Friday, December 21, 2012

Elise: An Unexpected Journey

"What are you going to do after college?"

Ever student I know dislikes this question until they actually know what they will be doing! Sure I have an idea, but I am fearful of telling people I am doing that if it doesn't pan out! Ever since going to summer project this summer I so desperately want to go back to headquarters and just learn and grow with such amazing people God has put in that building! But while I don't seen any technical reasons to not go there, He may not be calling me there, so for now I just say I would like to go back to Orlando but I am also looking at other possibilities.

When I am involved in something I am passionate about it in the moment. Spring of freshman year I was taking a sociology of education class and I just kept thinking about being a school administrator and solving the problems of the school system! That fall I started taking American Sign Language and I then wanted to be an interpreter (still slightly a desire, we shall see). I went to Orlando this summer and now I want to intern there. I started to doubt in the middle of the semester if this is where God wanted me.

But I kept thinking about Cru and about how the only thing I loved all semester was doing work for Cru, making sure everything was ready for the next week, meeting up with girls on a weekly basis, etc. while it "took away" from me doing my course work I loved it. Sure there were stressful moments, but I kept thinking "If I could do this all the time and not do school work, this would be the best thing ever!"

So I started to examine why maybe I was hesitant about doing an internship, and it came to money. I am scared of raising support (even though I have observed the training of full staff support raising so I have a better knowledge of what I will be getting into than many other people simply interning!) It is not just raising support though, I am worried about financial stability, basically the sin of greed and lack of faith in what God can do. So I swept my love of Cru under the rug and thought "I will wait for the spring to see what God does and I will take steps of faith" basically giving myself the excuse of not telling people my full desire for Cru in case some awesome job or internship came my way to that paid me!

But a few nights back I was on Pintrest and this quote showed up on my newsfeed from a sweet friend, it said "If your dreams don't scare you, they are not big enough" and that is when it hit me. I am scared of interning/staffing with Cru because I am really scared that I am not "Christian" enough to join in and contribute to all of the amazing things that they do. My dream is big enough, God's plan in my life is big enough, I am terrified. But what that quote is missing is "If it is big enough, trust in God, He knows what He is doing."

The fear of what God could be calling me to do is good, but I also just need to start running the race with God showing me the path step by step. If I wait to see the entire route he is leading me on, I will stay still and frightened and will not be able to do anything for His glory. He might be yelling in my face CRU! CRU! (Which I really think he is) and so I need to say "Thine Will Be Done" and start taking steps of seeing what all Cru is doing and maybe where I can fit the gifts God has blessed me with. There will be trial and error, but that doesn't mean I am doomed, but rather that God is going to teach me great things during each season in life to allow me to be used!

Even in writing this blog I keep thinking "Man, God has been showing me in numerous ways that Cru is such a possibility after college!" I have always thought of interning in Orlando, but I have also been asked by OSU Cru to consider interning with them to help build the TU Cru, and also regional headquarters in Austin has asked me to consider interning there. As for support raising, the head pastor at the church I go to in Tulsa has said twice to please come and talk to the congregation to be a missionary for the church! Many people have come up asking me about summer project and follow up with "Do you think you will join staff?" or even when I tell them my thoughts they have been encouraging and excited for me! Sure this is scary to feel such validation, but man, I keep asking God to give me discernment in where I should be after college, and he has blasted open doors of insight to show me that if Cru is His desire as well as mine, God is making it happen!

How beautiful a God is He who I love and worship! Words cannot describe how much I feel loved and cherished by Him while in this trial of figuring out the next step to take. God is there behind, beside, and in front of me in this journey, I shall not fear anything except Him! 

Beauty and the Beast

(Meant to be posted during the end of finals, oops!)
So I was about to write this blog and talk about all the bad things that have gone on this semester that I have not liked. But while typing I listened to Gungor's Beautiful Things and it hit me. If I keep talking about all the trials God put me through more than pointing back to the beauty he has put in my life than I just want for my flesh desires to be pitied by others. Sure, this semester was a new challenge than what I have experienced in the past, but wonderful things have also come about!

This is the first fall semester that no health problems occurred, so TU Health Center has not seen me at all! God knew my body must be strong in doing all the course work he asked of me.

I am living with such wonderful roommates! I am learning and growing with them. This is the first year that I have had roommates I knew and got along with. They provide me with laughter and open mouths for when I bake a little too much! We all have had more challenging semesters but we do not lash out at each other because of our stress, we rather try and make sure others are stress free! I am learning to serve these beautiful women because they are always giving to me when I don't deserve it.

Another place I have been complaining and feeling desperate is in Cru. But really God has done things through that ministry as well. We have some freshman students who are regularly coming for reasons beyond me, but the Lord is encouraging them to continue to come again and again. They jumped at the chance to go to Fall Retreat when we only announced it once! I have been so frustrated with my non involvement this semester because God put research there so that He could grow the ministry and that I would not try and make this my ministry. That was so humbling to experience and I am entering next semester with a better mindset to prepare for when I leave instead of trying to "leave a legacy" because God is not asking me to be remembered, but for Him to be the reminder that He is good enough for everyone.

In this time of challenge I left the Word, I did not make time in my life because I thought that time needed to be spent completing all my coursework. God kept teaching me and giving me time in church and at Fall Retreat to fall more and more in love with Him, but I was allowing myself only big gulps of water instead of taking sips of the living water each day. These past two weeks I knew I needed to be in the Word to get through finals, and my spirit has been unquenchable! I keep trying to find new studies through my Bible app on my phone to read and go through all at once. The Cru advent series is wonderful (I know the writer personally, he is so inspiring!) just go to cru.org and it should appear in the slide show, I encourage everyone to do that little devotional it is so eye opening yet simple!

Sometimes God uses times in the desert not to simply see the bad things going on that point to needing him, but to also see that desert rose in the land and realize the beauty in it. God gives me trials so that I might learn, that is the beauty of the trial in the first place! I disliked being in the desert, but looking back, God gave me more desert roses than I deserved and I am grateful that he did!