We are all the same people.
With sinning hearts that make us equal.
Here is my hand, not words said desperately.
It is not our job to MAKE anyone believe.

Monday, March 30, 2009

That man is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose

At times, it seems that God puts His finger on something and then everywhere you look you see it. Lately, that is the way things seem to be in my life. God is working wonders in the youth group at FBC. God is working wonders in me.

In my own life He is working in several areas all for one purpose, for the fellowship of He and I together.
Ranging from purity (physical and spiritual), to planting seeds of change, to shyness--He is hard at work. I want to camp on the purity thing for a bit then move on... I'll try and make this post short and to the point but I can't make any promises ;-)

A few weeks back the image of God giving away the first bride, Eve, was presented during youth group and it blew me away. I came back to school that night and gave a recap of the entire service to anyone who would stop long enough to listen and if they wouldn't stop Id just follow them around until I was finished talking. Always finishing with, "What a beautiful image! God walking the bride down a row of peaches in the peach orchard or something, giving to Adam the totally perfect match that was created by God just for him! God knew exactly what Adam wanted. He knew the desires of his heart--amazing!"
God knows the desires of my heart. He knows exactly what I need! He has created a man for me that is far better than any man I can pick out on my own. Why date around searching for "Mr. Right"??
Besides, God's not finished growing me to be the woman that God's Mr. Right needs me to be. That night I spent time with God and He brought me through a time of brokenness and restoration that was amazing beyond words followed by a time of indescribable praise!
God wasn't finished with me though, thankfully. In the days to come God showed me it wasn't only sexual purity He wanted from me. Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. As I spent time in the Word and time in prayer God grew in me a desire not only for physical purity but also spiritual purity like never before! A simple concept is seems but--wow.

Moving on.. Hopefully this doesn't sound too choppy and rushed. I'm trying to keep it from being too long (not to mention its late and my morning class is going to come a lot sooner than Id like as it is! lol)

During Spring Break Retreat (amazing!) my beautiful sister, Kristen, and dearest friend, CI, taught a small group on planting the seed of change. God worked and what they shared was such a blessing! Later that day I went to another small group with Rebecca and Sammy who brought the idea of missions and it tied in so perfectly with what I had just heard from Kris and CI. I was once again blown away and couldn't help but see God was working. I took what I learned that weekend back with me to Jacksonville and I've seen some pretty spectacular changes! =)

Prior to Spring Break Retreat, my sister and I had been discussing some of the unexpected feelings Ive had about my new school.

Before going on any further, I'll share my feelings. There is no point going on without doing so.
I had it in my head that this school was going to be not only a place to grow my mind but also a place to grow spiritually (given that it's a Christian school and whatnot..) however, after a few weeks of being here I realized, shy of a few things here and there, this was merely a glorified version of High School.
I was so disappointed, so discouraged. I wanted (and fully expected) to walk through the halls and hear people talking about Jesus, to sit at lunch and hear how God was growing my new friends, to see people gathered and the Bible being dug into. Instead, I have to close my ears in the hall so I'm not bombarded with filth, fight hard not to leave during lunch, and turn my head from make-out sessions on the couches with MTV on in the background.
It wasn't exactly as pretty on the inside as it was a few months ago looking in.

After a lot of prayer and application of the things God showed me during SBR, my opinions have changed a bit. I look at things differently. I take this place one day at a time. And I pray for patience and the words to say when it's my time to talk.
Which brings me back to Kristen and CI's group about the seeds of change... after realizing there was still a lot of God to be shared in this place I asked God to give me the words to say when I spoke to people and the knowledge to be silent when I needed to be silent. It seemed however, that the more I tried to bring God into the mix, the more I got rejected--rejection sucks by the way... I found myself wanting nothing more than to just sink back into my quiet self and hope that no one talked to me ever again... it was much less painful that way.
For a few days I even tried that. I spoke only when spoken to and I kept my head down at all costs. This brought on a considerable amount of misery though because I was no longer doing what God wanted of me. Something inside me needed to change.

In the small group at Spring Break Retreat one of the girls said, "It's not you they are rejecting." It was the strangest thing yet when I heard them say it I knew it was meant for me and I was instantly filled with such hope! God had used those girls to help me and to spur me on in a time when I simply wanted to toss in the towel.

Moving on real quick to how God has been working in me in regards to my shyness then it's bedtime for me..
For literally months now I've struggled like never before with my shyness and how I KNOW I have to get over it because it's a huge hindrance for me. Example: I don't pray in public. Period. I would like to, the desire is there.. but just as I'm about to open my mouth I get nervous and scared and my hands sweat and, and, and.... I hold my tongue.
Example two: During SBR I made a few videos with Sammy and CI that basically gave a summary of what had happened that weekend. In one of the videos I decided I was going to pass the camera to someone else and stop hiding behind it for once. Sammy was in the video with me and I knew she, at some point, was going to ask me what I had learned that day and I was so ready with my answer when she did! God had been working and I wanted nothing more than to tell people about it.
"This week God has grown me closer to the people in this youth group and closer to Him. He has shown me that I need to put up my shield against Satan and the fiery darts he throws at me daily. And I've been encouraged to go out and tell people about the things God has done and what He is doing daily. I've also been taught that my life is worth something to God. He created me and when He did he gave my life purpose and a plan. He did this for all of us! And when I go back to Jacksonville I plan on taking what I've learned with me and sharing it with everyone I can so they are filled with the same hope that I was filled with this weekend."

At least that's what I wanted to say...

When it came down to it though it sounded more like this, "This week I learned that.." [Huuuuge pause...I was struggling in my mind with what I wanted to say originally and with what I ended up saying]..... "planting the seed...." [another huuuge pause where once again I am fighting to say what I really, really want to say and what I know will end my sentence faster and get me out of the spotlight and back in my comfort zone]...... "is a good thing." Then I have this really lame grin on my face where I am trying so hard not to show how disgusted I am with myself for once again letting my stupid shyness get in the way of what I want!

I HAVE to get over it.

This morning I was sitting in church listening to Jason preach and a thought came to me...
I was with the youth group listening to the usual people pray out loud then all of a sudden I started praying out loud and I didn't feel scared or nervous. It was just me and God like as if I were praying all alone in my room to Him or in my head. At the end of the prayer I gave God all the glory and praise for allowing me to pray out loud to Him in a room full of people...

It may seem silly that I had such a thought but.....I was filled with hope! I have faith that my shyness will one day no longer be a problem and when that day comes, oh boy, you'll know it for sure cause He is going to get ALL the glory and praise!! =)
I serve an amazing Lord, my friends. He gives me hope and joy like no one or nothing else can. It's indescribable. Amazing.

Okay, as previously mentioned, it's bedtime for me.
Before I post this though I want to open this up for discussion. Let me know what you think, how God's working in you, how He gives you hope, whatever. . . It's open to you. Discuss. =)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kiss the world with your burning lips.

I miss the people from my past who are no longer a part of my life.

Feel free to assume I am talking about you because chances are, I am.
Unless you, the reader, are someone who is currently a part of my life then this post is not for you. I do thank you, however. I am sure you make my life special and that is perfectly fine with me.

My spring break has been amazing, by the way. You should consider asking me about it. Expect lengthy answers though.

Monday, March 2, 2009

What's My Story?

Time seems to be passing slow tonight.
I promise I don't mind.
The thoughts passing through my mind are not thoughts I entertain often.

My roommate is at work so it's quiet this evening.
Typically, I try to gain knowledge in my quiet moments; searching through time-worn books or countless Internet sources.
Tonight however, is a peaceful night. My mind is at rest. Somewhat.
Occasionally I have a fleeting thought only to be chased away by my minds desire for total silence.
In case you are curious, as I know I would be, the fleeting thought is always the same, "What's my story?"

The more I ask myself the more frustrated I get because I don't seem to have a good enough answer.
You should hear my story. Though, I'm certain you wouldn't be very entertained.
It has a nice beginning but that's about it. You should hear it regardless.
Perhaps you should ask me sometime. Or perhaps I'll write it in due time. Meanwhile--

It's cold in this room but suitable.
It's loud in the hall but music can drown it out.
Clothes scatter the floor and papers paint the dresser in a scribbled white but even that is merely an eye sore.
The frustration my "story" brings me is all that seems to be bothering me lately (despite what I tell people).
I blame my frustration on other trivial things like sleep, homework or women who always feel the need to be saying something at all times, all the while holding back what I know truly has me at my ends these days.
What if someone asks?
Will I have the right answer?
Things like these aren't found in books and that bothers me. I like finding the answers hidden in dusty, age-perfumed pages--a forgotten resource to some.

Flash and emotions.
My story is lacking both.
That's okay though, right?

Again, another question without an answer.

What's my story?
I knew I needed Christ.
Shortly after asking Him to save me from an eternal death I started to desire a personal relationship with Him. And it's been a relationship that has outdone any other!
The end.


I grew up in church so I don't have some outlandish story, "I was a druggie saved by grace" or "I found Jesus in prison after killing two men just to watch them die" or . . . .
I was a quiet little church girl who sat with her family on the second pew of the right side of the church from birth till 2003 when we moved to FBC... then it was the second pew of the left side of the church.
It was on that second pew where God gently tugged at my heart. That second pew where I answered back with a quiet prayer of salvation and that second pew where I stood and walked, tears rolling down my cheek, to the front of the church and told the pastor I had excepted Christ to be my Savior.

It's nothing flashy but it gets me excited each time I think about it. When people ask me my story, that is the one I will tell them.

I was a sinner who needed Gods grace.
A sinner who knows the path of righteousness is narrow and without Gods direction would always go astray.
A sinner who desperately longs after her heavenly Father.
And a sinner who always desires His plan because it is far greater than any I could come up with on my own!

It has a beginning..
The rest is still unwritten.