Last night was the first high school “church” (aka shoreline). It was my first one without my dear college freshman girls, and my first one meeting my new high school freshman girls. It was weird, to say the least.
I continue to be shocked by how much reminds me of my sweet college girls. A song (or lots of songs, really…we were a musical bunch), a story, a book, a bible verse, and so much more. Multiple times last night something would occur and I’d almost lean over, only to remember they weren’t there. While it seems like that would sadden me, it doesn’t really. Don’t get me wrong, I miss them terribly, but instead these moments bring me deep abiding joy as this group of girls have been written into my story of grace. I am privileged to disciple them and it is a privilege to know they are carrying the torch well. Every time these moments occur (and other times with the Lord), I smile and then pray for them. Pray for their hearts to remain entwined with the Lord’s, for the Holy Spirit to help them withstand temptation, for them to do mighty things for the Kingdom, and for anything else I may know they need prayer for.
And then meeting the new girls. I was quite nervous and, honestly, still am. I question if I have it in me to lead them, if I’m strong enough and I question how to balance and not compare. While it was a little chaotic last night and I couldn’t really tell you most of their names as it was super loud (which doesn’t bode well if you have a hearing loss…), I was invited to chat one-on-one with my new co-leader and one of the girls after shoreline. That, too, was a bit overwhelming, but also encouraging. This girl shared big things with me, a complete stranger! I again questioned this morning if I am equipped to lead them. And then interestingly today’s portion of a little study I’m doing was on the Holy Spirit and the Lord graciously reminded me that I was not equipped (nor am I now) to shepherd my college girls through the plethora of hugely challenging things that came up across our six years together. But he is.
So again, I was pushed to my knees (well, figuratively as I was sitting in my bed) and into his Word. I am worthless to shepherd and lead any these girls apart from the Holy Spirit’s power. My words are utterly meaningless unless they are seasoned with God’s words. I’m thankful for the complete dependence true discipleship reflects.
Healing also requires this type of dependence. I’m going through something else on my own that, if I’m completely honest, I so wish I could avoid. Or wish I could fast-forward and skip. It is probably the hardest thing I have ever chosen to take part in. Sure, I’ve had other hard things that have happened to me or a season I’ve fallen into, but this was something I chose to walk into.
This past week we were looking at lies and how we must identify them, combat with truth, and then continue to walk in that truth until our minds are renewed. I’m sure when you read this you may think that doesn’t sound so bad. Yet it is ridiculously hard. You see, many of these lies I’ve believed for 20+ years and many I’m sure I don’t even recognize. And then of those I do recognize, I don’t exactly know how to combat them with truth. How do you make yourself believe something you don’t? And how do you beat lies you can’t even see?
I decided to return to a place of biblical comfort. Yes, I’m a little all-over-the-place at times with my bible reading. And yes I read multiple different things every day, but whatever. Anyway, I decided to step back into one of my most favorite books ever. Exodus. The last time I spent considerable time in this was during CR a few years ago. After someone mentioned it last week, I felt like it was an ideal place to walk through as I literally try to walk from slavery into freedom. And already I’m seeing things I’d never noticed before.
Anyway, this is a little on the rambling side, and I don’t necessarily have deep profound thoughts to share (not like I ever do) but it’s where I am. Grateful, challenged, overwhelmed, and trying to step from bondage into freedom even though it is ridiculously hard.