Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Guest Blogger: Emily!!!!

I LOVE seeing teenagers impacted by God in such a powerful way that they dedicate their lives to His work from such an early age. I love seeing God at work in raising up the generation that is following on my generation's heels with a heart for the things of the Kingdom!!I also LOVE seeing teens come down on missions trips with full authority and power in Christ Jesus, recognizing that they have been sent by God to use their gifts and talents to bring Christ to the nations. With that said, I had the pleasure of hosting the youth group team from New Hampshire at the end of July. That team was chuck full of gifted teens with bold hearts for Christ. I asked two of them, who are also talented writers, to be guest writers for my blog. Here is a blog written by Emily!!!

Hello Julie’s blog! My name is Emily. I am 18 years old, I live in Chicago, IL for college, but my hometown is in New Hampshire. I also have a blog, which I will link at the end. I like chocolate and Pinterest and sunflowers. Back at the end of July and beginning of August, I was part of a team working with Harvest Hands. It was my second trip to Los Anonos, and I had the most amazing two weeks. Julie asked me to write a blog post about my experience in Costa Rica, and I hope you enjoy it.

During my two weeks in Costa Rica, I learned so much about God’s perfect plan and timing. It’s almost ironic, because on the first night we got there, there was youth group. Each member of our team had prepared a testimony to give at some point during the trip. I was picked to share mine that first night. It was about exactly what this post was about- God’s perfect plan and timing. Little did I know how much God had to teach me in this area. I am sure, also, that He has much much more to teach me on this subject in the future!

The testimony I shared was about waiting on the Lord during my first few years of high school regarding what I wanted to do with my life job wise. Long story short, I made up my own plans, none were right, I gave up the decision to God, and a few months later he answered me clearly and in a single moment during a worship service. {As a side note, in case you were wondering, he told me to go to a Christian school and study Counseling. Spoiler Alert: I am currently in my dorm room at Moody Bible Institute, as a Pre-Counseling major. Yeah God!} Anyways, the point of the testimony I shared with the teens at youth group was this: his timing is perfect, and we need to wait on him for answers, truly trusting that he has our best in mind, and that he will take care of us during the waiting seasons and when we do what looks like “the fun stuff”.

The reason I told you that whole thing is because this was my basic understanding of God’s timing and plan. What God taught me on this trip is another aspect of this, an attribute of the Lord, and how it is working in my life right now. First, a teeny bit of back story. I was in Costa Rica for two weeks, flew straight to Pennsylvania for a leadership conference for a week, was home for 6 days, then left for college, a 16 hour drive from my house. I had to really trust in God during this crazy month and a half.

Another challenge, and blessing, was that three of us stayed an extra five days after the rest of our team left. Ema (who is also writing a guest post), Joseph, and I stayed with Les and Diana for those 5 days, painting and doing some other little projects in their new house. However, we all quickly realized that that was not the only reason the Lord has us there for the extra days. We were all going through different things spiritually, things were going on at home, and basically: God is good, because going home would have been very stressful. Especially given that we would have only had a few days before going to PA, it would not have been the best situation for any of us. I was so blessed by this time, and God helped me process the things I had learned that I am about to share with you. 

What I began to see happening was amazing. I didn’t feel freaked out by any of these plans. The challenging parts of the trip, moving so far away from home for the first time, moving into a new season of life. Sure, there were unknowns, and moments of weakness, but overall, I had no worrying thoughts or anxiety about the whole process. I felt God’s hand guiding me through each country, airplane, church, prayer, day, conversation, and moment of the whole journey. 

 Now that I’m writing this out, I’m thinking maybe some of you reading will say, “um, duh Emily, of course God is with you and has a plan, yada yada, we know.” However, what I learned this summer went so much deeper than that. It’s not just about putting your joy face on and dragging your feet through the things that God calls you to. It’s asking to be filled with obedience, peace, and joy, and jumping with both feet into the adventure you are going on with him. It’s being in tune with him about the big things and little things, letting him guide each conversation, prayer, and step you take, and seeing where it leads you.

If you have walked in this kind of faith before, you know. God exceeds expectations. It’s not conditional, either. He exceeds expectations when things look rough, of course! Can you believe he also exceeds expectations when you have really really high ones?! He knows, he plans, he speaks, he guides, and he gives life.


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