Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Big Things: CONATCON

This week, God definitely gave me the desires of my heart. At the Campus Outreach National Conference, my prayer was that God would teach me big things but that these big things would not be connected to an emotional affection for Christ. I love when the Lord stirs my affections for him, however I realized that I believe the huge lie that if I don't feel and emotional stirring in my heart than what God teaches me isn't important or big. This is definitely a lie and God was faithful to this!

At conference we had many talks, one that really taught me a lot was a great talk by a former staff girl for the women. Based on the story of Esther we were challenged to consider where we find our contentment and where we find discontentment. Am I content with everything the Lord has blessed me with and content that this is the life he has chosen for me right now? And secondly claiming that purpose fuels contentment. I may not be content with where the Lord has me or where he may be calling me but my purpose in being a part of the will of God fuels contentment. When Esther realized that God was giving her a purpose in being crowned queen, that she might help give deliverance to her people, the Israelites, this purpose fueled her contentment. Only when she realized this purpose did she have a peace about going before her husband and a peace about the sacrificing possibly her life for God's purpose. In this moment, Esther was truly living sacrificially. So, what would it look like for me to live sacrificially?

Sacrifice: God is definitely not calling me to give up my life or even put it on the line, as he had Esther. However, that doesn't mean that there is not a picture of sacrifice He has called me to live out as a student. I think God is calling me to give up a few good things that I want because He has other plans for me. As much as  I wish that God was calling me to go back to LP, he's not. He's calling me back to camp. While part of me is so excited that he is calling me back to camp, part of me really thought I'd be going back to LP. But God continues to remind me that Campus Outreach is not meant to have a ladder of success nor is it the only place He can grow me spiritually. He has called me to go back to camp, pour my life into girls week after week, be physically exhausted week after week, deal with the drama of co-ed week, but rejoice in the privilege of showing girls Jesus, my savior and theirs, week after week, and to push my co-workers more towards Jesus, week after week, and have fun while doing it.

Also, as much as I wish God were calling me to live in my same room next year, I don't think He is. God is calling me away from that vision to a new vision: another dorm altogether. I believe he is calling me to RA on a freshmen hall next year in a position that would allow me to live by myself in a larger room with a kitchen. How is that sacrifice? I enjoy having a roommate, I love it actually. I love having someone there to talk to, to laugh with, to watch our favorite tv shows with, etc. I am afraid that I will feel lonely in a room by myself. And I had hoped to live in my same room again next year, with all of my many memories over that past 4 years the room has so much sentimental significance. But God is good and I know He will use me where ever I am and so in this case I am praying that his purpose for me on another hall will fuel my contentment.

In addition, at conference and since I began reading Katie Davis' new book, I was convicted of how I spend my money and I realized that as a college student, I don't need a lot of money. I live on campus (no rent), I have a meal plan (no groceries), I pretty much need money for gas and the few times a month I go out somewhere. The rest of it sits in my account. This is not a bad thing, however I could be sharing my money and supporting efforts for His kingdom. As a student,  I don't have the opportunity to go share the gospel elsewhere other than on campus but I could send others. I decided to allot $30 from my paycheck a month towards AMAZIMA ministries and support a child in Uganda, allowing them to have their basic necessities of clothes, food, medical care, free education and they would be hearing the gospel - about a savior who loves them. This small donation and efforts won't change the state of poverty right now in Uganda but the fact that I can help provide a child with so many things I take for granted and allow him/her to hear about their Savior and possibly come to know him is a gift that is priceless.

So thankful that the Lord is faithful when I am not!

2011 National Conference Recap from Campus Outreach on Vimeo.