Thursday, April 30, 2009

His power is made perfect in weakness.

From "Jesus Calling" today...

"When some basic need is lacking--time, energy, money--consider yourself blessed. Your very lack is an opportunity to latch onto Me in unashamed dependence. When you begin a day with inadequate resources, you must concentrate your efforts on the present moment. This is where you were meant to live--in the present; it is the place where I always await you. Awareness of your inadequacy is a rich blessing, training you to rely whole-heartedly on Me. The truth is that self-sufficiency is a myth perpetuated by pride and temporary success. Health and wealth can disappear instantly, as can life itself. Rejoice in your insufficiency, knowing that My power is made perfect in weakness."

I was just telling my friend Megan last night that I just feel like life is draining me right now. So this really spoke to me this morning, because I feel like my attitude lately has been, "come on God, give me a break here." But here He is telling me that it's good for me to feel exhausted, and ill-equipped to take on my daily life right now. He's teaching me to cling to Him  more and more. And not only to cling to Him, but to rejoice as I do so. JR preached last Sunday about being joyful always, and how we as Christians should be an example of joy in harder times, because if we react just like the rest of the world does to our problems, who is going to want to know our Savior? So that's something I'm working on right now; as I struggle to get through finals, moving out and going home, getting ready to take on my summer, and dealing with whatever life throws at me along the way, that I would be joyful always. That I would rely on the Lord to strengthen me through everything, and that I would rejoice in Him no matter what.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
-2 Corinthians 12:9

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."
-James 1:2-3

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Is it summer yet?

I'm taking a study break to gather myself. My life is really going to get much better when finals are over... I'm so sick of school. Classes this semester were not fun at all... three honors classes kept me nice and busy. I can't wait to be in Nashville. One more week. I get to be with my 4 best girl friends for a week, and my boy for 2 weeks. Yes!

Good news--I don't have to drive all the way to NC by myself anymore. Papa had a free Southwest ticket he has to use before July 1, so he gave it to me. So I'm flying to Nashville and driving from there.

Back to the books... after I get a coffee refill.

Monday, April 20, 2009

my life is quite the adventure...

I'm starting to get a little bit nervous about my summer... I'm super excited about it, but there's so much that is still uncertain about it. Right when I get done with finals I'm going to Nashville for a week to spend some time with my friends there before I go to my "new home" in Texas. From Nashville, Leland, Kai and I are road-tripping it down to Dallas and picking up my friend Corbett on the way for JR and Brittany's wedding. Noland and Kelsey are meeting us there. That will be a really fun week. We're going to my grandparents lake house for a few days before the wedding. After that I'll go home for about 4 or 5 days, and then head to North Carolina for Young Life camp! I'll be there for a month. That's probably what I'm most excited for... it's going to be amazing. I'm driving all the way there by myself... my sister was originally supposed to be with me, but now she won't be. So I'm stopping in Little Rock and either Nashville or Knoxville along the way to break up the trip... it should definitely be an adventure! After camp I'll head to Texas for the rest of the summer. Not really sure what I'm doing with my life once I get there... I need to find some way to make money, but I'll only be there for like 6 weeks, so it will be hard to find a job.

So, I'm excited for all the adventures ahead, but a little nervous/stressed about all of the craziness of it. I was telling my friend Meredith about all my summer plans today and her response was, "Wow, you really are homeless!" So, in a way, I guess she may have a point... let the vagabond lifestyle continue! Maybe this is my calling. Perhaps God is preparing me for a lifetime of travels... that would be neat! I'm diggity down for that.

Ellie asked me on Friday night, if I could sum up in one word or phrase what God has been to me in the last year, what would it be... and my response was, "full of surprises!" One year ago I didn't even know that my parents were moving yet. God threw me quite a few curve balls this year... but I've seen fruit from it for sure! And obviously He is still at work in my life with all of the craziness, because there is much more to come over the next couple of months. However, underlying all of the chaos there is a peace about it... I know He knows what He's doing. I know my month at camp will be a time of tremendous growth, and surprises as well I'm sure! And I'm kind of excited for my lonely road trip... I think me and God are gonna have some good bonding time during those long drives. As for my lonely time in Texas, I hope He's got something exciting for me, because as much as I'm excited about being home with my family, I feel like I'm gonna get bored real fast. Especially since Dad will be at camp for most of the time that I'm home. =(

2 weeks of school left, and then let the adventures begin...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

what a night!

Last night was so much fun! I saw Drew and Ellie Holcomb for the first time since August... way too long! It was great to get to catch up with them, they are precious. I got a sweet little surprise while I was there. Leland wanted to come to Memphis to surprise me but couldn't really afford to make that drive two weekends in a row, so he called Drew yesterday and had him dedicate a song to me. I cried.

It was a special night... glad I got to see some old friends that I miss so much, it was great getting to sit and talk to Ellie for a while. One thing I love about Young Life is that I've met people that become like family so quickly, and even if I only see them a few times a year for a very short time, that short conversation I get to have with them is so special. I feel like that's how it's gonna be in heaven. We're just gonna connect with people so easily because of this common love for Christ that we share. It's amazing how different relationships can be when that one common bond to Jesus is present. Love it!

PS, if you don't know Drew Holcomb, you should.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

He always shows up at the right time!

God has been loving on me this morning...

Last night I was kind of sad because my sister was supposed to come visit me today and she can't come anymore. So I went to bed pretty bummed, kind of expecting to wake up feeling the same way.

I woke up to a text message from one of my favorite people in the whole world, an old YL leader, friend, and "sister" from Nashville, just saying that she misses me and was praying for my day. Then I sat down to do my daily devotional, and this was what I read: 

"Each moment you can choose to practice My Presence or the presence of problems."

And that was all the encouragement I needed. I feel like God just woke me up this morning and said, "I'm here. That's all you need." I don't know how anyone gets through their hard days without that, because His love and presence is the only thing that I know is always there, and it's all I need to get through my day.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Unanswered Questions

Last week was a tough one. Leaving Nashville was hard, it always is... leaving all of those people that I miss having around all the time always makes me a little bit sad. Leaving a good friend of mine who's really struggling a lot right now was probably the hardest part. It's hard to watch people you love hurt and not be able to do anything to fix it.

Thursday was the two year anniversary of the death of a close family friend. He was my dad's best friend and my best friend's dad. I had known him my entire life, and pretty much grew up just as much in his house as I did in mine. He died on his way to pick up my best friend from rehab, when he crashed his little private plane. As much as I miss him, and it's just hard to think that he's not around anymore, the thing that breaks my heart the most about it is that his family is still hurting so much. When he died we all thought, "maybe this is what it will take for things to change... for his kids to stop walking down the dark road they're on." Two years later, not much has changed. It's just one of those things that I don't know if I will ever understand. It's something that often has me thinking, "God, where are you in this situation?!"

I guess my point is that it's situations like this when I think it's really hard to just have faith that it's part of God's plan, because there is so much pain and heartache involved. It's hard to just be prayerful about it and not be able to do anything else at all. If it were up to me, I wouldn't have taken my best friend's dad so that she would draw closer to Jesus. But maybe that's what had to happen... and maybe God's timing is different than mine, and I shouldn't be frustrated, because to him two years isn't very long, even though it seems like forever to me. I can say all of this, but to really believe it is different, and honestly, my first thought on the situation is, "God, I don't understand. This can't be part of your plan, because it's not working."

... I don't have a thoughtful or clever way to tie this all together like I usually do, or any last thoughts at all, really. This is just a real, frustrating thing that I struggle with, that I'm still searching for the answers to. After two years, I don't even really know if there ever will be an answer. I'm just gonna keep being prayerful, I guess. Someday maybe it will all make sense. Maybe one day everything will fall into place and I'll look back and think, "that's why God did that." At least I hope that's what happens.