I see joy.
I wipe my face from the tears of a 70 year old women's sobbing because she feels so alone and doesn't know how she is going to pay her rent. I see in her a 5 year old girl just wanting her mommy to hold her.
I see joy.
I see and women, angry at the world and nothing will soothe her, so she hurls insults because that is all that has ever been hurled at her.
I see joy.
Then, I look in the mirror and I see in me a women whose body tires easily, wanting to be home where it is safe and warm in the arms of her husband, but God has different plans and keeps sending her out to hold the hurting, to hear the stories and to be a Herald for His voice. I see a women who carries the pain of others deeply and has to hide away each night and release them to the Lord for Him to carry.
I see joy.
The JOY of the Lord is my strength.
Joy is our ability to see past our circumstances and look into the face of the Son, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, disregarding its shame and now sits victorious in honor at the right hand of God. Jesus is our joy. Jesus is our victory. JESUS. JESUS. JESUS.
This is Joy. And it is my absolute Joy to do it, to see past my own circumstances, help others see past theirs and point people to the face of Christ in the best way that He sees fit.
Today and everyday, May you see the joy in all He has called you to do day in and day out. The joy of the Lord in YOUR strength. Keep pressing in!
Mia Koehne- Here to hear, hold and herald
There I was, knees on the floor in a crowded room, singing (crying) out to God. The band played on and those in attendance continued to worship, yet somehow I found myself disconnected from the stage and intimately connected to the song of the spirit. The song that I sang as I worshiped the Lord.
Has that ever happened to you? One minute your up, standing with your peeps, and the next minute you are overwhelmed by the gravity and power of the words that you are singing and you find yourself down on your knees before the Lord (Physically or emotionally.)
That is where I found myself. I don't exactly really remember the moment when I decided to walk off the stage, but I do remember this... I remember the voice in my spirit saying "We don't need you to usher in the Holy spirit. We don't even need you to stand on this stage, so get off!" (The Lord always has to be very direct with me...I'm pretty stubborn.)
So, off I went to stand with the congregation, to worship with them and not AT them. Off I went as God simply took the spotlight off of me to refocus our eyes, all of our eyes, on what really mattered. You see what the congregation, what I, at that moment really needed wasn't someone standing in front of them, what we all needed was a sweet intimacy with no distractions as we, all together, in one voice, cried out to him to "Flood this place and fill the atmosphere..to be overwhelmed by his presence."
There is a tender place that we stand in the work of God. A place of acknowledging that we are not necessarily needed, yet we still answer the call to be used. God doesn't need me to sing on a microphone and stand in front of people, but you know what, He sure does use me for his glory as I say "Yes, Lord, I will sing."
Even as the call is answered, there are the moments, when God reminds me that He is fine with out me and we can stop hogging the stage. And, at the same time, He delights in using me... you, to shine a light on what matters, His glory.
May we stand in that most holy, intimate and beautiful place of being used by God because we say "Yes" to Him, not because He can't do it without us, but because He loves us and wants to do it with and through us.
What happens when three (Anita Renfroe, Melissa Spoelstra & Mia Koehne) ill and sick women roll out of bed, jump on an airplane, slap on some makeup and lipstick and deliver a night of learning laughter stories and music? Lives change!
Melissa had a days head start on feeling a little better, but Anita and I rolled out of our beds, sucked it up, got on a plane and we all did what we were created to do.
I can already hear people saying “Mia, you need to rest, Mia sometimes God has to knock you down to let you know you need to slow down” to which I say. "I hear you, but do you hear me?”
Honestly, I don't think people want me to publicly post and write about all the times I rest during the week? If I did, the readers would probably tell me to get moving and stop slacking!!
You see, what I do is what I was designed to do, and not necessarily what others were designed to do. Lord knows I could NOT hold down a 9-5 job or a 7am-9pm job like my husband.
So, for me, calling in sick, not jumping on an airplane and staying home if I am able to move for my 1-3 day a week “job” is NOT an option and for that I am thankful. WHY? Because of what I witnessed AGAIN at an event I went to even though I was sick, on meds and barely able to function.
A women came up to me and said “I want you to know, I was contemplating suicide. Someone called me and said they had an extra ticket, so I came. Then you shared and sang a song and reminded me that I am not alone. Thank you.”
THIS IS WHY I DON’T STAY IN BED. This women in her pain reminded me that calling in sick is not an option. The doctor who wanted to write me a note so I could stay home, who thought I was crazy when I said “It’s not an option” ... kinda makes me chuckle.
It is times and instances like this when I am reminded that what I do is life or death ... and by the grace of God I am reminded of that weekly.
Sadly, this women’s story is not new, I hear these words often, but it’s when I am so very tired, when I have absolutely nothing, when I am worn down and all I have is the strength and grace of God that I realize more fully how powerful His Spirit is in His weak servants that simply show up.
I am glad that I have people that fervently pray for me. Those prayers are heard as evidenced everyday of my life especially when I am ill. I love that I have people that “get me” and walk through the trenches to deliver the Gospel of Jesus Christ and hope to the lost and suicidal.
I am thankful for a husband that loves me deeply, sacrificially, and unconditionally sends me out weekly to shine a light on Jesus. He is the best!!
And to my sick ("crazy, cool and insane" as defined by Urban Dictionary) chicks, I'm so honored to serve alongside them in our weakness so that the name of Jesus continues to be lifted high!
May you, too, press on to be a light even in your weakness in the wonderful and creative way that God has designed you to.
I originally posted this on the Deliberate Women blog. Lately God has been leading me to share this same encouragement, so I thought I would re-post.
I am a Wife….I am a Mother…. I am a singer/songwriter.
It has always been very easy for me to say the first two, but for some reason when I first started writing music, I found it hard to say that I was an actual songwriter.
Being a wife was clear, I had legal documentation, and the mother part- well, I have several stretch marks and stress wrinkles I can show you to prove that one. But, the songwriter title was a little harder to chew because I had no credentials, no college degree, no training and I wasn’t even sure if my songs were any good. All I knew is that I liked to make stuff up and sing it. The songwriter and singer in me was chomping at the bit and burning me up inside. I couldn’t stop it.
Over the next few years, God surrounded me with people that would encourage me and spur me on to write more, master my craft and find the freedom to name the pulsating passion in my heart….music!
I dont hesitate anymore to say that I am a singer/songwriter. I love what I do, I'm driven to sing, write (still have to work hard at it) and share music. It’s not just a title, it's my calling and the powerful vehicle God uses for me to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
You might wonder why I’m telling you this. Well, here’s the why. Maybe you have a passion that drives you, a desire that burns in your heart, but you're hesitant to name it out loud. Maybe the calling you're feeling is a bit scary and you feel completely unqualified. Maybe you think this “thing” you want to do, this title that you only dream of bearing, is way out of your league.
Today, I want to encourage you to dream big, to answer the call and the God-given desire that is running through your veins. I'm asking you to dare to respond to what and to where God is calling you with open arms, open hands and an open heart. You are a child of God and because of that, He has plans for you.
I would love to hear the new thing God is doing in our life. Would you dare to share?
" 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,
'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' ' Jeremiah 29:11
Love you in the Lord, Mia
“Dream big and plan for how God might use you, but submit to God’s will and seek His blessing in the outworking of your plans.” ~ Steven J. Cole
Recently, I was assigned the task of going through over a hundred emails and links searching for a few artists in Arizona that would be a good fit for a music tour that the production company I work for needed filled. I love the work that I do and I appreciate the little bit that I can do in the music industry to point people to Christ and walk alongside others as they find their voice in this crazy music business ministry.
I remember the first time I was asked to open and sing with one of the artists that I had heard so many times on the radio. It was exciting and it was an open door that God used to allow me to lift HIS name high above the rest. So the thought of being able to do that for someone else was a job that I accepted wholeheartedly.
It can be very tedious going through the emails, listening to the sound samples, watching youtube videos and seeing beyond the sound and technical quality and into their hearts, giftings and talents. But through God's direction and guidance, He leads!
Through this process, here are a few things that have struck me.
1. There are companies (not the one I work for -THANK GOD!) that will take your money, using the name of Jesus Christ, and tell you that you have talent and a future in the business, instead of telling you the truth. The truth is, not everyone can sing well and that's ok. God didn't create all of us to have the same talents even though a person might want to be front and center on a stage holding a mic and singing their heart out. (rant over)
2. There are artists out there that have no clue how gifted they are and there is something very humbling when you see this. That naiveté pulls you in and makes you want to hear more. Because of their genuine humility, Jesus can be seen so much more clearly. Pride blocks my view of Jesus.
3. Name dropping, accolades, and awards don't impress me. Jesus in you impresses me.
4. And the most important and most ironic is this. What I think of you, doesn't matter. Even though I am put in a position where I have to go through and make judgements if people are a good fit for the tour, at the end of the day, I am one person, with a few slots to offer artists. What I think should not effect God's call on your life. Listen to God!
I know that if I had stopped doing what I do or got discouraged because someone thought I wasn't good enough or not a good fit, I would have been done years ago and never would have written many of the songs that I see God using to minister to his people. What God thinks, matters most!
Beyond the walls of the music industry, these truths can apply to us in many areas of our life. For myself, I want people around that speak truth to me. I want to be serving in the area where God has called me, not just in an area that I want to go.
I do not want to block peoples view of Jesus because of my pride, I want a heart of humility, a heart of love. And who cares what I have done in the past, who I have sung alongside of, what matters most is this "Am I singing for Christ, with Christ in me, making HIM known instead of being known on my own?"
May I seek to remember what God says about me above what others may think. God says I am chosen and redeemed, He says that I AM ENOUGH! Knowing that and believing that have been the biggest hurdles in my life. But when I know and believe that I am enough for what God is calling me to do...WATCH OUT!! It's a game changer.
And the same goes for YOU! You are enough for what God is calling you to do. Believe it. Receive it. Live it!!
Can you imagine if all God's people believed this, believed that Christ in us was enough....more than enough? WATCH OUT WORLD!!
"To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27
I love you in the Lord, Mia
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.