Well, today is my one year blog-versary. Happy Birthday, missjordanlee!
This blog has evolved quite a bit and several times as to what type of blog it is, and who my audience is supposed to be. Perhaps the target audience changes with every post 🙂 Not sure. But it’s always been a good place for me to process, and share my worldview.
Also, a lot has happened in my life outside of cyberspace since I first began the blog. It’s honestly been a pretty crazy year. God has done so many cool things in me/around me, and I thought I’d reminisce and recognize some of the big things here, as a one-year anniversary post. So here’s just a little bit of my journey:
Firstly, I began this blog because I was going to San Diego with Cru, on my second summer project. I remember my first few posts were written with suppressed nerves, as I was support raising and wasn’t sure if I would be fully funded before I left. But if you scroll all the way down and click “May 2012” in my archives, you can see for yourself that within my first few posts I went from being 25% to 68% supported in a matter of two days, and then the next week when I posted, I was 84% supported. I ended up going to San Diego completely supported, by people who really believed in what we were going to do. God takes care of His own, and it was evident to me once again in the way he provided for me financially.
Throughout last summer I learned a lot about myself, and made some great friends. We were starting a brand-new movement for Latino students, and it was difficult to start! Especially since we were a small group of mostly-midwestern white people who hardly spoke Spanish. But God came through and we found Courtney, who is now leading the Destino movement on the campus of San Diego State University. Today, they have several members, and are growing like crazy!!
When I went back to school, things were a little hectic. I was overcommitted, but excited about everything I was doing. I had committed to Servant Team with Cru, leading a Bible study of women. I was SO pumped! But God was also growing the theatre community group a friend and I were already leading, and I couldn’t hold both of those leadership positions and do well. After much prayer, I decided God was asking me to give up leading a Bible study (which I admit He’d never asked me to lead, I just assumed it would be a good idea). Instead I believe He was asking me to concentrate on getting the new theatre ministy off the ground, with two of my best friends in the theatre department. So I stepped down from my position on Servant Team, in order to focus on being part of the creative team.
It’s been amazing to work with the creative team, now affectionately called Off Script[ure]. We are all three theatre majors, but we still didn’t quite know what we were doing. We’d never had to write and perform our own work before! Especially when it came to organizing and leading other students. But we wanted to glorify Christ, and we were consistently being given opportunities! Our first skit series at Cru meetings consisted of just four of us acting onstage, three of us the leaders of the team. For each project afterward in Fall semester we struggled to find people, especially men. NOW, we have people who ask to be involved, us leaders can give roles to others instead of performing ourselves, and over half of the people we use regularly for projects are men! The last project the creative team worked on involved over 25 people (not including the video at the beginning, made by promotions team). They did a Les Mis song, and I am so impressed. Check it out:
(I hope you can see this video even if you’re not friends with the people on Facebook…)
I wasn’t involved this past semester because I was in Spain, but it’s been amazing to see how God has used a ministry like this, and shown up countless times through our weakness. There were many times when we felt inadequate or unprepared, and then a performance or Cru meeting would seriously impact someone’s life. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career, to work with my best friends to lift Jesus high through the arts, and I cannot wait to return to Ball State and jump back in!
Towards the beginning of fall semester, I was having second thoughts about studying abroad in the spring. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave my comfortable home at Ball State, my senior friends, and all the great things that were happening with the creative team. However, I still felt like God wanted me to go to Spain. And I believe that has been confirmed. He provided an incredible amount financially and emotionally during my entire experience, and I have stepped away having learned a myriad of valuable lessons. My Spanish skills are much better, and I can now function in Spanish culture. I have become even more open-minded than before, having met types of people I hadn’t even known existed. I learned much about my own culture from an outside view, and how much I appreciate things I had previously taken for granted. I got to see Switzerland, France, a whole lot of Spain, and now England, so that global thinking suddenly became relevant. This paragraph is supposed to summarize a whole semester, 3 months in another country, so I could go on and on about how I was affected by studying abroad. It was an incredible blessing and educational advantage. I won’t pretend that being in Spain was comfortable for me… It wasn’t necessarily a culture that made sense to me, or that I adapted to easily. But I see this as a blessing, because there are incredible things to learn from not being comfortable or in your element.
In this current season, God has continued to provide in ways I never imagined. With much prayer and more nerves, I had been praying that I would find a summer job in Indy. It was important that I get a job on so many levels, but a little improbable trying to get one while still being in Europe. A job would also be the answer to the question, “what’s next for me?” If you know me at all, you know that I have hardly stayed one place since beginning college, and being home for a whole summer with nothing to do sounds SO worst-case-scenario to me (especially after the excitement of studying abroad!). I have had to trust God with the possibility of an empty summer. BUT I am so happy to say He answered my prayers by giving me a nanny job this summer! I will be taking care of and driving around 3 tweenage girls for the next 3 months. 🙂 I am excited to do work that is meaningful in a different way, being in the lives of these three girls, instead of just going to work at a restaurant or something. Praise be to the Lord! He doesn’t have to provide good or enjoyable circumstances for us, but He does so much of the time, and I am always amazed by His love.
As I finish this blog post I’m thinking, “Woah. I can summarize the big moments of my last YEAR in 7 paragraphs?” But the truth is, there’s more. There’s always more, because God has been present in every detail and moment of this past year. These are just the things that have marked my life and memory over the last 12 months.
If you were a part of my life and what the Lord has been doing around me this year, thanks for being there. It’s been an amazing journey that I’m excited to continue. This year has flown by because of studying abroad, but God’s hand has been apparent in guiding my every step! I get to live a magnificent life because of following Him. Jesus never promises life with will be comfortable — in fact He says it will be difficult. But it would not be an exhilarating adventure if it were not challenging at times! He is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine, and he says that He will use us to do His work if we ask. Which means we will see amazing things that we never thought of or imagined would be in our lives. I love following Jesus!
My life is just one journey, just one snapshot of all that the Lord is doing in the world. He’s doing huge things all over! I can’t wait to see what He continues to do in my tiny life. A summer filled with teenage children and my crazy, musical family. My last year of college… soaking it up, working hard, finishing my degree, listening to the Lord to figure out my next step in life, and blogging along the way. I can’t wait to live every step with Jesus. Here’s to another great year!