If you would have told me 30 years ago I'd be living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (now that's a tongue twister, eh?) I would say you were bonkers! But as the Word says " Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails." (Proverbs 19:21) Ha! You see, if I were to have planned out my life, I would have been a music teacher, rock star, or soap opera diva. Hmmm. Some friends from my teen years would definitely say I missed the mark and ventured off the path of that calling. I did win the crown for Miss Thief River Falls and ran in the Miss Minnesota pageant while dating my Canadian beau, but after that, I took an abrupt turn and ventured north to Canada after a whirlwind romance and began a new chapter as Mrs. Kozan.
If anyone from my past questioned that path and my current reality, I'd simply invite them over for a cup of coffee and share heart to heart.
If anyone from my past questioned that path and my current reality, I'd simply invite them over for a cup of coffee and share heart to heart. On my journey of faith, I believe that I have stepped into my purpose and continue to press into the call that was handpicked for me by a deeply personal loving God who knows me so intricately that I couldn't have planned it for the life of me. One that involved highs and lows, joys and sorrows, mountain top and valleys which I call my "journey to restoration". A pivotal point in my faith journey was in January 1996 where I cried out to God in a prayer, it literally changed my life. He transformed me from the inside out and continues to do so. Even though I had a beautiful home, a loving husband and precious children, I was missing something.
A pivotal point in my faith journey was in January 1996 where I cried out to God in a prayer, it literally changed my life. He transformed me from the inside out and continues to do so.
That night, God performed a miracle in the middle of the night where He pulled back the curtain of the supernatural realm where I heard angels and witnessed a radiant light as He spoke to me. Not an audible voice, but a calming soothing impression that touched my heart. The rest is history. Grace- Truth-Love is found in Jesus Christ. Restoration begins in the heart.
To read a glimpse of that miracle story, click here for an article from the WHY Magazine as published and distributed to over 50,000 homes in the fall of 2015
*Credentials: Speak Up with Confidence & P31's She Speaks grad, Lowthian College AAS degree in Minneapolis and part time seminary student at Briercrest seminary.
This year marks 28 years in marriage to my Tim. Can’t believe how quickly the time flew by! We have four college and career aged daughters (Photo below from Justine’s high school graduation). As a mom to these amazing young women, I am humbled everyday as the joy and privilege that parenting brings (and the challenges too!) I guess God knew that I’d be launching a ministry to women and have had learned lots regarding the restoration of women and men in this family. Restoration begins in the heart and extends to the family. No matter where we live, I say, “Bloom where you are planted,” and it is possible to do just that when we cooperate with God’s perfect plan for our imperfect lives. We enjoy country living with SK’s claim to fame, “Land of the Living Skies” which inspires me most days. Sometimes more difficult in the winter months to appreciate… Raising a family on the prairies has it’s perks of the simple life and navigating, adjusting with the 4 seasons but I believe prairie people are hardy and can withstand some difficult seasons on the journey of life. I grew up in Northern Minnesota whereas Tim grew up near Winnipeg Manitoba, so as a result we raised our children without extended family nearby. Without that support close by, we quickly understood how "it takes a village" to raise a family! I call myself a triple citizen being American by birth, Canadian after Marriage, but as the Word says- my citizenship is in heaven.(Philippines 3:20) Because of that truth, I am amazed at the massive family around me and those I will meet in eternity.
WOMEN'S JOURNEY OF FAITH est. 1999
WJOF is a non profit, non denominational ministry for all women established in 1999. As founder of WJOF, I look upon the 16 years of organizational formation with great joy knowing that my passion for restoration was chiseled during that time of vision casting, event planning, team building, meeting world renowned speakers and leaders and partnering with incredible organizations throughout the years. After my faith encounter and family connections, there has been no other pivotal formational season in my life that has served as a catalyst for my convictions like WJOF has done for me. It's true how we receive far more serving than those who are the recipients of our service. I resigned in the spring of 2015 with the many hats I was wearing there at the time. Something beautiful came out of that time of relinquishment. It is through that initial leadership journey at WJOF while raising our 4 daughters, I can truly say without compromise that I am more sold out to the call of the Gospel, (John 3:16) the passion and mandate for unity among God's people (John 17), the world's cry for equality and gender reconciliation (Genesis 1:26-27) and the dire need for Justice and freeing the oppressed with our response (Isaiah 58). I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to launch a dream into existence and all the experiences to date has served a purpose into aid my current leadership assignment at Hope Restored Canada. I love Journey's core values, as they continue to be deeply entrenched within me to "live by faith, walk in love and affirm the call."
HOPE RESTORED CANADA est. 2015
What am I am to now? I'm in the midst of an exciting organization launch addressing human trafficking as we do our part to join the global abolition movement right here in Canada. It is amazing to me how when we listen to our hearts cry for restoration, there is a calling that is so personal to each and every one of us to embark on if we are truly listening. Over the years WJOF had partnered with various organizations that bring restoration to women, marriages, families and communities. What gives me the greatest joy is when I have the honour to step out in faith (or witness others step out in faith ) to bring restoration or restore hope to others. in 2011, I began to learn more about the global epidemic of human trafficking and all it's root causes and subsequent effects: sex addiction/degradation, violence against women, racism, poverty etc), which has brought me to my knees with desperate cries and audacious prayers. The documentary "Nefarious, the Merchant of Souls" by Exodus Cry was instrumental for waking me up to this travesty. As they quote the famous abolitionist William Wilberforce: "You may choose to look the other way but you can no longer say you didn't know." Awareness is one step about awakening to injustices all around, to seek deep within to do something about it is another. The darkness seems too much to bare at times, but with God’s help we can be lifted above the disparity and seek to be an answer. We can make a difference. We can actually listen to what our hearts are crying out for and take action. That is where life truly soars. He has given us the ministry of reconciliation and to steward well the gift of restoration. Our vision: "Creating a world where humanity is restored and renewed in healthy relationship. Eradicating sexual exploitation through our HOPE model: Holistic Restoration, Outreach, Partnership and Education.
To learn more, visit www.hoperestoredcanada.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
MY FAVOURITE THINGS
Praying, A boat load of grace when I mess up, God’s word-His truth to guide my wandering path, my husband and four daughters, cranking up my favourite tunes, plays or musicals, umpteen coffee chats, social media connections, chocolate of any kind, flowers, our doggies Teddy and Laiah, traveling near and far, and most inspiring? Dreaming what it was like to walk the Garden before the fall and knowing that our Original Intent and Design is what the restoration message is all about. My favourite sweet spot is when I rest in the fact that God is in control and I am not... moving forward on my journey of faith I choose hope.
"One life is all we have to live and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying." -Joan of Arc
"Life as we know it, with all its ups and downs will soon be over. We all will be given an accounting to God of how we have lived." - William Wilberforce.
"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." -Corrie Ten Boom
"The work of restoration cannot begin until a problem is fully faced." - Dan Allender
"My home is in Heaven. I'm just traveling through this world." Billy Graham
"If you want to bring happiness to the whole world, go home and love your family.” - Mother Theresa
"To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn't come with guarantees, these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I'm learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace." -Brene Brown