26 July 2010

He Changed My Life

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything
by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving,
let your requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble, whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely,
whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue
and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me,
these do, and the God of peace will be with you."

Phillipians 4:6-9

Wow do I have a lot to share. Considering it's (sadly and shamefully) been more than *gasp* FOUR MONTHS since my last blog.. This is going to be a long one. So bear with me. Where to start and what to say? God has been doing so much sculpting in my life! I got the opportunity to go on the CIA mission trip to Norman, OK. Got the privilege of meeting a lot of wonderful people from CIA Tampa. Its wonderful how God throws us into situations where we think we are going to do the blessing.. and it turns out that He had greater things in mind for us. I love that He is in control of life like that.

Summer has been fun. Wedding season is crazy but Ive found a few spots here and there to relax and enjoy the break. Still, its been challenging taking two classes this summer. Astronomy is pretty fun.

Big things have happened on the God front. First off, I WAS BAPTIZED!! This in itself is a huge deal but it was an especially important moment for me because I had to call upon God and really wrestle with Him over whether or not my infant baptism was sufficient for His will. Turns out that when God wants something.. Hes going to keep bringing it to your attention until you listen. And even tho I probably waited longer than I should have to obey what God was telling me. It couldn't have been a more perfect death! I'm so happy to say that I have a moment in my life where I died and truly began to seek His will. Yes I know that there's a long road ahead of me but this is just the beginning and I'm so excited to live out the rest of the story He's written for my life! And it was especially special to me to have my FBO (facebook official) brother, Peyton, baptize me! He is very dear to my heart and I was honored to have him share in the joy of my death and new life!
Additionally, some really great friends have also made that step in dying to themselves and taking up the Cross. I am so proud of everyone!! I may be a bit biased but I have the BEST brothers and sisters in Christ EVER!!! Ahhh I love you all!

So what else what else.. Ooh so on the book list, I got my Dad The Overton Window by Glenn Beck for Fathers Day and still haven't given it to him because both Aaron and I had to read it first, lol! As far as my faith-based reading goes, I've slowed down a bit in my bible reading.. I really need to get back to that.. but let me tell you, Numbers has a LOT of numbers in it.. I'm looking forward to Deuteronomy. Jesus quotes a lot of scripture from there during his life here on Earth. Additionally, I ordered a bunch of books from Amazon that came in today: Big Girls Dont Whine, Guys are Waffles Girls are Spaghetti, and The Way of the Shepherd... all of which come highly recommended. I have also been reading 30 Days with Jesus which goes through and details the Gospels in chronological order. I have to say that I look forward to the readings every day! I have also acquired several new books and found a few old books that I've yet to read. I hope that I can pace myself and be diligent about spending time hearing what God has to say to me today.

Lastly, some great and wonderful things have been happening with CIA. We are getting ready to start what is called "CrossChat". This is no ordinary Bible study. It's a group of people getting together and showing others how God has worked in their lives. It requires one to be transparent and open and honest about who they were before Jesus and who they are now after giving their lives to Him. Last night at our Cell meeting, we had the opportunity to open up and share our stories about how we came to know Jesus and how He has transformed our lives. It was WONDERFUL!! I feel so freed and revived and released and rejuvenated! And more so than throwing of the chains of this world that tells us to hold in our past, I was surrounded by people who did the same! It was incredible I cant even describe how unfathomably wonderful God is and how He has crafted each of our stories so as to perfectly fit into this group and prepare us for what is to come. I cant wait to share my story again! If you want to know what God has done in my life.. PLEASE ASK!!!

And even more blessings came from that.. Aaron and I got to sit down yesterday and share our story with each other. I know that sounds silly.. and to be honest it was a little weird at first but most of what I know of Aaron's past and what he knows of mine came from inquiries about each other under sinful circumstances. It was so genuine to be able to open up and share how God has worked in me and led me to where I am and cultivated me into this person. Aaron and I were able to be candid about how we felt about our own and each other's past. I was able to forgive him for things his old-self did that hurt me and he forgave me for the things that my old-self had done that hurt him. He even said that we could wipe our slate clean! I know this may not mean a lot to you right now but ask me my story and you'll understand! I am so happy to have that weight lifted!

However, I have lately been struggling to forgive myself for the sins of my past and to truly accept the justification that comes in Christ Jesus. I know that when we die to ourselves and take up the business of our Father that He has forgiven us of our sins with the price that was paid with Jesus' blood. It is so hard to accept that while this world teaches us to feel guilt and to dwell in our past. I know God is much more concerned with where I am going than with where I've been. I know He is using my story to help me grow closer to Him and become more Christlike. It's just so difficult sometimes to let go of the things that I fell short of.. and to really feel like I am no longer that person. I know that God and I are the only people who know why I did the things I did and that He's let it go.. I just need to rely more on Him. I need to reject the way the world looks at me and take up the view that Christ has of me, his daughter, his bride. If anyone is going to make that possible, it's God and I've got Him on my side!

God is ever so perfectly working in me so that I can grow to know more about who He is and how He wants me to live. I want nothing more than to seek Him with my whole heart. Jesus blesses my everyday with so much joy and praise for our Father. I'm so small and unworthy and He is so Great and Mighty! Ahh I love it!!! (Can you get that I'm just a tad bit excited?!?!) God is so AWEsome! He is Heavenly and does everything with such a beautiful and mysterious purpose. He is EVERYTHING! I cannot wait to see what He does with this next semester and I look forward to sharing how He changed my life!!

I'm giving my life to the only one
Who makes the moon reflect the sun
On that starry night He changed my life
I'm giving it all to the only son
Who gave me hope when I had none.
So let the praises ring