I read something awhile ago by John Eldredge that was so profoundly spot on that it got me thinking on how we are in need of people who have come alive. There are too many “dead” and unhappy human beings in the world that need an escape and find whatever it is that makes them come alive. Are we living a life that makes us come alive?
I have three, rather charming and goofy, older brothers and one incredible and beautiful older sister. They all have fully grasped the idea of coming alive over the years, but one brother in particular is one of the most alive and inspiring human beings I have had the honor of knowing and growing up with. Noah, whose name I must say is fashionably appropriate, is a free spirit. He is 29 years old and married to my lovely sister-in-law who is indeed his better half, but if Noah was a girl, it would be her. School has never been Noah’s expertise nor did he enjoy it that much, but he gave it a try for a semester and soon realized that school was not his cup of tea. I noticed a change in Noah after his school encounter. Noah’s journey began, from moving to Europe and living off close to nothing, to hitchhiking to living in a teepee in Telluride to marrying the girl of his dreams to sailing and living on a sailboat and basically engaging in some of the most bizarre things that would blow your mind. Let’s just say he is one intense guy and if you want a good story, I highly recommend contacting him just not on email or phone because technology definitely doesn’t come first in his life, like it does to some of us, however old-fashion mail will do the trick if you can get him and his wife to stay in a place for more than a month.
There is something we miss in the moments of our deepest struggles. I fear that we do not trust God in these moments and we are not trusting that he is making all things work for our good, but in fact He is. About a month ago, my husband Ryan and I got in a pretty bad car accident. As most may know, accidents are not fun. I was physically and mentally shaken from it. Once you realize everyone is okay and no one is hurt; the reality of dealing with the mess after starts to sink in. Ryan and I were in the process of making an offer on a house too and we were struggling to see the clarity through it all. It has always been a struggle of mine to know whether or not to accept something as a sign. I think this is where specific prayer comes in.
An insignificant God, that is sometimes how I find myself viewing God. Not consciously of course but in my actions, words, and beliefs. I find myself saying, “Is that really the kind of God I believe him to be?” I am reading through this book called The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. It is a book on prayer that showed me how we view God so insignificantly. I feel prayer is a struggle for many Christians and non-Christians, but why is it so troubling and confusing? Is it a “duty” we feel we must do? Well, it says to do it in the Bible, so we have to, right?
My all time favorite children’s book is The Giving Tree. If you haven’t already read it I highly encourage you to take the 3 minutes that it would take for you to read it. The simplicity of this book is what makes me adore it so much. Shel Silverstein wrote many books, mostly humorous poetry books like Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. The story line is so basic yet so moving to me because I feel that this is the way we were created to live our life. Sometimes all we need to do is to take it back to the basics of children books to teach us a lesson on life.
I recently spent a week up in Prescott, Arizona at UCYC, United Christian Youth Camp. There is something beautiful and so deeply moving when you see a group of 300+ students unite together lifting their hands in the air and crying out to a God that wants to know their heart’s desires and pains. These kids capture my heart in every way. Tears of joy stream from my face when I think of all that they are capable of doing. We need adults, parents and non-parents, and college students to feed and pour everything we have into the younger generations. They are the future, they are the ones that can change the world. They need guidance and wisdom to lead them down the path that God desires them to be down. I have messed up one too many times as a junior higher, high school student and a college student and I believe it is imperative that they know our faults and the consequences. We have an incredible and merciful God that forgives us but we are all born to be leaders and we need to raise the youth to be leaders so that they can continue to build up their community and society and in turn change the world so that all can see what a magnificent Savior we have. If they are obedient to God, they are capable of shaking lives with their voices, moving hearts towards God, and raising up their generation to change the way our world thinks, breathes and lives their life.
“’You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,’ said the Lion.”—C.S. Lewis (The Silver Chair)
Something you must know about me is that I love C.S. Lewis. He is my all time favorite author and inspires me daily. I have been thinking about the past few years and how I have gotten to where I am today. Three years ago is where my life took a dramatic turn and it hasn’t been until recently that I realized this, but when you just jump in, God reveals to you so much.
Three years ago I was living with three other girls in a house in Tempe, Arizona. I was attending a church that was full of college students like me. However, I got to this point where I felt this calling and need to go into student ministries. I absolutely love working with kids whether it be teenagers or younger. They have this aliveness to them that captures my heart. My church was solely a student church so I felt God calling me to look around at bigger churches. My roommate was dating a guy who lived with a couple of dudes and one was a junior high youth pastor of a church called Central Christian Church. I had attended once before and enjoyed it. She did me a favor and asked her boyfriend to ask his buddy the youth pastor if they needed any leaders in their ministry. He was just coming on to staff so he said yes, any help he could get would be awesome. He told me that there was a huge leadership meeting at the church three days from now and asked if I could make that. I was hesitant at first because I knew absolutely no one but for some reason I felt the need to jump in and go. I trusted my gut and I trusted God.