Part 1 of 2
If I'm learning anything in this period of my life it's that I'm selfish and that I've spent too much time focusing on the negative and awful disappointing things of life. I often want things my way and in my timing because that's what would benefit me. You know what's great about God though is that he can easily show me that my way of seeings things is worthless and he proves me wrong. This summer I'm learning some really big lessons. I've learned that my life is not my own and that God has allowed me to be a small part in his larger story of redemption. He is blessing me with such a positive outlook this summer. Let me tell you, it's a lot harder to be positive and find the good in situations. This summer is full of hardships and difficult times where it would be easy to rely on myself and to see the negative in the situation. It's harder to be positive sometimes but with God's strength he is showing me how much better it is in the long run. Spending 15 hours a day with 12 high school students on a construction site and running a VBS for young children is exhausting. I'm always "on" developing relationships with students and asking tough questions and challenging students. I'm motivating, answering questions, asking questions, sharing Jesus, encouraging, and teaching. I have to let high schoolers make all their own decisions even if they are completely wrong or not how I would do something. the joy of the Lord really has been my strength and it has been amazing to let him work in me this summer.
One of my favorite moments this summer occurred in the girls bathroom, which sounds awkward but please continue reading. I had been coaching/encouraging/advising two of the student VBS leaders throughout the first week. Basically I helped to push the vision that VBS is about communicating God's love to the kids and that little things like messing up a skit or forgetting a song or not knowing Spanish shouldn't get in the way of communicating God's love to the kids. It's so easy to get caught up in the little things and to forget this big picture. I saw God work in these two students in amazing ways throughout that week. One of these girls was at first very controlling of the VBS and unwilling to let the little things go on the first day. I saw her really let God into the situation and give control up to him. Her attitude about VBS from that day on was so much more loving and she was more willing to take constructive criticism and suggestions with a humble heart. On Sunday after VBS we were getting ready for church in the bathroom and she told me that she was very thankful for my help with VBS and that it wouldn't have been what it was without my encouragement and suggestions. I am thankful that I let God use me in this way and it was really cool to see how she grew throughout the trip in growing a humble heart and using her enthusiasm and willingness to serve to inspire others to join in the fun.
Honestly these last two weeks were hard. But that's okay because God was totally at work in amazing ways. I saw a lot of students be vulnerable and honest and hard working. There were many times when I was encouraged by others about something I did or said and I know that it was God working in me because I don't know how those words came out of my mouth or how I had the energy to continue on. Even on the days when I don't feel like working I have committed my life to God and given my all for His glory. I am loving how much God is at work in my life this summer including giving me a desire for His word. We are studying through the book of Nehemiah and I am continuously learning a lot about leadership and about who God is through Nehemiah's life. In addition to this study God has given me a new desire for memorizing His word and understanding His word better so that I can know Him better. I feel really blessed to call this my "job" for the summer.