a word of encouragement


As I mentioned last week, I had the privilege of taking students to youth camp this week. It was incredible. I never had the chance to go to camp when I was a kid, so I think I'm pretty lucky to take part in it now as an adult. It's such a different experience than anything else. It's like this completely set apart moment in time that completely changes your life. It's incredible to see a student go from being anxious, angry, selfish and filled with resentment, sadness and loneliness to a new person; a person that when I look at, I can't help but believe in a God that loves. 

I know I give this disclaimer every time I mention God, but I understand that the world doesn't all share my beliefs. If these posts make you feel uncomfortable, I apologize, that's not at all my intention, but I do hope that you find a way to apply the truths that I share, in your own life. Because if you do decide to continue reading, there's a pretty special nugget of truth I think you might like.

I'm a worrier by nature. I stress, I get anxious, I'm impatient and I like plans. When disorder clutters my life I can't help but begin to panic. There's something special that happens when you can lean on someone else for safety, for assurance, for strength... There's a trust, a bond, that forms - something I believe can rarely be broken. This past week I was reminded of how good God is. God's goodness never ceases to amaze me, but more than that, the fact that He shares that goodness with me... gosh, it just overwhelms me. Getting to be a part of what God was doing in these students lives, seeing them being freed of sickness, thoughts and feelings that made them feel awful - truly changing into people who love life, who have a new appreciation for who they are, and expressing joy. Sitting in those services, it was impossible to deny that a good God existed and He was in that room with each of those 940 students. Seeing them learn to lean on God, challenged my faith.

Whether you believe what I believe, or if you've never had a conversation with God, I challenge you to get alone, take a piece of paper, write out everything on your heart and let it go. This is something I started to do when I graduated high school. It was a time in my life when I truly began changing into the person I am today - it was difficult. Sitting in my room, taking out my journal and titling it "on my heart," I'd write out every worry and every fear, every situation that seemed impossible and in that moment I gave it over to God. It was so exciting going back through those journals months later and seeing how far from those issues I was. 

We're always growing. Isn't that a weird thought? Whether we want to change or not, change is constantly at our doorstep. I hope I change for the good. Looking back on my life I want to look back and say, "I have no idea how I got here". haha. But really, I hope I do more than I ever thought I possibly could do - challenge yourself to become the unexpected. 



Melisa