Saturday, May 26, 2012


Yesterday, to kick off and prepare for Leadership Training, we had an LT retreat for the entirety of the day. There were three parts to the day. The first was called upward, or focusing on your relationship with God. The next was called inward, where we focused on relationships and spent time with our project groups. The last part of the day was called outward, where we focused on reaching out to people who don’t know the Lord yet and being lights to the world.

The entire day was wonderful and really set the stage for the entire summer, but what I want to talk about specifically was the part where we went “inward.”

For those of you who don’t know, a project group is basically a bible study that meets once a week for an entire day. Within those groups, we have life groups, which is a smaller, closer group of people who will get to grow especially close during the summer. For you BG folk, you could equate this to fusion and a cell group.

During the “inward” time, our project group was discussing ways to grow closer over the summer. The one goal I remember us specifically discussing was the goal of confrontation. If someone has a problem with someone else, then confront that person about it. This absolutely builds stronger relationships and community and is a great goal to have. Sounds easy enough, right?

Not so fast. Although it may sound easy, and we may know it is the correct step to take, it is one of the hardest goals of them all when it comes down to it. When this came up, I felt specifically motivated to really emphasize how much we will have to work at this and keep each other accountable in order to achieve this goal.

I know from experience that this is not easy. At the beginning of last year, our RA staff created a list of rules to live by for the school year. One of them was to confront each other about problems directly, and to not talk behind each other’s backs.

It was a goal that made sense, but was way too virtuous because none of us ended up following it at all. There came a point around the month of February where the avoiding of confrontation became especially bad. Because of this, the talking behind each other’s backs increased. Needless to say, it was not a good month.

From that experience, I learned that it’s never enough to just really emphasize that we need to keep a goal.  In order to keep a goal as difficult as confrontation, we have to fight for it. We have to be armed with all of the spiritual warfare the Lord gives us before it hits us.

And it’s no surprise that this goal is one of those especially hard to achieve ones. Confrontation is one of those tools that are most successful in building relationships up and breaking down barriers between people. Because Satan hates good and fruitful relationships, he is going to try everything to trick us into avoiding this.
And so, there’s only one thing left to do. We have to fight.

And after this “inward” time, I was left with a desire to fight. I began to realize that if you want to live as a strong Christian woman or man, you have to be willing to fight. And I am so thankful that the Lord has given me this desire. I had already known that fighting was important, but I was never motivated enough to consistently fight.

If you leave this page with one thing, I want it to be this. I want you to leave knowing that you have to fight if you want to sustain as a Christian. Heck, you have to fight even if you aren’t religious at all. Life sucks, and we are stuck in the middle of a war between Satan and God. Satan is the initiator, and he is tricky. You have to fight.

So fight for your friends, your relationships, your community, your family, your church, the lost and broken, your future husband or wife, your current husband or wife, and yourself. Fight for anything that comes to mind. Become prayer warriors for these people, for the world, for things to come, and for what God wants you to fight for.

You have to fight! Prepare yourself for war, and fight anything and everything. As for me, I’m preparing myself for a summer, and more importantly a lifetime of fighting. I know that’s what it’s going to be. Will you join me?

Ephesians 6:10-13- “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Calm Before the Storm

So, I finally made it to Colorado!

The mountains are beautiful, the air is fresh, and I’ve learned that housekeeping is some really hard work. I think the hardest part about being here early is that the LT program hasn’t started up yet. All 4 of us have been in this strange limbo mode where we go to work all day, and then do miscellaneous things in the evening. For me, I’ve mainly been writing, but it’s just been a really strange time.

I’m finding that I’ve actually been pretty lonely. Today, I finally got some roommates (praise the Lord!), so it’s been a lot better, and I know it’s going to get better as I meet new people.

However, I still can’t shake this feeling that I’m waiting in the calm before the storm. And the storm is about to start tomorrow- Monday is the first big move-in day for the staff dorms, and then everyone in the LT program arrives on Wednesday, so things are about to get crazy.

Luckily, I have the day off on Wednesday, so I’m going to go hiking and exploring with some friends to get out of everyone’s way and to avoid the insanity.

With what I see about to happen in front of me, I have a strong feeling from the Holy Spirit that this is about to be a great summer, and I say great because I have no other words to describe what I’m feeling.

It’s going to be great, but it’s going to be SO hard. I can already see places in my life where God can grow me. I will be living with 3 other roommates, and living quarters will be tight. I will have to endure a full time housekeeping job, which I have never done before.

There are just so many areas where God could work and grow me in my life. In some ways, He’s shown me what’s going to happen. Actually, I know these things are going to happen, but the scary part is that I don’t know how he’s going to make them happen.

So, I’m in the process of mentally preparing myself for possibly the most influential, faith stretching, and tiring summer of my entire life. The enemy may be against me, but God is so much more powerful than that.

Philippians 4:13- “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Colorado Here I Come!

Hey everyone! So, if you didn’t know already, I’m going to be in Colorado for 11 weeks this summer! I will leave on Tuesday for my friend Michelle’s house. On the way, my mom and I will be picking up Josie, another friend who is going with us, and then we will leave early Wednesday morning to start the drive. On the way, we will pick up the last girl who will be traveling with us, Christina.

I’m super excited to road trip across the country with these four girls! It’s a 20-hour drive, but don’t worry, we’re prepared. We’ve got dinosaur hats and a bubble wand!

But the road trip is just the beginning. I’m starting to realize how significant this summer may be in my life. It will be an opportunity to work a full time job, make some money, spend time in community, spend time in the mountains, and most importantly, grow closer to God as I’m out there.

No matter how prepared I want to be for this, I don’t think I’m going to be. What’s going to happen in Colorado is going to be something I simply won’t be able to predict, but I know God is going to blow my expectations away again.

Let’s get down to the main point. While I’m out in Colorado for the summer, I’m going to be updating about what’s going on by using my blog. I hope to update every week, however, it might be more, or it might be less. It will just depend on what I am learning and what is going on at the time.

And the posts will probably be shorter, which is something I’ve been trying to work on because I realize that people don’t easily hold their attention for a 3 page post, no matter how much I split it into paragraphs. I will also be posting prayer requests that I may have while I’m out there.

I also thought it would be a good idea to get a prayer team together while I’m out there because I know that prayer is powerful, and I know that it’s a good thing to have support. So, if you want to commit to praying for me while I’m out there, just respond in a comment on this post. If you don’t have blogger and can’t comment, just sent me a Facebook message. Any prayers are appreciated, and are stronger than anything else!

I guess the last thing to say is, stay tuned if you are interested in reading about my life! And if you are, thanks for reading! It really does mean a lot that people like to read what I write (because I love to write) and that people care about my life.

Mark 9:28-29- “And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Closing Time

I honestly don’t know where to begin here. I’ve had a little under a week to dwell on and think about the year in its entirety, and I’ve realized that one single blog post cannot do justice to what this year ended up becoming.

This is where I’ll start out. After my first year of college, I really didn’t think it could get any better, but I was extremely wrong. God proved me wrong on everything I had expected, and he met expectations that I didn’t even know existed.

And so I’m literally sitting here, speechless. There are honestly a million different things I could talk about, and they all mesh together to form my sophomore year of college, but I think I’ll start with one of the most foundational things that happened, that really holds the year together.

At the beginning of the school year, I was excited to become more involved in my campus church, h2o, but not a single fiber of my being could expect what God really had in store for our church this year.

It all began at fall getaway, which is our weekend retreat that happens in the fall (as the name basically says). The topic of fall getaway this year was lies, or in other words, lies that Satan tells us, and that we naturally believe. It really opened my eyes to all of the lies I had believed for my whole life, and most importantly, it set the foundation for what I would call a movement of freedom.

Yes, this was just the beginning. After fall getaway, this theme of decoding Satan’s lies would lie underneath the woodwork. In other words, we had all been introduced to the idea of being free from these lies, but the topic hadn’t been addressed much past fall getaway. However, the theme lingered on the backburner, in the back of everyone’s minds.

And then, God decided that he wanted to really hit us all in the face with this new idea of freedom, which came at our women’s weekend, a retreat we have for all the women in the church during the month of February.

Let me tell you, I have honestly never been impacted so profoundly by a retreat in my entire life. For me, it was a brand new lookout on life. I had always admired the idea of transparency in my mind, but had never had the faith and confidence to be transparent myself. During this weekend, I truly learned that no one will judge you for who you are, where you’ve been, or what you’ve had trials in.

I was also able to identify some of the lies that had been rooted in my life so deeply. There was one instance I remember from as early as preschool. I remember sitting in my preschool teacher’s lap. She asked me to write my name, and I began to cry and say that I couldn’t do it. And so as far back as I can remember, I had been believing the lie that I couldn’t do it- whatever anyone else could do, I couldn’t do the same.
That’s only one of the lies I discovered from my past. But if there’s one thing I learned from all of this that I want all of you to know, it’s that identifying that there is a force against you (in this case, Satan) is one of the most important things you can ever do. By identifying that force, you will be able to gather the resources and tools to fight it. And honestly, it will free you from a lot of things.

Trust me, I know that the idea of an active force such as Satan in your life is a very scary thing, but he is strongest and most powerful when he is working behind the scenes and we are not fighting back. That is why it is so important to know that he is there, so that you can fight back. If it helps, it’s similar to fighting cancer. The cancer is strongest when you don’t know it’s there and you’re not fighting against it. Only when we identify the cancer can we actively fight against it, thus making it weaker.

Anyways, that will probably be one of the most valuable things I ever learn in life. Learning about freedom and becoming free had transformed the way I live, and I would never want to go back to how I was before in a second.

On top of this transformative theme in my life, God also blessed me with the opportunity to be an RA this year. When I moved in on August 7th 2011, I had no idea what to expect. All I remember was that I was lonely, and that the only expectation I had was to have strong relationships with my residents. Being close with my staff wasn’t a priority at the time.

And of course, God crushed that expectation too. As the fall semester began, I learned that God instead had plans for me to be extremely close with my RA staff, which I am so extremely grateful for. I can’t sum up our staff relationship in a blog post, or even a novel, but I can say that every single person on that staff taught me what it means to be there for each other. This year, we were truly a family. From the rough duty nights to the late night Waffle House excursions, we were always there for each other.

And even though I believe that I had much stronger relationships with my staff, I still was able to build some solid relationships with my residents. They taught me what it means to confront people, what it means to be there for someone, and most of all, what it looks like to be an unbiased mediator in a dramatic situation (LOL, I love you girls!).

On top of all these things, God decided to radically answer one of my prayers and desires of my heart at the end of March, which I addressed and rather cryptically discussed in a previous blog post (trust me, there’s a reason for the secrecy, and I’m sure I’ll be able to write about it candidly someday), but ever since then, I’ve grown and learned a ridiculous amount.

Because of it, my prayer life has become dramatically better, which has been really awesome, and I’ve probably experienced the most joy that I can remember. I’ve also written so much that I think I may get carpal tunnel before the age of 30, which really would not be fun, so let’s hope that doesn’t happen!

But because of this happening, my mind was taken completely out of the school zone and into what you can probably call daydreaming all the time. I found myself literally having to trust God in everything school related, which meant writing papers, studying, and taking exams. I was able to take it one week at a time, and I swear, by the grace of God, I was able to make it through the rest of the year. I ended the year with 3 A’s and one B, and I am still astounded at how the Lord truly got me through this.

At the end of the year, I found myself overwhelmed with reflection as I thought about all that God had done. I’ve learned so much, more than I could ever explain or remember, I’ve met people that I will not soon forget, and I’ve made close friends that will definitely still be in my life for a very long time.

And as I went home, I found myself so reluctant to leave my staff and what this year had become. I’ve already cried, and I’ve even written “HAB Staff 2011-2012” in icing on my cherry toaster strudel. Yes, I am that pathetic.

But I think it’s a good thing. I know it means that this year has meant a lot to me and made an everlasting impact on me. And again, I have to thank my mom for making me apply to Bowling Green, because I love it, I’ve learned so much, and I would never want to be anywhere else.

I believe this is an appropriate quote to end my post with. It’s from the song “Closing Time,” which is what the post is named. The lyric goes, “Closing Time, every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” I feel like this is so appropriate. I’ve had such an awesome year, and I am so blessed, but the closing of this year leaves the door open for new beginnings this summer and next year.

This summer, I will be going to Colorado for 11 weeks to work at the YMCA of the Rockies and participate in a program called Leadership Training, which is through the church I go to in Bowling Green. I am so excited for this, and I know God is going to teach me so much and blow away my expectations again.

As for next year, things will be different, but it will be good, because I know by closing some doors, the Lord is opening up new doors in my life for even better things to happen. Or, who knows what he’ll even do. Sometimes, I think this is too good to be true, but all I can do is wait and see what God will do next.

Thank you for reading in on my life and what I write about. I hope you’ve learned something, and I hope this has encouraged you.

Luke 18:19- “And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” To God be all the glory.