Friday, August 28, 2009

Hold My Heart

God desires that we cry out to him. Psalm 62:8 says, "Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." He craves for our communication and relationship with him. He is jealous for us. Going through this first week of classes has been stressful, I'm not going to lie. I'm carrying 18 hours and that counts for six classes, all with plenty of reading. But I know that God is sitting up in heaven telling me not to worry and not to stress. I've been so anxious and a little homesick. But I know that God hears all of my cries and that he is right here to comfort me. He just wants me to cry out to him, no matter what.

One thing I have to remind myself is of Matthew 6:33. It says, "Seek first the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness and all these things will be added unto you." God doesn't want me to worry about classes or my weight or being homesick. He wants me to rest in him. He doesn't want me to slack off, but he doesn't want me to stress either.

I think God has brought me to a time of silence in my life. I say that looking at more than one aspect. This is a learning time. God is teaching me and showing me things not through explicit actions, but over long periods of time. Periods of time that require waiting and silence.

Come Away My Beloved, a book I've been reading for some time now talks about this mysterious silence. "I want to make you strong. I want you to be a Devastator. I have brought you to this place. Make the most of it. Drink in the silence. Seek solitude. LISTEN TO THE SILENCE. It will teach you. It will build strength. Let others share it with you. It is priceless. It is little to be found elsewhere." I like that last statement. Silence is hard to find apart from God. The world is so busy, college is so crazy, and everywhere you look there is noise and distractions. God wants us to be silent and take time to rest in him. He doesn't want us worrying about money, or grades, or appearances, or whatever. He wants us resting in him. Jesus tells us in the Bible to come to him and take his burden for it is light. I don't want the burden I've been carrying. It's too heavy. But I know that I can carry the burden of Jesus. It is light.

So if you are a praying follower of Christ, I could use your prayers. I could your intercession on my behalf unto the Spirit. I didn't know this semester was going to be so trying to early. But it is. I know that I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Just pray for me. Pray that my faith and trust in God are strengthened.

I hope your day is filled with wonder and newness. This new day is a gift from God. Let us live with abundance.

God Bless.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Miss UNsociable

Being back at college even just a measly five days has taught me so much. But what's new? Over the summer God really spoke to me and convicted me that I had been putting idols in my life that were distracting me from him. I also had the privilege to work with my work group this summer and got to invest in their lives. Well, combine those two things and you get a whole bunch of information overload from God. It was welcomed, but a little heavy at times.

There was a night this summer when I asked my dad if he thought that I was socially awkward. We walked and talked about it, and we discussed what that meant and what the Bible says about how we should live our lives. In my opinion and I believe out of strong conviction, I don't think God is so worried about how we fit in socially or if we're awkward or not. Let's think about it. Jesus probably didn't fit in socially all the time when he was on the earth. He had his twelve that he was comfortable around and those were the men who accepted him, but there were probably more people than not who didn't like him. I don't think Christ calls us to be liked. I think he calls us to love others as he did.

I've been here for five days interacting with new and old people. More new people than old, mind you. I must say that it is kind of hard for me to do that. When I was younger, interacting with new people was the easiest thing ever for me because I would just put myself out there and go with the flow. But is that what Christ wants? Did he go with the flow? I would say he did not. I know now that when I was younger, part of the reason I was so able to get along with new people was because I wore a mask. I don't like masks. I hate trying to be someone I'm not. I hate trying to be happy and peppy when really, I'm not feeling that way at all. In all actuality, I think I'm a more serious than "let's go out and play a game" type person. I would rather have a deep, intellectual conversation with you then play a game with pretend darts. When one is nearing the age of 20 years old, playing pretend isn't as fun anymore unless you're with a two year old. That's different. But when you're with your peers, pretend is just not fun.

God has taught me this summer more than anything that I am called to love him with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind. I'm called to surrender all my idols to him and keep him in the center of my life. I've also learned that I'm supposed to invite others into this wonderful love affair with Jesus Christ. He has changed my life so much that I'm compelled to tell others about that changing love.

Tonight I tried to talk with someone about what God is doing in my life and how I'm so in love with him. The normal response would have been one of happiness and joy of how I'm growing in that. But instead I was basically told that what I was sharing about my life felt like it was being forced on the other person. I think this person thinks I talk about God too much, which I think is a little absurd. And then I remembered the verse in Luke that talks about sometimes we will stand alone when it comes to representing and taking a stand for God. Maybe I was too overwhelming and too much, but I also think that what I said was a very valid point and instead of thinking about it in light of their life, they pushed it away.

I titled this post "Miss UNsociable". I think I did that because, well, that's how I feel. Sometimes sitting by myself with God is so much more fun then having to be with people and try to fit in and struggle not to put on a mask. I want to be genuine with everyone I meet and there are very few people in my life with whom I can be that way. I would rather have five close friends who I can bear my soul to, then know one hundred peoples' names, but to whom I rarely talk.

God is calling me closer to him through all of this. He is showing me that my communication and relationship with him is what matters more than being accepted by people on this earth. Yes, I want those strong, Christ-centered friendships and I do have a few, two are with my parents, but I think those are what he wants me focusing on, not knowing entire campuses and knowing every one's name.

So yes, I may appear as unsociable to the world, but lately I have been VERY social with God. And really, that's all that matters.

This may have been a lot of rambling nonsense, but I needed to get it off my chest. Thanks for reading my ramblings.

May God Bless Tomorrow and all your days ahead.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Continuing With Life

So I'm back at college. Let me just say I'm very glad to be back. I really enjoyed working with the youth at my church this summer, but it was kind of a stressful situation. I'm just glad to be back in the good ole college town and being a simple college student.

Right off the bat since I've been back, God has been asking me to trust him with my money. I think out of all the things that I could trust him with, that's one of the hardest. But I have to remember that it's not my money to begin with and that all he asks is that I am a good steward of it. I'm hoping that when classes start and things start to pick up (like my job) that I can get on a budget and stick to it. I think that would really help me save and not just be an impulsive spender.

My roommate is not here yet; she won't arrive until tomorrow. I can't wait to meet her. My roommate from last year transferred to Union University in Tennessee, so I get to live with someone new this year. I think it will be really fun. I also know the girls who are my suite-maits and I'm super happy that there are going to be here. It will be so much fun.

I bought my books yesterday and the grand total came to $398.03. I wasn't too thrilled, but maybe I'll be able to sell a few from last semester and make a few dollars that way. I don't know. I did get one of my books from a friend for free, so that was a major blessing.

Before I left home to come back to college, I had been realizing more and more just how great and deep God's love is for me, for everyone. I've been focusing all summer on how God's relationship with me is supposed to be like a husband/wife relationship. God has been pursuing me and loving me forever and nothing on this earth could compare with his unfailing love. It's funny how a change of surroundings and people can sometimes cause you to doubt that. But his love doesn't change from state-to-state or from town-to-town. God will always love me no matter what. He desires that I would know him and love him more as well.

Well, I guess I'm going to head to lunch. We're getting ready for Welcome Week here at the college and we've been having lots of meetings and such. It's been fun. I can't wait for things to really begin tomorrow when all the students get here.

May God Bless your day and may you rest in him.
(P.S. Two months from today I will be 20 years old. Wow!!!)