I love my parents. I know a lot of young folks my age that can't say the same and sometimes I feel bad talking about how blessed I am. But why should I try to hide the fact that I feel so unworthy of having this amazing family.
I know in this picture it looks like it was mid day but the sun was actually starting to set and the air was finally thinning out. Beautiful. My parents and I went out onto the back patio and sat in the hammock chairs and talked about life. One of my favorite things to do now is sit outside with good friends/family and talk about life, love and God. Nothing bad can come from that. There is no gossip, no lies, no worry... nothing but revelations, encouragement and scripture. My dad has always been good at asking fun questions to answer and he asked me where I would gauge my relationship with God right now?
I thought about all of the craziness that has been going on. Recently it has started to level back out and I've had to start on all the crap I have to get ready for ywam in July. I know that God has all this money stuff in control but my earthly body is slightly freaking out. 5,500 dollars is a lot of money to raise in 7 weeks.
I do on the other hand have my visa and my passport and my support letters all completed! Now we just have to book the bajillion flights to get me there and back. I'm already terrified of airports because they are so confusing... so how in the world am I going to go through multiple flight changes and attempt to not miss a flight? Pfft... no clue.
Oh boy, what an adventure. I feel like my story is just now starting to take shape. It's becoming interesting to tell.
Moved to Nashville when I was 18 to pursue music Ended up having new passions ignite in me Learned how much I love meeting new people Learned I love to travel and find fun places Moved back to Cincinnati Developed some amazing life long friendships God wrecked me in order to save me Now I'm off to travel the world
This is Jen and Drew. They got married today <3 <3 Sorry I got the flu Jen... I suck.
I was actually going to be in her wedding but of course I would get the flu 3 days before. I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate how I couldn't be there. I wanna hear alllllllllllllllllll about it though ;)
Ok back to my ramblings.
I'm happy. My sister gets married in a week and that's gonna be crazy to watch. My mind is going to be all over the place. Because right when we get back from Chattanooga we have to pack up everything again and leave for Europe two days later. Then two days after we get back there is a benefit show we are throwing to help me raise money for Australia. So lots and lots of stuff going on. I'm sure I'll be stressing out like crazy but trying to act calm and trust God.
Life is crazy!! If you asked me where I would be at 21 when I was in high school... I would probably say in college playing music trying to "make it." Because music was my dream. I still love writing and playing but there is so much more that I want to experience. This world is too big and I haven't seen anything yet.
Speaking of... anyone want to give me a camera? I can't afford one considering I have to raise 5000 by July 1st. And I would realllllly like to take pictures of the exotic places I go. Just throwin that out there if you even read this far.
Ok, enough talk. I need to drive home and attempt to fall asleep. Goodnight.
We have a funny God who is seriously unpredictable! I feel like I just relived a modern story of Abraham and Isaac. Here is the short version of everything...
After I got the email saying I wasn't accepted into the DTS because it was full, I went into a slight depression. I'm not a depressing person and this was really starting to wear me down. It took God to strip everything away from me in order to make sure my heart was still in the right place. Throughout the past month I've felt God ask me some seriously intense questions. Even if I have nothing, no plans or future planned out... will I still follow Him? I finally learned what it means to actively pursue God daily. There was a point where if I didn't have worship music on or wasn't meditating on God I slowly started getting depressed again.
I became really good friends with those girls I just talked about in the last post. Without them I wouldn't have been as encouraged in all of this crap. They helped me realize that God was doing something huge and I should be encouraged and I was! Even if I was in a sucky mood... I some how had a strange feeling of peace.
To sum all that up... I broke down and told God, "ok... if you seriously want me here in Cincy... then fine. Just tell me what to do here cause you know I don't want to be here without a reason!"
God somehow got me to realize a life without Him FULLY in it... just makes no sense.
Wellllllll then I got an email from YWAM Waves yesterday and it said in big formal letters, "CONGRATS! You've been accepted!!"
I almost peed my pants in the little coffee shop on madison. Ultimately confused... I just stared at the email. I called my dad and we both just laughed so hard.
God is seriously soooo freakin good. It's like He just wanted to make sure I really wanted to pursue Him. I don't deserve any of this, I don't know why God is being so good to me. But He knows the desires of my heart and obviously wants me to fullfill them! I don't doubt for a second about Australia now... granted I have to raise a buttload of money between now and July 6th. Gos is way bigger than money as well though, and I get that.
I'm constantly blown away.
So here is my schedule now:
May 22nd-24th - Jen's Wedding (i'm in) May 29th-31st - Rach's Wedding in Chattanooga June 3rd-18th - Switzerland, Germany and Ireland with my parents July 6th- December ? - Australia for YWAM
I have some of the most amazing core girls in my life.
Briana, Christine and Catherine are amazing women of God and its amazing how we can get together and just build each other up.
Who can honestly say they have friends that: 1. don't cause drama 2. push you spiritually 3. comfort you in time of need 4. not only can have fun but can create the fun 5. aren't afraid to take on challenges 6. love God more than themselves 7. vulnerable so the friendship can get deeper 8. will pray with and for you 9. can show their flaws and make jokes about them 10. hold you accountable in a loving way
I have that.
All 4 of us have such a strong desire to pursue God more and when we all get together... it gets REAL good. We have such strong passions and characteristics that somehow we balance each other out and I fully believe God is gonna use us for something big.
The only person I wish could be a 5th member would be Lisa. Miss that girl so much and she has been all these things with me as well. She is here in spirit haha.
Im not about to write this to get praise... I honestly just want to write this down:
God has seriously broken me down so much last week that for the first time I think I understand what it means to actively pursue Him. These girls have had visions and dreams and we all combined have separate gifts that bring something HUGE to the table. Just the other night Catherine and I went out to a bar and she ended up getting words from God to give to some guys we met. Totally encouraged them and let them know God still had their marriages in His hands. But we weren't planning on having a major spiritual experience that night! We just wanted to go out and have some fun! God is a big big God and I'm realizing that more and more each day.
I love being in this place now. I love not having anything BUT God. I wont have a job in 3 weeks, I don't have any sort of boyfriend and I wont have a place to live soon. I have absolutely nothing that could possibly distract me from my Lord. Most people would think I am in deep water and need to start thinking about my future but honestly... I only want to think about Jesus.
Sounds crazy but isn't that what love is?? Love is blind! I'm walking blind with Jesus but am falling madly in love.
So I feel like I need to update everyone that actually reads this blog. In this past week my world has completely been thrown upside down. I don't think I have ever felt this unsure and confused in my entire life.
I got an email from YWAM telling me that the DTS in July was all filled up. I immediately packed up my computer from Starbucks, walked to my car and cried. That was my goal. That's the whole reason I picked up and moved to Cincinnati in the first place. I felt like God was pulling me back in order to help me save up money and transition into a different stage of my life. Cincinnati was only supposed to be temporary. At first I felt like maybe I failed at listening to God and I should have just stayed in Nashville. Kept on goin with my happy comfortable life. But if you understand God and his character... that is NEVER his plan.
Immediately called my parents and talked to my mom on the phone. Right when I got off the phone with her my good friend Adam called not even knowing of the news I just received. He couldn't have decided to start his road trip at any better time because Cincy was the first stop. I got off the phone and then talked to my friend Christine on the phone and we decided before Adam got into town we would take a walk and just talk about life and such.
Before all that I still had to work and hang out with the boys for a while. I was a bad nanny that day hah. Was not there mentally/emotionally at all. Then I got to talk to my dad on the phone and he is good at sorting thoughts out and thinking through the emotions. Said this is the perfect time for a long walk or drive just to talk with God. I decided to take a walk around French park and just sit and pray. I honestly didn't get any sort of answer through that or major feeling of peace but I knew God heard me and I knew He saw my desperation.
Christine called not too long after that and we went on an even longer walk around Eden park. Found this broken down bridge that must have been by a dam of some sort. This I feel like was God's way of reminding me of how small I really am. How much I need Him and once again... my plans are not my own. Looking over Cincinnati made me think about how huge God really is and how He is fully in control.
Later on Adam drove into town and we stayed up till 4am talking about life, God, and so much more. Next day was jammed packed with Cincinnati things hah! The Coffee Shop on Madison, Chipotle, a little bit of work, frisbee/football, Eden park, cartwheels, sitting and dwelling on God's glory, Taza, Christine/Catherine/Briana and Adam making so many people mad at Highlands and barely getting sleep. Just all that in one day was so good for me.
The next day was getting up SUPER late, washing clothes at my parents house, Chic-fil-a, Long long stories, a little bit of work, starbucks, Navigators, starbucks again haha, dollar burger night, girl and boy bonding, back out to mason to babysit lucy at my parents house and not going to sleep till 4:30am again.
Through all of this God has really been showing me the beauty of Cincinnati and how much my close friends here are very important in my life. I have been hearing in different places how your mission field is wherever you are and I understood that but always thought in the back of my head that I'll do that when I get back from wherever. During Navigators on Weds night I kept feeling like I needed to get Briana, Christine and Catherine all together and talk about what God potentially could be doing. Briana and I have had many conversations about how we feel like God is wanting to use us to start something or get something going but we didn't know what. And all of us girls really balance each other out and and we all have such unique characteristics... I don't think its just coincidence that we all became really close friends since I've been back.
So, if all this means I have to get a normal job and stay here in Cincinnati in order to let God do His thing... I'm gonna have to suck it up. I really didn't want to stay here and I really didn't want a normal average joe job. I thought that after YWAM I would be able to stay in that and get a job through that and live happily ever after. But uh, turns out that wasn't God's plan?
Honestly, when people would tell me to "just pray about it"... I never had a sense of peace. I would just be like, "eh ok... soo uh... here it is." And I would never really feel like God was sincerely listening. But today has been the first day in a while when I thought about praying with the girls about what He could possibly want to use us for, I got a mild sense of peace. It wasn't a major world shaking feeling... but it was just enough to encourage me and make me want to step it up and make it happen.
God is good. I think I'm learning to wholeheartedly understand that. God has shaken my idea of what my life should look like and now I can only stop, wait, and listen.