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Monday, February 28, 2011

This weekend (which was basically incredible) the Lord pushed me into two things that I've really been struggling with recently...

At women's retreat, my struggles with trust and forgiveness (which leads to so many other problems) were consistently illuminated. For the past year I've really been struggling to forgive and move on, but it's proving to be extremely difficult, which is disheartening. It's been a year and I thought I'd at least be in the healing process by now- how immature of me. This is something I've lived with for almost my entire life- how did I possibly think I'd be free of it in just a year?

"God will allow your heart to forgive when He knows you are ready."
This was spoken to me this weekend and it is a hard thing for me to grasp... What do you mean I'm not the one who's in charge of forgiving, but God is? This is something I need to give Him, but I can't. I feel like since it's my "baggage," I'm the one who needs to sort it out. Which leads to trust- do I not trust Him to place forgiveness in my heart? Or is it because I don't want to forgive? I've lived with this for so long.. I can't imagine my heart and life without it, even though I know it will be a sweet life. Or do I think forgiveness isn't deserved? I want to so badly say "NO! He does NOT deserve to be forgiven..."
Matthew 18:21-23. Why am I so hesitant? Why is this so hard?

At Summit last night, Isaac spoke on pride and judgement, which is a part of my life I'm just recently beginning to sense I struggle with. I have never in a million years thought I was one to be prideful, so this is a really difficult thing for me to grasp. But I am prideful, and recognizing that really hurts. How in the world am I a prideful person? I probably have more problems than anyone else; what makes me even think I'm better than them? Since when did I become so self-righteous?

It is so clear that the Lord desires more from me, but it's so hard for me to give more until I'm past these struggles... and I desire more from the Lord, but it's so hard to accept it until I'm past these struggles...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

One day last week I was browsing through the "Christian Inspiration" section of Barnes&Noble. As I was leafing through C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, a man standing next to me struck up a conversation. I normally tend to shy away from conversation with strangers, especially males, but for some reason I felt compelled to go more in depth with my conversation with him. During our conversation he kept saying things like, "I don't really know why I'm talking to you."

He started by asking what pastors or authors I enjoy. I listed off the few authors I've read works from, and he started spewing off author after author I should read. One thing he said to me was "You can't get what you need to know from other people, you need to go directly to Jesus." At first I didn't really understand what he was trying to say, but now that I have reflected on it, I have more of an understanding of what he was saying, and it actually does apply to my life. I try to read a lot books by Christian authors, so I can gain more of an understanding into the many aspects of Christianity.  Many times, actually most times, I would prefer reading what they have to say about Jesus and being a follower of Him, rather than go directly to The Bible. I rely on the knowledge they have to offer me.

He asked me a lot of questions, many I didn't really know how to answer. "How are you living evangelically?" was the one that struck me most, because during community group the prior night, I asked for prayer in that area of my life. As much as it frightens me, spreading the gospel is something I'm required to do as a follower of Jesus Christ. I told him that is something I'm really struggling with, and he said that our life goal as Christians is to spread the love of Jesus. I mentioned that I worry I'll say the wrong thing, which will turn that person away. He said I didn't need to worry about that, because God will provide me with all of the knowledge I need to know...that God will speak through me. As much as I know that, I don't really believe it.

This man's act of sparking a conversation with me really touched my heart, as I think about it more and more. He spoke wisdom into places of my life I didn't even realize needs redirection- he brought awareness to it.

He left before I got the chance to thank him, and I'm praying that the Lord makes sure he's aware of how much I deeply appreciate what he did for me. I pray he has assurance for how he is living his life, because he's made an impact on at least one person.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lately I've been having this urge- actually it's probably more of a need- to write, so I decided it's about time I dust off my long-lost blog. 

Recently thoughts have been swimming around my head at a million miles an hour- I need to pick a site for practicum next semester, I need to begin volunteering this semester, I'm going to INDIA this  summer, I'm graduating in December, what do I do with my life after I graduate??- I want to continue my education, I want to travel, I want to impact the lives of children, I want to LIVE my life! 
Dear brain, Slow down.. I can only take so much of this. It's overwhelming!

I'm going to INDIA this summer... for longest time I didn't think it was going to happen, and I was trying my hardest to be okay with it, but it was proving to be extremely difficult. Everything got settled into place and it turns out I AM able to go... then another obstacle was thrown in my path- my brother graduates high school a few days before the anticipated return date. There is absolutely no way I can live with myself if I miss his high school graduation.  I was ready to give up when I talked with a sweet friend after an afternoon of crazy frustration & tears, and we decided it would be best if I asked to return just a few days early. And it IS!

And now I'm struggling with being okay in leaving before the rest of the team... flying halfway around the world by myself, being alone with intense thoughts for twentyfour hours, missing a few days at the children's home, and- I'm aware of how extremely selfish this is of me & I wish it had no effect on me- possibly missing a two-day stop in France. I'm praying for peace of mind, acceptance, and patience when it comes to leaving early- because I know this is what has to happen. I'm waiting for these pleasant feelings to fall upon me when it comes to this minuscule piece of this mission trip... because either way, I will be spending almost two weeks in India this summer. 
And it will be incredible.