Saturday, July 23, 2011

As we come to a close

Stealing a moment for wifi, and a cup of coffee, I reflect. Eight weeks has nearly come and gone and my time in beautiful SoFlo is up. It's bittersweet, really. Home is Jacksonville, for now. It's where all the wonderful people in my life are. (Well not all. Many are dispersed near and far), but most. It is where, church, school, and family are. But when I leave Naples I will be leaving bits of me here. There is a piece of my heart at Cyprus Lakes Baptist church in Ft. Meyers. There is a little bit of me in Lehigh Acres. Some of me remains in Miami at Miami Shores Baptist Church and Cutler Bay Baptist. I'm spread across East Naples and North Naples. My life is completely changed because of all this. God has shown me so much because I have had so much time to dwell in my time with him. He has revealed to me parts of where I want my future to go. He has shown me that I have passions for things I never suspected. He has taught me to let go every once in a while. Yes, I have relinquished some of my grip on control. I've learned flexibility. I've learned to love differently, and more deeply. But most of all I have learned to always always always rely on Him. For everything. Nothing is too big for him to take care of. Nothing is out of his grasp. Me mediocre problems are not too large for him to take on. He is always here. When all else fails, I have my faith. For those that do not have that, I am sad. I can't imagine living hopelessly, and without knowledge of the amazing, wonderful, and truly great God I serve. Life isn't always perfect. It's a mess. Most of the time. But He gives and He takes away. And He is sovereign. I have a purpose. God has got a lot for me to do. And I am following after Him and trusting in His path for me.


I'm not leaving this change here. I am taking home the new me. God doesn't do works in our lives for us to leave behind. He has me where I am for a reason and I will make the most of everyday. Because everyday is part of his plan for me. And that brings a smile to my face.

The past couple of weeks...

Sorry on my lack of SoFlo updates. It's been crazy and I have been trying to relax in muh spare time. This past week we were blessed to work with the sweet congregation at East Naples Baptist Church. Emily was able to see one of her youth saved, and called into missions. I was privileged to work with some of the sweetest and smartest Kindergarteners. All week God kept reminding me to remember his plan for everyone. Even these kids. Even He has a plan for them. And something special I am sure. It would be so easy to pass them by and simply say, "They are kids, so what." but they are so much. There was a boy and girl in my class this week that have suffered more in their short 2 and 5 years than I have in my nineteen. But Kaleb had such an attitude like Christ's. He has watched as his little sister has undergone countless surgeries, issues, and episodes. She is just two and has had numerous health issues, and can only eat through a tube still. But to see how he takes care of her is something special. He loves her so much. Both of them are motherless. Five and two years old. So why do we underestimate them? They have so much to give, but will most likely be cast off. Think about how you would feel, being thought less of, because of something out of your control, or because of your age. Old or young. It is truly something that God has been laying hard on my heart and a lesson I'm learning more about everyday. And I rejoice when he reveals Himself to me. I love it.
We have one more church to prepare for. We will be celebrating with the Korean church in Ft. Meyers this coming week and ask for more prayers and thoughts, please. We are excited for our last little opportunity. I even get to lead worship, which is my favorite. So, yes, prayers and whatnot. You guys are wonderful.

Love God, Love People.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

So much potential

I'm reminded daily how underestimated I am. People see a nineteen year old girl teaching their kids in VBS, and I often times get that same skeptical glance. A look that screams, "can you really do this?" or "are you actually qualified for this responsibility?" It's frustrating and challenging all at once. And it has taught me something. Never underestimate someone based on their age.

First Timothy 4:12 says, Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, faith, and purity. (NLT)

Watching the kids these past couple of weeks has blown my mind. I see so much potential in each in every face. They are apart of the smartest generation that has ever been and I strongly believe it's up to us to equip them correctly. We need to step up and invest in the lives of the children around us. Not just for education and success, but for spiritual growth, too. If we let them be they will never have the Godly role models they need and they wont have someone pushing them in the right direction. But we also shouldn't constantly take control. To create leaders, we must let them lead. We shouldn't squelch their potential. We should tend it, and water it and help it grow. Its up to us to prepare these kids and get them to where they need to be.

That is my short rant for the week that I wanted to share. Take it to heart.

Now a quick report from SoFlo. Thank you all for your continued prayers as we have been working. Things are going well for my team this week. We have been blessed with an amazing church in Lehigh Acres. The drive is long, but the nights are worth it. We feel God is really doing something with us, and we pray we just stay emptied of us so He can fill us with Him. Only two and a half weeks left till we are back among family and friends, but I think we will all be changed in some way or another. My life and outlook is different now. In a good way. And I pray this change sticks to me. Keep praying that we see this all through with the same vigor we held at the beginning of summer. Thank you all so much for your continued support. We would be nothing without your prayers and love. Love you all.

Peace and love <3

Thursday, July 7, 2011

never forgotten

Just a little update from the SoFlo. I am sitting here at a Starbucks, gazing out the window, and doing some good thinking. Just like the good little indie kid I am. And in my thinking I am dwelling on today's date. Possibly over dwelling, but if you know me, you know I over think absolutely everything. But anyway. Today is July 7, 2011. For some, its any other day. For me, its been a day to ponder for the past three years.

As many of you know and experienced, three years ago today, the world lost two beautiful, talented, Godly, wonderful, people. Three years ago today, one of my very best friends I've ever known was taken far too soon. Three years ago today, I lost a lady I looked up to, and went to for Godly council. But three years later, I still see God's hand in the whole thing.

Things that I will never forget about Ben.
His hugs, which is obvious. We all knew him for that.
His outlook on life. He was of the "Don't worry, be happy" breed. And we all envied that.
His advice. Even at three in the morning, when normal people sleep.
His quickness to say "I love you" no matter how big your disagreement was.

I'll never forget, sitting in a lodge on Beech Mountain. My brother, Kyle Hannah, had just given a sermon that left our youth group different for a long time. People were seeing sin in their lives and they were ready to get rid of it. Ben was one of them. I had long gone upstairs and was lounging on that big comfy couch by the fire when he approached me, tears his eyes. He could hardly get out his apology he wanted to give me. He told me he was ready to make a change in his life and live for God. And indeed there was a change. That was a life changing moment for me, too.

He brought me Mcdonalds lunch to school all the time, because I was always afraid to skip. He never missed my birthday or half birthday, which he insisted on celebrating. I cherish the days towards the end of sophomore year. Myself, Kasey, Shelby, and Ben would spend so much time, chatting in the library, while we were supposed to be working. We had some of the most fulfilling conversations. I miss those days. I miss him.

Mrs. Lisa always blew me away with her extensive knowledge of music. I will never forget our mission trip in Baltimore. We were in the decrepit club as we called ourselves. I had hurt my wrist and lost my voice. She transposed all the music I had to sing and play, in a matter of seconds. She was never without a smile and an encouraging word. I will never forget the Godly advice she gave me in some very formative years of my life.

All of this feels like it was yesterday. The hurt of losing them is still more real that I can believe. But I know it wasn't for nothing. The fact that, still, three years later, we are talking about the impact they had in our lives. Emotionally and spiritually. They led lives that were for Christ and left a legacy of that behind them. They are gone now. We all miss them so much, but a lesson can be learned here. Live your life for Christ now. Don't wait. They didn't. You may not have tomorrow to share Jesus with your lost friends. You may not have till tomorrow to tell those in your life you love them. Take nothing for granted. Life is indeed short. Live it now.

Sorry for a more heavy post. It was on my heart. Stay tuned within the next week for a VBS update, but for now, go live for Him. We aren't promised tomorrow.