Wednesday, August 18, 2010

concerning the certificate of debt...

I can't seem to get back into a normal sleep pattern. It's a work in progress, but I would love to fall asleep right now.

Since I am unable to, I will reflect on the fact that my first day of sophomore year of college is in the books. I'm sorry, what? Sophomore? College? I still feel like a 7th grader.

Regardless, I have a really good feeling about this semester. I think I'm going to love my classes, I already love my apartment, I know where everything is, and I have many wonderful friends here.

I got to have coffee with Malley, one of the members of the Centrikid team I was on this year since we both go to MSU. It was wonderful.

The only thing I really have to share is actually a verse that I read today that really grabbed me by the lapel.

Colossians 2:14
"He (Jesus) erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross."

Erased the certificate of debt. Woah.

This summer our camp pastor/wonderful friend of mine had a fantastic example of what it means to be set free from sin. He locked his wrist to a chair, and did not have the key. The image of him dragging the chair across the stage was funny, but at the same time it really provided a powerful illustration. A little while later, our worship leader/another wonderful friend of mine came out with the key that could set him free. In that way, Jesus is the key to set us free from the slavery of sin.

He has set me free AND erased the certificate of debt.

This verse got my gears turning...

my sin, not in part but in whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more! Praise the Lord, it is well with my soul!

Oh, praise the one who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!

The power of sin is broken, I have been set free. For I have died, and Jesus is alive in me!

How great the love the Father has shown us, that He would call us His own!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

it seems like the only thing I write about is love. I'm okay with that.

The reality of a new semester of college is beginning to sink in. I'm very excited to begin this next chapter in my life, but at the same time I'm not ready to let go of the beautiful chapter that God finished about a week ago today. I won't say that He finished it forever, because I know that the friendships I made and the work that God did through us in the lives of those kids are eternal. But I do miss waking up with 23 people who desire to share the gospel and who deeply love the Lord.

However, I have been waking up to my best friend Sydney, who is a huge blessing in my life. Huge. God fashioned us together as best friends in a strange way (ask me about it sometime), but it was just another way that God has shown me that He has control and works in some amazing ways.

I have said and written several times that I have changed and my life will never be the same. I've already seen how that change has impacted my life. My priorities in life have begun to change. The things I once thought were very important don't hold as much water.

I got to talk to one of my dear friends Emily from my team this summer last night. Our thirty minute phone call was like chicken soup to my soul. She was always so encouraging to me this summer, but to hear her words of kindess and uplifting advice meant so much more outside of "camp world".

It's pretty awesome to think that the God who created this universe and everything in it and who is more majestic, mighty, and powerful than I'll ever understand loves me. He gave me friendships and laughter and people that I can pour my heart into and they pour theirs back in return.

I've said before that I am a very loving person. This is a strength and a weakness in my life, because it's easy to fall hard when someone misuses or rejects the love that you have invested in them. This summer I saw how God uses my loving personality. And yes, it did hurt in some ways, and still does, I know He's not finished with me yet. And as strange as it sounds, loving to the point of hurting is the best kind.


How great the love the Father has shown us that He would call us His own!

Monday, August 9, 2010

this summer at a glance, under the influence of pain killers.

Oh boy. Where do I begin?

I'm currently sitting in my new apartment in pain. 90% of the pain is coming from my ribs (I'll explain later), but the other 10% is coming from my heart. Yesterday I said goodbye to CK5. As cheesey as those last two sentences sounded, I will say that is a good kind of pain. Maybe I shouldn't call it pain...I'll call it "physical evidence that I loved a whole lot this summer." :)

I'm a little bit overwhelmed on how to being to explain how incredible this summer was. I tried to blog as much as possible on some of the specific things that happened, but there are plenty more things I can write and share. But right now I'm just stepping back and taking a look at my life since June 6th. I can say with all confidence that I have changed.

Here's what I learned:

-I find my identity in Christ. Not in boys, school, friends, MSU, chi omega, band, or anything else. I am a child of God. And in spite of my past mistakes and failures, God STILL loves me and can use me in incredible ways.

-I love the person that God made me to be. But before I could find out what she looks like, I needed to surrender everything to Him. And now I see how I can be used by God; tangible, living, breathing proof that God is real, He loves me, and He wants me to be happy.

-I want to adopt a child. Obviously after I get married and all that jazz.

-I. Love. Kids.

-Sign language is one of the most powerful forms of worship.

-I have a clearly painted picture of what true love looks like. True love is unconditional, powerful, beautiful, comforting, and majestic. True love doesn't care how sweaty and gross you are. True love doesn't mind staying up till 3am doing laundry. True love stops everything they're doing and prays for you. True love is contageous laughter, inside jokes, hugs, joy, and tears. True love is staying at the emergency room for 3 hours when they didn't have to. True love is encouraging post-it notes on the bathroom mirror every morning. Seeing children become Christians for the first time is true love. Seeing children want to become better Christians is true love. Seeing children want their friends to become Christians is true love. Leading a sweet blind boy around the stage and having him play the drums is true love.

I could go on and on.

So I ended this summer with a bang. I managed to get deep muscle contusion and some bruised ribs from a combination of playing murder in the dark (it was totally worth it; best. game. ever.) and coughing really hard. So I spent the last night as part of CK5 in the emergency room with Bekah and Kimberly. And even thought it was the ER, we still managed to have a good time. Go big or go home, right? Am I right, am I right? I'm taking some pain killers and muscle relaxers, so if my grammar isn't correct, back off.

My heart is full.