Wow! Has it really been more than three months since my last post?? Over the summer I blogged about how God was working in my life, primarily through a summer discipleship program called City Project. When I last left off, I told you all about my time in Kenya.
A lot has happened in the last three months. I am currently nearing the end of my first semester as a junior at Meredith College, so I am in the process of completing my degree in Music Education. It is hard to believe that I only have two more semesters before I student teach! My classes have kept me pretty busy (as always), but it has been so sweet to spend time with my D-Group and get more involved with Summit College (a college ministry through the Summit Church). I also participated in Meredith College’s famous Ring Week and Ring Dinner tradition, where I received my Onyx, but that’s a story for some other time.
While my life the last three months have been a whirlwind of tests, concerts, and teaching in local schools, like all college students (at some point or another) I find myself thinking about my future. I think about what kind of teacher I want to be, where I want to live, or even what I want in a relationship. Up until last summer, I had pretty solid plan (or so I thought) about what I wanted to do with my life. I had it all mapped out: I was going to finish my Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education, go to graduate school to earn a Masters in Music Theory or Music Education, teach for three years in a state that meets the requirements for my federal Teach Grant, move back to live North of Atlanta, and somewhere along the way get married, buy a house, and start a family. I wanted the American Dream: a good job, a house, a family, maybe even a good small group with my church where we all have each other over for dinner and bible study while our children play outside together. This was what I wanted, and it seemed like a pretty realistic future where I would be happy. God, however, has other plans for me.
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
Last January if you had asked me what I was doing for the summer, I would have told you I was going home to get a job to save money. The plan involved living at home, earning money, and spending time with my family. This plan I had changed pretty quickly! Some of you have probably either heard from me or my blog about how I ended up at Summit, so the abbreviated version of the story is that I met a stranger on a bus who invited me to her church (and is now my good friend). The first time I visited the church I signed up for a discipleship program I knew nothing about to spend two months with people I didn’t know (which is totally out of character for me). If you want to read the full story click here. The next thing I knew, my life was headed down a path I had never considered. This plan was no where on my radar, but it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. It has now been nine months since I made that decision, and it is amazing to think about the life changing things that God has been able to do in the last year because I used a little three letter word: “YES!”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Here are some things God taught because I said YES to His plan:
1. God will take you outside your comfort zone:
I am a planner. I sit down every week and make a list of what I need to do for school, work, volunteering, church… etc. I keep track of my calendar in multiple places: My phone, my laptop, my wall calendar, my planner…etc. When I signed up for City Project, it was against my nature to be that spontaneous. Impromptu runs to cook out or to see a concert are about as spontaneous as I get, so randomly deciding to spend two months of my life with strangers, doing something I did not thoroughly research, was not a normal thing for me to do. Within a week of signing up I was accepted and went to the kickoff meeting. While I usually plan out everything, this it was different. I knew that learning about this discipleship program was not a coincidence, and I needed to step outside my comfort zone and take the leap of faith to be a part of it. This was not the only time I was outside my comfort zone either! Door to door evangelism, prayer walking, and confessing sin to my community were all new to me. God took me waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone at times, BUT through this He revealed so much to me! If you never take that leap of faith and trust God with the hard things, how can you expect to grow in your relationship with God?
2. It’s okay for your plans to change:
I used to think that my plan was concrete. I wanted the Christian American Dream, and it looked like my future was set in stone. I WAS SO WRONG! This summer, God gave me a passion for missions! Now I want to give not only my summer to God,but my entire life. I am willing to go anywhere to use my spiritual gifts for His glory. At the moment my plan looks like I will be going with a church plant in the US to finish my Teach Grant requirements, and then I will possibly be teaching music overseas as a means to bring the gospel to others! But honesty I am not sure what my future will look like, and THAT’S OKAY! All I know for sure is I will live my life for Christ, and I feel called to live out God’s mission internationally! Wherever He takes me, I will share the good news of Jesus! I used to think that if I changed my plans I was somehow disappointing my family and friends, and that I would be seen as weak. I was prideful about how I knew what I wanted to do, and if I changed that plan then I was somehow seen as less. It is promised to me in Psalms that He will fulfill His purpose for me, and I now know my identity is in Christ and not in the plans I made for myself! I may have many unknowns about my future (which can be scary), but I trust that God will reveal His plan in His timing, not mine!
The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
3. God’s plan is SO much better:
While my plan for my life was not bad, it was not lining up with what God wanted for me. By taking the leap of faith to do City Project, I found that God’s plan was so much better than mine. By doing City Project I learned to be with Jesus on a daily basis. I also saw how Jesus was changing my life, and I learned ways to be on mission with Jesus everyday (not just on a “mission trip”). The Christian friendships I made are irreplaceable, the growth I experienced is unforgettable, and the time I spent with Jesus is priceless! Now I am learning to give not only my summer plans to Jesus, but I am giving Him my entire life plan. For once in my life, the unknown is not as scary. While I still have days of worry, I know that God has my future mapped out, and that it is so much better than anything I could dream!
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more that food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, and how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like on of these?
By saying YES to God, He changed my life, and He will change yours, too! Whether He is asking you to live overseas, change careers, or share the gospel with a friend or family member, saying YES will change your life! The most important time you will ever say YES is when you accept God’s grace and forgiveness by believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!
So I ask you, are you living life for your plan or for God’s plan? Say Yes to God’s plan for you today!
- Pray that God will give you opportunities to say YES to His plan! Pray that He gives you strength to trust Him even when it is hard!
- Fires in Western NC. My hometown has been affected by the fires that are raging in Western North Carolina. My beautiful mountains have been engulfed in flames. My family is safe at the moment, but many people have had to evacuate their homes. Pray for safety, rain, and peace. Ask that God will use this devastating circumstance to bring people to know Him and rely on His strength.
- Second City. I feel called to participate in another discipleship program this summer through the Summit Church. This program involves two months in an international setting. Please pray that I am placed in a strategic location where my gifts can be used to reach those who have not heard the gospel. Also pray for other college students as they make the decision to give their summer to God! (More information about this opportunity will be coming soon!)
- Finishing this Semester. Pray that I will finish this semester strong, and that God gives me opportunities to share the gospel on campus. Pray that I do not get caught up in busyness at the end of the semester, and that I can keep my focus on God!
Shameless Plug: If you are a college student and you want to learn more about City Project and other opportunities for college students see the information below!
City Project: Click Here City Project is an 8 week discipleship program. Students learn how to be disciples who make disciples locally, nationally, and internationally.
Second City: Click Here Second City is a two month discipleship and missional experience in an international or national context.
2 Year Opportunities: Click Here