Sweet sweet friends, hello!
I have officially been in Hawaii for a full week! Honestly, not quite sure how it has ONLY been a week because I was settled in before I knew it! The church fam at UABC has been so generous in making this place feel like home, from feeding us, showing us around their favorite places on the island, and making us feel part of the family.
Through the past seven days, I have seen the Lord's continuous and loving reminder that He is in CONTROL. Especially in new situations, my flesh loves to think that I can cling to creating routines, schedules, and patterns to establish the illusion of control in my life. Solo plane rides, five-hour time differences, and a major ocean in between all I have ever known is continuing to refine my heart- Jesus is ALL I have, He is ALL I need, and He will ALWAYS be with me. JEHOVA JIREH- he is ENOUGH!
There was a moment while swimming in the ocean this week that a huge wave began to approach where I was treading water. Fear instantly consumed my body as I saw the mass approach me, knowing I was helpless under it's power. With my feet treading quickly above the surface, I tried to prepare myself, but nothing I could do under its power. I immediately lost all control as it toppled on top of me. After frantically swimming toward the shore and catching my breath, I had a deep realization about my heart. The illusion of control that I think I have is simply that- a facade. I am helpless in the waves of life. Thankfully, my Jesus controls the wind and waves with just a word. THIS is a God I am willing to bet my life on! Thank you, Lord!!
THE PLANE RIDE
If literally going to college wasn't enough to make me feel like I was becoming an adult, leave it to my first solo plane ride to let the feeling of ~adulting~ settle in. With a slightly racing heart, the Lord was so good to remind me that his presence is always near. There is nowhere we can go where His love isn't already present. From the high sky above or deep oceans below, the Lord is sovereign and He is in control. Praise be!
THE CHURCH FAMILY
I! LOVE! THE! CHURCH! After growing up in a ministry fam, getting to serve this new church and learn from the staff has already been one of the sweetest and most humbling experiences. How cool is it that Jesus uses US, broken people made holy by a merciful God, to take care of his people until He returns!? He entrusted us with an important job, and gives us strength and support every step of the way. I am learning what it looks like to rely on God's grace to get through one day at a time, trusting that He will give me all I need for what He is calling me to!
It has also been incredible to see the way our new church family has welcomed us to their home with open and loving arms! Sweet families have taken us around the island, showing us their favorite spots and letting us be part of their family for the day. This has not only lead to some pretty fun adventures, but to deep and meaningful conversation. All people are so different, but Christ unifies us, and it is so fun to hear everyone's stories about the way they grew up and the way Jesus rescued them!
I'm also falling in love with church ministry in a brand new way. Similar to the way my heart felt as I began to make my faith my own outside of my family, I am beginning to understand "church" in a big picture sense. Watching my parents lead a church my whole life has left me feeling lucky for my "behind-the-scenes" perspective, but even more so, I am so excited as I learn and grow by stepping into an internship role myself!
After reading through "The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry", I was so excited when DB told us that she had set aside a day in our week purely for sabbath!! Eeep!
As I am typing this, I am in the middle of my first sabbath day! Yesterday I was SUPER nervous about sabbath, which lead to a sweet conversation with the Lord about WHY. I am realizing that I love to keep myself busy in order to avoid the feelings of anxiety or intrusive thoughts that may pop up whenever I am not distracting myself. Confronting negative emotions is not fun, but it is healthy and necessary for spiritual growth. Today, I am thankful for rest as I gear up for a busy week. The day has given me space to process D'ann grief, with the anniversary of her death in just one day. I was able to review my spiritual goals, surrender anxious feelings, and just spend time delighting in my creator!! AND, I got to have sweet FaceTimes with almost everyone in my friend group! Yay sabbath!
As I head into week two, here are some ways you can be praying for me:
Pray that God would do BIG things at UABC this summer and that kiddos would come to know Jesus!
Relinquish all control to the God who cares deeply for me- all anxiety, all intrusive thoughts, and all people-pleasing!
Love you, friends! See you soon!