Thursday, March 22, 2012

I will not forget His promises!

As I was driving down the road on my way to school yesterday, "All Things New" by Elevation Worship was playing when I felt the presence of God enter my car. I had been struggling with what to think about the sudden change that was coming at the end of this semester. I heard the Lord say to me, "My daughter, I am working on your behalf." I immediately felt peace, knowing that He would hold true to this promise!

Over the last few weeks I have been having "mini anxiety attacks." I've only had one major bout of anxiety that was quickly dealt with. Anxiety is something that I have never struggled with, so it was a little difficult to pinpoint at first. I thought it was the Holy Spirit strongly convicting me of something, but I couldn't figure out what I was doing that was wrong. After speaking to a few of my wonderful friends, I discovered the anxiety.
My lovely friend, Victoria, gave me such an encouraging Word from God! She was basically explaining to me that I was entering a new season in life. That is exciting to know, but at the same time it's tough. Transition and change is hard!
In just a few weeks, I will be experiencing change like never before. For the first time I will not have to attend class everyday, complete assignments or present projects. I will be working 40 hours a week for the first time in my entire life. It's exciting, because I will be doing what I love and what I am passionate about, but at the same time I'm leaving a life that I have gotten comfortable with over the last 3 years. I will be living back at home with my family (which I am so excited about), but will be leaving 3 great roommates... 2 of which have been with me since my freshman year of college.
It's almost like I'll be learning to live again. I believe the anxiety was coming from the unknown. Not knowing what friendships I will develop, where I will make my gym home or what I will do after my internship. I believe the scariest part is not knowing where I will go or what I will do once my internship is completed in the summer.
A lot of things are happening in my life right now. Some joyful, some not so joyful, some confusing and some fun. It's a bitter sweet feeling as I enter into the last part of this semester.

All I know and hold onto is the promise that was made to me yesterday morning driving down the road. The Lord is working on my behalf! All I have to do is trust Him and He will provide the way for me. A way that is far more perfect than I could ever imagine!

My dear friends, I challenge you to trust in the Lord! He is working on your behalf!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ten Days Miami Part 1

A little over a month ago, I was presented with the opportunity to go on a missions trip with Ten Days Missions in Miami, Florida. I was hesitant to go at first, but am so glad that I did. I am sitting here in Miami writing this blog and have plenty of fun stories and pictures to share. I actually have so many that I will have to make this into a two or three part blog, but I will try my best to keep it at two.

My roommate, Brittany, also raised support to go on the trip. We were both so excited about our first plane ride ever! The first phase was packing, and packing we did. I've always been a bad over-packer and the fact that I was getting on an airplane didn't stop this horrible habit. I got two free checked backs, a carry on and a personal bag and you better believe I got my money's worth haha! Here is a picture of mine and Brittany's bags (believe it or not, we were only packing for 6 days).

Also notice the lovely bows we made just for our suit cases :)

Evangelism is not necessarily my strength. I am more of a relational, being Jesus to people every day type person. Walking up to some random person and starting a conversation about God is extremely difficult for me. I know that sounds funny, because I have an outgoing personality, but it is true. I struggle with this area.

The team was here to help with a church plant that is going on in Miami near Florida International University. Miami is one of the most unchurched places in America. The pastors here are heavily burdened for the people of Miami. While we were on campus, we handed out fliers and got student's information to plug them into a church.

This week a team of 27 students and leaders from UNC, ECU and Texas State is doing outreach on the campuses of Florida International University and The University of Miami. We were using "The God Test" as our evangelism tool. This test is designed as a conversation piece about God, asking challenging questions and making the person think about what exactly it is that they believe. The first question simply asks, "Do you believe in God?" Their answer dictates what the questions will be after that. I have done The God Test before, and had never encountered an unbeliever until yesterday. I went up to this guy and asked him if he had a few minutes to talk (mind you, I was with another guy... so it wasn't weird haha) he put his notebook down and said yes. I explained to him about the God Test and then asked the first question, "Do you believe in God?" He looked at me and replied, "No." My heart sunk and then a little bit of panic came in because I was scared I would mess up. I continued on asking the questions and he gave good answers, but they still didn't make much sense, to me at least. We had a good conversation and he was very open about what he thought. He was not interested in becoming a christian, but thanked me for the way I presented the gospel because I was the first person that he had ever talked to that did not preach at him. It was good to know that he saw me as a person that was genuinely interested in what he believed instead of preaching at him. I want people to see my differently, I'm not here to condemn you or make you feel like the scum of the earth. I know that because of our conversation, he is processing all that he thinks he believes and I hope and pray that he will come to know Christ one day.

I had the chance to talk to other believers and listen to their views on God. I heard some great answers that lined up with the Bible and I heard some questionable answers that didn't necessarily line up with the Bible 100%. It was neat to be able to discuss the Gospel with them and really encourage each other to stand strong in faith and believe God to impact the campus.

In the afternoons, we brought out cornhole boards and a football and hung out in popular areas of campus. We invited students to come and hang out with us. It was a great time hanging out, getting to know people and to relax from our busy day.

Hanging out at Florida International University

Having fun relaxing with the team!
There was a lot of art work that made for fun pictures!

Both campuses were beautiful! If I didn't have to consider out of state tuition and I didn't love ECU so much, I would definitely have considered going to The University of Miami! 
This is outside on the patio beside the food court at the University of Miami
The campus was breath taking and the weather was amazing!
This was a nice, peaceful patio directly outside of the law school
There was a pretty fountain right beside tables and covered swings so that students could study outside
I saw these plants outside of the Theatre Arts building and thought that they were really cool! I'm wanting some in my yard one day!
We had a great time hanging out with students and playing cornhole at Florida International University of Monday and Wednesday
FIU also had a beautiful campus with lots of places to talk with students

As you can see, Miami is a beautiful place! What would make it better is to have the campus sold out to Christ. My desire is that the people of Miami would encounter God like never before and that it would grow to be one of the fastest growing Christian cities in the world! I believe that God wants and will do awesome things in the city of Miami, especially on the college campus.

I will update more soon on other people that I had the chance to talk to and share more pictures of the team! 

Continue to pray as we wrap up our trip here. Tomorrow is our last full day and then we all fly back to our homes on Friday morning. I will miss Miami, but am certainly looking forward to getting back to Greenville for the completion of my senior year. I can't believe that there are only a few weeks left until all of this is over! God has taught me so much over these last 3 years and I am looking forward to Him putting His finishing touches on me for this season of my life!