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.

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.

A short blurb

God has been completely amazing throughout this whole process of raising funds for my Costa Rica missions trip.  I still have $290 to go and I can’t wait to see God show Himself faithful once again.  If you are interested in giving a tax deductible donation email me at hlowe@students.ccu.edu.  Keep our team in your prayers as we leave in 7 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

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.