The past few months have been weird and a time of more growth that I knew possible and things changing and losing people and getting new jobs and learning to be. Learning to be me, to be an adult, to be single, to be a friend.
As of today, I’m happy (er). Things aren’t all great, life is still painful and I still have a lot of uncertainty but I have a lot of good too.
I’m loved, I’m farther in the hiring process for my dream job than I’ve ever gotten, I am in a house with people who love me, my friends care, I had tacos and pancakes yesterday, I’m getting more tattoos soon and most importantly, God thinks I’m so important and cares about me so much.
This past week my church had a 3 night revival that was crazy to see how God has been working, I don’t know what He did in the hearts of those who don’t know Him but I saw so much love and growth and grace stem from this week, so many hearts were revived and set on fire anew for Him. Our relationships with God and each other have all strengthened and so many of us have grown in our love for Him and our prayer lives and grown in trusting Him.
I’m not strong, but I have God’s strength in me, through Christ I can get through anything, I have Him beside me, as my best friend, my confidant and my protector.
And because of that, I can face whatever comes my way.
So are you all know, recently I’ve been struggling with loneliness and just feeling sort of dissatisfied with how things are going this year. Which is silly, because really things are going swimmingly even if they’re not going exactly as I had wished. But last night, Carrie and I were talking after dinner about how though we know we’re in the places we’re supposed to be this year on campus, we’re still dissatisfied and happy with things and we just have the feeling for something different. We were both feeling this way and then after we split ways, we ended up both having incredible conversations with new friends about the work God is preparing us to do this year. It was cool. I ended up getting to talk to one of the guys on my new floor about his faith and how several of the other guys are really working at evangelizing to people and just fully loving them. He also told me that for several years in this dorm that there has been incredible male, Christian leadership but there’s been a lack of female Christians and that last year he was praying for a strong Christian girl to come over and voila, here I am. So that was incredible since I was so obviously called by God to be over here anyways. It’s also humbling to find out you are an answer to prayer.
So yeah, last night was super encouraging and incredible and then this morning at church the message seemed completely aimed at me and Carrie.
The pastor talked about how God shows us our need for His word through humbling circumstances in our lives. One example of this was when God led the Israelites into the wilderness to live for 40 years. He was testing them, to expose their true hearts and humble them. He wanted them to have real faith, not just have God as a crutch simply because He had always provided in the past. He wanted them to see exactly how much they needed Him. Man doesn’t live on bread alone, they need to live on everything God has to offer. It was really cool hearing that because clearly I’m not as bad off as the Israelites but I can sympathize with how they felt. Completely out of their comfort zone, away from things they’ve known and into where they had to fully depend on God for everything. Even their food, they didn’t have any, they ate manna that literally came from the word of God, if God hadn’t spoken that food into existence each day they would have starved, but He did. He always provides. I really see a parallel of that in my own life because now that I’m away from the people I’ve depended on, my crutch, so to speak, I have to depend on His next move, not just trying to make my own way.
If we don’t feel like we have to have God for everything, if we feel like we can do anything ourselves, we become proud and we forget to lean on God like we should. We need Him to just be God.
We have to risk it, sometimes, it’s going to be easier to just stay when it’s comfortable and familiar. You’ve been hurt before and you’re so scared of that happening again that you’ll just stay where you are to avoid the pain again. But God has a plan, just listen to what His will is. Don’t be afraid of getting hurt or disappointed again because God will make it work, He has a perfect plan and He will make everything right in the end.
Tonight, because I am home I was able for the first time in a very long time to go to my old Youth Group for Wednesday nights. That Youth Group has been a blessing to me for years but tonight was especially incredible. This summer they had a new intern there teaching Wednesday nights and most Sunday mornings and on Wednesdays I guess they had been going through some of Francis Chan’s video messages who, as I have mentioned before is one of my favorites. They were going through his “Basics” series which is unfortunately extremely copyrighted and can therefore only be found by buying the DVD which I would really enjoy watching at some point. But in tonight’s video, the conclusion video for the summer he was talking about The Church and fellowship and how we as Christians should always be acting. It was crazy awesome and exactly what I needed I think. Because I took notes the next part of this post is just gonna be some bullets of what he said and I’ll discuss a bit more at the end.
– Do everything in remembrance of Christ, no one has had or ever will have greater love – share it and remember.
– We should remember His body in a group of friends. Break bread and have communion among people we love and know – Not just in a big group at church.
– We need to completely devote ourselves and our lives to Him.
– There is something in all of us that longs for that simpler time of loving Christ. The commitment was harder but the love was simpler, the church didn’t over complicate it. They just loved.
– We have to make a 24/7 commitment to be part of Christ’s mission always.
– Our lives, our everything is about a lifetime of living for Him, being committed to true fellowship, devotion and unity.
– We need to pray for the things He desires.
– Jesus is going to build His church with or without us so we need to decide, do we just keep attending like a “good church goer” or do we actually want to be a part of the growth and building?
– We should be known how the original church was – for being glad and generous and having favor with all people. We need to love. Plain and simple. That doesn’t mean we should excuse sins or let them go but we just need to love the person.
– You will never have genuine, authentic community if you don’t have genuine love.
– We have to be vulnerable and open with people.
– Discipleship is key in community and relationships with the church. It helps the community and church grow in all ways.
– We need to be like the Acts 2:42-47 church always.
Acts 2:42 – 47:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
That’s pretty much it, it was just an incredible night and I got to fellowship and really talk with some people I hadn’t in a while which is always cool but God is just so good. And I was just struck by how much we do need that fellowship, I’ve been blessed to have that in a handful of friends from my floor last year and it was the coolest experience ever and I literally thank God for those people on a daily basis but it’s time for me to step up and be a leader and start being more of a community and living my life in love. As I start this new school year next week in a completely new dorm with new people, I’m really gonna strive to live my life in such a way that everyone knows the love of Christ through me.
God is gonna do some incredible things here, I can tell.
Last night I went on an adventure with my Bible study where we hiked through the woods to the river. We had a lot of fun, playing in the river, digging ourselves into the sand, roasting hot dogs and s’mores over a campfire and enjoying each others company but my favorite part of the night was when one of the guys pulled out his guitar and sang some of our favorite worship songs. It was amazing, being out under the stars, staring at the fire and being in complete and utter worship of God and His amazing creations.
During the time of worship, as I was sitting there running the sand through my hands and worshiping I thought of a truth I had often heard in life but hadn’t really stopped to think about. God knows the number of every grain of sand in every beach and sand bar in the universe. Now granted, compared to all the other millions of marvelous unbelievable things He does that might not seem like a crazy revelation but think about that, I couldn’t even count like 5 grains of sand before I got overwhelmed and gave up. Not only does he know how much sand there is but He created all that! And if He cares enough to know how much sand there is, think about how much He cares about us, creations that can think and speak and worship Him!
It just really got me thinking, even those grains of sand, that seem insignificant are important to Him and so are we, and all of our problems.
God is super cool, guys. :)
Please help me never forget everything you’ve done for me. You’re amazing and so good to me even when I feel lost, alone, unloved and unworthy. I can rest in the thought that I am absolutely none of those things.
– I was lost, but You found me, and rescued me from my sin and despair.
– I was alone but then You came to me and comforted me and held me.
– I was unloved but You loved me more than anyone else possibly could. You sent Your only son to die for my sins, to cleanse me of all unrighteousness
– I was unworthy, but You saw the good in me, You’ve loved me and cleansed me and called me worthy of Your love and worthy to be called Your daughter, Your princess.
You are so good to me, on a daily, no, minute-ly basis yet still I’m stupid and I forget. I have the worst memory about these things and it makes me mad at myself. You’ve done everything for me, I would literally be nothing without You but still I’m stupid and want to go off on my own sometimes or I feel bad for myself and feel all of these things that You have saved me from. Help me always have You at the forefront of my mind and help me glorify You through all things. You’ve said me from death, destruction and endless torture, living my life for You is literally the least I could do.
– For giving me a place to stay this summer
– For giving me a job this summer
– For letting me have a job that is relatively easy and relaxing
– For letting me have all the friends that I do
– For always providing me with more than enough of everything I need
– For blessing me with things that are more than I need, but things I just want
– For giving me the abilities You’ve given me
– For blessing me with the talents of writing and photography, that I can use to glorify You
– For letting Carrie come and visit this weekend
– For introducing me to new friends for the summer so I’m not alone
– For giving me the means to communicate with my friends that I miss
– For giving me the passion to be excited about all of the weird things I love
– For giving me books and movies and fictional worlds that I can live in and experience in my mind
– For giving me love for other people, sometimes I think I care too much because sometimes I get hurt but I know that it’s better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all.
– For giving me my bike for transportation this summer
– For giving us Your word in the Bible that we can read and get to know You more
– For giving us the ability to even know You at all, to have a relationship with the Creator of the ENTIRE universe.
You are so beyond good to me, help me never take it for granted.
The other day, I was watching a Francis Chan sermon on YouTube. For any of you who don’t know, Francis Chan is a pastor, speaker and author who is absolutely incredible and has some absolutely outstanding insights! His book Crazy Love I am currently reading and has been absolutely life changing.
Anyways, I was watching one of his sermons – “What to Do When God Doesn’t Listen” and was really struck by something he said, he talked about how being a Christian is basically being a fan of God, and when you’re a fan of something (He used NASCAR as the example), you know everything about that thing, and are really passionate about it and talk about it all the time. Obviously this resonated with me since I am a huge fangirl of Doctor Who, The Avengers, Harry Potter and countless other things that in the scheme of things, don’t really matter, and he’s right! I know so many countless, useless facts about all my fandoms and am truly a fan, everyone knows within like an hour of knowing me all the fandoms that I obsess over, and I try to make sure they know I’m a Christian too, and even more so I try to live in a Christian way so they can see my beliefs through my actions but how often does that happen? When people think of things I’m a fan of, do they think of me being a fan of God? Or being a fan of the Avengers, Loki and Tom Hiddleston? I’m a little bit afraid of the answer, honestly. I mean, I know that all my friends know about my faith, and even people I’ve known for a little while that I don’t know well know that too. But I think that should be the first thing people know about me, that I’m a fan of God.
So, that’s what I plan on working towards now, being a fan of God, Him being the number 1 thing in my life, as He always should be.
Yesterday I was having my daily quiet time with God when I found this verse, Isaiah 41:9, “I have chosen you and I will not throw you away.” and I was instantly encouraged. I mean let’s think about this for a second, the one true God, the creator of the entire universe, handpicked each and every one of us and has promised us that He will never throw us away. To me, that is the coolest, most comforting thought there is. I mean, in this life, there are so many people who will betray us, forget about us and hurt us but God is someone who will never do that. He promises to keep us and love us forever. So when I’m feeling down, lonely or forgotten, I can think about this and know I’m loved. :)
I have ransomed you, I have called you by name. You are mine. ~ Isaiah 43:1b
You are precious to me. You are honored and I love you. ~ Isaiah 43:4
Ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people. ~ Exodus 19:5