This seems familiar…

Once again, I have come to a point in my life where I do not know which path I should take. Where does God want me? Where can He use me?

It is funny to me, looking back at this time last year I was applying to twelve grad schools, hoping and praying I would get into just one. I chose to apply to intern with Campus Crusade for Christ as my “back up” plan. I ended up doing neither of those.

God brought me back to Columbus to live with my family and allow me to volunteer with OSU’s movement, RealLife. I am very happy the way this year has turned out. I am serving the Lord and He is teaching me so much about Himself.

But here I am again… WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE? This question seems all too familiar…

Last night, RealLife held a “Partnership Dessert” to give students information about our partnerships with Venezuela and Slovenia and how they could be a part of it too by going on spring break, Summer Project, or STINT (Short Term International). I went to learn more about what OSU is doing in these countries since I am a part of the staff team. I learned a lot! However, what was supposed to be an informational session for me, turned into a yearning to go and be a part of what is happening in one of these countries. Specifically Slovenia.

I have obviously had the desire for full-time ministry this past year and a half. I have also had my heart strings pulled for overseas missions. But, a year?! In another country?! Away from family and friends? Raise support for a second time? But, I didn’t even raise enough to intern in the US… in Ohio… in Bowling Green, Ohio. Could God really be wanting me to step out in faith and trust that He will provide a way for me to live in Slovenia for a year? Trusting that His plan for me is good and He will be with me wherever I go?

So currently, I am praying about this possible path the Lord is leading me down. The Lord will make His plan known to me in the right time. I have many fears, questions, concerns about this… but I will continue to seek Him in this, be open to the plans He has for me, and share with others my desires.

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The Life of a Poor College Grad

It actually aint too bad, folks. Yeah, I don’t have money or a job. I am living at home with my parents, eating their food and buying the things I need with coupons and gift cards. Oh, and finding change lying around the house or under the seat of my car has become a highlight in my day! Haha I am actually serious… financially speaking I would not consider myself rich. However, in all other aspects of my life I am extremely wealthy!

I am so incredibly blessed it amazes me. There is so much joy in my life. I get to have a personal relationship with the One who created me and EVERYTHING around me. I can serve Him and work for Him through a campus ministry that I am in love with. I am surrounded by a community who loves Jesus and serves Him wholeheartedly. I have parents who love me and love having me home. I am currently free to do whatever I please. I am not tied down to a job that keeps me from interacting with friends,  family and new acquaintances. I have a man in my life who loves me for me. I have so much to be thankful for!

In terms of material things, I do not have much. It would be, and has been at times, easy for me to get upset with the situation I am in currently. But I am focusing on the things that really matter to me. Money, no matter how much or how little I have, will never make me feel alive or truly make me happy. I can experience happiness and joy in my relationships with others and with Jesus.

I know that these times are difficult in a person’s life. But there is so much more… As a Christian and Christ follower, I know that there is a greater hope for me. Greater than money, a new car, a house of my own… As Peter writes in 1 Peter,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

The Lord has given us a hope in something that is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” Being in relationship with Christ, glorifying Him in all we do, and keeping our eyes on the end goal (eternity in Heaven with Christ), will give us the utmost joy and happiness in this life.

How is it you are experiencing joy? Will it last?

WHGBSTYL: Summer 2010

WHGBSTYL= What Has God Been Saying To You Lately… for those of you who may not know what those letters stand for. “What has God been saying to you lately?” is a question my Sunday school teacher would ask me from time to time. Now it is a question I like to ask others and myself.

Summer 2010… it has been kind of rough, but in a good way. The Lord has called me to join the Campus Crusade for Christ staff team in Bowling Green in the fall, so this summer I have been at home in Columbus raising support. It has been challenging. Raising support is a difficult task that has tested me emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. But the Lord has been showing me His faithfulness and strengthening my faith in Him. He has been really sweet to me.

Part of me is feeling “left out” this summer. I see my friends going on Summer Project (Campus Crusade for Christ summer mission trip) experiencing new things, growing exponentially in their faith, sharing the Gospel, and having awesome stories to share. I have never been on a Summer Project and I do not get to experience anything quite like that this summer. I can’t escape the normal everyday kind of life. The Lord has called me to something different this summer. He has called me to be at home and raise a support team so that I can help people come to know Him and make a difference for Eternity. It is such a hard task, but He has called me to do it. And I will with complete faith in Him! He has also called me to be here with my family to help them through a difficult time. To council them and have them witness my dependency on God so that they might depend on Him and give everything to Him. The Lord has blessed me so much. I cannot even imagine what else He has in store for me this summer.

I am praying for the people on Summer Project. I am praying that lives will be changed! Hearts changed. Temptations, struggles, and sin be laid at the foot of the cross. I pray for the people who will hear the Gospel for the first time. Let it overcome them and move their heart. I pray for the staff that they have the energy and the knowledge to disciple the students. And that the students would see examples of Christ-centered laborers in them. I am so excited for all of those on Summer Project! I cannot wait to hear all of their stories!

WHGBSTYL: His Love and Peace

I have recently been overcome by the love and sweetness of God. I want Him more. I want to read more. I want to learn more. I want to share His love more!! It’s wonderful! God’s love has been so precious to me this semester as I have rejoiced in sweet times and struggled through some difficult times in my own life as well as shared in some with friends. He is constant when everything else is definitely not.

As I am wrapping up the last few weeks of my undergraduate life, (ps. I got my cap and gown today… weird!) I am still confused about what the future holds but I am not at all worried or scared anymore. I am rejoicing in this! God has given me a restful heart and mind. A wonderful peace. He’s got it all under control!

WHGBSTYL: Even in these times…

Even in these times of uncertainty, God has continued to show Himself to me. God is constant and unchanging even when my life seems to be a huge storm of confusion. When I am being tossed around by harsh winds and drenched in fear, God stands firm. With Him as my foundation, I will stand firm as well. I am still waiting on Him to point me in the direction of where He wants me after I graduate, but I am surprisingly at peace about it. I know He is in control. He is always present in my life even when I fail to acknowledge Him or feel His presence. It is so comforting to know He is at work and has a plan for my life that I cannot even imagine! Eeeee!

He knows… [Part II]

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. -Joshua 1:9

He knows, He knows, He knows. Tonight was difficult. I cried for the first time in a long time about my life, my future-about myself. Partly it was because I was feeling discouraged the other part was fear. I want to know so badly what God has for me but I know that I am patient and I can wait for Him. In His time, it will be revealed to me. Today, I received two letters from schools “regretting to inform me that they have not selected me for their graduate program.” It was discouraging to read them, but God is beginning to close doors and is narrowing the path to where He wants me. No matter where He sends me, God is with me. He will not forsake me. I believe that.

WHGBSTYL: Don’t be anxious

I am finding this semester to be very difficult but challenging, very stressful but full of excitement. This semester truly has flown by! Oh… by the way, four more weeks left of fall semester then I am on my way out of BGSU in May and into the real world. Crazy. Anyway, this semester has been really great. I have made some life long friends and created memories that will be with me forever. However, my anxiety has been through the roof recently. I can’t seem to stay caught up and feel pressed for time everyday. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to accomplish what I need to accomplish. I’m not even the over achieving type and I STILL feel overwhelmed with everything on my plate. On top of my job and academic work load, I have to study for the GRE and fill out applications to graduate schools! Ah!

Now that I have done all of my complaining, I have to tell you how sweet God has been though all of this. God has given me peace and has strengthened my trust in Him. He totally understands what I am going through and has moved closer to me. One thing in particular I have been worried about is the reality that I might not get accepted into a graduate program because my field is so competitive. God has truly given me peace about this. He knows the plan for my life. If I do not get accepted anywhere that doesn’t mean that I have failed in any way. It just means that God has something better for me. With that, He has reminded me through His word to not be anxious about the future. Today has enough trouble of its own. If I keep my eyes on Him and His kingdom, I will be blessed. God’s got this all under control and beautifully planned out. I simply have to trust.

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?” For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. -Matthew 6:31-34

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WHGBSTYL: Faith is not a feeling

For the past couple of years, I have felt that I have had good communication with God. I talk to Him and He responds back; I listen. I have also been able to feel His presence often. However, for the past couple of months I have felt emotionally disconnected from God. I find myself in Bible study, at church, and in prayer not feeling much from God. I am learning and continuing to grow, but I am at a period in my walk with the Lord where I am not feeling Him and not hearing Him very clearly. It has been very discouraging and at times scary. Nevertheless, I have not stopped believing.

It has been easy to think that I am not loved by God as much as someone else and I began to doubt that God is really present  in my life as I have not been feeling anything. Through all of this, I know what God is teaching me. It has taken several weeks and conversations with some wise people to figure it out, but God is teaching me that even though I cannot feel Him, He is right here with me. He is teaching me to have faith. I will feel Him again. He is teaching me that His love for me has no boundaries even though I cannot feel it as I have in the past. I am encouraged by the truth about what God is teaching me. After talking with a few people about this, my emotional connection with God has improved a little, which is encouraging… Faith is not a feeling. faith

Here are some truths I know about God and His word that I stumbled upon and struck me during this challenging and difficult time.

  • God’s Word is truer than anything I feel.
  • God’s Word is truer than anything I experience.
  • God’s Word is truer than any circumstances I will ever face.
  • God’s Word is truer than anything in the world.
Just as a reminder… Remember that even if you cannot feel God’s presence in your life or if you feel like you are calling and nobody is picking up… God IS there. You have to be faithful and believe. Know that God is with you and listening to your prayers.

Marriage Is Not My Highest Calling: Part Two

KimJoshFor those of you who read a blog post of mine from a couple of days ago, I put the link to a blog that I visit frequently- Young Ladies Christian Fellowship. One of the writers, Ashleigh, wrote a beautiful post on our calling as women of God. She wrote a second part that is just as lovely. Here is a little piece of Ashleigh’s post…

God’s ways are so much higher and more complete than ours–none of us knows what tomorrow holds. There are no guarantees–at all–outside of our unchanging Savior. Limiting a life to a man-made plan for the single years completely negates God Himself and His wisdom that reaches far above our own.

Never in the Bible do we read of women, single or married, spending idle days waiting for Prince Charming to arrive at their doorstep. Think of Rebekah, Ruth, Deborah, Esther, Anna, Lois, and so many others. Every woman mentioned, single or married, is found working, serving the Lord in industrious pursuits suitable to her season in life.

Check out the rest here: Marriage Is Not My Highest Calling Part Two.

And as Ashleigh says…

Go. Do. Follow Jesus. Be Busy. Embrace your true highest calling.

WHGBSTYL: I ought to Pray

…they ought always to pray and not lose heart. – Luke 18:1

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What has God been saying to me since I have returned to BG for my senior year? Well, this year has already been quite stressful as I have been very busy juggling my school work, my social life, and my RA job. But God has laid many things on my heart recently, one of which is praying- how often I should pray and the power of it. God often lays things on my heart that I have already been taught, but He reminds me again and again the importance of what He is teaching me.

This Bible verse from Luke came to me in a letter I received earlier last month from a wise and Godly woman. She was encouraging me about prayer and gave me the above verse; “…that men [women] always ought to pray…” She went on to tell me that the underlying Greek connotation for the word “ought” presents a vital need as to the degree one needs to breathe in order to live! The alternative is to lose heart. What she had to say was striking! It caught my attention and affirmed what God had been telling me. We “ought” to pray because we need Jesus!

What has God been saying to YOU lately?