Wednesday, July 28, 2010

i don't know, and it's okay! :)

Hello everyone! It's been 3 weeks since my last update. I would have updated sooner, but there is so much that happens all the time that I don't get to process. I didn't want to process here - because that would be too much to read! I still have a lot to process, but I can still talk a little bit about the past few weeks.

The house trip was a blast! We went horseback riding, to a water park, hiking, swimming and a day-trip to Branson where we saw the other Doulos/Shelterwood property, walked around the Landing (shopping place where I went to Build-A-Bear :) had dinner together, then went to a Branson show. The show was called Legendz and featured impersonations by Little Richard, Alan Jackson, the Blues Brother, Britney Spears and Elvis. Our girls were like a side-show - screaming, dancing, laughing, and even got kissed on the cheek by Elvis! Haha they were so funny and I think we all had a great time. Being on the other property was exciting to me - just to think that people in a different location are doing the same thing was nice. Overall, the trip was a fun time to hang out, laugh, process some things and have some good conversations.

The next Monday we said good-bye to one of our house directors. She is about to start a new ministry opportunity working with girls coming out of the sex industry. I am so excited for her and looking forward to hearing about what Christ is going to do! We all miss her a lot. I have loved getting to know her heart, I know the Lord has great plans for her and am glad I will still get to hear about it!

The next week was very long because the girl's didn't have school while the boys went on their trip - which meant no alone time for us! It was tiring. We had fun though. We went to a Royals (baseball) game one night, watched movies, went climbing at a rock gym, hung out and slept in a little bit. Saturday we had to say good-bye to one of the Bigs because she decided it was best to go home with back treatments and so much stress that is experienced on a daily basis here. She was one of the Bigs I was closer to and I miss her, but I know we will keep in touch! There has been so much change here with people coming and going, and that is going to continue for the next month.

A Little graduated yesterday! She is awesome and I was blessed to get to know her a little bit, though I wish I had gotten to know her more. I am excited for her to go home and how the Lord will continue to work in her life. Graduations are always exciting and encouraging to reflect on what the Lord does and how He is faithful to heal brokenness is these girls and their families. It inspires me to invest more, go deeper, and continue to seek the Lord.

Yesterday, we also were told another Big was leaving. She was the Big I was closest to here, and it was all a shock. I still don't know what to think about it all, but I know that regardless the Lord is faithful to work for good in all things. I have already enjoyed hearing and seeing how the Lord is using it in all of our lives. It is definitely not easy by any means. However, I got to see her today though and we talked for over 3 hours. I love her very very much and have been so blessed by her friendship. She doesn't live too far away so I will get to see her still. Hallelujah!

Another Big took a week off before coming back as a wing director - kind of like an assistant house director. We will have another wing director coming in August or September who was a Big last year. A lot of changes are about to happen in the next month as the Bigs who have been her since last August will be leaving and new Bigs will come. Lots of change and transition - and lots of chaos and emotion go with that. Praise God who holds everything together! I am sad and excited about everything. I will miss the Bigs here now, but I am excited for the newness of things and opportunity to make changes as well. I know the change will mean I will need to step up and be a leader. I feel like the Lord has been calling me to that all year - which I have honestly been pretty resistant to - but now I won't really have a choice much. If you don't choose to get out of the boat - Jesus will push you out! Haha not really - but His plans can't be thwarted! So in a way this is true. But I am glad for that. He will provide the strength and wisdom I need. Courage. I should post Joshua 1:9 on my wall. :) "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

I was reading Psalm 18 earlier today and got stuck on verse one. "I love you, O Lord, my strength." I realized that the Lord does not just give us strength, but He is my strength. Wow - the depth of that truth. Jesus lives in me. That is so crazy for me to comprehend. I just think - "God, are You serious? You live in me?" I want to live in that truth. The Lord will not just provide me with strength, grace, love, power and wisdom, but He is strength, grace, love power and wisdom. And He lives in me. Therefore, all those things are already in me. It is simply a matter of letting them come out - to shine the light of Christ within me instead of hiding it, which I do sometimes. Lord, give me the boldness to shine brightly for You. Amen.

So I continue on this the midst of the chaos and confusion and brokenness and joy and healing - the Lord is faithful. There is so much I don't know, and the more I know the less I understand, but I can find all I need in Christ and I can rest in the arms of the One who holds everything together. When it seems like everything is falling apart, all we can do is cry out to the One who holds it all and has the ability to put everything together - and more beautifully than it was before. So sweet it is to trust in Jesus.

Thank you for your continued encouragement, love & prayers. Each of you are a gift of God's grace in my life, and I thank Him for you. Much love always! I know I am busy, but I am always longing to know how you are are and to hear how Christ is transforming Your life. To Him alone be the glory because He alone is worthy. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

His are the hands i've grown to trust

Trust. Faith. Believe. How I want to trust God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. To believe all that He says about who He is, who I am and what He can and is doing. I am learning to trust.

The Lord is giving me plenty of opportunities to do that here. There are opportunities everyday where I feel challenged and am humbled. And everything changes, which isn't always easy for me. We had a new girl come last week, and then we had one today, one tomorrow and one Friday. That is a lot of new girls who must be attached to a Big at all times. We are also leaving on Monday to go on a house trip to Arkansas to camp for a week. I am excited! We actually can stay in a house and aren't legit camping, but we get to go hiking, swimming, horseback riding and fun stuff like that! Oh camp fire and s'mores! Maybe I will bring a jar and we can catch fireflies, too! Yay for summertime!

I sent out a bunch of update letters the past few weeks. I have been so encouraged by so many people who have sent me texts or messages and shared some truth and just blessed me. Thank you so much! I am constantly encouraged by so many people who tell me they are praying for me or who take time to talk with me or ask how they can pray. You have no idea how much that means to me and renews my heart when I often feel discouraged or worn down. I am reminded that I am not alone and I praise God for it all. It is almost overwhelming at times to think of how many people are praying for me and supporting me. Thank you for joining me on this journey and allowing me to share with you. I am also so blessed by the friendships I have and people who are willing to share their lives with me. Oh heaven - how sweet it will be to all live together with Christ! But for now - I am so ridiculously blessed!

My heart breaks sometimes for the community we have here. I long for so much more for us, more connectedness, unity and love. I struggle sometimes to know if this is from the Lord or if I am missing what God is doing now. I think its a mix of both. I really want to see things from God's perspective - situations, Bigs, Littles, myself. To live out of that is to live in the truest reality. It is hard sometimes to do. It is easy to get caught up in the schedule of things, in the responsibilities. Do this, be here, always being with the Littles. I feel like I lose perspective because I am with people all the time and love the moments I am alone to step back and regain perspective. I want to be able to stay focused on Christ in the busyness of each day, but its challenging. He is faithful!

I also have become more aware of how I allow fear to hold me back from offering my heart to people. Sometimes I like being vulnerable, but sometimes I hate it. It hard to offer myself knowing that it could be rejected. But as I learn to stand firm in who I am in Christ and know my worth and value come from Him alone, He empowers me to love without needing anything in return. He can be my only motivation to truly love, or else I am seeking others for my worth. But the Lord is so patient with me as I learn how to trust Him and stand firm on what is true, to really believe what He says. Oh what a mess we all are...but there's a beauty to it. I am so glad that Christ holds everything together and works for good in all things and makes things beautiful. He invites us to be a part of it, but He does the work in His own mysterious and amazing ways. He is worthy, so worthy.

That is all I really have for now. I pray that your are growing in your faith and trusting Christ. He is so faithful and will give us all we need. Know that you are dearly loved! :)