I feel like I should put this disclaimer (is that the correct word?) right up front: this is going to be a rather disconnected and rambling post. I have not posted in quite some time (what's new?) and SOOOO much has happened in my life since I last posted that I could probably write ten posts to cover it all. Seriously. But that would be pretty much impossible to accomplish along with staying on top of schoolwork, ministry, time with God, practicing piano, and church; not to mention a social life! So I shall ATTEMPT to summarize :) Here it goes!
The past week has been full of fun things like a skit/improv show, getting a free cupcake, playing my favorite Hobbit songs on the piano, trying Thai food for the first time, and dressing up to go to a super-fancy restaurant for dessert (Ghirardelli cheesecake = YUM!). I also went on a prayer walk with the Student Missions Fellowship in an awesome Mexican neighborhood called "La Villita" or "Little Village". It. Was. Amazing. I absolutely fell in love with that area in the course of a couple hours! Hopefully I'll be spending more time in La Villita in the future (possibly Practical Christian Ministry next year?).
And of course I've been doing school. A lot! Usually it's quite enjoyable, and always I learn so much and am amazed at just how much information our brains can process! I'm so glad God gave us the capacity to learn :)
Besides being a fun and informative season of life, I have found this past month to be the most challenging, convicting, and growth-inducing period of my 20 years so far. To save time and also share with you a snapshot of what God has been doing in my personal life, I'm going to do something I normally don't do and copy a few passages from my journal on here....
9-8-14: "Trial and error. Learn from your mistakes. The best way to learn your way around is to get lost a few times. You'll never know until you try. Same basic thought, different ways to word it. I think college is definitely a time to take risks, try new things, and be adventurous. College in and of itself is a risk! And as with any risk, there are many chances to fail. But when you fall off a horse (which I have twice, by the way...literally) what do you do? Get back on! You can't let the failures get you down. Life goes on, and sometimes the greatest adventures happen when things don't go as planned! Bottom line? I can't be afraid of failure. There is something freeing in knowing it's OK to not be perfect. To not get it right every single time. To know that life goes on when I fail to meet standards set by myself or others..."
9-17-14: "Today I was brought face-to-face multiple times with the raw humanity of every person. Nobody is just a statistic or a stereotype or a first impression. Nobody is an emotionless drone immune to the brokenness of our world. Nobody is the sum of all their successes...or failures. Nobody is completely devoid of the ability to do evil or good. Nobody doesn't need unconditional, genuine love. Every person is unique, yet we are united by an unbreakable bond of similarities. We're all human."
9-24-14: "You know what hit me really hard today? I AM often ashamed of the gospel of the Gospel of Christ. Why? I have no idea! That's what's so frustrating! When I'm alone with the Lord I love Him more than anything and commit my life to His service. But when I'm out in the world it's a different story... If I were God, I would have written me off as a hopeless case a LONG time ago! (Reason #5,876 I'm glad I'm not God! :)"
9-23-14: "Jesus You are so merciful. Thank You for Your incomprehensible mercy and grace! I love You!"
So that was really long, and if you read it all the way through, kudos to you! I hope you've been encouraged in some way by reading this post. And if you're reading this as a brother or sister in Christ, I would love it if you could be praying for me (message me or comment and I'd love to be praying for you as well)! I am LOVING it here, but that doesn't make things easy. Most of all, pray that God would give me boldness in sharing the Gospel every single day, both in my words and in the way I live. Speaking of prayer, here's my random quote of the day:
"Sometimes we think we are too busy to pray. That also is a great mistake, for praying is a saving of time. . . . God can multiply our ability to make use of time. If we give the Lord his due we shall have enough for all necessary purposes. In this matter keep first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Your other engagements will run smoothly if you do not forget your engagement with God" (Charles Spurgeon, qtd. in "Ministry Is..." by Earley & Gutierrez).