Costa Rica

I just got back from Costa Rica yesterday and it really was an amazing trip.  I feel like after you get back from a missions trip everyone wants to know the specifics of how God moved in your life, what you did, and on a scale of 1 to 10 how much impact did it have on your life and the lives of those you met? But God is so big that sometimes specifics will never be enough to describe who He is.  But here are just a few amazing things:

1) God reminded me how much of a blessing it is to be a student athlete at a Christian college.  Student athletes often get a bad rep, especially at a Christian college.  At a small school disheartening news and speculations spread like wildfire.  So it was amazing to see this group of people who were all great athletes, but were putting God first in their lives.  I was completely awestruck at their stories of heartbreak, pain, and incredible joy.  I felt honored to be among them.

2) God stretched me…a lot.  It was like stretching out taffy, something that is done slowly and takes a little time.  I led worship on guitar twice for our group, which took much encouragement and a ton of prayer (which is funny because I really have a heart for worship and have prayed for God to give me the opportunity to lead people into His presence…easier said than done).  Hopefully people felt God pulling on their heart strings and were moved into a place of rest in Him.  Also like the 3rd day in, He placed an amazing woman on my heart to pray for and encourage the rest of the trip, which was definitely the coolest thing ever.  And it actually didn’t freak me out like usual, but was rather refreshing and exciting.

3) God is limitless.  I so often keep my focus on Africa and the Middle East, where I’m going, and how I plan to get there.  And on this trip God was like “slow down…we’ll get there when we get there.”  So I met some amazing kids.  I heard people’s stories as we gave them Bibles.  I gave deep thought to the fruits of the Spirit.  If God is truly giving me to the nations, I want to go…to them all.  I’m up for His surprises.  I’m excited to fully experience His plans.  I don’t want to fight the leadership positions He gives me anymore.  When I cling to Him and walk humbly, it will all be okay.

So yea…those are three major things.  There are a ton more.  Like fore example, I now love rain because it brings beauty.  Costa Rica is awfully beautiful…and so were the people I ventured with, many of which have endured downpours of hurt.  After everything that has occurred in the last 10 days, I just want to sit at the feet of Jesus and say “God, you are so good.”

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Psalm 36:5

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the skies.

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A Year of Seasons

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This is my team (minus the person standing next to me who is my friend and decided to photobomb us)…And we have had quite the year.  There’s only 12 of us.  This picture includes our wonderful seniors that were done after our fall season was over.  Anyways, we started our fall season with 26 girls.  By the time preseason was over, we had 24.  Then at the turn of the semester, we lost another 14 girls (this includes our 5 seniors).  It was kind of a “where do we go from here?” point.  Then it hit me that God has given us a very unique opportunity, to actually take part in rebuilding our team.  We got to define what we wanted our team to be…and I think we did.  It was a little rough around the edges, but I think we learned how to be real to each other, real in our frustrations, real in our accomplishments.  We put underlying dysfunction on the table and said we need to deal with this.  How cool is that? This isn’t meant to be a tell-all about my team or some kind rant about how awesome we are (though we do have shirts that say “be more awesome” which is almost impossible), but rather it is about change.  Sometimes life throws us a curve-ball and you can stand there or you can hit it.  But it really is a beautiful thing, at least I believe it was in my team.  Next semester we we be a completely different team with 16 new freshman and only 11 returners (4 of them are goalkeepers).  We are definitely the underdog, but I’ve read that God loves to use the underdog.  I hope for their sake that we have a foundation built on God that can’t be shaken, even in the most desperate times.  I hope for our sake that we will stand on what we’ve said we believe.  This semester was a time of talk and next semester is a time of action.  If I’ve learned anything from playing soccer this year, it’s that soccer is nowhere close to my everything.  That would be God, but He has given me a talent, desire, and drive.  And I will use this talent to look each teammate in the eye and see the person behind the skills.  I want to see their hopes and dreams and the reason why God has placed them in my life, if even for a short time.  With college athletics, teams are always changing and we often schedule our lives around whatever season we are in.  But it is my prayer that no matter what the season, God is always at the center.

 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. –Jeremiah 29:11-13

A lot of things are changing

And I mean a lot…or it could just be my version of alot, which is like 3 things.  After applying to be a discipleship group leader for freshman girls at my university next year, going through an enormous waiting period, and an interview, I found out that I got it.  I couldn’t be more excited.  I have almost no idea what I’m doing but I know that this is something God has put on my heart and I’m excited to see where His heart is going to lead our little group next year.  Sure, I have some ideas, but I know that God is going to blow me away.

Also, this missions trip to Costa Rica is rapidly approaching and I’m beginning to realize that God is going to move in an incredibly powerful way.  And I think God is going to show me just a glimpse of how He can use me.  The money is so not coming in.  I’ve done some work so I should be about halfway there once those checks come in.  Other than that I’ve had no donations, but for some reason I’m not entirely stressed.  God is God and He’s already got it figured out.  I have the easy job of just praying and trying and He gets to do what He does best and blow my mind with supernatural provision…so that’s cool.

Well, in school I’m probably going to double minor.  Basically I would trade in my cross discipline study for a minor which is 6 extra credits.  120 credits to 126 credits, which wouldn’t be a big deal except I really want to study abroad (and I really feel God wants me to go to India).  That would be 126 credits over 7 semesters, subtract the 12 credits I brought in.  It’s not that bad, it’ll just be a little more work.  I would be a global studies major with a double minor in intercultural ministry and leadership studies.  And I have a heart for all those things so that’s good.

I want to go to the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine and share Christ with the Islamic Tatar people.  How am I getting there and when am I going? Idk.

God has been renewing my heart in His love and a hunger for the supernatural to take place on earth as an overflow of His love through me!

*Random fact: I have a new pen pal in China and he is super cool.

Here are the lyrics to a song that has just been wrecking me:

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

-Oceans by Hillsong United

BOOM done.