Sophomore Year {the struggle}

This year has been pretty interesting to say the least.  God has been blessing me with a plethora of new friendships.  However, there has been one theme that keeps resurfacing:

STRUGGLE.

Why is it that we have made it taboo to be in the midst of a struggle? to have a lifelong struggle?

This year I have never been more aware of my struggles both past and present…and things that will probably continue into my future.  I have realized the beauty of the struggle and struggling with others.  God is making me completely aware of my struggles and helping me to reconcile them to Himself.

So Here’s a few:

1. My sister accused me of not being Christ-like.  I don’t like criticism, but I apologized.

2. Soccer has not been going as I’ve planned it.  It hurts to trust Him, but I am doing it.

3. I still feel that the body of Christ is often an unsafe place to share my struggles with.  He is calling me to vulnerability and I am walking in it.

4. Sometimes my passions reveal all too much about my struggles. I don’t want to be judged, but I must fight for what I believe is right.

5. Sharing my writing is a scary feeling. God tells me to speak His words and I am opening my mouth in obedience.

Let’s Struggle Together

Romans 5:2-5

…And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

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The L Word

LEADERSHIP.

The word I quite possibly dread more than anything else. I hate the titles, the expectations to impact people.  I just wanna love on people, and God (the King of Irony) decided it would be a great idea to give me the attributes that many look for in leaders.  So in order to be a D-group (discipleship small group for freshman girls) leader I have to read this book called spiritual leadership and it’s really been teaching me some things.  There are a lot of leaders who used to be just like me, despising the title and passing off leadership roles as soon as possible.  But then they have that moment of recognition that they have been outright rejecting Christ’s call on their lives, that God has put things in them that the world obviously needs. Wow. Ain’t that a slap in the face? Like oh you wanna serve God?…then stop denying Him the joy of using you for His purpose.  I think I just doubt the power of God in me.  I mean He’s given us access to the Kingdom through the Holy Spirit, yet we still find ourselves in doubt.  This whole “preparing for leadership” thing has taught me the difference between faith and trusting.

Faith: God can do it, He can come through.  It’s knowing and believing God’s nature and His promises.

But trusting is like faith put in action.  It’s knowing that God can will do what He said, more than just theories and nature, but a God that comes through.

So I want to be more trusting and walk into who God has created me to be.  Leadership is in no way an expectation of perfection, but simply a call to be open and vulnerable and encourage others through the daily grind of life.  It’s a greater responsibility to make yourself accountable and walk with integrity.  But most of all it a beautiful chance to be used by God to show His great God and relentlessly pursue His presence. Is it pressure? Yes. But all I can do is cling to God and not allow the fear of punishment and losing position to dictate my actions.  Instead, I want my actions to be dictated by a heart set on the Father of Lights. All I can do is take this one step at a time and trust that God will guide me.

My Next Adventure

After getting back from Ethiopia a little less than 2 months ago, I feel God is leading me to do something a little crazy.  My soccer team and some of the other sports at my school are planning a missions trip to Costa Rica…in May.  There is no way I  can pay for this, so it was my plan to just miss it.  1 missions trip in a year is huge, let alone 2.  I knew that some people would see me as an over-zealous college freshman traveling around the world on their money.  Besides, I’ve never really had a desire to go to Latin America.  Why would I put myself through all the physical, emotional, and spiritual strain for a place that was not even on my radar?

That’s when I realized that not going for all the wrong reasons is still wrong.  So I asked God to open my heart and tell me what he desired for me on this trip.  God told me that He wanted me to go.  He would open my heart to these people if I would just go for Him…If I could just release my plans and go where He leads me when He leads me, He will make something glorious happen.  And I’ve felt Him reassure me every time I’ve asked how this thing is going to work.  I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily excited for Costa Rica, but I’m awfully curious about what God wants to show me and how He can use me  and why this trip…why now?

Sometimes I’m asked what I will do if I don’t raise enough money…but I don’t think that is an option because what God said will be, will be.

This is me stepping out in faith.  This is me opening my hands up to what God wants to place in them.  God wants to show Himself faithful to me and I’m taking that chance.  I just want to find myself in awe of His glory.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ name.