Surprising Myself

I debated on whether I wanted to make a blogpost about this, because it is so personal; however, I think God was calling me to share. I don’t know why He is, but He does, so I will listen.

I did something I honestly thought I would NEVER EVER do. Anyone who knows me would understand how shocking this is—I got a tattoo. I stare at it sometimes, because I am still in disbelief that I actually followed through with it. Now let me tell you why.

I have shared my story about my friend Kara and how she impacted my life many times. The idea of this tattoo started with her. I was having a conversation with her one day about how she wanted to get multiple tattoos. She had a notebook where she drew them and explained why she wanted each one. Everything with Kara always had deep meaning, which is one of the things I admired most about her. We related in that way. At the end of the conversation, I told her that I would go with her to get a tattoo. I said I want to get a tattoo with her, because I was caught up in the moment. She busted out laughing without any hesitation, and she gave me her look. If you knew her, you know what look I am talking about. After laughing at me for a solid three minutes she said, “You and I both know that you are not going to get a tattoo. You are the least likely person to do such a thing.” I laughed and said, “Yeah, you are totally right. I’ll watch.”

I had no idea that was going to be the last full conversation I ever had with her. I had no idea that she was never going to be able to get even one of those tattoos—not one. When she died, I played our conversation about tattoos over and over in my mind. The day she passed away, Matt Richardson, my former youth pastor, sent me the song “It is Well” by Bethel. It became my anthem song during the grieving process.

God taught me in that time that it was well, because He was right there alongside me. I was not alone. My friendship with Kara started, because I felt God call me to her. I would have never approached her on my own, but God knew how bad she needed Him—how bad she needed someone to allow God to use them for her. So, I decided that I was going to get a tattoo. It took me over a year to talk myself into it. I did last week. I got a tattoo that says, “It is Well” on my arm.

I got the tattoo, because I want to remember Kara. I got the tattoo, because we had the kind of friendship where I wanted to rub in her face that I did something she swore I would never do. I got the tattoo, because I knew how bad Kara wanted one, so I did for her. I got the tattoo because I want to constantly remember that regardless of my circumstances it is well with my soul, because God has embraced me as His daughter. I got the tattoo to forever remember that when God calls you to do something or share with someone, DO IT. He sees a far bigger picture than you do, so why wouldn’t you listen to Him?

I got a tattoo, Kara forever impacted my life. This is a part of my story; God convicted me to share it.

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When the Enemy Strikes

 

There are times where I feel like I am drowning. I have always been the type of person who doesn’t just have a bad day. They have one of those bad few days that you see in movies that doesn’t seem possible in real life. I normally have a long list of every little thing that could have gone wrong, ranging from dropping my jacket in the toilet (yes that happened at the local Starbucks) to long time plans cancelled. I have always questioned why the heck I have such terrible days on occasion. Then it hit me. It’s always when God is working through me.

It never fails. Every time I am glorifying God in big ways, the enemy is lurking around the corner—ready to strike. I describe it as something like this: I see multiple ministry opportunities in the distance. My eyes are set on them; God is calling me there. As I am swimming towards them, the enemy strikes. He ties a rope around my ankles and begins attaching rocks to the bottom of the rope. It becomes harder and harder to swim towards the ministry opportunities. Even more so, it becomes harder and harder to stay above water. I begin to question God. I wonder where He is, because I am no longer swimming, but fighting for my life. Meanwhile, the quantity of rocks are increasing steadily. Then I remember that I have a God who is much bigger than thousands of rocks, and I only have a hundred attacked to my feet. Miraculously, I start to swim, because out of nowhere, I have a life jacket. God provides like that.

I laugh at myself for questioning God, because I recognize His endless supply of life jackets. I reach the ministry opportunity I was swimming towards in the beginning. God fills me with strength. God speaks and works through me. After I finish, I praise God for how beautifully powerful He is. I jump back in the water, looking for more ministry opportunities only to find people jumping in with me. I smile because I know that the enemy is angry. I know he is ready to strike again, but I also know that God is already fighting back. I look into the distance, and there it is. Another ministry opportunity.

James 1:2 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.”

Why?

Because it means that you are doing work for the Kingdom so the enemy feels he needs to fight you. It also means that you have an opportunity to grow closer and rely on God. I cannot think of anything more beautiful than that.

If you are battling rocks that are weighing you down, look up. Your life jacket is right in front of you.

Talking to Strangers

It’s a long one, but hang with me.

 

What would it look like if we had the kind of faith that led us to talk to complete strangers about Jesus?

 

I found myself questioning that as I spent time reflecting from my mission trip to Las Vegas. I planned to write a blogpost about the trip when I arrived home, but I realized I needed some time to reflect first. The question has not stopped coming to mind since I have been back. What would the world look like if everyone who claimed to be a Christian had the kind of faith that led them to talk to complete strangers? I think the 10/40 window wouldn’t exist, and the churches wouldn’t be decreasing; they would be increasing. There would be more missionaries than there are today, and I can’t help but think there would be a lot less hate and whole lot more love. When we talk to strangers, we set aside our own judgements we make, and we leave the judging to God. What would the world actually look like if we had the kind of faith where we talk to strangers about Jesus?

 

The question was raised, because our team from Stones Crossing Church did just that all week. We talked to strangers about Jesus in a myriad of different settings.

 

On the first day that we arrived we did some chores around the YWAM base and we worshiped on a mountain. On the mountain, you could see a large portion of Las Vegas. I found it ironic how alive it looked with all the lights when in reality the city is so dead. It is all fake. The lights are fake. The Eiffel Tower is fake. The Statue of Liberty is fake. Even the short-lived happiness in gambling is fake. I spent time praying that the people of Las Vegas would recognize that everything around them was faulty and fake. I prayed relentlessly that they would understand that Jesus is what is real. As I prayed I realized that Las Vegas was really not any different from the rest of America. We focus on what is fake instead of what is real. We focus on fake stories through Netflix. We focus on pointing out what it fake news and we focus on fake fulfillment in purchasing the next best thing. All along the real fulfillment and real love is right in front of us. As I looked over the “Sin City,” where I would spend the next week, I prayed for strangers to meet and fall and love with Jesus.

 

The next day we attended service at Grace City Church where they introduced the phrase “turn Sin City into Grace city.” I laughed, but later I started to dream of what that would look like. That phrase started to reoccur in my prayers after that. After we arrived back from the service, we did evangelism training to prepare for that night. Evening came and we worshipped on the strip, waiting for God to lead us to evangelize or pray with someone. Lexi and I prayed with a man who stopped to worship. He said he wanted to take this idea to worship out in public back where he is from in California. We prayed with him—a total stranger. Later, a man who was heavily under the influence of alcohol stumbled where we were. There were several conversations amidst the group with strangers, and Satan sent this man to distract from the fruitful conversations. One of the leaders prayed specifically that God would quiet his tongue. The moment she ended he passed out on the sidewalk. I felt heartbroken for him as I recognized he was most likely drinking to numb himself from something that was hurting him. I began to pray over him and as I did, he was stirring. He continued to readjust himself until I said Amen. As soon as I said Amen, he did not move the rest of the time. I couldn’t stop thinking about that moment. I prayed with a couple people that night—each of them strangers.

 

Day three rolled around, and I did not know it when I woke up, but it was the most difficult day for me personally. We started off by traveling to Grace City’s House of Prayer where we prayed and worshipped. The worship throughout the entire trip was easily the most Spirit-led worship I have ever been a part of. After we finished there, we went to Fremont Street where we were offering free prayer to people. We partnered up and were supposed to go ask to pray with people we felt led to speak to within the boundaries set by the leaders. As an introvert, I was incredibly intimidated by the idea of walking up to random strangers to ask to pray with them. I loved the idea, but actually doing it was a whole new ball game. As my partner and I passed people, I could feel a pull to talk to specific people; however, another voice was convincing me not to. I was battling inside my head when a large man approached my partner and me. Our conversation quickly escalated to the point that he yelled in my face and walked away. Mitch came over quickly and asked what had happened. I answered immediately that I was not sure and it was not a big deal. In reality, that was Satan attacking me and it was only the beginning. The voice telling me not to talk to the people became much louder after the difficult encounter. I began to be filled with things like “You think you are called to ministry and you can’t even talk to people” or “You are called to Urban Ministry and you are failing.” This mission activity was incredibly challenging, but God redeemed it later on in the trip. When we arrived back, I was prompted by one of the YWAM leaders to share my experience. After I shared, Mitch and I had a conversation that I know was completely led by the Holy Spirit. God taught me that I must rely on Him through all experiences, especially ones like those. I spent some time with the Lord to prepare for the anti-sex trafficking outreach we were scheduled for that night. For this outreach, we were passing out fliers of the most recent missing children to the lower end motels and gas stations. As we drove around, I felt an overwhelming comfort in walking into any of the motels, including the ones that looked to most unappealing to enter. I knew that my overwhelming sense of peace occurred for two reasons after reflection. One—God was showing me that I am capable of performing any ministry in any circumstance if I rely and trust in Him. (I had not earlier that day.) Two—God instilled a passion in me that day for anti-human trafficking. He broke my heart over that topic that day, so I wanted to do anything to help.

 

The fourth day we attended worship at the House of Prayer again. In the afternoon, we packed a lunch for ourselves and for a homeless person, and we headed to what is known as the homeless corridor. When we arrived on the street, my heart dropped to the pit of my stomach. There was hardly any space along that entire street, because it was filled with homeless people. As I looked at each of the strangers, my heart broke for them. When I saw homeless in the city near my hometown, I would look the other way while passing. As we walked down the street, I tried to make eye contact with as many as I could. Their eyes told me they had stories. Mitch was my partner for this outreach, and we found a guy named Richie to sit with. We gave him a lunch, sat, and ate with him. As we ate, he told us a little about his story. The whole time we were talking, I kept thinking I would have never done this back home on my own. Later I asked myself why not? In the evening, some of the group went to the park and a few of us went to relieve foster parents for a night in order for them to go on a date.

 

The fifth day came, and I could not believe how quickly the week had gone. The last day was the block party, which I believe was one of my favorite parts of the trip. At the block party, I had the opportunity to share my testimony and a spoken word I had wrote myself. I was incredibly nervous, but God reminded me that in those moments it is not me but the Holy Spirit speaking through me. God gave me my testimony for a reason. God gives each of a testimony for a reason, and we have the opportunity to use it as a tool to show people how incredible our God is. After I shared, I was able to speak with a woman and pray over her—a complete stranger. By the end of the week, praying with and speaking with a complete stranger felt normal.

 

On the last day, we spent a day exploring Las Vegas. In the evening, there was a commitment service night where were could make a commitment to God of any kind. We spread out across the room to pray and worship with God. I began to pray to God seriously questioning my call to not only urban ministry but ministry in general. I cried as I said, “God make it completely clear if you want me in ministry. Give me a sign that is so blatantly clear I cannot deny it.” As soon as I said Amen, Mitch came around the corner, and said “God told me to tell you that your call to ministry is so clear and I saw it all week.” I obviously cried more. I think sometimes we doubt how amazing God is. We are afraid to pray out of fear that he won’t answer our prayers. God answered my prayer in a big way, and he redeemed the day I struggled. He showed me that not every day in ministry is going to be stellar, but every day in ministry will have God’s presence. That is all I need.

 

As I conclude on my reflection of this trip, I see a theme. God was calling me to love on complete strangers. Our society and our culture preaches hate, yet God preaches love. He calls us to love everyone, including a complete stranger, so why the heck are we not doing it? I question why it is radical to go and pray on the street with people. I question why we even consider what our team did a mission trip. Shouldn’t what we did be things that we do normally? Shouldn’t we be sharing the good news of Jesus with anyone—especially the people we see hurting? I keep coming back to the same question only a little different—what would it look like if we had the kind of faith that led us to talk to complete strangers about Jesus ON A NORMAL BASIS?

 

The world would look like a completely different place.

Uninvited

I think in society today, one of the biggest fears everyone has is the fear of not being included or invited; I have a confession to make. It is one of my fears–a fear of missing out. The problem with this fear is it has become enhanced thanks to technology like social media.

People are obsessed with the next best thing or doing the cool thing and sharing it with their followers and friends. It’s probably because they want to look like they have their life together. Truth be told, they probably don’t, because no one really does. That is the problem with social media. It escalates that fear. Fear being:

F- False

E- Evidence

A- Appearing

R- Real

I know, because I do it too. I could be having the worst day where I dumped coffee down the front of me, had an argument with a family member or friend, and spent the last fifteen minutes crying; however, I can post on social media that I just had the best cup of coffee in my life, and I am now energized to take on the day. It isn’t lying, because maybe I did have the best cup of coffee in my life. I just happened to wear more than I got to drink.

Sometimes, I wonder what it would look like if instead of always trying to do the next best thing, everyone focused on making the present moment the best moment yet. I think of the times I let an entire day become ruined because I am stuck in sorrow after seeing that I wasn’t invited to something. I let myself become devoured by lies from Satan like I wasn’t good enough to be invited. While stuck in sorrow, I missed an opportunity to be the inviter. It may not be exactly what you wanted, but it is an opportunity to find that you desired something you didn’t know you wanted.

There are days I cry, because I focus in on the fact that I wasn’t invited to something. I think that I did something or there is something wrong with me. I laugh when I am outside that moment, because going to that dinner or that party doesn’t mean anything when you consider the ultimate invitation etched within Scripture. I am invited to the ultimate party–a party with the ultimate host. I am not good enough nor do I deserve the invitation, but I am chosen.

When I start to feel down in the dumps, because I may not have been invited to an event, I can remember the invitation I already have–the invitation I was chosen to receive.  I can also remember that I don’t always have to be the invited, but I can be the inviter.

And you can too.

Obey

Obey

Let God tell you it’s going to be okay.

When you feel like you can’t make it another day,

pray.

 

Sometimes, God gives you a call

it feels as if He is making you fall

or throwing you into a wall,

but that is not the case at all.

 

God knows more than you do.

We have absolutely no clue

why God would make some things ensue,

but listen to Him—only Him you should pursue.

 

Obey

Pray

Let God tell you it is going to be okay.

 

How? is probably a question you may ask.

How can you follow the call and perform the task?

 

Obey

Pray

 

God will provide you with what you need—

whether it is to help someone flourish or just plant the seed.

 

Obey

 

It is hard,

because sometimes it leaves you scarred.

 

But abide.

Take Pride

 

that a perfect God wants to lead you,

so pursue what He is calling you to do.

A Dream vs A Call

Growing up my favorite game to play was “school” where I was the teacher and anyone I could find to play with me was the student. I loved school and I still do. There has always been something about learning new material in an academic environment that led me to immense joy. I was more often than not the student who always connected with her teachers. Even more so, many of my teachers have left lasting impacts on my life.

With all of this being said, since I was in first grade, I wanted to be a teacher; it was my dream. It really was all I could talk about. When the time came for me to check the box next to a major, it seemed like the simple, obvious option; however, there was something deep within me that stirred.

I wasn’t sure what that stirring inside me was nor what it meant. Later, I had a hint about what it possibly could be, but it did not match my plan, causing me to ignore it. The stirring inside me became stronger as the time for college crept closer. I wrestled with it until I decided to vocalize my thought of what the stirring could possibly be. After lots of discouraging responses, I decided that I was misinterpreting the feeling inside, and I would continue the plan I had always known–to  be a teacher.

I arrived at Indiana Wesleyan a little less than a month ago. My time here has been a roller coaster. It was different than I thought it would be. For some reason, something just did not feel right. While I was navigating the transition of college, the stirring inside me rose again only this time it was stronger than ever before. At first, I ignored it and went about my classes, but I couldn’t ignore it for long.

It all started with a conversation with a Professor. She had just finished a lecture that I attended with Lexi, my roommate. I was not even her student as I had decided to attend with Lexi for fun. (I recognize that a student who attends a lecture for fun is a nerd.) She approached me and introduced herself, asking me what my major was. I responded that I was an elementary education major. She smiled and asked if I had always wanted to do that. I hesitated. The conversation led to her telling me that it was one hundred percent biblical for a woman to be in ministry, and that is where my story begins.

I didn’t expect any of this to happen. Classes started and I still felt like something was off. I was enjoying my classes, but not as much as I thought I would. There was one class, though, that I loved; it was theology. I prayed to the Lord asking why I was feeling confused and disheartened. I had been looking forward to college for so long, but I was in my room crying more than socializing.

One night, I was in my dorm studying, and two girls on my floor at separate times asked if I was a ministry major or if I had considered being one. They each followed with the idea that they saw me as a ministry major, which was why they asked. I laughed and told them I was in education, but later I thought about their questioning more seriously. That night I prayed to God for a significant amount of time, seeking out what God wanted for me.

The next day, I had a mandatory, one-on-one meeting with my theology professor. Our conversation was great; I was able to learn about her as she was able to learn about me. I thought we were finishing up our conversation until she stopped me and asked if I had ever considered that maybe I had a call to ministry. I just laughed.

I prayed harder than I ever had before, wondering what in the world was wrong with me. I was not content here, and I had not the slightest clue why. I asked God to make it abundantly clear what path he wanted me to pursue. My dream was always education, but maybe my call was something else. The following weekend, I grabbed my friend Rebekah and headed to Fort Wayne to visit my former youth pastor’s church.

The service started with an opening prayer, and the word’s nearly knocked me out of my seat. The pastor stated that he felt that there was anxiety in the room and that whether it was caused by change, a large decision, financial insecurity, or a loss to trust the Lord and give it to Him. Rebekah and I laughed as the prayer was so relevant it was as if God was slamming a brick in our faces, saying here is what I want you to do. As I tried to comprehend the prayer and what God was saying to me, Matt, took the stage. He began preaching, and his sermon was the icing on the cake.

When I really considered why I hadn’t chose ministry as my major, I always went back to the same thoughts. I was afraid and it wasn’t part of the plan. Also, I didn’t want to upset the people who had discouraged me. Then Matt opened his Bible and read the following verse: “…Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent for I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you…” -Acts 18:9-10

I knew right then what that stirring was and why I was so discontent at IWU. Today I made one of the biggest decisions of my life. I chose to listen to God, and disregard my plans for myself. I chose to trust God. I met with my professor today and officially changed my major. I am now a christian ministries major with a minor in biblical literature. I am following my call that I know more clearly than ever to full time ministry. Only God knows exactly what that looks like, and I trust Him.

Since my decision, I have not stopped smiling. I have a couple of friends that I can already tell will be lifelong friends. My discontent is gone and the stirring inside my stomach is now buzzing inside my heart ready for whatever God has planned for me. This has not been my dream my whole life, but it has been my call, and God knew all along. I knew I always wanted to be a teacher, but I never knew it would be a teacher of the Word.

Senior Talk: Who is the One in Front of You?

I sat admiring the way the seniors talked about what they had learned during a year full of decisions that would impact the rest of their life. Contemplating what I would talk about during my senior talk, I chuckled to myself because that was a long ways away.

I blinked.

I sat preparing for my senior talk as it was only hours away. I could not believe that it was my time. Butterflies fluttered around my stomach like they owned the place. I have so many things I have learned that I could not even fathom choosing one to talk about. The idea of going up in front and speaking was also slightly intimidating but necessary.

I searched my heart and listened for the Lord’s guidance. Immediately, I heard my prior youth pastor’s voice from a sermon he introduced that led to a large portion of my story.

“Who is the one in front of you?”

The question struck me as I had never been someone who went out to share my faith with other intentionally. The concept led me to a girl that I had had conflict in the past with. Over a span of four months I was able to share Jesus with her and later lead her in a prayer to accept Christ as well as baptize her with her mom. Two years later she passed away; God knew what he was doing when he called me to her.

I knew immediately that that was what I was going to talk to the underclassmen about. It was not only going to be about the one in front of you and the importance of sharing but the importance of being rooted. I proceeded to make a list.

One, you must be in the Word. Within the word there is so much truth. It is the flashlight that God gifted us with in order to guide us through the darkness of this world.

Two, you must trust the Lord. That is so much easier said than done. Spending time in the Word and prayer goes hand in hand in with trusting the Lord. One would not go up to a random stranger to tell them about a struggle they are going through, one would go to someone they know well or rather someone that they trust. That is why the first point I make is so crucial. The more time with the Lord you spend the more you know and trust in Him.

Third, community is crucial. It is imperative that one has a community around them to hold them accountable. Someone who is entering into a surrounding where there nonbelievers make up the majority needs someone to hold them accountable more than ever. It is much easier for someone who does not believe to pull someone who believes down rather than than the other way around.

Those three things have moved from a stereotypical sermon preached by a pastor about being a “good” christian to a guideline to how I want to live my life. Those points are so much more than a guide to be a good christian. They are steps to grow and maintain a beautiful relationship with the Father.

I ended my senior talk to the other high school students with an analogy because analogies are what got me my decent grades and understanding of the bible.

Think of yourself as a tree. You put different people who are the one in front of you on your branches. If you are rooted in christ, you are going to be able to support the people on your branches as well as yourself. If you are not, the tree will not be able to handle all of the people placed on your branches; eventually, the tree will fall over.

As senior year comes to a close and I finish the list of “lasts,” I prepare for the list of “firsts.” I am unsure of a lot of what that lists entails, but I am sure of one thing in my future. I look forward to falling madly in love with my Savior each day more and more.

A Date to Dread

January 27th shifts its way towards me

“Go away,” I said

 

Everyone

seemed to be unaltered

The date preyed upon me

 

It conceived multiple moments

based on one dreadful memory

 

an empty desk beside me

Confusion

enough tears to fill a stream

Panic

an abundance of people

Grief

 

It was all a blur that

Became more clear

As the date crept towards me

Ready to attack

 

Meanwhile

the world goes on.

 

Why can’t I?

 

Senior Spring Break: I partied…With Jesus

“Don’t do anything you will regret. Protect yourself. Don’t get arrested. If you are going to drink, be smart. Don’t get a girl pregnant and don’t get pregnant. Stay together. I will see you in two weeks,” said every one of my teachers.

Senior spring break has a running stereotype that, unfortunately, I would deem accurate. When people think of teens who are about to graduate, they immediately think teens are within a mindset that reflects the saying “no regrets.” Since entering high school, snapchat stories as well as words through the grapevine allowed me to conclude that all stereotypes are as accurate as claiming the sky is blue. It kills that it is expected for students to act in this way so much so that the teachers feel the need to state the things I referred to above. Why in the world have we decided to accept that those actions are okay as long as we use protection within all scenarios? I have the perfect idea for protection: don’t do it.

Many people tell me to “Live a little.” In fact, I wish I had a dime for every time someone has said something along the lines of I need to let go and have fun. Honestly, I used to take it to heart each time someone told me that. It made me feel like I was a boring person and who wants to believe people think they are boring? I can recall to different times in high school where I was the friend that reeled people back in. I was the annoying “parent” in the friend group; I despised myself for it for the longest time. Everyone eventually made me think I had something wrong with me because it was as if I physically could not make myself do some of the things my friends thought were fun. It’s been a battle I’ve been fighting with myself for years. During spring break, I finally won not only the battle, but also the war. There was a reason I have never been able to follow my friends in some of their activities. It’s because of the Holy Spirit within me.

Seniors party on spring break; it really is inevitable. I am ecstatic to claim that I too partied. My party companions may not have been the same as others, but I most definitely partied. My party companions consisted of coffee and Jesus. Within my eyes, it simply cannot get any better than that. There is something to be said about how much one can feel the presence of God standing on the beach. I had multiple moments that extracted the breath right out of me.

The sun rose above the ocean, painting lemon yellow, blood red orange, and purple on the sky as if it were a canvas sitting before God. The waves crashed in a pattern across the sand led by a thin line of foam. The leather from my Bible was smooth against my legs; the sand beneath me was cold. I studied my Bible allowing the words on the page to rise into the wind, spin around me, and enter my heart. Some of the words leaped off the page from Philippians.

“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” -Philippians 1:9-11

The life within this verse alone far surpasses any life I can find within an activity created by flesh. While God was revealing to me why I felt so different among my peers, he also revealed to me something that would help with every aspect of my life. Philippians painted a clear picture of why I have felt so anxious about the different layers within my life. I was seeking happiness in the wrong places. I need to find contentment in Christ who strengthens me. It seems so simple, but what would it look like if I abided by that daily?

Another part of scripture that arrived to the party was Psalm 119. A myriad of things were revealed to me through this character. First, I identified that the Word is my tool God has gifted me with. It is my flashlight that I am able to use to guide my way through the darkness of this world. How thankful I am to be granted with such a tool as this. My heart aches at the thought of wandering the world in complete darkness. Second, Psalm 119 uncovered how truly great my God is. I wrote along the side of the scripture Psalm 119: 169-176 “How great are you Lord.” Those verses spoke to me the most amidst the chapter. Lastly, I recognized that I needed to be “all in.” What I mean by the term “all in” is not just being dedicated, but being joyfully dedicated. I need to be proud to follow the guidelines that the Lord has set for me. When my friends aren’t abiding to the same rules I have committed to, I should not be ashamed.

Standing in the sea, the darkness blankets over me. The night has come to makes its’ daily visit. The rain forces my eyes shut as it pours over me. Soft at first but progressively louder I hear a faint voice; it is singing. I focus on listening so I can make out the words. “It’s your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise. We pour out our praise.” It was not until several minutes passed that I realized that the source of the noise was my lips. Worship has unlocked a new definition for me.

Those moments are filled with more life than any activity I can think of. Maybe I chose to not live a little, but I did choose to live a lot.

Thanks God for a week I will never forget.