Thanksgiving break, for me, starts tomorrow. I'm in the middle of a six-page essay right now that is to be turned in tomorrow before my departure.
This weekend has been extravagant. My cousin came up and we've spent the weekend thrifting, driving, talking, laughing, sleeping, eating, and just being friends. We're close for cousins and it's fun. We're friends.
Today at church was phenomenal and, honestly, not so groundbreaking. God confirmed a lot through Josh's message today on Daniel. It, again, goes back to the fact that we are to act in obedience to what God has called us to in order to activate His omnipotence. This particular passage caught my eye:
"By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward--to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything that God has for us. If any of us have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision--you'll see it yet!" - Philippians 3:13-16
I'm not an expert at chasing after God. I'm easily distracted, really, but I'm doing my best to keep my eye on God's purpose. Sometimes that means keeping my eye on absolutely nothing. It sounds abstract, but God doesn't always reveal what He wants you to do until what we consider the 'last minute.' I've answered the "what are you doing after college?" question countless times with, "Well, I'm not sure yet. Maybe I'll move here or there or get a job somewhere over there." I've never been quite sure, but God provides because He is enough. Always. I don't want just half of what God has for me - I want it all. I want to be selfish with my 'purpose' in life and have it all. I don't want to get to 30 or 40 and feel incomplete because I failed to take an irreversible step for God (see Joshua 3). I want to totally commit. now.
Josh said the "bow" is that we have victory today. It sounds cliche, but victory is ours today because God's kingdom is alive in our lives. We have to live it.
I got this phone call today informing me that I've been accepted to the World Race.
That's right.... I'm officially a World Racer.
I have two weeks to give them a definite answer. After that it's a whirlwind. I'm already making lists...tons of them. I need a small army (to which Madison has already proclaimed her loyalty. I think she's Team Captain at this point..) to do all this fundraising, planning, buying, lettering, listing, living.
I have to do school between now and then......and graduate. I.am.overwhelmed.
but so excited.
This coming week is Thanksgiving, as you all know, I'm sure. I'll be discussing WR with my parents and praying heavily for God's blessing over this trip. I would be honored to have you be prayer warriors with me about this. It's a big step. I'm not afraid of God moving me in a huge way - He has so many times. I'm willing to take this irreversible step, just like the Israelites took their irreversible step into the Jordan River in Joshua 3. God can and will do big things. Just pray with me that this is the time and place for this to happen and that I will trust Him to provide...that my family and friends will trust Him as well.
I've blogged about Kate McCrae before. She's this precious little girl who was diagnosed with brain cancer a few years ago. I came across her family this time last year right after she'd gone into remission. I've kept up via her CarePage and tweets from Matt Chandler as well as tweets from Kate's parents. Seriously, this girl is incredible, but more than that...our God is so huge. She went back for an MRI today and, without going into a ton of details, the MRI had no changes from last time (which is ridiculously good).
1. I never realized how intense Genesis can get. We're reading 15-25 right now in Bible study and I'm overwhelmed. It reminds me of Beth Moore's Patriarch study and chapter 16's title "The Trouble with Helping God." How often we fall short.
2. I'm a good friend. I'm a child of God. Remembering and being found in Him this week. His truth is Truth.
3. Shakespeare paper in progress: Cleopatra, Shakespeare's Masculine Feminine
4. A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
5. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
6. Shakespeare's Hamlet and King Lear
7. By Thursday I will find out if I've been accepted to the World Race.
8. Spanish quiz.
9. Family dinner with two girls I've been friends with since freshman year of college: proof that not all is lost.
10. Lunch with dear, sweet Leigha.
11. Bible study and dinner at the Hollingsworth home. I'm terribly excited. Callette is such a grand cook and fun spirit. I'm excited to do three of my favorite things at once: eat, be with best friends, and talk with/about God.
12. Breaking Dawn premiere. You have no room to judge me, and yes, I'm going at midnight.
13. A visit from my dear and incredible cousinfriend, Lauren! What a weekend!! It took me three years to get her here.
14. Sleep and rest.
15. Lots of fun times with my best friend.
16. Countdown until Miss Willoughby returns to the great US.
God is good. I've had my first cup of coffee in about a month. It feels good to only have it once in a while rather than on a daily basis. I'd much rather indulge in a pumpkin chai spice tea regularly. So delicious.
So thankful for how God's moving my life. So thankful that His plans are far above those that I can comprehend. So humbled and grateful for His greatness. Sometimes it's so incredibly great to just know that God is big.
God is big.
I think these lyrics give you a little glimpse into the cry of my heart lately..
Here I am.
I'm calling out, "Father!"
Can You hear me?
I don't want to go without You.
Here I am.
Can You talk a little louder?
So I can hear you.
I want to hear you.
I don't want to move without you.
If your presence goes, I don't want to stay.
If your presence stays, I don't want to go.
I need you.
Have you ever felt completely unprepared, unequipped, and unable?
I'm not entirely sure what God's plan is for me in five months, or tomorrow for that matter. My ideas of sleeping in on a Saturday may be completely changed depending on Him.
One thing I do know is that my life after Berry College is going to change a lot, regardless of where I end up. A very real possibility in my life right now is that I get on a plane in September to spend eleven months making God's name big in eleven different countries. That's one month in each country, potentially eating things and sleeping in places that someone with first world problems would rarely find even in their dreams. The possibilities are endless because God is endless and nothing is impossible with Him.
Tonight, after a long skype session with a dear friend, I went back to worldrace.org to go over the FAQs and "what do you expect from a racer?" again. I found myself completely overwhelmed and unprepared.
I'm made up of half city and half country. I grew up in a really strict church. I've never been on a mission trip. I don't own Chacos or a really awesome Kavu bag. I don't have a car. I don't have a 'home church' in my hometown and in six months I'm leaving the place I've called home for the past 3 years. My spiritual life is awful in comparison to how good my God has been to me. I often feel inferior to others because I fall so much sometimes, so short of the person God's called me to be. I'm selfish and unsure. I'm a coward and I neglect my relationship with God so much. The last blogs I read on my list are the ones that involve a lot of spiritual conviction because I "don't have enough time to handle that" on the week days. I'm attached to my friendships and have a separation anxiety that only plagues me when I know that I'm doing what I should. I give half my effort to most things because I don't know how to push myself to my limits. In the past few months I've felt farther from God than in all my years of college. I've become too comfortable here.
I've been convicted of my extravagant lifestyle. My closet is full of clothes. Sometimes I have so many t-shirts that my drawers won't close. I have two heavy coats, a rain jacket, several smaller jackets, and more shoes than I care to count. I have new, good underwear and socks.
I have options.
I have a fridge, freezer, and cabinet full of food. I have toilet paper, three kinds of shampoo, sweatshirts, three toothbrushes, coffee mugs galore, kitchen appliances, more books than I could begin to read, and at least 4 extra blankets in my room right now.
I have so much that I can be picky.
I have so much that I am complacent.
God's given me some kind of gift for understanding the ins and outs of Spanish. I love communicating. I am an artist. I love new things. It bothers me that others are without and I have a computer and tablet at my disposal right now. I even have two boxes of crayons and four coloring books on my bed right now.
How many kids could use a good coloring book and crayons? How many people just need to be smiled at today? What could that do? Hallelujah, Christ is near.
God is near to us. God is near to me. God has called. Maybe I'm not 'the type' to go on an eleven month adventure into the world without carrying with me five or seven of my closest friends, but I'm walking in faith. I'm going to walk in the truth that God has purpose in my life and wants to use me to reassure His people of His love.
I don't mind being small if it means I am able to make God huge. Let's go.
My phone interview with WR is on Thursday at 4pm. I'm desperate for your prayers. I refuse to commit to something without God's affirmation of peace, but I know it's time for me to move. He will equip me for His purpose, but the honest truth is that I'm scared to death.
it's time to stretch these legs of faith, and run into this unknown width. The truth of Your love for us.
The last two days in this week just got twice as busy as before. It's frustrating when I forget about mandatory meetings with my professors, a mandatory 4-source annotated bibliography for a 10-12 minute presentation, and a thesis and two body paragraphs due in another essay.
The most frustrating part about these assignments is not that they are all due within a few days of each other, but rather because they are all assignments from the same class.
I honestly don't know how an English major can live without book summaries and reviews online. It's impossible to take more than one literature class and keep up with the reading, assignments, and homework and still be able to breathe.
The saddest part about it all is that my spiritual life is suffering the most. My grades are grand. I'm seriously doing better than normal in my classes and I'm so thankful, but my spiritual life, the most important, is suffering.
My body is being stretched, both literally and figuratively, in some absurd desire for a change of pace and place. One day, my dear heart and soul. One day we'll watch the sunrise on another word in another town.
Audrey Assad – Sparrow on @Spotify http://open.spotify.com/track/07YraAmiSmRomj2HjROlcS