I wanted to start this blog as an expression/processing center as I work through this season of refinement that God has placed me in.
I’ve been a Christian since high school, but it wasn’t until about 2 months ago that Jesus became my only identity, my only claim. I used to be a lot of things. A best friend. A girlfriend. A discipler. A busy person. A happy-go-lucky, always-try-to-please-everyone kind of girl. But the thing so many people in my community tagged me with was “Springboro Young Life Leader.”
I used to be one.
Now I’m not.
I was asked to step down from my position as a Young Life Leader due to not adhering with the Young Life code of conduct we sign. Even though the period of sin was in the past, repented of, and held accountable for, nevertheless, it was the will of God that I be asked to stop. This was nearly two months ago and that sunday, my world was rocked. My heart is still recovering from the blow. Relationships with girls had to be severed. A bible study of sophomore girls that I had built up in the Gospel for a year was handed down to my co-leader. Cross country girls that I have practiced with and cheered for the past two years will never see me again. My team now runs alongside each other for the city…without me. The area of my life that brought me the most joy, lead me to the most prayer, and made me most passionate about the Gospel of Jesus Christ was taken away. Why? Why did you choose to discipline me so long after my time of rebellion? Why do I have to be exiled, without the oppertunity to have occasional contact with girls who I, not only led and discipled, but had deep fellowship and friendship with?
I thought things would begin to make sense by now, but I still sit here today, asking myself the same questions…
On the morning after I was asked to stop leading, I remember reflecting on the Lord’s will. In the midst of tear filled eyes I journaled:
Jan. 24, 2010– God you are so faithful. You are my strength and my portion forever. Even when my heart condemns me, you are greater still.
Lord thank you that your will is being done. Even though that period sin is in the past, Lord the idols are still here…just manifesting themselves in less offensive ways. Your discipline is just, but it is also loving like a Father. What a BLESSING to be disciplined in such a way to make me more holy, pure, and in love with you. I will know you so much through this and you will change my heart to rely on you alone.
Lord so many idols are threatened: Reputation, People’s View of Me, Control, Ministry. I have nowhere to go but you. Mark 10: I knew that the one thing that would be hard for me to sell was my reputation. Here it is God. You have broken it and I am holding up the broken pieces and ready to follow you. It will be hard and I fear people who don’t understand the Gospel and will only judge, speculate, gossip, and slander so that they can be exulted over me in my sin. Hold me Lord and set my heart to know that my identity is in you alone.
Jan. 25, 2010– Lord my heart is heavy right now. I miss my girls. I can’t even say goodbye…I’m so sad. I was telling Kevin about how they are starting to hang out with each other outside of bible study and how I feel so passionate about discipleship and how God blesses and encourages me through them. Why do I have to have this taken away? It’s such a good thing that points me to you and I just feel like I’m starting to doubt your goodness. Restore to me my sight lord! You are better than you blessing. Please God release me from bitterness or sadness. Lead me to find peace with your will.
Grow me in prayer Jesus. I pray for Springboro and your redemption there. Change girls hearts and draw Abbi, Corissa, Natalie, Sierra, Rachel, and Christiana’s hearts nearer to yours. By the power of the gospel, sanctify them. You are so good.
I feel peace to keeping moving forward.
Jan. 27, 2010– God I am so thankful! Today was so hard but now I can rejoice in sight of your work! I just went to dinner with Christie and just feel so confident that you are going to move through her so much in those girls lives! I am so encouraged by the faith you are giving her. Gosh you are going to change her so much and bless her as you blessed me as she sees them fall more in love with you.
THANK YOU FOR HOW YOU ARE MOVING IN ABBI! I just got her letter and it was so rich and deeply from you. You have changed her into such a beautiful woman who loves you more everyday and I can see that in her words. I also see so much of myself in the letter- but in a good way. The words you spoke from me gave her life and grew her in her understanding of you. I got to see fruit and that is such an undeserved blessing that many don’t get to see the way I have. I am so thankful. I think I am ready to let go of Springboro. I have had so much passion over the past two years. I am so excited to find more passion in you alone. Direct my steps lord. Where do you want me? Increase my faith that you are enough for me!
I prayed those things with so much faith. but today that person seems so distant. I think I half believed that this was a big mistake or that some how my “penance” would be paid off quick and easy and I would be able to talk to my friends again–but its been two months and I’m starting to realize I will never be a Springboro Young Life Leader again.
Here is what I am learning…Well, trying to learn.
God is the author of this. He is good and he loves me. He is not bringing me through this time to punish me but to BLESS ME. It is a blessing that I get to know Him better and have more of Him. I’m trying to learn that even compared to some of the best things in this world, he is better still! I was made to know and treasure the glory of God above all things- My discontentness is really me selling out and starving myself from what I was created to find my utmost joy in! Do I really count all things as loss compared to knowing Jesus and His SURPASSING worth? Am I this temporally focused that I forget the GLORY that will be revealed to us sons and daughters for eternity? Lord give me back my child-like faith and prayerful heart I felt the day you took this part of my life, and let me eagerly long to invite you to abide in its place!
Not to this, oh God, but to your name be glory.
I love all of this, but Jesus I want to love you more.