Friday, October 29, 2010

Some food for thought...

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships - so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people - so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war - so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world - so that you can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

Franciscan Benediction

I don't need to say anything else. This sums up my heart right now!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We must go

Everyday that I'm here I learn more about the Savior. I learn more about myself. I learn more about my sin. And I've learned more about His grace that covers over it.

This past week the Lord has been showing me the selfish bubble I'm in. I am selfish. Self-centered and self-seeking. When I'm hungry, I want to eat. When I'm tired, I want to sleep. I have a plan to graduate and I want the people in charge to make my schedule work for ME and MY preferences. When I'm having a bad day, I want people to listen to ME. How does life become so self-absorbed?!
But there have been stop-me-in-my-tracks moments where God puts something in front of me and says, "Daughter. Stop for a second and ponder this. I have given you this LIFE! I have given you this SALVATION! I have given you this HOPE! I have pulled you out of the pit and into a place where you've discovered friendship, laughter, joy, and peace. Look to my face. I am going to point you where my heart is at.... to where I want yours to be also. For this is my call to you."
And so this week I have stopped. And I have pondered. And I wanted to share some of these moments with you, that we might come together in the name of our precious Jesus and bring hope to those who have none.

Our school offers a trip to East Africa and last week they held a chapel on it. I listened to testimonies of people who had gone. One guy touched my heart in particular. He spoke of the broken relationship he had with his father. When he went to Africa and worked with the orphans, he met a little boy who was "his" all week long. I cried as I remembered all the sweet moments I shared with Claudia. I remembered there is life outside these campus walls. My love for that little girl welled up anew in my heart and I wanted to jump on a plane right then.

The entire freshman class is reading the book Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson (an excellent book, by the way). During a lecture hall for that class 2 students from my college spoke about their time in Zambia working at an orphanage. My eyes stayed glued on every picture they showed as I listened to them talk. I was reminded. There is life outside these campus walls. I have seen it myself. Held the children myself. Seen the brokenness.
Last night was the first meeting for a small group Bible study- a gift from God. I truly believe each student that was there has been hand-picked by God to be apart of this group that is striving to live radically on this campus. To live like Jesus. It was an entire hour to stop and focus on living the Christian life. What does it look like? How can we make a difference right here where we are... and around the world? As we prayed, one girl was acknowledging her conviction of selfishness. my heart could not have agreed more. I take MY plans and make them priority over God's. I go to Him, asking that He make a trial easier, a burden less painful. That He fix things in my life to make it "better." "Better" according to who?! Me?! I want HIS version of "better." And if a trial is what will make me more into the woman He wants me to be, then I will take it. My heart is aching like it never has before to become the person He wants me to be, and fulfill the call that He has on my life. This is a new season in so many ways, and He's teaching me to stop and listen.
Today, I read Anna's blog post today about her precious sponsor child from Haiti. He died. An innocent, beloved, beautiful 7 year old. He was a sick little boy. But his smile? It showed no signs of his fragile body- it was happy. I stopped when I read it and asked myself why? WHY WHY WHY Lord?! But I know that it is children like these that He is preparing THIS generation to go out and serve. I just know it. I have met people here who are passionate and I am watching their every move because I want to learn. I want to learn how to live radically. I want to learn how to live "not of this world but in it."
And so this thought brings me to the end of my pondering for this post. I'm afraid if I don't write this out, that I will never change. I need to be pushed. If the Lord is showing me this things, and if I KNOW there is brokenness and need out in the world, why am I waiting to change? I am EXCITED to see what our faithful God has done. I am THANKFUL to be in a place with people who are encouraging and challenging me. I pray that they continue to do so. Because God has BIG plans. Whether we go and rescue orphans or just live a life of Godly love here on campus His purpose will be done!
"Look at the nations and watch- and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your day that you would not believe, even if you were told." Habakkuk 1:5

"We must go, live to feed the hungry, stand besides the broken, we must go. Stepping forward, keep us from just singing, move us into action. We must go." Tim Hughes (video of his song below)
"Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows famine and poverty. But I'm afraid He might ask me the same thing."

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of God is not in him. For everything in the world- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." 1 John 2:15-17

Friday, October 15, 2010

No Limits

I have learned incredible lessons since going to college. It has been one of the most stretching, challenging, awe-inspiring, faith-strengthening, and joyful seasons of my life so far. I feel so incredibly blessed that sometimes all I can do is cry tears of gratitude to the Lord for being so gracious and generous.

One of the biggest themes of the past 2 months has been learning what true faith is. God has shown me that I had put limits on Him. I knew that He was capable and willing but I was willing to settle for less, pray for less.

But He surpassed all my expectations and desires for college and left me standing absolutely in awe of His greatness.

I have had the sweetest times of prayer and reading the Word with my sweet Savior. He has been slowly making me examine my heart. As I take classes and plan for the next few years of school a vision for my future is slowly forming and it is exciting.

The following is a poem I wrote not too long ago as I pondered what God's calling on my life is and how I am to prepare for it here at school:

I feel a calling and a purpose, a hope for something great.
I have a hope and a desire, an ache to find a place.
Where my passions and my time will serve a hurting world.
I know, I trust, I believe that God has something good.
I want to see a hurting people turn to Jesus' face
I want to see the orphan child wrapped in a warm embrace
I want to serve while speaking Spanish, talk of hope and faith and love
I will go where God will send me, serve by strength from above
I pray I'll find a Godly husband, who I can love, help, and serve
We can embark on this together, this call to orphans on the earth.
I have a vision of a picture, a group underneath a tree.
They are white, black, brown, and yellow, from near and across the seas.
They've had sorrow, pain, and sadness but Christ has set them free.
Together they are healing to become a family.
Someday I hope this picture hangs right inside my home.
I trust in God's plan fully as He leads into the unknown.
Something I've spent alot of time thinking and praying through is how to merge my passion for orphans and adoption into the college life. it is so easy to get frustrated with the use of time and money, the skewed priorities, and lack of concern for anything outside of college. I am NOT saying this is true of every college student. BUT, in general, it is just natural for us college tsudents to get wrapped up in our classes, social lives, and activities. And it is hard to focus on huge ministry things like the orphan crisis. I still haven't figured out great ways to do this. But I think what the Lord has shown me is to seek His face. Growing in my relationship with Him is going to be the first step to hearing, knowing, and following the call He has on my life for after college.
As you can tell from my poem, my heart's greatest desire is to someday be "mommy" to lots of kiddos. From all around the world :) I don't know how and when and where but I truly believe that's ultimately what the Lord is calling me to. However, I know that He has given me this season in order to prepare me for what's ahead- and I am thankful! Because I still have so much to learn!
So I am rejoicing in this time. Thoroughly enjoying in new Christ-centered friendships. Learning more and more about my Savior. Delighting in the little ways He "romances" me everyday (another post on that to come soon hopefully! Our bible study has been on how the Lord romances us and it has been so good for me!). Studying hard and learning all I can. Looking forward to what He has ahead for me. Living by faith, trusting that our LIMITLESS God will do miracles!