Thursday, April 22, 2010

what the world needs now is love. sweet love

Hey! Sorry I haven't updated in awhile...its overwhelming to think about sometimes because its impossible to really explain things here. But I will share just a little. :)

I took the past 2 weekends off, which was nice, but also bittersweet. I went to Austin for the weekend to hang out with my family for the first one. I miss them so much. I also saw a couple friends, but the trip was short and it was like a tease to be in Austin but not see everyone I want to. I miss Austin so much, the people who I love there, and Austin Stone! But I got to go to church, which was so encouraging. I love the passion and the heart to truly worship Christ.

This past weekend I went to Memphis to meet my new little nephew! He is so adorable, but its still crazy to believe my brother has a kid! I also am just encouraged by my brother and sister-in-law, the way they live their lives for Christ and seek His will for them in every area of their lives. They are intentional in really reaching out and praying for their neighbors and other people in their path. I love how they live out the gospel with such boldness. I am blessed by them for sure and was glad I could be with them.

Getting away is nice, but also hard. Slowing down a little bit is great, but then the emotion of this place hits me as I have time to actually process some of it. I wept at some point both weekends. Just an emotional release. I can honestly say being here in Missouri is hard. Really hard. The one word I would use to define my time here is: broken. Again and again and again. Most of the time I have no idea what God is doing. But I am learning to trust, and I may not see the fruit of this year until after it is over or years later. So right now I am seeing the importance of trusting Christ, even when it doesn't make sense, or its hard, or I feel like He is far off. The truth is He is always with me, He is so faithful and He is working beyond what I can see. That is my hope, my hallelujah and the only thing that keeps me going: His grace is sufficient.

Next weekend is Parent's Weekend! The littles' parents come on Thursday and hang out through the weekend. We get to go out to eat with their parents as well! I am excited, but I will probably get a little nervous, too, as time gets closer. The Littles have mixed feelings. Excitement, fear, nervousness, joy! I can't imagine being in high school and being away from my family for so long! Pray that the Lord will work and bring healing to these families. Pray that I will glorify Christ in whatever way that means as well.

I came back last Sunday night to find out one of the girls had been picked up that morning by her parents and isn't coming back. She had been here about 2 months. Most of us didn't think she was ready to go home, but I know God has her. Another girl is leaving in the morning. She found out today. Craziness. She has been here about 6 months. She is at a stronger place, but she will probably also struggle some at home. But we all struggle don't we? We will be down to 9 girl Littles after that. We also lost one of the guy Bigs last week, too. The constant changing and intensity of this place is really hard on my heart. I'm afraid I'm being hardened because I can't handle it all. I don't know how to handle it really, and things keep going and moving along. There is no time to really stop, rest, process, breathe. So I just keep going. My favorite time each day is the time I get to spend alone with the Lord. It's almost as if we are underwater, in the midst of a storm - waves crashing down. Feels like you are drowning at times here. Time alone with Jesus is like catching a breath - gasping for breath some days. It brings me life. Without that, I don't know what I would do. He alone is my hope and my salvation. I still feel like I don't love Him as I should, but He loves me more than I can comprehend, and I try to hold onto that.

I have been thinking about love lately - how to truly love these girls, love the other Bigs. The girls act like they don't want much to do with us, unless they need us to go with them somewhere or get something for them. I don't think that is actually true - I think they do want us around, but they are teenagers, too. One of my littles actually really does like me around. She and I get to have good conversations a lot and I am really grateful for her. She encourages me a lot, is fun, respectful, positive, laughs a lot, and we get to talk about Christ, too. She might be leaving at the end of May though. I am going to miss her.

I want to love like Christ loves me. To not give up when I am rejected time and time again. To not live in fear and let the anger of others push me away or cause me to shut down. I want to trust Christ with everything. I want to speak the truth in love, even when its hard. I want to encourage those around me when they are struggling. I want to know Christ more and make Him known. I want to see Him move in this place, in my heart and in the hearts of those around me. We are struggling. All of us. And right now I feel like we are all feeling pretty defeated. I know the truth is that Christ has defeated the enemy and is greater than him. I am grateful for friends and family that remind me of the truth - often through little texts messages! :) It means so much to me, especially here and now. Your prayers and encouragement mean more to me than I can express. Right now I simply hold onto grace. The Lord is faithful. He will provide. He is mighty to save. He is all I need. I thank Him for each of you! I miss you all so much. You have no idea! Please let me know how you are or how I can be praying for you. Grace, peace and love in Christ our Savior! You are loved more than you will ever know by a God who never fails and holds the Universe in His hands. :)

1 comment:

  1. Beloved amaze me. I am in tears right now - tears of joy for your heart for these girls, tears of pain as I can feel the ache of your heart through your writing... You have such an amazingly beautiful heart, and I hope you know that when you find time in your hectic life to update us all on what the Lord is doing and how you are you bless your readers immensely. Seriously, you are so strong in the Lord - you challenge me and encourage me, and I love you for it.

    I can't wait for the day when actually get to be face-to-face friends :)

    God truly is faithful and all the things you closed with - it's so just beautiful when we can rest in Him and His promises...they are endless! Glory!

    Definitely have you in my prayers.
    Love in Christ,