Traditions

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Thank You


Everything is different now. The way I see the light hitting the leaves in the early evening. The way I see the lady who swiftly puts my sandwich in the oven at Subway. The way I enjoy music. The way I look up at the sky. The way I listen. The way I see. Everything is different, now. Everything is clearer than before. You gave me a new pair of glasses through which to see the world.

And for that, Covenant, I thank you.

After several drafts of attempting to write the words that have been floating around aimlessly in my heart, I finally settled on this one. It still does not come close to giving the proper credit that is due to this incredible community with which the Lord has blessed me, but it’s all I’ve got.

For those who really don’t know what I’m about to say, you may think all this sounds oddly nostalgic. “Where is she going with this?” I’ll just cut to the chase, then: I will not be coming back to Covenant after Christmas. Though that statement is made with the foundational peace of the Lord which is totally surpassing my understanding, it is covered with a layer of true sadness…because I adore Covenant. I really do. I don’t think I knew quite how much until I made this decision.



After several long months filled with questions, doubts, praying, and research, I’ve decided I want to give journalism a shot, specifically photojournalism. I also want to keep doing theatre, too, so we’ll see what happens with that combination! Basically some dream jobs would be working for National Geographic or TIME Magazine, being a play critic, or being on Broadway. While none of these are very likely, they’re the direction for which I’m aiming. Unfortunately, as great as Covenant is, it simply isn’t the best or cheapest place to pursue either of these fields.

I’ve had the privilege of having a Covenant-like community around me my whole life. Growing up in a fervently Christian family, going to great churches, and attending the coolest Christian school from kindergarten to graduation, I’ve been surrounded by some insanely awesome people. Though I’ve wrestled with some doubt over the past few years, the Lord has shown me time and again that those communities were exactly where He wanted me.

But we both knew I couldn’t stay in those comfort zones forever.


Oh, I could tell you so many stories. Stories of how ever since I’ve come back to Covenant, so many messages I’ve heard have been related to the themes, “Pick up your cross and follow Me. Leave everything familiar behind. Are your actions proof of your faith? Be obedient, no matter what the cost. No matter how scary it is, following Me is so worth it.” It didn’t take long for me to get the hint...I knew I couldn’t stay.

So, I will be going to UGA in the spring. I’m still figuring out logistics here and there, but it’s actually happening… which sometimes still blows my mind. UGA is quite a different place compared to Covenant, so we’ll see what all the Lord decides to do. I have a feeling next semester is going to feel like an ice bath – painful at first, but a humbling season that is going to do some good, much needed hard work in the deepest area of my heart.

When I came back to Covenant, I fell in love with the place all over again. I already adored the people, but I began to see them and even the physical mountain with fresh eyes. The sky became even more vast, the trees more vibrant, and the view more beautiful than ever before. Knowing I didn’t have long, I began to live more intentionally than I probably ever have. The friendships I had always wanted, I made. The things I had always wanted to do, I did. In these past couple of months, the Lord has given me a glimpse of what it means to really live. That being said, I know “really living” is not checking stuff off of a list, though I did have some success in accomplishing my “Covenant Bucket List” J My friends, however, know what it means to truly live out carpe diem…it’s not just written in fancy calligraphy on their walls but actually executed in their daily lives.


Speaking of my friends… Coming back to Covenant this year, especially knowing I was eventually going to leave, my goal was to love hard and love well. Though I definitely did not do this perfectly, I hope you know how much I truly do love you. I’m not quite sure how to express how thankful I am for you and how inspiring you have been to me. You’ve shown me things I might never have discovered on my own, and have consistently displayed the love and graciousness of our God. The vastness of your skills and talents constantly blow my mind, and I cannot wait to see how the Lord uses you in the future.

All these jumbled ramblings and thoughts are all just to say: Covenant, thank you so much. Not only do I see the world differently thanks to you, but Jesus has become even sweeter to me. The way you point others to Jesus and have so fiercely loved me has given me a glimpse of Christ’s love for His people. I will forever miss laughing with you, singing harmonies with you in Chapel, dancing with you at all our snazzy events, praying with you, enoing (is that a word?) with you, performing for you, and just doing life with you. Again, I realize the semester is not quite over yet, but I wanted to give my thanks in advance. I’m so grateful for the time I’ve had with you special folks on this special little mountain.

I said to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.’ As for the saints who are in the earth, they are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight. –Ps. 16:2. You are my saints, and it is my delight to know you.

Monday, June 30, 2014

A Challenge

Earlier this summer, my family and I went to Las Vegas and heard a friend named Vance Pitman preach at his church, Hope Church. (He’s amazing. Check out their website for lots of goodies.) That day, Vance just happened to be starting a new series with his congregation, challenging them to read through the whole book of Psalms by the first week of September.

While I do encourage you to do this, this is not the challenge I want to focus on.

During Vance’s sermon, he talked about how lately he had been having trouble sleeping. Instead of counting sheep (does anyone actually do that anymore?), he began to go through the alphabet. You may think, “Ok, that’s stupid.” Just hold on a second! Vance didn’t just go through the alphabet; he began assigning Bible verses to letters of which they started. It became a tool for verse memorization, and one that has become very helpful to me.

Growing up in a Biblically-saturated environment, memorizing Scripture is not a foreign concept to me. Whether it was in Awanas, Bible class, or Sunday school, I’ve memorized Scripture during several points in my life. However, I have failed to make Scripture memorization a high priority in my own personal Bible study. Why? Probably because I didn’t feel like putting in that kind of effort, which really is stupid because what if I’m in a situation, like many people face in different countries, where a Bible is nowhere to be found? What if I come across someone who has never heard the name of Jesus or knows nothing about the Bible, and I don’t have one on me? The Word has to be in us, engraved upon our hearts.

All this to say, I encourage you to join this challenge with me. I’ve only gotten a few letters so far, but I can already see the difference it’s making in my heart. I pray that this tactic will make it a little easier and maybe even more fun for you to memorize Scripture. I think we’ll be surprised with what all the Lord will do in our lives through this challenge. J


Just to give you an example of what I’ve been rambling about, here are the verses I have for letters A-E.

A
Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth…Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. (Prov. 4:5,13)
B
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You. (Ps. 63:3)
C
Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
D
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Phi. 2:3-8)
E
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me. (Ps. 23:4)


Have fun and let the Lord do radical things to your heart and mind! 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Working in the Waiting

Sorry for such a long delay in posting…it’s been a crazy past few months. Not necessarily crazy because of schedules, but because of thinking…a lot of thinking. Asking the questions that every college student has had to ask at one time or another: “Where am I going? Am I where I should be? What do I want my future to look like? What do I love to do? How can I spend my time wisely?” These questions are very necessary, but also exhausting.

Not only me, but my whole family is in a period of waiting. Waiting what the future holds, waiting for our lives to finally take off in the way we had always imagined. For a while, I was really bummed that a part-time job didn’t work out for me this summer; but now, I’m actually really grateful it didn’t. The free time I have is being spent with my family, being with the Lord, praying, painting, redoing my room, and other things that are giving me a fresh mind and renewed heart. The Lord always knows what He’s doing, even if we’re left a little confused for a while. J

The Lord is now beginning to show me what the attitude of my heart should be. My soul should be full of praise, joy, and peace, not incessant worry and anxiety. Being concerned about the future is vital, I think, because otherwise we just wouldn’t care. But when our concern is paired with a lack of trust in God, then it becomes dangerous.

He’s also teaching me that instead of just wanting His answers, I should want Him. Is not the Lord so much greater and more satisfying than having all the answers? Sometimes our response seems to be, “well…no actually. I’d rather have the answers!” It’s understandable to feel this way, and it’s pretty much been my mindset for the past year. What I’ve realized, however, is that living and loving Jesus is so much more rewarding and joyful than just calling on Him when we’re confused. He is so incredibly worth loving, because He so radically loved us first.

Instead of praying for a way out of the waiting, I’m starting to pray for God to work in the waiting. (And let’s be honest, despite my slow catching-on of this, God has already been working in me without me even knowing. He’s always ahead of us. J)

If you’re like me, waiting for wisdom, answers, or even just a hint of what to do next, pray for the Lord to reveal Himself to you now. Just because you’re waiting for the future to look a little clearer doesn’t mean you should ignore what’s happening in the present. There’s a lot we don’t know yet, so we might as well spend our time wisely in the time we’ve got right now. What did Gandalf say? “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

Don’t wait to fall in love with the Lord. Get a move on that now.

Here’s an encouraging word about this from the great C.S. Lewis:

“And now we begin to see what it is that the New Testament is always talking about. It talks about Christians ‘being born again’; it talks about them ‘putting on Christ’; about Christ ‘being form in us’; about our coming to ‘have the mind of Christ’.


Put right out of your head the idea that these are only fancy ways of saying that Christians are to read what Christ said and try to carry it out – as a man may read what Plato or Marx said and try to carry it out. They mean something much more than that. They mean that a read Person, Christ, here and now, in that very room where you are saying your prayers, is doing things to you. It is not a question of a good man who died two thousand years ago. It is a living Man, still as much a man as you, and still as much God as He was when He created the world, really coming and interfering with your very self; killing the old natural self in you and replacing it with the kind of self He has. At first, only for moments. Then for longer periods. Finally, if all goes well, turning you permanently into a different sort of thing; into a new little Christ, a being which, in its own small way, has the same kind of life as God; which shares in His power, joy, and knowledge and eternity. “(From Mere Christianity)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Girl in the 405

As my first year of college is nearing the end, there are two things I want to reflect on: my room and my roommate. The Lord used Amelia and the 405 in ways I would never have imagined.

To clarify, the only reason my room has been so awesome is because of Amelia (well, the Lord through Amelia). Without her, the 405 is just another dorm room. Maybe this post is a little premature since I don’t mean this to be a goodbye; we still have a month left. Gosh…just a month. Oh, how time flies.

You might be thinking, “Ok, so what’s so great about the 405? And what makes your roommate so special?”

It’s going to be hard to put words to the incredible experiences I’ve had in this room with this girl. There have been loads of laughter, several rap / dance parties, many prayers lifted aloud, and a few occasions of weeping. (More to come on the weeping session later).

When I first met my roommate, I must admit, I was quite intimidated. I had just unloaded most of my things, chatting with my parents and my sister, when this freakin’ supermodel just saunters into the room. Blonde hair effortlessly bouncing behind her with an enormous grin on her face, she just flew in looking completely confident. I wouldn’t be surprised if my mouth dropped. I suddenly felt like such a child as I saw this girl – no, woman – walk in our new room with all the confidence and poise in the world.

Of course, thinking back on that day now, I can’t help but laugh. Not because Amelia isn’t confident and beautiful, but because I know so much more about her now (and know so much more about myself). I now know all about her goofiness, her ability to make raps on the spot, her love of lounging around in her fluffy, white robe, her love of poetry and words, her incredible admiration for the Lord, and her obsession with conquering new yoga poses.

Amelia introduced me to a whole other world that I had never really experienced before. She taught me how to live. I had grown up in an atmosphere that was so focused on the future (not that that’s a bad thing). I grew up in a routine, doing what I was told, doing my best in school, determined to get A’s, resolute to be a leader in whatever capacity I could be, and being a “good kid”. There were expectations, and I followed them without question.

Again, I’m not saying any of these things are bad. Because of the love and stable environment I grew up in, I think I’m better off for it. But, I was living by routine, by principle, by structure. Spontaneity was never my strong suit – that was always someone else’s forte.

And then came Amelia.

She asks that hard questions that most people wonder but never dare to voice. She so appreciates the little things: the beautiful, natural light that pours in our room that must be captured with her camera. The simple but lovely melody that pops in her head, so she sprints to the piano at the end of the hall to experiment with it. The flowers she finds on the side of the road that she brings back to our windowsill. The poem she stumbled upon, the song she heard, the chocolate she ate, the discussion she had, or the perfume she smelled. All these things she’s experienced and shared, whether she realizes it or not, have given me glimpses of the Lord’s goodness. The Lord now shows up in places I never would’ve expected.

We have also developed such an incredible system of servant hood. When I’m having a chaotic day, she’ll make my bed. When she’s discouraged, I’ll write her a sweet note. When we’re both getting angsty, we’ll both immediately grab the vacuum or the antibacterial wipes and clean the room. When someone needs a break, we’ll give each other back massages. My personal favorite: when we are in need of prayer, we’ll pray for each other aloud, right then and there, because why wait? 

Our view from the 405

There have been several pivotal moments in Amelia and I’s relationship, perhaps the most significant one being when we first wept together. You’d be surprised just how powerful sorrow can be for two roommates.

About a month ago, Amelia and I faced one of the “hell” weeks of the year. It was a Monday (which is already bad enough, am I right?), and Amelia had just returned from a wretched weekend. I received news that morning that one of my family members was most likely going to die that week. I was in my room alone, and I collapsed onto the floor, sobbing. After a couple of minutes of that, I was overcome with exhaustion, so like the good college student I am, I took a nap. About an hour later, I woke up to the sound of my beloved roommate crying herself. Without even opening my eyes, I could hear her heart breaking. I quietly said, “Amelia?” She turned, surprised, and chuckled a little from the fact she had no idea I was even there. I got up from my bed and hugged her. She told her story, and I told mine. Still embracing one another, we collapsed on the floor together, sobbing, unwilling to let the other go. We cried out to the Lord, tears streaming down our faces. We begged the Lord for peace, for wisdom, for comfort, and for the strength to make it through the unbearable week that was awaiting us.
After wearily saying “Amen,” we looked at each other and of course, busted out laughing; we were quite a sight to see. We laughed at our pitiful blotchy, tear-stained faces. We picked each other up, and moved forward.

I tell you that story because it’s one that I will never forget. How could I? It was such a God-moment, where we were literally shaking because we were so overcome with sorrow and desperation. Yet, we held each other, literally, and called upon the Lord with every fiber of our being.

But the Lord didn’t just show up in the 405 when we were at rock bottom. He was there in the late-night stories, the coffee drinking, the chocolate eating, the C.S. Lewis reading, the BeyoncĂ© belting, the sleeping, the waking, the weeping, and the laughing. He’s been there every step of the way, and looking back, it’s ridiculous to ever doubt otherwise.


I almost feel as though writing this post is in vain, for I am inadequate to completely convey the magic that has happened in this place. I am at a loss to properly show my love and admiration for Amelia – the Lord has used her, as cheesy as it sounds, to change my life. She has shown me the vastness of the Lord’s wisdom and beauty of His creativity. Because of Amelia, I know and love the Lord more. Because of Amelia, I know how to better love others. Because of Amelia, I have a better idea of what it means to really live

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Desert Island

Aaaaand I’m back! Sorry for the delay in posts…it’s seriously been the craziest semester ever. Am I the alone one??? Now that spring break is approaching, I have time to actually stop and look back at all that has happened over the past couple of months. I have a lot on my mind, so bear with me. Don’t be surprised if there are a series of posts updated in the next few days. For now, here’s a thought that’s been on my mind the past couple of months.  




A couple of weekends ago, my friend and I had decided to take some much needed rest and skip church Sunday morning (scandalous, I know). We slept in and then took a couple of hours to just reflect on all God has done in our lives and the journey of how we came to know Him – it was really cool. During that time, we asked each other how we could pray for one another. We both agreed that this semester we had been slacking in terms of having a daily quiet time, intentionally studying God’s Word, etc. And yes, while I do miss doing those things and I want to start doing them more often, for the first time in my life, I felt no guilt. I felt no guilt in the fact that I had not been using those resources to come closer to the Lord. You may be thinking, “Who does this girl think she is?” I’ll tell you exactly who I am: I am a child of God, saved by grace, not by my works, the Beth Moore Bible study I’m currently working on, or the worship bands I sing along with.

Please don’t misunderstand me: of course we should take advantage of the resources we have. Especially in regards to the Word of God itself – reading, meditating, and obeying it are not friendly suggestions – it’s a commandment. Same with the church – how can we be an example of Christ if we take no interest in investing in the body of believers He died to save?

But, what I am saying is that even if we had none of these things, we could still have an intimate, growing relationship with Christ, which I think is incredible. Even if I was stranded on a desert island with no devotional or small group to keep me accountable, I would still have Christ. Even if I had no church, no Bible even, I could still have fellowship with Jesus. Our relationship would still continue to grow and He would still be enough for me.

All that to say…go to church. Have fellowship with believers. Read, study, and obey the Word of God. Serve others. These are not suggestions – again, they are commandments given to us from the Lord. But, remember that Jesus did not call us to a “cookie-cutter Christianity”, which I think a lot of people fall into (including myself). We think that there is only one correct way to follow Christ and to get to know Him, and any other is a sign of being “led astray”. God also called us to creativity; take a walk in the woods and get to know Him. Play the music that He has gifted you with as an act of worship to Him. Write a poem. Go enjoy the sunshine and throw a football (preferably not alone…that may not go over well). Get creative. Recognize the talents God has given you and use them as an avenue with which to give Him praise.

What can you offer back to Him that comes from just you? If you were on a desert island, with no resources to aid you, what could you give Him? With your heart, your body, your voice, your thoughts, your actions? Give Him your whole being, and you’ll be amazed what He can do.

Monday, December 30, 2013

My Heart Will Sing No Other Name

Jesus. No other name has been on my mind more, lately. I’m finally beginning to realize how enough He really is. If everyone else on this earth was gone, and I was all alone…yes, He really would be enough for me.

I’m not expecting there to be anything in this post that blows your mind or rocks your theological beliefs. This post is merely an overflow of what has been on my heart, and that sole thing is Jesus. As 2014 arrives and a new season of your life begins, I pray that Jesus would become ever so real to you…more real than He ever has before. Maybe He is your best friend, someone you occasionally pray to, or someone you know nothing about. Either way, I pray that Jesus would reveal Himself to you this year. Trust me, no one will fulfill your longings the way He can. Despite the uncertainty or fear that may be overwhelming your spirit as this new year approaches just around the corner, Jesus can fill your heart with a joy and a peace that is indescribable. I’ve never had a friend quite like Him, and I know I never will. I’m so grateful He is mine, and that I am His.

What does Jesus mean to me? He’s my everything. I don’t even want to think about what I would be if I did not have Him. Yes, for the past nineteen years of my life, I have learned many things about who Jesus is. If you asked me about this majestic Child born of a virgin, I could tell you all about it. If you asked me about all the miracles He performed on earth, all the sick He healed, the blind He gave sight, and the lame He gave strength, I could tell you all about it. If you asked me about His excruciating suffering, His miserable death, and His victorious resurrection, I could tell you all about it. You name it, I could probably tell you something about this Jesus I have claimed to have known for so many years.

But there are some things you can’t learn about from a Felt board in Sunday school. Despite their devoted hearts to the Lord and their fantastic training, there are things that my teachers at the Christian school I attended for thirteen years could not have taught me. Some things, you just have to find out for yourself. Some things, many things, it just has to be between two people. You and God. The Creator of the universe and His creation. The Potter and the clay. The Artist and His most precious masterpiece. The Lover of Souls and the soul He loves. Just you and Jesus. A relationship that no one can have for you.

What does Jesus mean to me? He is my everything. Did I already say that? Well, it’s worth repeating. He is my Prince. As a young woman who’s beginning to think about far-off things like dating, marriage, hopefully having a family one day, dreaming of the days when I’m sitting on my living room floor playing dress up with my little girls and fighting dragons with my little boys, there are times I long for the day when my earthly prince will show up. “When is he coming?” I think. I pray. But then I remember that whether or not my earthly prince ever came, even if he never came to sweep me off my feet like I’ve dreamt of for as long as I can remember, Jesus would still be good. He would still be faithful. He would still be enough. “I just didn’t want to wait anymore – didn’t want to live like I was waiting on anyone to get here. I already have Him…and He is everything” (http://gracefortheroad.com/2012/02/03/idontwait/)

Jesus has never been more real to me than He has been these past few months. I felt like I already knew Him. I felt like I knew all about His character, how He interacted with people, how much He loved me, etc. And I did know those things; it’s not like everything I’ve learned these past nineteen years has been a lie! I do know Jesus…but now I know Him in a much more personal way.

Remember when I told you about the car ride a few weeks back? How I finally began to really view Jesus as a man who was so close and not so far away? Well, that picture has been getting stronger ever since. I have a face in my head, eyes I can look at, a hand I can touch (not physically, of course). You might be thinking, “well uh, I think you’ve started to lose your mind a little bit.” Oh trust me, I have! When you fall in love with Jesus, your heart, body, mind and soul all go crazy! When you die to yourself and begin to live in the Spirit of Christ, your whole perspective changes…mine certainly has. And now that I am beginning to really understand who Jesus was on earth and who He is today living inside of me, I am realizing that this Guy really is worth pursuing with everything I’ve got.

I’m still learning. Just like any relationship, it takes a lot of time alone with someone to really get to know them. Oh, but it’s so worth it. It’s so worth getting to know the Lover of your soul, the ultimate Counselor, Friend, and Comforter, and the One who is so wanting to know you. Can you imagine that? Jesus wants to know you! C.S. Lewis said that “When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you’d been the only man in the world.” How cool is that!

Don’t wait another moment. Don’t try and make one more excuse. Stop what you’re doing and go spend time having fellowship with the One who so desperately wants to be with His most precious creation.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Variety of Ponderings


These are just a gathering of miscellaneous thoughts/prayers/insights I have had the past couple of months. Hope they are helpful in some way to you; if not, then just enjoy the read J Have a great week, everybody!

·         Audrey Hepburn


o   A biography written by her son, Sean Ferrer, has sat on my grandmother’s coffee table for many years. Over that span of time, I have glanced at the pictures of the woman whose legacy still graces all of our hearts in some way, but never actually read the book. A few weeks ago, I finally decided to read it. After doing so, I feel as though I am somehow connected to this incredible woman. Something Sean notes about her was her beautiful sadness. Hepburn had a very hard childhood, what with living during the Great Depression and dealing with the psychological hurting of a father who left when she needed him the most. But she did not let that sadness define her. Yes, it was a part of her, but it did not control her future. Though her “humility” may not be the perfect model of what Jesus would want us to be, but there are still many things about her nature we could benefit from, including her sincerity and genuine love for other people.

 “’Take good care of your clothes,’ she would say, ‘because they are the first impression of you.’ So when she appeared, her clothes didn’t’ scream out, ‘Look at me!’ but, ‘This is me…no better than you.’ And she truly believed in that. She didn’t see herself as anything special or unusual, which is why she worked so hard and was always pleasant and professional. Her style was only an extension of who she was, the person we all admired, because don deep we knew that what we saw was not just clever packaging but an honest and 100 percent genuine human being.”

·         Lace: The Weakness of Man
 
 

o   Sitting on our beautiful rug in our room, my roommate and I are painting quotes on burlap canvases for our wall. Decorating the canvas with lace, I began twirling the fabric between my fingers and rolling them, making into little flowers. As I was taking these scraps of lace, trying to mold them into the shape I wanted, the lace began to unravel and pull apart with ease. At first I was frustrated, but then as I continued to cooperate with the lace, it began to look more and more like the flower I wanted. And in its own crafty, homemade sort of way, it was beautiful.

 Then I thought of man. I thought of myself.

 We are lace. With the slightest pull or tug of our circumstances, we unravel. We fall apart. Sometimes we see ourselves as mere scraps, worn and torn from the madness of the world. We think, “who could ever love someone as feeble as me? Someone so worthless, so broken.” But then came Jesus. Someone who could glue our hearts back together, perfectly complete and blameless thanks to His gift of righteousness. His blood was the glue, His resurrection the confirmation of the project. But He’s not done with us yet. There is still more molding to be done, more creations to be formed. But yes, one day we will be complete. We will cease to unravel in chaos and confusion and maintain our beauty in the security of Christ. . “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:6).

·         Sunrise: The Faithfulness of God
 
 

o   It was around 7:30am Monday morning. Probably about 40°F. The time, the temperature, and the day of the week itself had potential to put me in a bad mood. However, the Lord was gracious and gave me a willing spirit, ready to start the day and see what He had in store.

 As I was walking along the path, constantly adjusting my sleeves to better cover my hands, I looked to my left. There, just like there is every day, was the sunrise. I couldn’t help but thank God for the blessing on a cold Monday morning. He is faithful.

 Even though governments are screwed up and have potential (they don’t always, mind you) to lead us astray, God is faithful. Even when I spend more time on my phone than I do talking with God, He is still faithful. Even though the world is full of sexual impurity, violence, human trafficking, slavery, thievery, resentment, bitterness, and hatred, God is still faithful. And He still provides a sunrise every morning. And even if I can’t see the sunrise here in the US, somewhere else in another part of the world, a person is seeing the sunrise God still decided to give. He still provides little blessings throughout the day like mac-n-cheese, good auditions, and crafting with roommates just to remind you how faithful He really is.

·         Pride: What We Were Not Created For

o   There’s more I could say about this that I’ve learned, but frankly I don’t know if I could emotionally do that at the moment. But remember, you were not created for pride. That’s why it is so destructive, is because it was never meant to be a part of your identity. We were not created to be worshipped…we were created to worship the One who deserves it.

·         The Practicality of Scripture

o   More to come on this in another post!

·         The Car Ride: Seeing Jesus’ Face

o   There isn’t a whole lot to say on this topic except for there is everything to say, I just don’t know exactly how to say it. One Sunday on the car ride back from church, we were listening to Casting Crowns, “Glorious Day”. It’s a beautiful song that I haven’t heard in a while. As I was listening to the Gospel being put to song and listened to all the things Jesus had done for me, I just imagined His face…

 I’m sure everyone has done it. We have this idea in our minds of what He looks like as a man (which, because of our various cultures, we all probably have a false idea of what He looked like. Sorry Americans, but He wasn’t Caucasian). And I almost felt like I saw Him…I pictured what His smile might have looked like, His beard, His eyes, etc.

And…it kind of blew my mind. To think that Jesus really was a man. A man I could easily bump into in a grocery store or pass by on a street. Oh how much I wanted Him to really be there, standing on the side of the road as we drove back to campus, beckoning me to come to Him with His arms open wide.

I would’ve cried “Jesus!!!” Bolted out of the back seat (who cares how fast the car was going?), sprinted to Him and met Him the fields I have passed by oh so many times. Our embrace would have been like none other I have ever had in my life. I’m a huge hugger; there’s few things I love more. Can you imagine how awesome of a hugger Jesus must be? He is the King of compassion, He is love, He is the ultimate healer…there is no one better. Our hug would be out of this world.

 I imagine I would cry…or just be in so much shock that I literally had no words. I’m sure He would hold my face in His hands - gosh I want to cry just thinking about that – and say some words of love. “My beloved…My child”.

 There’s an old song that came out when I was a little kid, and I can’t help but think of it now. Oh Jesus, please come back. Come back soon. So that you can display Your power for all the world to see, hold our face in your hands so You can tell us, “It really is all going to be alright. You are mine. Don’t be afraid.”

 I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

[Chorus:]
Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine

·         The Chief End of Man:

o   We’ve all heard it: to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Sometimes I forget that this chief end of my life is not just for the end of my life…it is for the beginning and middle of it. Yes, my joy in Christ will be made complete when I am finally with Him face to face (MAN does that get me pumped up right now!), but I am to enjoy Him right now. Jesus is not just for dying…He is for living.

·         A Prayer: I’ve never done this on a blog before just because it’s such a personal thing, but maybe it will encourage other girls to do the same in the privacy of their thoughts. A few years back, I started praying and writing notes to my future husbands. While it might sound a little strange, it’s actually very rewarding to think that God is taking care of your future husband’s heart just as He is taking care of yours, and the idea that you can take part in that process right now is super cool. This semester, my mind has been consumed in thinking about relationships, dating, marriage, etc. So, instead of letting my mind wander (maybe to places I shouldn’t), I’m going to pray for my future husband. As you will see in the prayer below, these prayers don’t have to be eloquent masterpieces; what matters is your heart. And how awesome will it be when you are married and you can you’re your husband, “I’ve been praying for your heart for years.” Single ladies! *insert song here* Try it! You might be surprised of what God will do with it.

 

Heavenly Father,

            I thank You for Your unconditional love for me. I pray that my future husband would be a picture of that for me and our family. I pray that You would take care of his heart – heal wounds he may be enduring and give him peace and joy. Lord, I want to meet him so badly. I want to meet the person that I am going to spend the rest of my life with, but help me to never forget my first Love. Help me to never forget You. We are only able to love because You have first loved us…never let us forget that. Lord, I pray for my future husband’s spiritual walk. I pray that he is madly in love with You, studying Your Word, and serving Your kingdom. Go ahead and start preparing his heart for our marriage and our family. Let us both be incredibly in love with You before we fall in love with each other. It’s insane knowing that my future husband is around somewhere, doing something, being somebody, and yet I have no idea who he is. But You know everything. You know every step we will make before we take it. You know the number of hairs on our head and You know that we will be together someday. I seriously love You…help me to love You more so that I can in return love my husband in a way that is a picture of Your love.

                                                                                                            In Jesus’ precious name,

                                                                                                                                    Amen.

·         The Importance of Understanding Spiritual Warfare

o   Dig into this subject! I was listening to an audio of this awesome guy named Colin Harbinson, and he shed a lot of light onto this topic that I, honestly, haven’t done a lot of research on. Look at places like Ephesians and Revelation for more insight. Coming up I might make a post on what I learned from Harbinson and in my own personal study.

·         The Power of the Written Word and the Power of Song:

o   I’ve never been so overwhelmed with this feeling than I have this semester…and it’s been awesome. The fact that our hearts and spirits can be so intertwined to the point where our redemptive acts of creation through our artistic abilities can touch our very souls, maybe even making that touch bubble up to our eyes and tears spilling out…what is more beautiful than that? That all truth is God’s truth, whether it’s found in a Mumford lyric, a ukulele chord, or a poem that you’re hearing for the first time.

 

So that’s the end of my ranting for now. Congrats, college kids, on finishing up finals! If you haven’t taken them yet (like me), then hang in there! Go have an awesome Christmas and New Year’s!