I am finally becoming a blogger! Seeing as how I am studying to be a journalist, I probably should’ve started one already….but life gets in the way, as every one knows. So I sit at my desk in my currently ant-infested room, making sure my feet don’t touch the floor so the little buggers don’t bite me (I already have several pink bumps on my toes), trying to think of an absolutely amazing topic for my first blog so people will actually want to read it.
I’ve had a crazy past few weeks. School started last Monday for USF students, and before that I was in Tuxtla, Mexico on a mission trip with 12 people from Aletheia Tampa. We helped some amazing church planters down there and got to meet some truly awesome Mexican college students. Needless to say, I’ve been on-the-go non-stop for a while which has resulted in a lack of sleep (and Allie is not nice to be around when sleep-deprived- be warned!).
To think only a year ago I was a freshman here at this 40,000+ campus, wandering around in complete confusion, having no friends from high school accompany me to Tampa…..I was alone and unsure as to why God wanted me here. I had felt Him urging me to Tampa, but at the time I was clueless as to why. Only in the past 6 months or so has He really revealed to me His purpose for my coming here….and I know as time goes on He will continue to do so.
So what exactly has transpired in the past year that God has so radically changed my life in amazing and glorious ways? Fall of my freshman year I was struggling with dating a guy who wasn’t saved and being at a school where I knew no one. I was desperately trying to hold onto my past while furiously searching for my future. I started going to Aletheia in September, but not consistently, and not whole-heartedly (I came for the service and skee-daddled afterwards, not making an effort to make connections).
Finally in January I made a conscious effort to get plugged-in and joined a small group (which I am now co-leading with one of the many amazing women from Aletheia). I am going to digress to stress how important the church and Christian community is. If I would have gotten more involved in the fall I would have been much stronger in my faith and would have made better decisions. Yes, I was reading my bible and studying on my own, but we are not meant to fight the battle of living in a fallen world without other members of the body of Christ. We all have different functions that make up the body- 1 Corinthians 12:13-14 says: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body….and have been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.” In verses 14-20 Paul illustrates how every human body part is indispensible to the function of the body. My point is, don’t try to tough it out alone- it doesn’t work! Every individual plays a vital role in the church and this is where we are taught, encouraged, and held accountable, so we can in turn go into the world and reach out to the nations as Christ calls us to.
Anyway, by this point I was on the verge of breaking- I felt so convicted of the decision that needed to be made but kept fighting it, not willing to fully submit and let God completely take over. Once I finally gave up, threw my hands in the air and prayed unwaveringly for a way out, God swooped me up so fast it’s no wonder I feel like that was a lifetime ago……
And now….my world has been completely changed. When I really stop and think about it, it brings me to tears. The joy that fills my heart, His abounding love overflowing from my entire being….I have been growing in my faith like never before. Not to say it isn’t a constant daily struggle living in a world of sin, but He is constantly challenging me and providing opportunities to escape my comfort zone and become the woman He is calling me to be. I thank Him for bringing me to a church that is modeled after His word, whose people live out the Great Commission every day. I praise Him for bringing the most amazing man into my life, a man who leads me in His ways, loves and cares for me. I thank God for my parents who have always loved and supported me, and continue to do so even after I’ve left the home….
God’s grace…..”charis” in Greek….what we don’t deserve, a free gift….It’s absolutely mind-blowing. Psalm 84:11- “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
So this is where I’m at now…..I’m going to try to update weekly, so keep reading friends 🙂