Monday, March 5, 2012

this twenty-second year, and a bit before

Hello Hello!!!!

So, it’s officially been more than a month since I’ve been gone!! CRAZY!!! It feels like I never left here, and doesn’t feel like I could have been home for six months because how long I was there was too short for it to be six months!!! So weird!! How so many things actually change, but it feels like nothing has!! :)

Anyways… life is good here! Colour Conference is in a WEEK!!!! AGH!!! I get to attend which I’m very pumped for!! Max’s mom gets in Friday, the 9th, and she and I are getting the privilege of going to the women’s conference together, where Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer will be the key speakers!! :) The power of women in unity… things can happen, and circumstances can change, and lives can be moved, and women can know love for the first time, the earth can actually shake… OH the possibilities!! It’s going to be great, so excited and expectant!!

Max and I are going to have a GREAT visit with her, and I know God’s going to move and refresh both of us at conference!!! It’s absolutely, 100% the BEST thing ever to have family come visit I’ve decided. This is Ms. Mem’s second trip over here, and I think I’m more excited this time than I was last time, because I now know how wonderful it is to have family come visit, and experience and share in this life we have here, and it’s just getting to see family. It’s great!! I can’t WAIT!! Max is beside him self with excitement!! He hasn’t seen her in about 7 months, so it’ll be a sweet reunion! :)

Life is keeping me on my toes. It’s definitely a different experience not doing college and just working and serving… but I’m enjoying it. Prayer request- I need a new job. I LOVE E-Sprit and the people I work with, and was beyond blessed to be able to come back to an immediate start there, but I’m not getting the hours I need, and when all I’m doing is working for the moment, I’m a little bit out of ideas on what to do with my time, and how to NOT spend money doing those things. I can’t wait to get my jewelry stuff to me, but for now… I’m out of options, and would love a set schedule and expected income. So PLEASE be praying for me on that end, as I am praying and looking.

So, I’m living in a new place, with 3 incredible girls. Seriously… I couldn’t be more blessed. It’s like I’ve known them my whole lives!! Susie is Austrian, Thea is Swiss, and Selena is Australian, and it’s the best roommate/living situation I’ve ever had. It was my birthday this past weekend and they couldn’t have made me feel more special. Selena went home for the weekend (as only she can, because the rest of us are from overseas) but Thea and Susie loved on my like only family can. :) They are def. God picked friends for me. I was skyping my family Saturday morning for my birthday, and Susie and Thea both came and sat by me as I was talking to my whole family (ash came home for the night) and it was like we were all family. Stephanie messaged me later and was like “OH MY GOODNESS, I love them!! They’re so funny!! You guys are hilarious!” :) It’s true… these girls bring so much joy to my life, I couldn’t have even dreamed up our friendships. :) The 3 of us serve in the middle school ministry, FUEL, together on Friday nights. Fridays are a long day for all of us, because for anything at church, you always have to bump in and bump out. Each room is used for at least 3 things, so you always set up and pack down each time. So every Friday night, we set up and pack down before and after the night. It makes for a pretty long afternoon/evening at church. Well, Max had already gone home because he had to be up at 4 for work the next morning, so Thea and Susie took it upon themselves to start my birthday celebration ahead of time with the rest of the fuel team. I was upstairs by the windows that overlook the entrance to the church, talking to some other girls, when all I hear is my name being yelled. I thought I was crazy for a moment so I ignored it but kept hearing it… So I start looking around like “where the heck is that coming from? Who’s calling my name??” And I turn around and look down… and Thea and Susie have gotten me a cake with candles and everyone is on the steps outside of the church with sparklers lit, waiting for me to come down and sing happy birthday to me. I seriously felt like a princess!! It was so great!! :) Definitely one of those unforgettable moments! And ya know what?? It didn’t even take a boy (Max) to be present for me to feel like a princess!! It was the love of my two girlfriends that made me feel so special. I love how God does that… how He knows exactly what you need, when you need it, and who you need it from. He knows my battle with feeling accepted and loved isn’t from Max, but from friends, and ya know what?? He’s got me covered.

It’s been so interesting being back, because some things that I was dealing with when I left are still around and still being dealt with… but God’s doing something new. He’s loving on me in a different way, and it’s personal. I’m believing it’s more than just the rough and tough sorting through of self, but that I’m going to see fruit and goodness during this year, and I am.

I’ve been so challenged lately in my thoughts and my thinking, about people, life, situations, church (my whole life experience in church, not just a specific one), leaders, friends, relationships, and God’s just like… renew your self in me. Your mind… just sit with me. I promise you won’t be disappointed, and I haven’t believed him. All the hurts and frustrations that I’ve experienced, EVER, in my life, I associated with who God is to me. What it means He thinks about me, and how our relationship is… that I’m actually more than just disposable to my friends or to the church, but I’m disposable to God. When really… that’s what the enemy has fooled me into thinking. To associating people of God, with God, and God’s still separate. One of the staff pastors was preaching yesterday morning, and he said that a lot of us instead of following Jesus, follow and try to become like the leaders of our church, but God is bigger than our church leaders. He’s separate from the church. The church is His LOVE, but it’s not Him. It’s been SO INCREDIBLEY refreshing to sit back under the heart of this house. It’s so eye opening, and when the spirit is moving and is allowed to move, what God does. Last night in worship, I just felt like I couldn’t go anywhere, I couldn’t focus on anything, I couldn’t encounter God, until I got on my knees and laid it down, so I did. I fought it for a minute, I was like “Lord, can we just do this with me standing up” and He was persistent “just kneel before Me, lay it down” and I did. Oh my goodness, it didn’t matter what the person next to me was doing or how they were worshiping or what song it was. NOTHING ELSE AROUND ME mattered, because I was with Jesus. I was with the God who created me, and knows me more intimately than anyone else possibly could. I was with the Lord who has chased me and pursued me and loved me when I haven’t loved or trusted or sought after Him. He was there to meet with me.

It’s been ages since I felt that way, and it was so much more than anything I’ve ever felt before. Because God isn’t about keeping us in the same place or getting us back to where we came from, He’s about giving us more. More than what He’s given us before, meeting with us more than He has. It’s so overwhelming when He takes you to those deeper places for the first time. It’s actually like “How could I have done life without this??” Because He is life, and His desire is life for us. It’s actually amazing.

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