Saturday, June 30, 2012

So Maybe I Like Control

I don't know if it is surprising to you or not, but I have realized that I like control.  It really shouldn't be that surprising to you if you know me because my obsession for organization and detail shouts control-freak.  I never really considered it that large of a problem though because I thought I always desired to be completely in the Lord's will and I always claimed to be obedient to whatever the Lord called me to.  If I was aiming for the Lord's will, then I wasn't really controlling things... or so I thought.

But the truth is, I like control.

I am still trying to discover the root of this control addiction, but I am pretty sure that it lies somewhere in the nasty little booger of insecurity.  That's another topic, for another day though...
I discovered this little need for the control while talking to one of the most wonderful Head Leaders here this session, Katie.  I met Katie  when I was on summer staff here in 2010 and she has been on an assignment here every summer I have been here.  Katie is phenomenal and she cares for people so well.  Katie and I went out to coffee and spent a lot of time talking about the potentials of going on Young Life staff the other day, which eventually led to just talking about life.  She pointed out something in my life that I had never considered before...

I try to control my relationship with the Lord so much that I have put up walls that may be keeping people and things out of my life that the Lord desires to be in my life.

Make sense? I know, it sounds kind of crazy.
It took me a while to come to terms with this little fact and it's taken even more time to figure out the words to describe this desire for control.

So, let's start from the beginning.

The farthest I have ever been from the Lord was the summer after my senior year of high school and the beginning of my freshman year of college.  I was not at all in a community that was pushing me towards the Lord and I was doing things that were not at all glorifying to my Heavenly Father.  I pushed the lines and the boundaries all around me so that I never did anything "too bad."  I could still be considered a Christian, but I didn't have to follow any rules and I could be friends with everyone.

It was my sophomore year of college when I began to realize that I was called to live a life "worthy of the Lord" (Colossians 1).  That was my call... to live a life worthy of the Lord.  Well that seemed scary and not like something I knew how to do.  So... I began setting up boundaries and lines for myself... Lots of them.  It was easier that way. 
I became obsessed with lines, boundaries, and everything black and white.  I needed to follow the guidelines I had set up for myself and not let them budge.  To me, it was the only way that I could guarantee myself that I would still be pursuing the Lord when I was forty.  It was a way for me to control my relationship with the Lord.

When I look back on this and see it for what it's really worth... I have always been scared (and still am some) that one day I will wake up and no longer be pursuing the Lord with such an intense passion and with so much adoration for my Creator.  I am scared that I could lose God.  That is why I have clung so tightly to my lines and boundaries... I didn't want to lose the Lord by slipping into the grey areas again.

Side Note: Lines and boundaries are in fact good and the Lord DOES want us to live a life worthy of the Lord.  He does require that of us... I just took it too far because I was insecure in my relationship with the Lord. 

All of these lines and boundaries that I set up for myself began to dictate my life.  They dictated what I considered to be options for after college.  They dictated who I let into my life.  They dictated the things that I am willing to do.

My lines and boundaries led to walls as I started grasping for control.  In talking to Katie I began to realize that God may be trying to use outside things and people in my life but because of my walls I wasn't letting those things in. 
My fear of losing God led me to not trusting outside influences on my relationship with the Lord... even if God was trying to use those people or things in my life.  My fear of losing God led to me limiting God.  My fear of losing God led to me not fully accepting the freedom that comes with Christ.  That makes no sense because

"it is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us FREE." (Galations 5:1)

But today I am releasing this to the Lord. He knows my heart and He knows that I have been doing this, but He loves me all the same. He is in me and I will NOT lose God.

God, forgive me for not trusting You... for not trusting that You are holding onto me. Jesus, You will never let go of me. Thank You for that, God, Thank You. God, break down the walls around me that are limiting You. Take full control, Father.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Delight yourself in the LORD.

A girl's mind goes a mile a minute at times... Well not all girl's minds, but mine does. A lot. It is always thinking about something or is preoccupied in some place. With camp getting into full swing, I have not found an ample amount of time to sit around and process all of the many thoughts that are constantly running through my mind. I would not say that the thoughts are bad. In fact, I would say that many of them are good and the Lord is teaching me a ton. But still.... so many thoughts always running through my head.

Earlier in the week while I was spending time with the Lord my mind was sprinting back and forth in my attempts to journal and write everything down. I was spinning in circles attempting to get all of my thoughts in line and in order. It was in that moment that I came across Psalm 37.

"Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; 
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret-- it leads only to evil.
For evil men will be cut off, 
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land." (3-9)

"If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm;
though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand." (23-24)

"Wait for the Lord and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are cut off, you will see it." (34)

The words of this psalm resonated in my heart and pierced so many of my running thoughts. The words of David in this psalm counteracted my running mind so perfectly.... I must slow down.

Trust ... dwell ... delight ... commit ... be still ... wait ... patiently ... do not fret ... refrain ... keep his way ...

Each of those words speak so perfectly to what I needed to hear. The Lord does want to teach me and grow me a ton this summer, but it does not all need to happen at once. I do not need to have it all sorted out today, or tomorrow, or even before I leave Timber Wolf in August. 

Instead God is asking me in this time to trust Him, to dwell in Him, to delight in Him, to commit to my ways to Him, to be still before Him, to wait for Him, to be patient, to not fret, to refrain from anger, and to keep His way.

So I will. I will trust, dwell, commit, be still, wait patiently, not fret, refrain, and keep the Lord's way. 

Monday, June 18, 2012


I have come to realize that the Lord works in our lives in seasons... seasons of learning, of standing still, of being stretched, of searching, of seeking, of graveling, of hurting, of overflowing with joy, or surrendering. There are so many seasons. I have decided to write a blog in order to track the seasons of my life and of my walk with the Lord.

I believe that the Lord is good and faithful always and I cannot wait to see the seasons that He brings into my life.

I currently feel the Lord bringing me into a new season. I cannot identify what it is exactly, but I am excited for it. It shall be a season of learning about myself and who the Lord has created me to be. I do not know what that will look like, but I feel the Lord pulling on my heart and I feel an awakening in my soul.

In order to fully capture this season, I will begin with where I am right now:

Right now I am at Timber Wolf Lake, the Young Life camp in Northern Michigan that absolutely captured my heart two summers ago. I came to Timber Wolf the summer after my freshman year of college on Summer Staff for the month of June. I do not know quite how I got here, other than the Lord was ready to do big things in my life. It was in that month that the Lord planted a seed in my heart, a seed that has now blossomed into a beautiful passion for Young Life camping and specifically for this camp in Michigan. (Sidenote: I really like the south, especially North Carolina, but the Lord is mysterious and has made me adore this northern state.) Last summer I was blessed to be able to spend my entire summer at Timber Wolf as the office intern. The Lord blew me alway last summer as the seed the Lord had planted the summer before began to grow and roots were established in this place. I fell even more in love with Timber Wolf, the property staff, the office, and all of the campers that came to know Christ on this property. I could not turn the opportunity to work at Timber Wolf for a third summer away so I am back here. I am back at the place I have come to refer to as home... for a second summer, interning in the office.

The Lord is already doing huge things at Timber Wolf this summer. He is working on this property, in the intern community, in the lives of campers, and in my heart. I can feel His presence in this beautiful place and I am overwhelmed by His love and adoration of His people. I can feel the Lord pulling on my heart to go deeper with Him and to come to understand Him more. He is calling me to surrender all that I am to Him and to dive head first into everything that He wants to teach me. It is going to be an intense summer of personal reflection and letting the Lord tear me apart only to make me new again. I am excited for this season, but I am a little nervous for what the Lord wants to reveal to me. My prayer is that in the end, I will know myself better and I will know the Lord better.