Last week I spent 6 days with wonderful people from various UIllinois chapters and some Chicago InterVarsity chapters at CFW out in Michigan. A 6 hour drive from Champaign brought us to this beautiful place, Timberwolf Lake:
I spent time at the Leadership track with these wonderful people (pictured below) evaluating, strategizing, and praying over the chapter for the new year – not to mention sharing lots of good snacks and back rubs too =].
And of course, there was plenty of time to just play in God’s presence. It’s been a long time since I’ve hit a volleyball (I’ll definitely have to find some people to play with over the summer in Urbana) and seen glorious rolling hills of green grass.
Reflecting back on the year’s events and painful, yet beautiful, points of growth I couldn’t help but praise God. I didn’t realize at the start that by accepting a ministry position meant I was really accepting is a call to full-time ministry with accountability – at least not to the full extent I understand it now. There were definitely times throughout this year that I felt a failure at the things I was supposed to lead by example in and insecure about the weaknesses I discovered. But through those God has taught me about his tremendous faithfulness in addition to what really loving people looks like, a reflection of Matthew 5:44ish-47:
“When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.”
(The Message translation)
Along with that, I learned to be truly faithful in prayer. There were several interesting stories of prayer-breathed opportunities and answered prayers which blew my mind, but I won’t share them here. Feel free to ask me about them if you’d like – I won’t think you’re a creeper b/c I know what I post is public. =] It’s been a tremendous blessing to serve and to continue urging on others in growth to spread the unrelenting message of love that Christ lived. And I’ll continue to do so with these wonderful ladies (and guys too) in our dorm, LAR, next year. Our area is nowhere near perfect, but we’re learning to live out what community is.
So my plans for the summer will be to figure out what I’m doing in Urbana this summer. After some time in prayer I felt a strong sense to stay in Urbana-Champaign this summer so I took a leap of faith. As far as I know, I’ll just be taking a class at Parkland and volunteering at Carle Hospital so if you’re in town, let me know!