Friday, June 29, 2012

What Does My Heart Break For?

This is one of the questions I came here with. I wanted God to show me this, and I wanted to figure it out. And he has answered this question, which has been part of my prayers.

You see, over this past year, God has been slowly pushing me towards the realization that I may be best suited to enter the ministry field when I graduate college.

For my close family who is finding this out right now through this post, please don’t feel offended! This really isn’t something I’ve been sharing with many people. I’ve only been talking about it with a few close friends here In Colorado as I have come to this realization. And I also want to be honest with you- this may very well be the direction my life will go in.

Anyways, as I began to realize this, I was a little upset because ministry is such a broad field. You see, I’m the kind of person who likes to focus my efforts in one specific area- I don’t like to spread my abilities all over, I would rather develop them in one area, so me asking God where he wanted me specifically in ministry was a huge deal to me.

And of course, He answered me- Let me tell you, it is such a blessing to have a faithful God. Although we may not always see how he is faithful to our prayers, he still is, even though we are unable to see it. For these two things are true:

Hebrews 10:23- “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”

1 Corinthians 13:12- “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

So, in many ways, God is always faithful to us. This is a season in my life where I am able to see God being faithful to my prayers in abundance, and it has been awesome.

God’s answer to my prayer was actually not surprising- I might have already known what he was going to tell me in my subconscious mind, but He hadn’t specifically revealed it to me yet.

This happened when I was talking to my friend Michelle one night about what we had been learning at LT. Michelle really has a heart for women’s ministry, so much of what she talked about was about women’s ministry and how excited she was to learn about how to serve in this field.

As she was talking to me, I began to feel a want to know where God wanted me specifically in ministry. Mind you, this had actually happened numerous times before in our conversations, so this time, we looked into it.

She asked me, “What are you passionate about?” and my first natural response was of course, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

For those of you who don’t know, my Dad grew up in the Upper Peninsula (UP), so every summer since I can remember, we have always vacationed there, and made lots of memories there as a family. It’s a really special place to me, and partially because it reminds me of my dad, who passed away when I was 16.

So naturally, this brought up my dad. From that point on, Michelle began to talk about having a heart for the fatherless. I don’t remember everything she said, but I do remember her being really excited about my life and the purpose God had for me.

It was honestly a really interesting experience, because what happened was that Michelle was way more excited for my calling in ministry than I was, which I knew was God speaking through her to reach me. As I’ve said before (I think), God speaks to me through people, and this was absolutely a testament to that alone. Michelle being excited for me was God telling me that He is so excited for the destiny he’s given my life. How awesome is that!?

But i’ll be honest with you, my reaction was kind of dull. I knew that this made complete sense- my father had passed away 3 years ago, and because of that experience, I would be able to help those who were going through the same thing.

Not only that, but I can help people who have issues with their fathers- you see, someone doesn’t actually have to lose their father to be fatherless- a father could be emotionally absent, physically absent, or could just not be as involved with his children’s lives as he should be.

So, I know that with what I have experienced, God has crafted me to have a heart for the fatherless. Don’t get me wrong, this is really awesome, but right now, I just don’t have that passion in my heart yet, and to be honest with you, I’m not sure why. You’d think that after 3 years God would be able to grow that passion in me fully, but I guess it wasn’t his timing.

And that is something else I’m learning too. God does things on his own timing. Right now, I don’t believe that I’m completely healed from this yet. I know this because last summer, I thought I was fine, but God proved me wrong when I went to Michigan. I probably cried for the entire first week.

So, now that I know God does things on his own timing, I know he’s going to bring this issue up more fully in the future so that I may heal from it when he intends me to, and this also means that he’s going to give me a passion for it on his own timing too.

This is a very strange place to be in, to know what you were made to be passionate about, but to not fully have that passion yet. Again, it all comes down to Proverbs 3:5-6- I have to trust God with this completely.

And what’s really cool is that everything has been lining up for me to grow in this area of ministry. In my project group, almost everyone has some type of dad problem. One of the girls in my life group has gone through a hurtful situation involving her dad, and I have been able to help her through some things involving that very closely.

In addition, I get to go through a 5-week workshop that talks about the beauty of pain, and there are probably numerous other things that God has put into place for me to grow in this area.

Right now, I know God has told me this so that I can begin to prepare for the future, even though the passion in my heart is not fully on fire yet.

Regardless, I am really excited for this. As I continue to grow in my relationship with Jesus, I’m noticing that I’m gaining a greater sense of destiny for my life, which is such a blessing! And I know I’m not the only one. This sense of destiny comes with growth in a relationship with Jesus, which is a wonderful thing.

Genesis 50:19-20- “But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Thursday, June 21, 2012


It all started this past Saturday evening. We were having a Life Group hangout where some other ladies in my life group and I had a really good conversation about trusting God for everything.

God had already begun to challenge me to trust him, and to trust not in my own understanding like Proverbs 3:5-6 says. As were talking about this, we got on the topic of being led by the Holy Spirit and doing whatever God tells us to do.

One girl in my life group mentioned this cool quote that says, “How can we do anything radical for Jesus if we’re the ones defining what’s radical?” And so after discussing this, the 3 of us decided to challenge ourselves – to wake up every morning and to tell Jesus that we will do whatever he tells us to do, no matter how crazy it may sound.

I was expecting Jesus to tell me to do something really strange, maybe something like what Beth Moore was called to do in this story she tells about her being called by the Lord to brush an old man’s hair (watch the video by following This Link- it is totally worth it!) My friend Michelle showed me this video at the beginning of the summer, and ever since watching it, this is what I think of when I think of doing something radical where I have to trust in Jesus for everything.

So, those are the kinds of situations I was expecting, but Jesus had something else in mind. I can now honestly say that I had no idea what the heck I was getting myself into.

As you may know if you’ve been reading my blog, one of the things I want to learn how to do this summer is to fight against the lies that I believe that have been taught to me by Satan. They are lies I didn’t even know were lies, and this summer, I want to learn how to fight them.

But on Monday night, I was talking with my friend Michelle, the one who showed me the hairbrush video, and she was talking to me about the difference between focusing on God’s power and focusing on Satan’s lies. She had told me that a lot of her friends, whenever they were having problems, would focus on Satan and say, “he’s doing this in my life and I need to fight it!” And it made her wonder, why don’t we focus on God’s conquering power in these situations instead?

And that’s when I realized what I was doing wrong. Every time something would go wrong, I would focus on putting the blame on Satan and trying to fight him. I knew that God was more powerful than him, but I was forgetting that because I was focusing so much on trying to fight Satan.

I think this comes from my belief that you have to know what the problem is in order to fight it. I was focusing on knowing what the problem is, but so much that I was trying to fight it myself instead.

And I had begun to realize that I couldn’t fight it myself. This had been coming up in every other aspect of my life too. Again, if you’ve been following my blog, you’ll remember a post from April where I obscurely explained how God revealed something crazy to me. Because God had told me something that was going to happen in the future, I was trying to control what I learned and how I grew this summer so that I could be ready for when that time came.

Needless to say, it was not working. Trying to control everything and do it myself to hide my vulnerability was getting me nowhere.

And so with all of this, God completely broke me down on Tuesday night. I had come to the point where I didn’t know how to fight anymore. I didn’t know how to prepare myself for the future, which I so badly wanted to do, but I couldn’t. All this was producing was worry and stress.

On that Saturday night, I told God that I would do whatever he told me to do, no matter how crazy it sounded. And He told me to surrender everything to him, and to give him all the control.

Now that is what I call insane.

When this happened, I was like, how do I do this? I realized that you don’t surrender one time and then you’re completely surrendered forever. Because of our sinful nature, we will try to take control again, so in order to surrender, we have to wake up every day and give everything to God.

This is really challenging for me. It’s extremely difficult to do that when you may somewhat know what the future holds, but It’s lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders. So now, my challenge is to surrender. I’m giving the fighting and the control to God, and so far, it feels awesome.

And I’m also realizing that my mom was right. My mom doesn’t like it whenever I mention Satan, and I understood that, but in a way I also did not because of how important I believe it is to know what the problem is so that you can find a solution and fight effectively.

But now, I understand a lot more because I’ve learned that if we focus on Satan too much, we begin to lose sight of the power of God. And it’s much more powerful to trust in the power of God to conquer everything for us, because we can’t do it alone.

So that is what God is doing in my life right now. We’re almost halfway into LT, which means that the summer is almost halfway over! I’m personally not ready to go back, but I know that when I do go back, it is going to be awesome. And I know that God is going to use these remaining 6 weeks to do crazy things in my life and in everyone else’s life. I just have to surrender it all to him and let him take control.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”- Psalm 46:10

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Closer to the Sun

Today, two friends and I hiked a mountain called “Teddy’s Teeth,” which is named after Theodore Roosevelt. Not only were they the most historical incisors ever, it was also the highest altitude I’ve ever been at, and it had the most beautiful view.

We began the day with no map of a trail. You see, Teddy’s Teeth is right across from the YMCA property, so we thought we’d just go straight up the mountain, even when we knew we would have to go through some private property.

This proved to be kind of difficult, as we would hide behind rocks if a car came down the road, or we would try to avoid houses so we wouldn’t get caught.

Well, on the way up the mountain, I was getting pretty angry that it was so difficult to get up the mountain. We stopped to pray that we would get up safely without getting caught, and then I began to apologize for being so frustrated with everything. I told my two friends, Christina and Stacey, that I was sorry they had to hike with me.

Here I found myself being sorry for my existence again. After a long and good talking-to from the both of them, and some crying from me, we proceeded up the mountain.

At around 10:30am, we finally got to the top of the mountain. It was the most beautiful view I had ever seen. We ate our lunches up there, and then spent about another hour and a half at the top, which I decided to spend reading my bible and thinking about life.

I came to the realization that this was the closest to the sun I had ever been, literally. And next week, I was going to be even closer (we’re trying to slowly hike to higher altitudes so we can hike long’s peak at the end of the summer). Not only was it the closest I had ever been, but it was the most beautiful view I had seen.

And then I was able to realize that my walk with God was going to be similar this summer. I came here to get closer to the sun, the son of God, and I was going to. However, from my experience climbing that mountain, I realized it was going to be hard, really hard.

But when I get to the top, I’m going to be closer to the Son of God, and the view and the journey is going to become more beautiful as I become closer to the Son of God, no matter how hard the journey may be.

This verse has really been a cornerstone verse in my life for the past few months:

Proverbs 3:5-6- “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

And with everything I have said, I realized today that I may not see how I will get immensely closer to God this summer, but with whatever is happening right now, I can’t trust in my own understanding, because that will not define the outcome, or my future. It will always get the hardest before it gets really good again.

So that is what I learned today on my hike to Teddy’s Teeth. We also took the wrong path on the way back, which landed us in this random campsite that offers horseback riding up trails on the mountain. From there, we had to hike back to the YMCA, which made today’s hike 8 Hours long. No big deal really.

If you take anything away from this, I want you to remember that you can’t trust in your own understanding, or what is happening right in front of you. It might seem bad right now, but it always gets worse before it gets better.

So right now, I plan on trusting that I will get closer to the Son of God this summer, no matter what circumstances I am in. And I plan on getting closer to the sun with every mountain I hike, no matter how hard going up the mountain may be. I will make it to the top.

It's going to be beautiful

“I trust not in my own understanding, My life is in the hands of the maker of heaven”
-Will Reagan, “Nothing I Hold on to”

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I'm In A War

Insecurity- Lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt

I’m going to be honest with you all. So far, LT has been mentally exhausting. I’m finding myself in what you would call a spiritual rut, or in truthful words, a painful battle of the mind against Satan’s lies.

At first, I thought I was having trouble giving myself grace, and to tell you the truth, I’m not exactly sure where that came from, because my good friend Christina Green helped me realize that I was really doing nothing wrong.

What I mean by this is that whatever I thought I was doing wrong, I was actually not. You see, I have this huge problem with saying sorry for virtually everything I do. For example, today at work, one of the kitchens I cleaned took a really long time to clean, so I apologized for it taking so long. In reality, I hadn’t done anything wrong, and kitchens just generally take a long time to clean.

I can give you countless examples of me saying sorry for things that I shouldn’t be. I apologize for talking about certain things or bringing them up too often, being crazy like I do on a normal basis, accidentally bumping into someone. Honestly, I apologize for things so much that in essence, I am apologizing for my very existence.

I realize this, and I know that it’s a heartbreaking fact of my life right now. I’m literally apologizing for my existence. Nobody should have to feel like they need to do that. Yet I do.

For some reason, I believe that I am an obnoxious person that is a bother. I believe that everyone is able to do something, but I am not able to. I am simply the one left out. I believe that I always need to be changing who I am and working towards a better me, because I am simply not good enough. I never believe I am good enough.

And in all these things I am apologizing for, I am not actually doing anything wrong that warrants an apology. For so long, I thought I was having a massive amount of trouble giving myself grace for my wrongs, but Christina said to me that I wasn’t able to give myself grace simply because the situation didn’t warrant for it. In other words, there is no grace to be given in a place where no wrongs have been done.

Instead, she was able to point out to me that what I really needed was a suit of armor and a gun instead of grace - these things I was apologizing for were not wrongs, they were insecurities.

And I should have known the whole time, right!? After all, the last blog post I wrote was about fighting. I knew this summer was going to be about fighting, but I forgot all about it after I posted about it.

So really, this is just me coming back to the reality that I need to keep on fighting. Satan is one tricky man, and I will be honest- he gets me every time. But because Jesus has already won, I will always be able to overcome Satan’s lies, no matter how much time it will take.

So, I’m off to fighting again. Please pray for me, because this is really difficult and mentally exhausting. If I could describe it, I would say that my brain is being mutilated by forks- that’s how much I think, and that’s how intense the battle is.

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God.”