I don't have any huge ministry updates for y'all this month. A lot of June has been getting regular time with students, fundraising, and starting to make plans for the school year. God has showed up so much in those things, absolutely! But, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of the things I've been working through with God this month.
In a lot of ways, the Lord seems to be preparing me for this school year, more than he's letting me plan the year. Almost every part of the next year of ministry is going to be unfamiliar in some way. The universities are still in the process of making the tough decisions for what campus life will look like, which means that we're in limbo with some of our decisions. We're in the process of whittling down all of our big, community wide events - those don't seem to be very possible. We won't be able to plan much for our welcome week, a time when we meet so many new freshmen (and that's one of my favorite weeks too!). The main things we'll be doing are cores (with limited group numbers) and one on ones. In a lot of ways, this works out so well! One of our axioms is one on one is how it's done. A big part of our ministry's DNA is to develop personal, deep, discipling relationships. So, small groups and one on ones come naturally to our students. In other ways, that is intimidating to me. I say all the time that me doing ministry is God working through my weakness. I love meeting new people, developing friendships, and growing with people. But, those things don't come easily all the time. Sometimes, I really struggle to be relational. And, gosh, it really is crazy the difference being in person makes! I am really excited for this year and the changes we'll get to experiment with, but it's also a little scary to step into a year so new and strange.
What does this have to do with wrestling with God? Well, while I have been preparing for the year, I also have times where I avoid thinking about these things with God. I have this tendency (maybe some of y'all can relate) to value productivity over prayer. I would much rather work on a spreadsheet or make some phone calls instead of praying. I know, that sounds bad - but that's where I'm at. Even when I do spend time talking with God, I find myself wanting a quick fix, an easy solution. So I get discouraged and try to avoid really facing Him. During our online TNF service last week, we talked about Genesis 32 where Jacob wrestles with God. I was convicted in that moment - I hadn't been taking my fear and trepidation to God. I wasn't engaging with Him and therefore I wasn't going to find peace or change. So I've been trying to engage with the Lord more. Not to feel better or get answers on what we should do, but just to be with Him and to let Him reshape me as He wants to. I'm learning to value that time in prayer and listening to God over the things I could be getting done. God's kingdom work is often slow, small changes over time because heart change is a process. But our God is loving and knows us well enough to know what we need and how much conviction we can take at one time. Praise God he is patient and walks us through change!
How are y'all doing in this season? How has the Lord been encouraging you? Is there any way I can be praying for you? Let me know!
Ways to Pray:
- Please be in prayer for all college students right now. Some of them are really struggling with the uncertainty of their classes, living situations, and jobs. Pray that this season will be one of all of us finding our stability in the Lord and not in our circumstances.