The Lord is funny! Really, really funny…how incredible is that… I love laughing and until this past week I have never fully understood this quality of God. It’s awesome. God wants to laugh with us…think about it…. Wow!
Dan Baumann, our speaker at SALT (our regional Chi Alpha conference) is probably the funniest man I have ever met. This man lives his life with passion. His heart is surrendered to Christ like I have never seen before. It’s incredible. He has traveled the world in obedience…and experienced God in ways that I dream will become my reality. He has also suffered in ways that I hope I never have to but even if I do God is still good and looking out for my best. I am truly in awe with what happened this week at SALT.
My walk with the Lord has felt kind of stagnant the last few months. This in part is due to the fact that I pack my schedule way too full. I am go-getter. Driven. Full of determination and ready to do whatever it takes to see my dreams become a reality…. This is often my downfall. The desire to control, direct, and guide, my future is something I have to let go of. This is God’s job. The biggest revelation I had this week was this: God created me. SIMPLE… I know! But this has huge implications. If I believe (which I do) that God is good and that he “created us in Christ Jesus to do good works, which he prepared in advance for us (Ephesians 2:10)” than why wouldn’t I believe that being right in the center of his will is the most satisfying place I could ever find myself… But seriously, before time began God had me in mind, he designed and equipped me for his purposes. He wired me, all of us actually, to walk life out with him. He designed us to need him…desperately need him. Without him we will never reach our fullest potential. God needs people to wake up, shake off the slumber of monotony and realize that he calls us to an adventurous life!
Faith takes risk… moving forward when we don’t understand why, going on mission trips even when they seem illogical and dangerous, giving our time, money and energy when it seems like we don’t have anything to give, all the while trusting that God is perfect, all-knowing, and worthy of it all.
For those of you who know me personally or have read my blog you know that I am confidently moving in the direction of my dreams. It’s awesome and I do believe the Lord gives us the desires of our heart. I have allowed him to inform, design, and infuse big dreams into my heart. However, I struggle to play catch with God….He throws me the dream and I fail to throw it back. I fail to trust that he not only wants to give me big dreams but he also wants to direct the path I am going to take to get there. He wants to journey with me and lead the way.
What if my dreams of working in sports broadcasting, getting married, graduating, living in the city, and having kids never happens? What if? Thank you Dan Baumann for showing me that life with Jesus is all we will ever need… Being with Jesus, simply living life with Jesus. That could mean all those dreams of mine will come to pass, but it could also mean that not a single one of them will. And you know what? I AM OKAY WITH THAT!!! Thank you Jesus! ALL I NEED IS YOU! The freedom of that truth is absolutely wild!! It’s totally incomparable.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this past week. God inspired so many encouraging conversations. I am so thankful for the people he surrounded me with the last few days. One of the most stirring conversations I had this week was with a Chi Alpha staff member. I shared with Duncan that God was stirring something in me for missions; a vision God had placed in my heart for Brazil 3 years was coming to life again. Duncan and I had the chance to talk a few times this week. I always walk away so blessed and encouraged after speaking with him. He is an incredible man of God. He shared with me the idea of “giving a year and praying about a life-time.” The idea is that after I graduate why not give a year of my life to serve the Lord and pray about the direction he wants to take me. Doesn’t He deserve it? Absolutely! Who am I to think I have any ownership on my life? I was created by God, and he bought me with the blood of his son. I am his, 100%. I am praying about going to Brazil for a year after I graduate! EPIC! Want to go??
I had numerous other conversations that provided me with insight on the Lord and encouraged me in ways I desperately needed. I struggle with the belief that the Lord can really change people’s hearts that don’t believe in him past their high school years. This is probably a result of the fact that I came to know Christ in high school and for some reason I get this idea that this is the only time the Lord can grab hold of a person’s heart. What a screwed up idea! DZ, a guy I met from Idaho State this week, shared a little bit of his story with me. He did not start walking with the Lord until after his high school years but man, God has completely grabbed a hold of his heart. He speaks of God with passion and intensity. You can just see a transformed heart. It’s incredible. I love this about our God. No heart is too hard for him.
Spending time my some of my dearest friends and sisters was so refreshing. I got to bond with my small group girls and laugh with new friends. We stayed up way too late, woke up way too early, and drank way too much caffeine. But man, was it worth it. God moved. The Holy Spirit circled around that hotel, in my heart, and through our speaker Dan, in so many ways. I am ready to let go of my dreams and allow God to direct them. Take me wherever you want Lord, I am yours.
Last night we stayed up till 4:30 in the morning. And just before we were heading to bed Dan walked into the lobby, he was leaving to go catch his flight to Europe. (Side note: I LOVE DAN! I mean I don’t really know him on a personal level but the stories he shared and the times we got to talk I was blown away. His humor, his faith, and his intimacy with Christ makes you hunger for more of Jesus in your own life. I already miss him!(side side note: I love Dan in a “I wish he was my best friend” kind of way just to clarify…lol) Anyways, I was so excited that I got to see him right before he took off for the airport. I asked him what he was doing in a year and half (this is when I graduate and am considering to go to Brazil). He said he no idea (this man hardly knows what he’s doing next week, he lives in complete surrender to whatever and wherever Christ is calling him). I asked him if he wanted to go to Brazil with me! Wouldn’t that be unreal! I pray that you get to meet this man one day. He is radically following Jesus. He is desperately in love with the creator of his soul. I am blessed to have gotten to meet him.
The Lords says in Isaiah 55:9-12:
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.”
I pray we are a people that begin to live in reality of the goodness of God, living in the knowledge that no greater purpose, fulfillment, and joy can come than when we are in the center of God’s will.