Wednesday, February 23, 2011

40 Seconds in SSR

It is seriously the wildest, most amazing thing when God starts bringing things in your life full circle. It is one of the best things about getting older, I think.

I was just sitting here at school during SSR (Sustained Silent I'm on plan time), flipping through my copy of Louie Giglio's book, "I am not but I know I AM," when I came across this chapter called, "You can TRUST HIM."

So I stopped to read. Because honestly, I have trouble trusting God sometimes.

Basically, Louie starts talking about how when John the Baptist was imprisoned, John wondered why Jesus was standing by and doing nothing. Christ didn't swoop in and grant John with a miracle and get him released from jail. In fact, quite the opposite. John ends up being beheaded.

Louie relates this to our lives often people pray for miracles and don't get them. While others get HUGE ones...lives saved, prayers answered. We've all heard those stories. So when we feel like God's not intervening in our own lives, answering our prayers, we start to wonder if He really cares.

Oh, but He DOES.

Louie goes on to point out that "If John had lived a little longer, he would have seen an even more senseless event than his own beheading. He would have witnessed the unthinkable -- the 'Lamb of God' being crucified at the hands of an angry mob. And for this cruel killing, John would also have concluded that God stood by and did nothing" (p142).

In typical female fashion, ha, my mind immediately started swirling. Within 20 seconds, I had thought through my depression 2 years ago (when I started having trouble trusting God), how it didn't make sense that YL was miserable for me, how I felt like God could have and should have swooped in. But then...was there a bigger picture there? Something He was saving me from? Preparing me for?


Another 20 seconds. OF COURSE. It's all making sense now. Even though He knew that drawing me away from YL would feel like the worst breakup of my life (and oh boy, it did...hence the depression)...He had to do it. He knew it was the only way to get me to see a different plan. The only way to get me to work for Sarah and Andrew (and change my ideas of church). The only way to build connections for the future HE saw for me.

Don't get me wrong. I still love YL. And He allowed me to go back to leading my senior year. And I fell in love with a GREAT group of girls. (Some of whose feet are at the top of this page!) But He needed me to see a different plan for my life. HIS plan. So He did what He had to do.

So next time you are going through a rough time, wondering why God just isn't showing up...I encourage you to try to find hope in the fact that God is working in terms of a BIGGER plan. And maybe one'll get to watch it all come full circle.

Just maybe not during SSR. And it might take longer than 40 seconds. :)

God Bless.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Be Excited About The Call

So today I'm restarting my blog...but with a whole new spin on things. I feel as though my life changed recently and I want to start recording that journey here. Can you dig it?

The LORD has recently been moving in some big ways around my hometown and current residence of Liberty, Missouri, specifically in the neighborhood of Liberty United Methodist Church. Last week, Andrew and Sarah Beard (youth directors) announced they are moving to Dallas, Texas. (Andrew will be the youth worship leader at Highland Park United Methodist and attending seminary, and Sarah will be the Promotions Director for His Voice Global.) For people my age who aren't sure where they'll be in the coming years post-college, that may not seem like that big of a deal. But I assure you, their move is a complete act of obedience to the LORD and against everything that makes sense in terms of the world we live in.

All kinds of reactions have come in response to this announcement. I'd like to focus on one of those reactions, that not only I had, but that several other adults and students have had in response as well. That is the reaction of wondering, "Wow, they are doing as they've always taught. Being obedient to the LORD. And He is doing awesome things with them. How can I be obedient like that?"

Well, on February 14, 2011, I had the pleasure of sitting down for a 3 hour conversation with Sarah Beard on her couch. Sorting out my own walk with the Lord. Talking about what the future holds. And right around 4:30pm that day, truth that Sarah was speaking into my life as well as another mentor of mine all came weaving perfectly together to communicate to me MY CALL: FULL TIME YOUTH MINISTRY.

Now, if you have known me for any time at all, you may be thinking (as many have) that this is not surprising. I led YoungLife for all 4 years of college. I have worked for and volunteered with LUMY. I love youth. And I used to want to work for YL. But it has been almost 3 years since then. Ever since my few month bout of depression a few years ago, I've been running away from that in so many ways, running in search of new and "better" plans.

So when those conversations all came together that day at 4:30....I cannot describe to you the peace, joy, and excitement that came over me! It was an incredible moment that I will NEVER forget. And although I get it, it's not surprising, I wish more people would be EXCITED about the LORD's movement and call on my life!

All of this story is basically to say: BE EXCITED ABOUT THE CALL. Whether it's you, your best friend, your sibling, your parent, your youth student, your partner in ministry...whether it's surprising or expected, BE EXCITED when the LORD moves in their life and clearly calls them in a certain direction. That person is why not be excited with them???

"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even GREATER things than these..." John 14:12

God Bless.