So something I have realized in the three days I have been here is that I am awful at accepting ministry. I would rather do things myself then let people take over. But that is so not how it's meant to be! By trying to do everything, I am robbing people of the chance to use their God given gift! My host, Sarah and her mom are incredible with the gift of hospitality! I have been seriously blown away by their desire to make sure that I am comfortable and to serve me in the background, while I go and serve the youth. Today I am leaving for the youth retreat and when I came home from church in a rush trying to get things ready, I noticed on the counter a pile of little necessities Sarah got me like bug repellent, sun screen, my favorite flavor crystal light, etc. I have been so blessed in just these three days. Exciting things are to come this summer :)
So yesterday I left Arlington to move to the Woodlands for the summer. I know a grand total of four people that live in the Woodlands. So as I was driving down I started panicking for a moment (a moment = a grand total of 87 miles) because I don't know anyone, including the lady who I am staying with who could possibly be a murderer (but isn't), I don't know what I am doing, I don't know my way around...you get the picture. So I sat there worrying and driving and listening to my ipod on shuffle, and then this song came on by Spur58 All To My God and King and you know how you can listen to something over and over and then randomly you understand it and how great and powerful the lyrics are? Well, that totally happened.
All to my God and King
It's the glory of your majesty
It's the mystery of your love for me
My heart will say, my heart will sing
You are the Christ, you are the King
I find my worth in your majesty
I find myself in you've captured me
So great! I listened to it on repeat for a while so I could just soak it up! Moving to the Woodlands, is not about me. My life, is not about me. It is all for my God and King! And I just realized how freeing that is. I don't have to be great. I don't have to strive to accomplish something awesome or earn a lot of money. My God is already great. He is awesome. So if I make my life about him then I become awesome by default. So it's ok that I am moving to a city of strangers because it's not about me, it's about Him.
because i stayed up late last night taking care of a sick lucy, i took a nap today and now it is almost four and i am not tired. so here are some random things about me:
I judge people's knees. I don't really know why. There are some I just don't like.
I want a happy ending. always.
I wish I had a style. I just wear whatever, but usually I end up looking like a grandma.
I am all over the place. My mind just doesn't really work one step at a time.
I love to read. Right now russian literature is my favorite i.e. Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky...
I have totally irrational night fears.
I cannot watch scary movies. If I do I will usually stay up all night because everytime I close my eyes I see the images in my head.
I am not a fan of dolls or stuffed animals. Give me living things.
I love photography but I have zero skill. zero.
I would prefer not to play than to be yelled at by competitive people.
I drink way too much diet dr.pepper. My heart will one day explode.
I get ready pretty fast for a girl. thirty minutes max. except formals.
I love moms. They are just so wise and so giving.
I like to think about what Jesus would be like if he was here (physically) today.
I am afraid of authority figures, generally. Pastors, professors, etc.
I sleep a lot. And I wish I slept more. I am pretty sure that I need ten hours a night to function at my best.
I just have some really awesome friends. Too bad they can't be your friends because they are mine, so you will just have to believe how fantastic they are.
I also have been really blessed with some incredibly awesome teachers who really care about me and are willing to be there and I love that! Until this school year I didnt even realize how rare that is in churches! Sad day.
I really love being in college. Not because I can stay up super late or anything like that, because I really do love sleeping. But simply because I feel so empowered in college. It's a very freeing time and that's great, but I love that so many people use that freedom to serve others!
I really love 90's t.v. shows. They are the best by far. Home Improvement, Fresh Prince... need I say more?
Today I was so convicted at church this morning. I was sitting in church listening to the sermon about finances, listening for the purpose of using the knowledge for the future, because hello I am a college student and I have no finances! but God just brought to my attention this summer. I am working as a youth intern at Stonebridge Baptist Church and I am so excited I can barely contain it! But one thing I have kind of been worrying about is my lack of money. Not that I won't have money to eat or anything like that, I just really don't want to be a financial burden on anyone! So getting back on topic the sermon was on Phillipians 4: 10-13 and Paul says,
"I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed you have been concerned but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. "
So convicting! My worries were a total lack of faith and I am so glad for the message today to convict me of that! I was trying to trust him with everything but my finances! I still am trying to wrap my head around the fact that I am not supposed to be in control of my life. I am supposed to trust God with all of it, every little piece. But how freeing is that? That the only decision I have to make is to follow him and then he will take care of the rest!
So tonight I got to spend some time with one of the most precious people I know, my friend Bethany. (The worst thing about college so far is that there are some awesome people who I do not get to spend nearly enough time with!) We just had a great time of catching up and sharing what God is teaching us, and through our discussion this question stirred in my heart, "God, what were you thinking?" I could ask this question pertaining to a myriad of subjects but what I am specifically referring to is his name. When we accept Christ as our Savior the bible says we are adopted into his family as sons and daughters (1 John 3:1), so if we are his children, we carry his name. The bible also says that we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). So we are created in his image and called by his name. That blows my mind.
Why would God choose imperfect beings to attempt to reflect his perfection?
We are created in his image. Even people who proclaim themselves atheists are created in the image of God. There is no option; we cannot go back and uncreate ourselves. But we choose to be called a child of God. By his mercy and grace, He marks us with his name. So when we take his name, we have two options: we can either point people back to God or point people away from him.
What a huge responsibility for such fickle creatures!
Peter said as aliens and strangers in the world, we are to abstain from sinful desires that war against our soul. (1 Peter 2:11) So Christ lets people who are constantly in the middle of their own personal war zone, wear his name. But there is the beauty of it. Because when we wear his name, we surrender ourselves to be worked on little by little. When we wear his name we are marking ourselves. Firstly, by taking his name we give Christ permission to chase us, break us, teach us, mold us, and a whole lot of other actions that are not easy to undergo.Secondly, when we call ourselves christians we have a responsibility to our fellow brothers and sisters. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul illustrates the body of Christ and stresses how important our relationship to one another is. He even declares that within the body there should be unity and that we should have equal concern for one another (v.25). Lastly, when we call ourselves christians we offer our lives as a demonstration of the saving, transforming love of Christ to be scruntinized and analyzed so that people might see the power and glory of the living God.
What was God thinking, that he would choose me?
This is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. I am a horrible decision maker. And I don't really feel like I have anything wonderful to say, but I do love reading other people's and so I figure it is only fair to give people the opportunity to stalk me in return. Be patient because I am a very slow learner. And I am also very inconsistent so I have no idea how long this will last. So just be pleasantly surprised each time I contribute anything.
So I just finished my freshman year of college. And I am happy to say that I am not the same person as when I started, and I don't want to be the same person ever again. Because God is changing me and I am so thankful. I wish I had time to write down everything i learned but it could basically be summed up in these verses:
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up to my soul.