Leaving Room

I’ve found in my life that nothing is set in stone…or maybe that the only thing set in stone is Jesus.  Either way, life is full of curve balls; it’s full of changes and new adventures.  This is especially true for my life.

Let me just tell you about my schedule for next semester: I have probably changed it no less than 15 times.

I’m trying to go to Pakistan next summer and it looks like the trip will be cancelled.

I’ve found myself at a place where I can’t even plan because life is changing so quickly.

But change can be good. In the midst of all this chaos, God has had the most amazing people walk into my life.  He is beginning to cultivate my gift of poetry, reminding me of the power of my words.  He has given me people that speak life into my dreams and believe in me.  He has showed me that my past struggles can help others heal.  He has rekindled my heart for intercession and covering people, dreams, and fears in prayer.  He renewed my passion.

So here’s a few things God has been teaching me in this season.

  1. Everyone wants someone to fight for them. It seems like a weird concept, but couldn’t be more true.  Life is a struggle and everyone is looking for someone to look them in the eyes and say “I’m with you.”  Someone who won’t give up on you, but will pray for and dream with you.  Are you willing to go to battle for someone’s soul, for their light to outshine their darkness, for them to not settle for ordinary, but become something extraordinary? Fight for someone.
  2. Words matter. Mean them.  There is possibly no greater feeling than someone telling you that they’re proud of you or that they believe in you, someone speaking your worth to you.  Be truthful, even if it hurts.  If you can’t tell someone the truth, then you may have made your relationship with them an idol.  I am on my own journey to speak truth that only the Holy Spirit can dictate.  Eph 4:15 …speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
  3. Timing is EVERYTHING!  This year has left me wondering why so many new relationships. Why now? Why these people? All I can figure is that in God’s divine plan I need these people in my life at this time.  I don’t know how long some people will stay or under what circumstances they will leave, but I know that he has something for me to give and something for me to gain from the people around me.

God has a plan. Life is an adventure.  Spare no time loving people.

AND

LEAVE ROOM FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT!

Advertisements

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY

So I just want to celebrate  some of what God has done this summer:

1. He taught me how to embrace the call of leadership.

2. He spoke His truths through me.

3. He showed me that prayer is my most powerful weapon.

4. He once again confirmed my call to missions.

5. He has made my fear a driving force to take me to places where I’ve never been,

6. He was faithful on my trip to Costa Rica.

7. He drew people that I admire closer into my life.

8. He gave me a vision for someone I love and it constantly gives me hope.

9. He gave me a heart for the people I will be leading.

10. He let me discover what it means to just be His.

11. He gave me the knowledge to fix my computer and then fixed what I couldn’t!

12. He blessed my mom to be able to help me move into school and rent a car while there.

13. He shaped my heart for worship through learning piano.

14. He gave me the courage to make some very important life decisions.

15. He has made me excited for change.

16. He allowed me to be able to see and be inspired by my favorite spoken word artist Miss Terious Janette…iks at Rhetoric 2013.

17. He gave me an abundance of family time and memories.

18. He changed my mental mindset to always push through because He is my rock.

19.  He gave me beauty for ashes, joy for mourning and praise for heaviness, so that I may be called an oak of righteousness.

Thank you God for 19 years and for giving me even more blessings to grow on 🙂

❤ Haley

On a Ledge

So two day ago I found myself waiting for a train to get back to SLU after a cardinals’ game.  I was suddenly reminded of almost exactly 4 years ago when I was waiting at a BART station to catch a train to the airport for a student ambassador trip. At this point in life I was 14 and still incredibly depressed from the death of my grandmother and the fallout that seemed to consume my family.  In that moment, staring at the tracks, I remember playing with the idea of how easy it would be to simply step off as a train was coming.  I think I was just looking for a way to end the darkness and depression that was creating a hole inside me. But as I looked at my family, I knew I couldn’t possibly leave them to contemplate the mess I had kept hidden in my mind.

Standing on that ledge in St. Louis made me think back to that day and filled me with so much joy I can’t possibly explain it.  God truly has had his hand on my life from the very beginning and I can never thank him enough.  I want to go wherever he leads me and do whatever he asks of me just for the possibility of giving someone else that moment of joy.

Psalm 116

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.

10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
    “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
    “Everyone is a liar.”

12 What shall I return to the Lord
    for all his goodness to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people…

 

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.

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.”

Image

Psalm 36:5

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

A Year of Seasons

Image

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

THE VISION

I didn’t write this, but this is so amazing.

 

The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.

The vision is an army of young people.

You see bones? I see an army. And they are FREE from materialism.

They laugh at 9-5 little prisons. They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday. They wouldn’t even notice. They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won. They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations. They need no passport.. People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence. They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying. What is the vision ? The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes. It makes children laugh and adults angry. It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars. It scorns the good and strains for the best. It is dangerously pure.

Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation. It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games. This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause. A million times a day its soldiers

choose to lose that they might one day win the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.

Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting again and again: “COME ON!”

And this is the sound of the underground The whisper of history in the making Foundations shaking Revolutionaries dreaming once again Mystery is scheming in whispers Conspiracy is breathing… This is the sound of the underground

And the army is discipl(in)ed.

Young people who beat their bodies into submission.

Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms. The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes. Winners. Martyrs. Who can stop them ? Can hormones hold them back? Can failure succeed? Can fear scare them or death kill them ?

And the generation prays

like a dying man with groans beyond talking, with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and with great barrow loads of laughter! Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.

Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive

inside.

On the outside? They hardly care. They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide. Would they surrender their image or their popularity? They would lay down their very lives – swap seats with the man on death row – guilty as hell. A throne for an electric chair.

With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days,

they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.

Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.) Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus. Their words make demons scream in shopping centres. Don’t you hear them coming? Herald the weirdo’s! Summon the losers and the freaks. Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes. They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension. Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.

And this vision will be. It will come to pass; it will come easily; it will come soon. How do I know? Because this is the longing of creation itself, the groaning of the Spirit, the very dream of God. My tomorrow is his today. My distant hope is his 3D. And my feeble, whispered, faithless prayer invokes a thunderous, resounding, bone-shaking great ‘Amen!’ from countless angels, from hero’s of the faith, from Christ himself. And he is the original dreamer, the ultimate winner.

Guaranteed.

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.

Trusting God

For the last couple of weeks I’ve really been seeking God about going on a missions trip to Costa Rica in May.  Now keep in mind that I got back from a trip to Ethiopia less than a month ago.  I have such a heart for Africa, but never really Latin America.  A few days ago I decided to soak and wait in God’s presence to here His voice.  He completely broke me down.  Mostly what I’ve been worrying about is finances.  He basically told me that He’s going to show me His power and faithfulness….and if I would let Him, He will give me a heart for those places also.  Yet, I still continued to wrestle with this.  So today I finally gave in and I stopped making excuses.  I don’t know how, but if He wants me to go, and I’m willing to trust Him, then it will be so.

Here are just some scriptures that stuck out to me yesterday.

1 Corinthians 4:20–For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.

Colossians 1: 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

Right now, all I have the ability to do is trust God.