Archive | September, 2011

Trusting in Him

29 Sep

For the past month, well actually a little over, I have been on a crazy job search.  Then, one day a couple weeks ago I got a call from 3 different places, which were all places I wanted to hear back from the most, within an hour to set up interviews.  After my interviews, I received calls from each place I interviewed, all offering me the job.  If that wasn’t an answered prayer, I have no idea what is.  I had been praying God would provide me with a job, and He provided me with three.  However, I turned one down immediately.  So now I am in the process of deciding between the other two offers, one with the Autism Society of North Carolina, and the other with Marbles Kids Museum in downtown.  I never thought I would be in this situation, where I had my choice of part time jobs, especially in today’s economy, being inexperienced and right out of college. But God is good, and He provided when the time was right.

And looking back, I realize that the time I was in transition, not having a job, or friends, that God was preparing me for this, by giving me time to get situated in Raleigh, and giving me time to get back to Him.  I strayed during the summer. I lost focus.  And then coming to Raleigh, where I had no one to go to except Him, taught me that I really can depend on Him.  Now, I have the opportunity to work, which will open me to new friendships.  I have found a small group, which will provide friends and community within Summit.  I have started my placement, which I love and makes me so excited to begin teaching.  I am blessed, and God is a miracle worker.  I see it in my life, though these miracles are easy to overlook.  God is so good, and when His Word says “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart” it is the truth.  But then again, God is Truth.  And God is love.  And I can see so much how much He really loves me.

I’m excited to see where God takes me next, but I will wait patiently.  And slowly, God will continue to reveal His plan to me.  Until then, I’ll keep trusting in Him.

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Church at the Ballpark

18 Sep

So, I just got back from the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.  There was shouting and cheering and clapping and sumo wrestlers and Wool E. Bull and singing and sermon and baptisms.  It was a wonderful experience.  We almost filled the stadium.  I’m so glad I got the chance to experience that, I know God was present in that place.  There was overwhelming joy and it was pne of the best experiences of my life.  I love my church.

Submit to the Lord

17 Sep

Last night, I had an amazing experience.  I prayed. Seriously prayed. Started bawling. And I begged God to surround me, and in total submission, I let it all out.  It was around 2 in the morning.  I was totally focused on God, and I literally felt his arms around me, I could feel Him holding me.  Never before have I had such an inspiring, wonderful experience. I am never alone. And after last night, I know that.  I want more of that. I want more of the total submission to God.  For that is when He answers my prayers, my prayers are completely aligned with what He has for my life. He was truly listening to me. I am so blessed.

… and [Jesus] was heard because of his reverent submission. (Hebrews 5:7b)

That is how we should pray, we must reverently submit to the Lord.  How appropriate that this verse was part of what I read for quiet time this morning. God hears us when we reverntly submit to Him and want His will for our life.

You are all I need

16 Sep

 

At the Summit, we are currently going through a series called “Gospel” and as part of this series, JD gave us all a bookmark with the Gospel prayer he wrote on it.  The second part of the prayer is probably the part I relate to and prayer the most, with the most reflection.  It says “You are all I need today for everlasting joy.”  I think this part of the prayer is the one I need the most because, well, it’s really easy to get discouraged and want more out of life and what has been given to me.  I mean, I want a job.  I want more friends, especially in the Raleigh area. I want a serious relationship.

I believe, I truly believe God is going to provide me with those things.  I have gotten interviews, which hopefully will provide a job.  I’d love to work at ASNC, but I just had that interview this morning.  I believe God is slowly opening doors for me to make new friends in the area, and He is also showing me that my friends that may not live close to me think I am worth the drive to visit.  And He is showing me that I already have some WONDERFUL friends.  Just because I don’t see them as often as I could at UNC doesn’t mean they stopped caring about me.  It just requires us to be more intentional in our friendships.  I believe God is preparing my heart for a wonderful man.  And I believe that at the moment, God is transforming my heart, so I am not quite ready to have that serious relationship because I have to make sure God stays number 1.  And God is using me in my singleness.  And I am embracing that.  God is pursuing me and in this showing me how to be pursued.  I know I am worth it. Every single woman is worth it, and should never settle.

It is so encouraging to know that God is all I need for joy.  There is a difference between happiness and joy.  I can be happy, but joy fills my heart.  It’s a different kind of feeling, and it is wonderful. To know that God can give me this everlasting joy is more than enough.  And I will delight in it, delight in His love.  God really loves us.  If He didn’t, He wouldn’t have sent His Son as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.  He took His place on the cross so that after my life on this earth is over, I will never have to experience separation from God again, and my soul will be complete.  And I can’t wait.

Not getting what I want

14 Sep

Well, I was doing my quiet time a few days ago, and I read Hebrews 2:10-18.  And it was like a slap in the face that I needed.  It was a wake up call, something I desperately needed to read.

Since moving to Raleigh, things have not worked the way I expected.

I expected to have a job… I expected to have lots of friends… I expected to be busy with people and school.  Instead, I barely know anyone.  I’ve had a couple interviews, but the job search continues, I am busy with school, and I really enjoy classes and can’t wait to be a teacher. But it’s been lonely.  And it’s led to me really questioning God.  I know I am where I am supposed to be, because I keep getting little signs that I am, but I don’t understand why.  I mean, surely I should be able to find a job, right?  I graduated from a prestigious university and am in graduate school, in one of the nation’s best cities for young professionals.  There are tons of young people that are moving here.  I should have friends.

It’s a huge city and I feel all alone. And then I discovered that this is what I need.  If I wasn’t lonely, I wouldn’t have realized that God is trying to be my friend, my best friend.  And that Jesus experienced every single problem I have or could imagine, and didn’t sin while facing them.  He relates to me. He knows my pain.  And He cares about my pain.  So why should I complain about my difficulties? Christ faced the ultimate suffering so that I could be where I am today, so that I could have this relationship with Him.  My suffering, my problems, they are slowly molding me to be a better follower of Christ.  Through trials, I am formed, I am tested, my servanthood to God is developing.  My heart is being prepared to fall in love with my future husband.  My spirit is being prepared to be that community towards the friends I will make.

I never have to feel lonely. As a believer in Christ, I am never alone.  I have been accepted into God’s family, I am His daughter. I get to be adopted into the family of God, the creator of the galaxies.  I am a sister to all believers in Christ, and I am Christ’s sister. I am being set apart and made holy through these times.

No longer am I a slave to sin, I am a joyful servant of God.

Oh, death, where is your sting? Oh hell, where is your victory?

Death no longer has a hold on me, because Christ suffered and died for me, and rose again.  In my sufferings, when I don’t get what I want, I can remember that God is greater than anything I have ever experienced.  Jesus relates to every problem I’ve ever had.  He can give me strength to get through these tough times, and patience, knowing that He is working it out for His glory.  He keeps my heart’s desires in mind (Psalm 37:4) and is forming me into the best I can be.  These times will not last, but God’s love will never fail.  And I can RUN to the arms of my Savior, my King, when I am feeling alone. How absolutely amazing. All I can say to Him is Thank You.

Where were you?

11 Sep

I think of that old country song,

“Where were you when the world stopped turning that September Day?

Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or working on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin’ against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?…”

I remember where I was… When the first tower was hit, I was in my 7th grade band class.  The voice over the intercom told teachers to go check their emails.  I remember people thinking it didn’t actually happen, that it was just a hoax, no one had seen the videos yet.  Then, I was in my social studies class when the second tower was hit.  We turned the news on, and that’s all we did the rest of the day, watched the news to stay informed.  I saw the towers collapse on the TV, but I was too young to really be affected by it.  I knew it was awful and that it was devastating, but it didn’t really hit me, how enormous the impact would be.  How truly devastating it all was.  I didn’t know anyone in New York, so I didn’t have a real reason to be terribly upset.  I mean, I was still 11, almost 12 years old.  15 days from turning 12.  I remember sitting in my classroom, surrounded by my class, all the teachers shocked and panicking.

September 11, 2001.  My generation’s tragedy, the event we will always remember that kind of set the events for our adolescence, the years of our development.  It was terrible.  I can watch the videos now, and in no time, I am bawling.   So many lives lost, so many unsuspecting people thinking it was just another day at work, or just another plane ride. So many children my age who have spent ten years without their moms, dads.  And the men who did it, who hijacked the plane.  It breaks my heart, how lost they were.

It was terrible.  But in the weeks after 9/11, our country pulled together. There was love.  People found God, looking for answers. We became the strong nation that we are.  Those stars and stripes flew proudly everywhere you would go.  We became the unified country that we should be.  Everything else looked so simple, other problems looked so small. We were United.

“Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!  But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless.

Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.  All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

-I Corinthians 13:9-10, 12-13

While we are on this earth, we will never fully understand why this happened, but God is using this tragedy for good.  One day, we will understand, but we aren’t meant to for now.  And until we do, until God reveals it all to us, until we are with Him, remain faithful, have hope, and love.  Love extravagantly.  For without love, we are nothing.  Love our soldiers, love your neighbors, love even those Dookies.  (I know, I can’t believe I said that.)

Let’s be that One Nation Under God.

looking back, awaiting what’s ahead

9 Sep

So, honestly, I don’t think anyone is even going to ever read this.  I just need a space to let things out, write them down… And lately, I’ve been doing plenty of writing in grad school, but it’s all about teaching and not really personal yet.  Hopefully, someday soon, I will be able to add personal experience to those papers.

I’ve been going back to Chapel Hill some since moving to Raleigh and starting at Meredith.  It makes me miss Chapel Hill a lot, and it feels so strange being back on campus but not being a student.  I remember being at CTOPs over 4 years ago, and not feeling like I belonged on campus.  It felt foreign and strange, like I was too young and not ready for such a big campus and a huge transition in life.  But so quickly, after moving into Joyner, it soon felt like home.  I quickly learned how to get around campus and where things were in Chapel Hill.  I learned that people are friendly and we all have something in common… we are all intelligent people who were accepted into UNC and have goals in life.  That was exciting, and it made it easy to bond to all the other students.  It didn’t take long to make friends in my dorm, through InterVarsity and my small group, “the Princesses of Connor-Whitehead Community” (usually just Connor Community, though).  Some of the girls I met in that small group remain some of my closest friends today.  I was blessed to be in that community, it was what I needed my freshman year at UNC.  I’m not saying that Chapel Hill now feels like I don’t belong anymore, I think I will always feel welcome at UNC, because I have a strong bond to it, and a diploma (that took all summer to be delivered) to prove that bond.

Through my four years as a student at what I believe is one of the best universities in the country, I changed a lot.  I grew into the person I am now, a person I really like.  I learned my passions.  I learned that biology was NOT for me.  I learned that I value being in that big, diverse culture, but I hated getting stuck in my “Chapel Hill bubble” where I was rarely aware of what was occurring outside of the 729 acre campus, usually the only news I would get would be what was in the DTH that I read while I was at work.  (also, I still hope that kvetch “to the girl in students stores doing sudoku: next time you need help with numbers, i’ll give you mine” or something was about me… I’ll never know)  It’s so easy to get trapped in that bubble though, because while you are a student, everything you need is on campus, or within a few miles of campus.  The town of Chapel Hill revolves around the university.

If I could tell current students one thing, it would be take advantage of all the opportunities you can during your time there.  Once you graduate, you will realize how great those opportunities are.  It’s a lot harder to get involved after graduating and becoming “an adult.”  There are so many things I wish I did while a student, like Big Buddies.  I wish I had done more community service organizations. I wish I had gone to more sport events, like those that weren’t just football and basketball.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the football and basketball games, but it would have been fun to go to some other sports too.  I wish I’d taken more random classes in strange subjects.

But, I can’t live in the past. So I am enjoying my time at Meredith. I actually really enjoy my classes, and I can’t wait to start teaching.  It’s really encouraging to feel this way and be so confident in my choice to be at Meredith for grad school and to be learning how to teach special education. I’m excited for my future… Now if only I could find a job….