Friday, April 20, 2012

i know what God is asking of me. he is asking me to remember that my team was never mine. that they were entrusted to me for a season, but i have to give them back. i have to trust him to continue to grow and use them without me.

and i hate it. it's so hard to love on them and invest so much of myself into them and have to give them back. i've spent so much time crying over this loss the past few weeks, and i know that is only the beginning. as a matter of fact, there are tears rolling down my cheeks as i write these words. my heart aches at the pain of losing this group of people that have become my family.

at the start of this year, i told God that i wanted my team to be better leaders, better Jesus followers because they were part of this team. i feel so blessed to have seen that happen. i know that God could have used anyone to make that happen and i feel so incredibly honored and thankful that he chose to use me. it could have been anyone, but it got to be me.

i love that i got to see healing happen. the story of redemption was played out in each person's life on my team in some aspect. i got to see growth and love on people in hard things. i saw God make beautiful things out of brokenness.

i feel like my heart is being torn apart, and God is asking me not to try and hold the broken, bleeding pieces but to let him have them. to not only give him my pain, but to trust him with my people. to trust him to continue to tell the story, his story that he let me be part of. to trust him to bring other people into their life to pour into them. to trust him to bring other people into my life that i need to pour into and that i need to let pour into me.

i hope i get to stay in the narrative for some of them. but even if i don't, i want to chose a thankful heart for the gift this year has been. i have seen the body of Christ act the way it was meant to. i trust that God will bring that same love through his people into my life through different people, even if i haven't seen it played out yet.

hold me in my pain, Jesus. help me to keep my heart soft and usable. help me to be thankful for what you have given and not bitter for what you are taking away. thank you for using me this year and for showing me such love through my team.

Monday, April 2, 2012

i got a glimpse of what one of my friends was like as a little boy, and it really grieved me. he was hurt by a lot of people, and really missed out on people loving on him well and real community until the last few years. it's easy for me to forget that the person i see in front of me isn't the person that has always been. i know how much growth i've seen in him this year, but i can forget how different things might have been before i even knew him. listening to another part of his story made me think about a few things:

1. how thankful i am to have him in my life. i've told him numerous times, but i don't know if it has sunk in. he is really special to me. he is one person that has consistently cared for me without expectation of my response.
2. how much i want to pour into people. i want people to be loved on well, to find "home" with people who love them and to be known. i think it's what i've wanted for as long as i can remember, but it is nice to have it confirmed.
3. how good God is at telling the story of redemption in our lives. as hard as it was to hear what a difficult and lonely childhood my friend had experienced, it was also encouraging to hear how God has redeemed those hard parts of his story. because of it, he's really good at connecting with kids, asking good questions and caring for people.

thank you for making beautiful things out of us, Jesus.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

beautiful things.

this is my current favorite song: beautiful things, gungor

all this pain, i wonder if i'll ever find my way.
i wonder if my life could really change at all.
all this earth, could all that is lost ever be found?
could a garden come up from this garden at all?
you make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of dust.
you make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of us.

you make me new. you are making me new.

my heart is heavy as i feel tired and exhaustion from the long semester. i am dreading the end of the semester, because i know how painful the change will be. yet, i feel like God has been so good at giving me hope-showing me how he is changing me, how much he loves me. my team have been his instruments of love all year, but especially in the recent months of pain and loss. i am so thankful for his provision for me.