Ok first off so sorry for the week off I began writing this blog and quickly realized my heart was not ready to really write about it! I did not want to chat about what I am learning about obedience without actually obeying God in those things.
OK! So first off I know my parent will crack up when they see the title of this blog…I have had quite a history of disobedience. One of my favorite stories my mom has told me involved me throwing a huge tantrum in the grocery store (probably because I did not get what I wanted). I would sit down and start screaming, while spinning myself in circles on the floor. I still have no clue how I thought that would work in my favor, but I can imagine my mom just continuing shopping until I quit, heck or even start walking away and leaving me in my pitiful state. I just really enjoyed disobeying authority, as I think a lot of humans do but I for sure had (and still have) an issue.
“Disobedience is foolish” was a phrase used by a speaker here at LT back in like week 2…and at the time Mike Smith’s talk really did not have a big effect on me. I came out here processing through a lot of emotions rather than listening t and following the plan God had laid out for my summer…ah how the times have changed!!!
Without really acknowledging this, I was already semi-obeying God from the get go when he asked me (through Diane) to small group lead (I talk about SG leading a lot because it’s had some of the biggest impact on my heart this summer!). I still recall the thoughts in my head telling me, no way don’t you dare! while my voice said, “yes let’s go!!!” Even then, subconsciously, I realized how futile disobedience is, and today I cannot imagine how much I would have regretted saying no to SG leading. One of the ways I have obeyed God in this is simply surrendering the guy’s and my own stories to Him. Alone, we will stumble, but only through the Holy Spirit can we overcome all our different struggles. It’s been so humbling to give all that to God 🙂 also a HUGE relief off my shoulders as I give up any thoughts of trying to do it alone.
God also called me to obey in the workplace this summer. I have been given countless opportunities to bring up Jesus and my beliefs, however, for the majority of the first half of summer, I ignored those opportunities. Recently I have been striving more intensely to pursue this experiences and so far they have involved very blunt responses and super tough conversations about God’s character and love. Regardless…God is putting these situations in my life for a reason and I don’t plan on ignoring them (or disobeying them!!) anymore. To go along with the topic of ” sharing my beliefs”, I had the incredibly nerve racking and rewarding opportunity to do contact evangelism for the first time in my life.
Contact evangelism was one of the hardest days for me this summer (and ended up being one of the most influential moments so far). The morning of, I was experiencing immense anxiety, fear, and uncertainty about the day. I was very obsessed with the fear of getting rejected and failing to get into conversation with anyone, and then we were off! Personally I was only rejected once and the other times were incredibly encouraging and God gave me an opportunity to encourage some highschoolers getting ready for college!
For some context, I went out with a team of 3; Jessie Jones (a staff member at H2O with a huge heart for evangelism) Mary Emma (a student at OSU also somewhat nervous for contact like me) and then me. Both Mary Emma and I wanted to start off by going around with Jessie, just because we were confident in her experience and (speaking for myself) felt really comforted having her go with us first. Jessie Jones however was praying all day for Mary Emma and I to be the ones who would get into the deep conversation. After Mary Emma and I both spent some time with Jessie, we went out together for the last 10 minutes and gosh God really does enjoy answering our bold prayers.
As we were searching around Mary Emma spotted these two guys coming out of a store and said “Ok let’s go talk to them!” Kyle and Rahool were here on vacation for a week, they were a married homosexual couple, Rahool grew up hindu and has since abandoned his religion fully, and Kyle grew up catholic and also fully abandoned his religion. In my head I am thinking God seriously? How do you want us to have a spiritual conversation with these two right now?? I quickly realized a spiritual conversation was not what God intended because it simply did not come to that. Instead, we learned about their backgrounds, how they met, some of their dreams for our country, and above all we as Christians got to express love and acceptance to two men who no doubt have a stereotype which might make them believe we would never accept them as who they are. For a moment after they left I was upset we didn’t get to share the gospel, but also was so thankful to have had that experience and to have gotten to shine a light into their worlds. Then I thought about how the day would’ve gone if I had not been obedient and open to God’s plan for that day…and then quit thinking about a day like that because that would’ve been stupid.
I have come to learn God really loves to make our lives super peaceful and mellow…so He continued to add more things I needed to surrender and obey Him in :). Halfway through LT I began to find myself interested in a fellow LT lady. Obeying God in relationships can be really challenging yet incredibly rewarding. Things like opening dates in prayer, seeking guidance from older people in our church, involving my friends in the relationship, and above all seeking God in every aspects are few of the many ways God is calling me to obey in this situation. I never will be perfect at any of this, but God is daily calling me to surrender this to Him and there really is no better way than to obey that calling!
Finally the biggest, and for me scariest, circumstance God is calling me to obey him in, is this desire that has grown in me for full time ministry this summer. I freeze just at the small aspect of support raising and how I will have to completely abandoned every ounce of pride within me if that were to become an aspect of my life. That’s only one tiny aspect of full time ministry and already I want to run and hide behind a fig leaf. The list goes so far as to things I would be incredibly insecure about yet God is going to call me to surrender every single item to him and trust him fully.
I think the best advice I received this summer was from Ellen, an elderly devout Lutheran woman who Jessie and I met during our contact evangelism day. After discussing our experiences in church and receiving immense encouragement from her faith and service we simply asked for some advice. Simply put she said, “Trust God in everything!” Yeah it’s really as simple as that. I cannot obey on my own and I cannot trust God without asking for him to help me trust him! Seriously there is not a single thing I can do without trusting and relying on God to see it through…I can’t even breathe unless He lets me breath!! However, knowing all these things I still find myself struggling to let Him take control. Bit by bit I offer more and more to Him, and the more I give the more joy, peace, and freedom I experience and it is beyond incredible!
HERE ARE SOME UPDATES FROM THE LAST FEW WEEKS!!!!