Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Be Still and Know.

“Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10).
This is so different!
Just a heads up, I don’t even journal, much less blog! Normally, reflecting on what’s going on in my life consists of lying in bed at night and praying until I drift off to sleep, standing in the shower in the mornings trying to wake up while asking God to keep my eyes open for the tasks that lie ahead of me for that day, or when I’m driving! So writing (or typing I guess would be the correct technical term!) is definitely a new thing.
I am probably one of THE worst people when it comes to finding the right words to express what I feel in writing. I literally can not tell you how many times when I pray I think about Romans 8:26-28 and thank Jesus that He understands not only what I need, but what I’M trying to say to Him! Even when I don’t know what I’m trying to say! So, all of that to say, the following blogs may make sense, or they may leave you scratching your head wondering how any of what I wrote relates to anything!  Even if that IS the case, this is more or less just for me to be able to look back on my journey that has already begun, and is soon to RAPIDLY unfold, and see what God has done. How He has worked. Because He certainly does work. He heals terminal illness. He provides the exact type of relationships we need just when we need them; when we feel like we’re about to be at the end of our rope. He brings real and tangible understanding when He is searched for with an eager heart. He truly does heal and restore the brokenhearted. I love the fact that it’s not just a quick-fix, 1-2-3, “Here’s your antibiotic!” doctor type of healing. He WANTS to be close to us in the midst of our struggle. Whether we’re walking, skipping, sprinting, or crawling alongside Him, that’s right where He wants to be: alongside us.
I will most definitely need Him more than ever in the few months to come.
This summer, I have the opportunity to go to Nairobi, Kenya. Once I heard about this opportunity, my heart skipped a beat and I can nearly think about nothing else. People are my passion. Children are my passion. When I went on our youth group’s mission trip to Baja, Mexico last summer, my heart was stolen by the kids and people who need the love of Christ so desperately. People here in the States need it too, don’t misunderstand me, but there’s just something that pulls me in deeper when I think about meeting people hundreds maybe even thousands of miles away that have a completely different culture, and a completely different attitude towards life. There is so much to learn from these people. It’s not just us teaching them about Christ, but them teaching US about life. Lessons like what it actually means to be a family. How it feels to truly have pride in what you own. To never take the smallest thing for granted. To give anything to absolutely anyone in need, even if it in turn puts you in a bind. I will never forget the ladies in Mexico who put probably a week’s worth of their husband’s wages together to fix us lunch, as thanks for what we were doing for their community. US. The filthy rich, spoiled, Americans who could have just as easily gone back to our camp, eaten lunch, and probably had enough food left over to feed THEM.
I want that. I want that reckless abandonment of any and every selfish motive so that others can feel important. So that they can feel Jesus.
I know funds will come for this! I have pledged to myself to save every single dollar as well as every single couch penny I can find to put towards this opportunity. And with the One who created over 200 BILLION GALAXIES on my side, who could stop me? Ha…I was thinkin’ the same thing! :)
So, looking even further into my future and seeing past this Nairobi opportunity, I get to college!
College is now a definite thing—finally! I am officially a Harding Bison! :)
I am so so so SO (can I add another ‘so’ in there?...I think I will!) SO EXCITED!
Every time I have visited, and even talked to people that have been a part of the school, they have literally spoken nothing but good words about it! My sister, Lindsey, has gone there for three years and absolutely loves it! Many of our church interns in the past have come from Harding, and on top of that, mulitple kids from our youth group have decided to attend there, which will make the transition SO much more comforting with the fact that I will be 6 hours away from home!
As of yet, my academic situation will either be a major in religion (missionary-esque type of thing) with a minor in visual arts/photography, or a major in visual arts/photography and a minor in religion. The order is kind of irrelevant to this point because they both bring me to the same outcome; a photo-journalistic missionary. Yep! What is that you may ask? Well, you’ve come to the right person! What it is, or so I’ve been told, is a photographer that takes pictures almost like you would see in National Geographic, and basically the pictures of the areas/people I would take would bring awareness of what is truly going on in the world. My absolute, without a doubt, first choice would be to be stationed in Africa.
It’s more than possible that there are things other than photography that I can be of better use while I’m wherever I will be! The Lord knows what my talents are, and knows the ways that I will be most effective. Man, He is so good! He knows me literally better than I know myself, and there’s nothing more comforting in the world. So, photography or not, I throw myself into His arms and have complete confidence that He has the absolute best for me in my future.
BEFORE I run off and try to get my degree(s) as fast as I can so I can get started, I find out about yet ANOTHER opportunity!
HIZ! Yep! HIZ! It stands for Harding In Zambia!
So, if any of you know my family at all, you probably know that my older sister was given the opportunity to spend one of her semesters of study overseas! And she chose to spend it in Italy! She was able to travel to numerous countries to sight-see and learn about the culture while working on school! Awesome right? So…they have the same program, except in ZAMBIA! Ah! What a more perfect way to prepare myself for what I want to do for my career than that! Harding requires that you go to their school for at least a semester before you become involved with their international programs, which is totally cool, but Y'ALL! This could NOT be more perfect! And while we’re there, we work with kids and focus on medical/clinical type of things. Okay so how much more obvious could God be with where He wants me! All of these opportunities by chance? I don’t think so.
 So…with around 200 days left of life as I know it before this whole college thing starts to unravel, I need God beside me now more than ever. Especially with what I’m about to venture in to. So many options. So many opportunities. So many decisions.
Sounds crazy and probably more fantasy than a realistic thing, but all I know are these few things:
-I love God.
-He loves me.
-I was created for Him and His glory.
-He loves me.
-Nearly one-third of the world’s population has never even HEARD of the name of Jesus. Yet, He chose to put me here, in the United States, into a family who fears the name of the Lord. Leaving me with a responsibility to use that totally undeserved blessing to its fullest extent.
-He LOVES me.
-I will serve Him with whatever comes to pass in my life.
-He loves ME.
-I want more of Him.
And that’s all I need to know to muster up the courage to weather the storms that will come from this point on.
I choose to be still.
And to KNOW that He IS my GOD.