I've been holding all the information in this blogpost inside my little body for two days because my life has been entirely too busy for me to take a moment to blog. (I even made a list...) I thought about it at work today, but was busy playing around with photoshop. I'm having to use it for my 2D class and, needless to say, I'm clueless about what I'm doing.
First of all, my week without Facebook and Twitter hasn't been as challenging so far as I thought. I keep finding myself trying to find something to do...obviously I have homework, but I'm looking for Facebook and Twitter...not happening. It's been good. When I was getting ready for school yesterday it gave me extra time to get ready (which was fabulous) and I had a better conversation with God about things. I'm having to plan dates with Him which is new territory for me.
I'm having to plan friend-dates with everyone. I've never had to do this before and I'm not sure how I feel about it. My time with friends as typically been spontaneous. Obviously, sometimes there has been planning when there's a specific thing to do, but this is different. We're having to plan to co-exist.
I'm not a fan.
It makes friendships seem forced, but I know I wouldn't be able to see them otherwise and it is absolutely necessary for me to see these beautiful people. The thing is - as much as it bothers me so much to plan to spend time with them on a regular basis, I wouldn't have it any other way because I love them so much.
If I were tweeting, I'd have said something like this around 7pm: "Just spent two glorious hours with @willoughbym. Two of the best hours ever. Love her heart so much."
It blows my mind how my friendships have changed so incredibly much over the past six months. I know I've talked about it before, but I'm constantly dumbfounded by God's great big plan. It's crazy to look back even over the past few years at how He has grown me, guided me, and prepared me for exactly where I'm at today. The changes are immense. I have to brag about some of the most beautiful people ever - God has given me the biggest blessing in a group of ladies who challenge me constantly to be a better person. They challenge me to be okay with who I am and to rest in God. They challenge me to move...to leave complacency and hearing-but-not-doing behind. They challenge me to apply what I know and what I'm learning. They challenge me to drink in everything God is teaching me, not to KEEP it, but rather to turn around and pass it to someone else immediately.
I've never been so challenged by a group of women in my life.
They have so much of my heart.
I was mesmerized by the sky tonight after Madi dropped me off and I couldn't help but thank God for the crazy blues in the sky and pray that we would all be friends like this in ten years. I openly and earnestly desire for these ladies to be my core for a long time.
"A three-chord strand is not easily broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:12) Our lives are so interwoven..I would have it no other way. I love them so so much.
Tonight will be the last night of my moleskin journal. It's covered in Relay for Life stickers now (And one Up 'Til Dawn sticker on the back) with some sharpie writing on it as well. There's a post-it note in the front cover and one of the first scripture written in it came from another dear sweet friend of mine that I adore so much. I can't imagine my life without her. I can't even comprehend how we thought we were close on October 13th. We are so much closer now. I'll probably spend some time tonight going back through the crazy prayers I prayed and lists I made just to see how God has moved. He's already blowing my mind with that.
Audrey Assad has recently been a huge part of my life. I found a few of her songs a while back, but with all the other randomly incredible music of late (i.e. Hillsong's new album - Aftermath - and of course the beautiful songs from Passion..and some DCB) took my attention. You need to listen to Restless. Seriously one of the truest songs I've ever heard. For a beautiful take on that (it so very much corresponds with where I am right now in life) please see this beautiful blog post by my dear friend. I found the song "Little Light" by Audrey a few weeks ago when I was reading through some posts about Kate McRae. This precious girl has been on my heart for so long. Audrey wrote this song for Kate and I want you to see it...listen to it..hear it. Let it sink in and touch your heart.
I've got another pretty huge piece of news. I'm not sure why I've held it in for so long. For a while I thought I would burst. I finally got to tell my core about it. To have them praying about it and for me is like a weight lifted.
Well here it is: I'm taking over half of small groups at my awesome church. I feel like God's put a huge call on my life in general when it comes to this...He's got something big in store. I'm certain. And I believe He's going to use small groups to start that. It's such a crucial part of life to be in a group that you do life with - you need people to build you up in the Word. To ask you how you're doing. To learn with.
These people are your core. You need them. It's absolutely necessary. I can't stress that enough.
After discussing this with some awesome people at church and really jumping in, God gave me this incredible visual of small groups.
I am currently reading Radical by David Platt. It's an interesting book that has challenged me in a lot of ways. God used this in the most incredible way to show me this:
Jesus was the first small group leader.
Read it and believe it. He had his core - the disciples. He did life with them. They learned from each other. They experienced life together. They probably cried together and had bromance dates. I'm convinced. Jesus even prayed so much about them in John 17. His whole prayer was about how he wanted the disciples to be protected and cared for after he was gone. WHAT A CRAZY THING!
That's how we should be.
Basically..by telling the disciples to go and make disciples of others ... he was telling them to go and make small groups.
Go do life with some people.
Are you doing life with a group? If not, you're not being fed. What you get on Sunday isn't enough. Your alone time with God is crucial, but we're relational creatures. God created us to need and desire a closeness with other people. If you don't have a group that you diligently chase God with....you are missing so much spiritual filling. Your heart is only half as full as it could be.
Get in a group.