I’ve been looking back at the last year and trying to pin point the times where I felt like I really changed. I wanted to write a blog that would give the high lights and the low lights of the year. One that would say I met two of the three goals I set for myself last year, one that would possibly say what the goals for this up coming year would be. I’ve written this blog over and over again in my head, one I even almost posted, but the more and more I thought about it, the more I became unhappy in where they were going. Way to much happened for me to give you that kind of run down.
To say this year has been the most significant year I have had spiritually in a long time, if not ever, would be an understatement. I took so many steps towards a better understanding of who I am in God and where I feel he is leading me. Although, let me tell you I have no clue what his plan is for me, and as someone who is a planner I am still learning to except this. Most importantly I had a believer’s baptism on Mother’s Day. Some may be asking why at 29 were you baptized. Weren’t you as a child? Yes I was, but a believer baptism was my choice. I choose that day to give my life to Christ and to continue walking in his word, his love, his light. Because I was not active in my church growing up and the church I did attend did baby baptizes this was never and option to me. Frankly, it wasn’t really something I knew a lot about. It wasn’t until I started the process to become a member of City Life (done on Mother’s Day as well) that I started to really understand the significance of it. How cool is it to make that choice that you will follow Christ and his teachings? To proclaim that in front of your family, friends and your church! It was a special moment. I’m so glad that I was able to share it with my mom on a day that celebrates Mothers. After all she is a large part of why I am the way I am.
Since I started at City Life I have felt at home there and a desire to be involved, this lead me to working in the nursery. Once a month I was able to get my baby fix, and love on the next generation of our church, after all these kids are the future of our church. In May Joey asked me to go as a leader on the student’s mission trip. I still tease him that I was his last resort since another leader wasn’t able to go. I’ve told Joey this before but not in this way, this really was the beginning of a huge change for me. After the trip I stepped down fom the nursery and started as a member of the Student Leaders Team. Working with these kids has provided me with an opportunity that I never knew I wanted. There are not enough words to describe how amazing the kids are. They are some of the kindest, loving and most hard working people I know. They are willing to serve who ever needs it, and do whatever is asked of them. Seriously, if these kids are our future we have nothing to worry about. We will be in good hands! I have loved walking with them over the last six months, watching them grow and mature. The conversations I have heard them have, the advice they have given each other at times is light years ahead of where they should be. Sometimes it’s ahead of where I am. I can only hope that I have had half the impact on them as they have had on me. My dream would be to build such lasting relationships with them so when they are off at college, or where ever they go when they leave us, that they will want to continue a relationship.
I have been amazed at the relationships which have been built and strengthen this year. There’s a group of girls that I have been friends with for years and we continue to grow with each other. The relationships grow and we become closer, something I am still amazed at since we have been friends for almost eleven years! You would think that by now we would know everything there is to know about each other and have gone through everything there is to go through. Somehow new things keep popping up and we continue to learn about each other. A new relationship started this year, one that will last a life time. My God Son was born. I'm pretty sure I have not yet had such a massive honor in my life as being asked to be apart of Archer's life in this capacity. I was honestly a little nervous about it at first. How was I going to walk with this little guy? Would I have the answers to his questions when he came to me? Over time I just became more and more excited to have been asked by his parents to walk along side their son, someone that was so precious to them. While he is only 4 months old right now and we aren't really having deep conversations yet, I can't wait to continue this journey with him. To show him and teach him about God's love. I guess Andrea and Adam are stuck with my for a while!
One of the biggest surprise has come from the relationships with the other student leaders. It was kind of weird, things just kind of clicked with all of us and we became close pretty quickly. Most of Sunday is spent together, between church, tear down, lunch, students and many nights dinner after the kids have all gone home, we seem to always be together. Then through out the week we find way to hang out even more. You would think we would get tired of each other after a while! I have never felt a relationship grow so quickly with a group of people. I truly am blessed to be spending so much time with them. I’m sure if you asked Joey it is because he has done such an awesome job at choosing who servers at leaders, he may be right, but I’m not going to be the one to tell him that.
This year has exceeded my wildest dreams; I never expected the things to happen that did. I guess that just goes to show you that when you give up your own desires and place your life in God’s hands amazing things will happen. The biggest thing I have learned this year is; the plans you have for yourself will always fail in comparison to what God has planed for you. That’s not to say this year was not with out it’s trials, but the more I gave up control the more I realized that I don’t have to have it all figured out.
So what’s the plan for this year, you ask… I’d love to say that I don’t have one, but if I’m being honest with myself I do. After all I am human! Most importantly, I want to grow in my understanding of God, grow closer to him and stronger in my faith. I want to really to find a way to really let go of a few things in my past and start a new. I want to continue to develop, grow and nurture the relationships in my life, those with my family, my friends, the other leaders, the students and really any one I come in contact with. And I want to learn to let go of the things I can not control and rely more on God to give me what it is I need and not what I think I need.
“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer 29:11)