Growing up is hard to do

So in the last week I have successfully failed to post any blogs this week, I’ve found myself in quite the predicament when it comes to relationships, and I’m having to finally recognize that Summer Project is only 2 weeks from being over. All I can say is… I’m not ready for this! I mean really, I’m thrown in with 31 new people, and told to grow with them and grow in my relationship with the Lord, and then they’re literally ripped away from me! So needless to say I don’t want to fall into my normal habit when I pull away from others that i don’t know that I’ll be close with after project, but I think it may happen. So please be praying this doesn’t happen.

Now another thing I mentioned comes from the category of relationships. Now I’m going to begin this section with the fact that I love my brothers here on project, and they are all amazing men, and I’ve literally fought these feelings all summer, and now it just feels like this is something that the Lord wants for me. So at this point I’m not going to close myself off from something that the Lord could very well be planning for in my life. At the same time I’m also trying to be very prayerful about the entire situation, and making sure that I’m in constant communication with the Lord. I have been intentional about staying in the word, and journaling my thoughts, and also being in communication with my amazing accountability partner Ellen :)). Now on with what this entire section is about. I have said since the beginning of project that I did not want to come into this looking for a husband. I have been very intentional on pursuing single hood, and it is something I’ve enjoyed. I have found joy in being used by the Lord, and fully being available to him, and his glory! Now earlier in the summer I was finding that I was dreaming about some men here on project. These dreams weren’t bad in anyway they were just consumed with seeing myself  with different guys here, and it scared me. Being in a relationship was the one thing I said I wouldn’t do, and that I wanted to fully focus on the Lord. Now I made all of this known to my amazing discipler and bible-study leader Julie, and she had some amazing advice for me. The advice encompassed a lot of prayer, and checking my heart, and just really looking into seeing these men as my brothers before anything else. Then Julie proceeded to tell me a story that I think will always stick with me.

So let me give you the characters in this story first. The first character and maybe the main character is a precious little girl is Karina, she is the daughter of our second character named Krista, and lastly we have Kristin. So here on project we and the staff have off every Friday this day includes a day off for the staff. So the staff sometimes got to go to the Hilton and spend the day at the pool. So this time Kristin decided to take Karina down the slide at the kid’s pool. So the two headed to the steps, and headed to the top of the slide. They both sat down together, and prepared to make their way down. When it was their turn they took off down the slide toward the water. Upon hitting the water the two bit it, and immediately went under water. Well little Karina was definitely not ready for that to happen, so the initial shock of going under startled her, and left her freaking out. When she got out she ran to her mother, Krista, but instead of Krista just calming her down and promising her that she didn’t have to go back down she stopped and did something different. Krista first calmed Karina down, and then the two stopped, and watched as other children went down the slide. From this Karina was able to see how these kids were going under, and coming right back up. So after watching this for a little while Krista encouraged little Karina to go down the slide again. She then took her mommy’s hand and headed toward the slide. They climbed the steps, and went down the slide again together. Once again the two went under upon getting off the slide, but Karina was ok with that.

Some may be asking what does this story have anything to do with getting into a relationship, but it has everything to do with doing so. You see I have been so hurt in the past because of my relationships where the Lord wasn’t the center. And let’s face it, that’s every relationship that I’ve ever been in! So the thought of being in one where He is the center is not an easy thought. My mind begins to wonder, and get lost in my thoughts. I begin to think that there’s no hope for me in this department, but I often feel that this fear comes from just not knowing what is coming. I legitimately don’t know what being in a Christ-centered relationship would be like. I have my thoughts, but those are just so uncertain. But basically there is someone here who I think this could be a possibility with. He loves the Lord, and I love that while we’ve been here I’ve been able to see him grow immensely. I have seen him really seek after the Lord, and His heart for his life. It’s so beautiful. Since these feelings came, I can honestly say I’ve prayed the whole way through. If this is meant to be I want the Lord to be our focus, and the center of our relationship. So with that I jsut ask for prayer, and support though out this adventure. I am just really praying that it all works out for the Lord’s plan! Because we all know that his plan for me is much greater than the one I have for myself.

Now on to a different type of relationship, and that is the one that I share with my fellow students on project. Upon arriving here we were all told to dive into this face first. In doing that we all got to know each other very quickly. This included telling your life stories within your small group, and sharing your testimony with the church you were assigned to. And for myself personally I shared my testimony with the entire group within a week and a half of us being here. These people know me, and they know my life, and accept me through it. I know that within this group I am loved, and I am cared for. They are my brothers and sisters, and in my opinion that relationship is stronger than any other. We as a family have had to fight through some pretty tough things since being here together, but to be honest I wouldn’t have wanted to fight these with any other group. The Lord has blessed me beyond measure with this amazing family, and now they are being snatched from me! Come Tuesday August 7th, their gone. We will go back to our homes, schools, and families, and there is no guarantee as to how everything is going to look.

It’s so crazy to think this way, but at the same time I realize that I need to be honest with myself. I don’t want to leave here by any means, but I know why the Lord has plans like these. I realize that I am here for a duration, and what I’ve learned here is not meant to just stay here and never see the light. I am supposed to spread what I’ve learned here like wildfire. In doing that I am not only telling people about how awesome this entire experience but I also get the chance to share what God did! I am so thankful for this, and to show people His love, and His mercy, and His freedom!! Ahh so yes, I can suck it up and admit that this is totally bittersweet, but it’s a little more bitter than it is sweet.

But to anyone out there involved in Campus Crusade you MUST do a summer project, if you’re not involved with CRU then first join, and then go on a summer project! Regardless…. YOU HAVE TO GO! This summer has 100% changed my life, and I am forever a new person because of it. Through every hard time I had to go through the outcome, and the victory at the end has been so soooooo SWEET!

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Captain of the Strugg Bus reporting for duty!

So basically it’s just been one of those weeks where you can see Friday, but it just feels like it’s forever away. Yep, and honestly I never thought I’d be able to say that during summer project?! But it really has been one of those weeks, and knowing that tomorrow is the last day of my work week makes me so ecstatic!

I wish I didn’t feel this way, but my job is something that truly frustrates me everyday. I get up so early everyday to have this awful time at work. It began with just feeling overwhelmed, to the feelings of emotional beatings, to now just feeling completely helpless. I want to trust the Lord with every aspect of it all, but it’s a very difficult thing to be ok with.

So because of all of these problems I really have has to fully rely on God, and trust in him to find the reason as to why he has placed me at my job. It’s really hard to wait on this especially since it’s now my 6th week of work. It’s so frustrating, but at the same time I have to remember that the Lord’s timing is vastly different than mine. I like to overlook that Earthly time has no effect on him, in any way. So for that I must completely rest in him, and knowing that there is a reason as to why he has placed me in the work that he has.

I pray that he quickly makes this known to me, for my summer is sadly, but surely going to be coming to a close soon. So in that I pray for boldness, and a heart after God’s very own! I want so badly for my coworkers to understand why I’m different. Why I act the way I do, I want them to 100% see Jesus in me! So for that I will continue to stay in prayer, and just know that the Lord has amazing plans for me here in this job!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
  neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven

    and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:8-11

I’m Sorry….

Every weekend here in Ocean City we go out into the city and do an outreach. This weeks outreach was unlike any one that we have done here. We did an I’m sorry campaign, this campaign is sweeping Christians from all across the world. It is an opportunity for us to apologize to people for not loving them the way that Christ did. Especially since that is the way we are called to live!

So to give a better idea of what we had to do exactly let me explain it to you. We as a group each got a piece of cardboard, and on one side we wrote out something that we were sorry for, and on the other we wrote about how through redemption and freedom from the Lord how truth has changed that perspective of our views. For example my sign sign said, “I’m sorry for thinking that you were not deserving of the Love of Christ.” Writing that down was easily one of the hardest things for me to do. I felt like I had lived such a lie in sharing the gospel with only some. Although the thing that truly hindered me was the fact  that sometimes I think I still believe this. This becomes especially difficult when it comes to acknowledging who I do this to.

This weekend my family came into town, and I can honestly say that I do this to my family. I have been hurt by my family for years, and many of these pains still linger with me, and I have not been able to heal from yet. It pains me deeply for these feelings that I have, but I also know that God is going to use this to radically change me this summer. I pray that he breaks this about me, and shows me the lie that this is in my life. And in my opinion what was on many of these signs were lies, that we choose to believe sometimes. It’s sad, but true. But at the same time as believers we are REDEEMED! We are made new every morning and that is such beautiful truth! It doesn’t matter what we had on the front of our signs the thing that mattered was the back. The flipside of everything where we show what God has done in our lives, and how redemption really is so sweet. The Lord is working in extreme ways here on Summer project, and to think we still have a month left is probably the greatest news ever!

Well on to that whole flip side of things, through the redeeming love of Christ I have found that we are all undeserving of this gift that he allows us to have when we’re trusting in him. The Lord is so gracious, and he has no reason to be, it’s not a thing that we as humans by any means deserve. I have found that, “Christ died for ALL.” That is what I had on the other side of my sign, and I find peace in while people continually saw the other side, I got to look at truth the entire time, and see the Love that Christ demonstrates to me. He died for all, for a people undeserving he hung on a cross, and carried the sin of the world on his shoulders, and I was freaking out about holding a sign that exposed the ugliness in my heart. But like I’ve said countless times, we are redeemed and made new every morning. I love more than anything that I have that truth in my life, and that I get to live in that knowing that the Lord redeems me and frees my soul. I am FREE! It’s literally simple. Now that doesn’t mean I’m free to judge, and point fingers, but instead love and share Jesus with people! And thats exactly what I’m going to do!

Truth is beautiful, and because of that I chose to live in it. God is so redeeming, and he frees everyone who chooses to love him. We are told in Galatians 5:13 that we are called to freedom, but not to use that freedom as a means of serving the self but instead to serve others, and love them. I am constantly striving to know what God wants for me, so I pursue him, and I find my strength in Him. I am so thankful for His love and how He is  constantly pursuing me, and my heart. I love Him more than I could ever say!

“Because Your steadfast LOVE is BETTER than LIFE, my lips will PRAISE YOUR NAME!” -Psalm 63:3

My Name is Graven on HIS Hands!

God is SOOOO GREAT! Let me repeat…. SO GREAT!

First of all let me apologize for neglecting this thing, but let’s be serious Summer Project is quite strenuous. We gave absolutely jam packed days, but they are so satisfying, and glorifying to God! I am so thankful for everything that he has offered me since being on this project. He has given me a true heart for his glory, and for my brothers and sisters around me. I have felt true, boundless… you guessed it, FREEDOM since being here.

That’s pretty much all I have to say about that! Ha but check back from now on ever Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday and you’ll be sure to see a new story 🙂

Half Empty, or Half Full?

Well that’s right, I’ve officially reached the halfway point of my mission here in Ocean City, Maryland! God has blessed me so much that I can’t even begin to comprehend everything just yet. I have been learning so much since being here and I’m just trying to take it all in, one day at a time!

I have made some incredible friends since being here in OCMD, some of these people I hope to take with me all the way till the end. These students that are here on project are all seeking after the Lord, and the plans he has for them. It’s such a beautiful thing to watch and be apart of, and see these wonderful followers of Christ growing in a relationship with their heavenly father!

I am learning new things everyday, and one of them is pay more attention to this blog. I’m so sorry for all who have been following this, and are feeling like I tell them nothing. I am genuinely sorry for that, and I promise to from now on post every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday! I am going to do this, and keep y’all posted on my life here.

Well in the last week the staff has left our project. We as students now have complete control over this thing, and it’s our baby to grow, and mold into pure, and epic awesomeness! We have 4 student leaders now who I have so much respect in and I feel that they will do the project well, and will do a great job with the new job that they have received! Also there was a student selected from each ministry team that will now be leading that team, once again I believe these students will lead these teams in a way of incredible grace, and poise. Along with a brand new group of bible study leaders that are so well equipped and ready to lead these groups that it’s so beautiful to see the growth that is already happening.

I personally was not chosen for any of these positions, and I can honestly say that I’m ok with that. I believe with all that’s in me that the Lord is trying to teach me how to be served. This has been a struggle I have had my entire life. I have always been taught to serve and love others, so for that I’ve never really gotten the chance to receive these blessings. It is not an easy task by any means for me. I am constantly feeling that a 4 year old that has to have my mommy do everything for me, and I’m sick of it. I want to be able to walk home, and just be a woman, and serve myself. But that is not in anyway what the Lord wants for us, and I am realizing that everyday.

When God created us he said Man was not meant to be alone, that’s why he created a “helper” for them, that’s why he created women! Creation wasn’t complete with out us (side note)! But though we were created to be helpers it doesn’t mean we can’t be helped. I am realizing that more and more every day! The Lord is seriously changing my view of men, I am finally realizing that they’re not all jerks! I’m almost 20 and I’m just now beginning to realize this! That is sick, but I just believe that it’s all in God’s timing. I know that the Lord is redeeming my life every day, and I know that he has these plans for my life, and with me finally being able to see men as good, strong, and courageous men of the Lord is an incredible start! I can’t help but think of the man he has planned for me! But I know because of what I’m learning here it will be an amazing day when I finally meet him!

The Lord is doing huge things here, not just in the city, but also within me! I’m learning to be served and put myself second. I am really trying to see things through God’s eyes and look out for the plans he has for me. I don’t want to ever get in the way of these plans. God is so loving and gracious, and I know he knows what is best for me, and I’m ready to experience these things in full sight of it all! I can’t wait to see how everything will continue to pan out here in Ocean City, but I’m so ready!