The past week/week and a half have been a tremendous growing time for me. I have been taking the time to listen to sermons from the pastor who preaches at the young adults service I went to this summer while I was in Detroit. These sermons have really hit home in my heart. You see, about a year ago as my fourth summer at Camp Kearney was ending I felt the Lord speak a command to me. I heard him say, "BE SINGLE." At that time I was really on board with this command and ran full force into it. I didn't hear God tell me a time frame, just "BE SINGLE." But instead come the fall I developed a crush, like I always do, and pushed God's command to the back of my mind. I allowed myself to disobey God, and follow my fleshly desire. Obviously this "crush" didn't work out, because God was telling me, "BE SINGLE." So going into the summer I was going really strong, there was no one on my radar, I was actually content with my singleness. Well then came a curve ball. Without going into details, I again developed a crush. But needless to say, that also did not work out, because God had told me, "BE SINGLE." So coming into my last semester at Moody, I knew I needed to really work hard on this command that God has given me, which brings me to my current situation. I feel like I have been given a time frame for my singleness. I have always had a weird feeling that I would not end up dating or marrying a Moody guy, so I don't know why I kept trying. No matter where I end up come January, I know that it will be better for me to be single. God has told me that IF I go back to Detroit he wants me to "BE SINGLE." I believe he has given this command to me because HE knows how distracted I would be if I was in a relationship, and how hard it would be to have a long distance relationship. So now here I am, JUST ME. I actually feel really good about BEING SINGLE this time around. Hopefully in a few weeks or months I will be able to say the same thing. I know that in ministry I can be much more effective if I am SINGLE. For now this is what God has called me to, SINGLENESS. I pray for the strength, courage, and self control that I need to persevere through this season of life.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Hard to believe that my FINAL semester of college has finally arrived. It has been a long and sometimes hard road, but it has definitely been an adventurous road too. I started my Moody career in a single room, and now I will finish my Moody career in a single room. I really hate living alone, single rooms are not for me. But this semester i'm hoping to embrace it better than I did the first time. I also want to finish out very strong academically. I hope to get really good grades this semester and work hard. The girls on my floor and I have started a 60 day workout video serious, and we kicked it off tonight. It totally kicked our butts, but we can only get better in time. Coming back this semester was difficult. There are still so many uncertainties in my life right now. My Dad's health, my Grandma's health, my future come January, and other relationships with friends. Even though many of these uncertainties have come as a surprise to me and my family I was reminded the other night that none of these things were a surprise to God. He knows every single detail of my life, even the number of hairs on my head. WOW! That is an amazing God. So even though many of the circumstances that i'm being faced with have come as sudden or as a surprise God knew about them all along. I have seen how he has been faithful to me and my family throughout my whole life, and I am certain that he will continue to be faithful as I keep pursuing his love.
Friday, August 13, 2010
It is no secret that I LOVE stars. Looking into a night that is sprinkled with stars is one of my favorite parts of God's beautiful creation. A few nights ago, after I had just left Detroit, I was feeling very sad about missing all the people and worried about my dad's health, and other relationships that are in total question. I was laying down in the grass just looking into the night sky and I was crying feeling totally alone. Suddenly right above my head I saw a shooting star go flying across the sky. I couldn't help but feel like that was God's way of telling me that EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY, and suddenly everything just seemed like it wasn't such a big deal.
Last night I was driving home from dropping friends off at their homes and I was praying to God and feeling similar to that night a few days ago. I was missing a lot of people, wondering about my future, and feeling overwhelmed with leaving home again. I noticed how amazing the stars were so I pulled off the road and parked on the road that leads up to Camp Kearney. I just got out of the car and stared up at the night sky and thanked God for his beautiful creation. Just as I was about to get into my car I looked up and a bright glow went streaming across the night sky. I believe that this was again a reminder from the Lord that EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY! I don't know what my future holds, in any aspect of my life. But God just keeps reminding me that worrying about all the things that I'm unsure about will not add a single day onto my life. So I need to give it all over the Lord and wait patiently on him. Now we all know this is so easier said than done, but i'm hoping that I try harder to let this happen in my life.
"Elizabeth, stop worrying and TRUST ME!"
Yes, Lord, I will wait on you, because I know you have everything under control...
Sunday, August 8, 2010
"My life matters... God is using me to impact peoples lives."
This pretty much sums up my summer. There were several times all summer when I would wonder if my life and my service was making any impact in peoples lives. It wasn't until I had to say all the goodbyes and saw how everyone reacted to my leaving that I started to see how God used me in their lives.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
This is it, today is the day that I have been dreading all summer. I leave Detroit this morning. In about an hour the car will be all packed up and i'll say my final goodbyes and i'll drive out of the city. I feel better this morning than I did over the weekend. I have more peace and I feel ready. When it comes to leaving a place I usually get really antsy and end up leaving early or wanting to. I've had that feeling since Monday night. As much as I don't want to leave, I just want to get out of here and get past all the goodbyes, and see ya laters and everything else.
I'm very thankful for my two friends, Gabby and Scott. This morning Scott is coming to Detroit to help me move everything out of the apartment and then we'll get some breakfast before heading on to his house. I'm thankful because I know this will be a great distraction from the tears. If I was just getting in my car alone and driving home 7 hours it would be a very depressing drive for me. Gabby is then coming to meet us at Scott's house this afternoon and the three of us will spend the next 2 1/2 days together. They are my two best friends from Moody, so i'm very much looking forward to being with them after a long summer!
I talked with my two bosses about the possibility of coming back to work full time in January. They loved the idea and we're going to spend much time praying over it before coming to any conclusion. So I guess this is it, my last blog post from Detroit (at least for awhile). My next update will be from home in Canton! So excited to see my FAMILY and my CHURCH FAMILY and FRIENDS!
I'M SO BLESSED!
Monday, August 2, 2010
Sunday my friend Scott came to visit LifeBuilders. Scott has worked at Camp Kearney all summer, bless his heart, and I've been able to stay connected to the camp through his presence there. Having another guest come was really encouraging, it helped keep my mind focused on the good things that have happened here instead of leaving. Everyone from the apartments hosted a farewell BBQ for me in the courtyard and gave me cards and presents. I felt very loved by all of them. At the end of the BBQ, Marilyn stood up and gave a "formal" thank you to me for being here all summer and for everything I have done. She then put me on the spot and asked me to speak and share with everyone something I learned or will take away from this summer. I couldnt even make it through my first sentence without bursting into tears. I was able to make it through "my speech" and let them all know how much they have encouraged me this summer and how much I have loved being apart of their community. To close the BBQ they all gathered around me and prayed for me. It was so precious because I felt love from their spirits. It was an incredible time, a moment from time that I will always remember. Hopefully I can speak on behalf of Scott when I say this, but I believe he left feeling encouraged just like Gabby did the week before. There is just something about God's presence in this city block that radiates God's love and salvation. Praise the Lord, for HE is good and his love endures FOREVER!
As the day approaches for me to leave Detroit and to leave LifeBuilders I still can't help but feel overwhelmed with sadness. Every time I leave a place or do something I keep thinking "This is my last ......." Like last night I even cried when I was at the college church service because I didn't want it to be the last time I was there or the last time I saw a new friend that God blessed me with this summer. Yesterday at church I was sitting next to Kimberly (one of the young girls from the neighborhood) and during the last song she put her arm around me and clung to me and with tears in her eyes she said to me, "Miss Elizabeth, please don't leave me." We just stood there clinging to each other with tears streaming down our faces. It has been hard leaving ministries before, it was hard knowing I wouldnt be at Camp Kearney anymore, but this time it is different. I really feel like i'm leaving a big chunk of my heart here. The more I talk about leaving the more people keep saying that they believe I'm coming back. I never would have thought that God would call me to DETROIT, but right now I can't imagine being called anywhere else. God even seems to be giving MY MOM peace about it. Now that is a miracle. I still have no idea if I will ever step foot on the grounds of LifeBuilders but if God blesses me with that chance then I will take that GIANT LEAP OF FAITH and come running!