your will above all else, still my purpose remains


today was nothing short of a great day.

6 days after I submitted my Teach for America application, I found out that I have been invited to skip the phone interview stage and set up a final interview in 2 weeks, the 26th.  Wow. Several things crossed my mind when I read this email, sitting in a parking lot.

Graduation really is coming in 5 months and my life as a college graduate really will start soon after that. That is terrifyingly exciting in a million different ways.

I honestly was thinking I wouldn’t get in because I applied so late, and so I wasn’t expecting the email. I definitely wasn’t expecting to have the opportunity to skip the phone interview stage.  Also terrifyingly exciting.

Then reality began to set in again and unsuccessfully attempted to thwart my excitement. This could mean, if I get accepted and placed outside of Nashville, that I will move….

In high school, I always saw myself graduating college and moving somewhere new and exciting within 6 months.  Now that graduation looms at the horizon, I’m not sure I’m ready to move until May 2011 yet.   I just moved back to Nashville and I’m not so sure my time here is done yet. That’s not the main thing though.  What’s critical about May 2011 you ask?

The most important person in my life comes to the end of the biggest journey of her life and steps foot into the next phase of her life.  My little sister graduates high school.  I don’t want to miss the proms, the college visits, the boys, the friends, the applications, etc. etc. and all the things that go along with being a senior in high school.  I don’t want to miss our (potentially) last year in the same city.  I can answer without a doubt in my mind that she is the single most important person in the world to me.  Some poor boy someday should be terrified if he ever breaks her heart.  She’s probably more of the heartbreaker than the heart be broken type, though, which part of me envies.  That is May 2011.  I never pictured myself leaving before then once I realized we wouldn’t be graduating at the same time.

Teach for America, though, could be an opportunity of a lifetime, so we will see how that happens.

This will be short because I am exhausted.

First day of my last semester of college was today.  When I woke up and that hit me, I felt old, excited, and ready to face my day. I felt ready to make every day this semester count.  I felt ready to continue my tradition of waking up and attempting to live each day as the only (month) (day), 2010 there is and decide that each day would be awesome. It’s an attitude I’m trying to have more of this year.

I began reading Francis Chan‘s “Forgotten God” last night before bed ,and I have to say, that if my days didn’t end in exhaustion the last 2 nights, I would have been up all night reading.  The book measures up and goes beyond my expectations of Francis, so far.  After “Crazy Love,” the bar was set pretty high, and I feel like he will exceed it.  The book is about how, too often, we, especially in churches, see the Holy Spirit as somewhat secondary to things and negate His power and presence in our lives.  We speak too often about what He has done and not enough about what the Spirit IS doing in our lives. Francis suggests that maybe this is because we are afraid of the Spirit and have never really learned much about Him or that we simply ignore His presence in our lives.  Either way, Francis ended the first chapter inviting readers to begin to intentionally invite the Spirit into our lives.  Invite Him into what we do.  Begin to revel in the notion that, as Christians, we are FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT and He is our breath of life.  Begin to just pause and think about what that means.

Throughout my day, when I found myself in a silent moment, I began to think more about what it means for the Spirit to be my breath of life.  It’s a powerful thought, but it’s also a comforting one.  Once I began to revel more in that, I felt more confident in my steps, my words, and I began to deeply feel as if I weren’t alone.  I always KNEW this to be true, but until we deeply think about it, and deeply think about just what it means for the Spirit to be our breath of life, it doesn’t really click.

It’s a powerfully comforting simple thing that we, too often, negate or try to lessen.  Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s not powerful or meaningful.  I know I’m guilty of mentally buying into that and working through it is proving to be an awakening.

Recognizing that the Spirit is our breath does not excuse us from life or allow us to simply take a back seat and let Him guide us, because that’s not what happens.  It does, however, force us to own our lives and see them, in a deeper way, as for the glory of God.  See each thing as for Him and His glory.  Each thing as a living extension of the Kingdom.  Seeing the Spirit as our breath of life gives us a perspective on what it means to be “little Christs” as my friend Jes so often refers to it.

It’s a comfort in times of struggle but also a responsibility in times of opportunity.

Fruits of the Spirit cannot come apart from the Spirit and until we own His presence in our soul and breath, I don’t feel we can truly experience all that He has to offer us.

I continue to keep those in Haiti at the front of my mind and the beginnings of my prayers.  A student I taught this summer is Haitian-American and the majority of her family is still in Haiti.  I have no idea how they are, how she is, or anything on that situation, but I pray that peace will come in a time of tragedy. I pray that we will all help out in any way we can, even if it’s simply texting “haiti” to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross.  Over $5 million has been donated , so far, by this text message campaign.

I had hoped to take a trip to Haiti with my home church before the quake and now my hopes have simply been made stronger.

Another small side note, I’m trying to use the word ‘hope’ instead of plan more in life.  God laughs at plans.  Silly humans trying to plan our lives out, who are we to do that?  In my journal, I have countless verses from Proverbs listed about how, aside from God, our plans are nothing but selfishness and control issues manifested into spreadsheets.  It’s a difficult truth for me, but a freeing one as well.

I pray that I will begin to hope more than plan, that I will begin to be constantly renewed by the Spirit and be able to talk about what He IS doing in my life rather than simply what He HAS done in my life.  I pray for the Haitians and those who have family or loved ones affected by the quake.  I thank you for warmer weather, for great days, for great music, and great friends.  I continue to beg of you to draw me closer to You in this time. Thank you and continue to shower your grace and love over me and continue to allow me to feel your love in the deepest parts of my soul.  It’s a beautiful feeling and I long for more.

Life feels as if it is about to turn a page, yet I rest in the comfort of You.

I leave you with a song from Seventh Day Slumber

1,000 times I’ve failed
Still your mercy remains
Should I stumble again
I’m caught in your grace
Everlasting your light will shine when all else fades
Never-ending your glory goes beyond all fame

Your will above all else
My purpose remains
The art of losing myself
In bringing you praise
Everlasting your light will shine when all else fades
Never-ending your glory goes beyond all fame

My heart and my soul
I give you control
Consume me from the inside out

Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love you from the inside out

Everlasting your light will shine when all else fades
Never-ending your glory goes beyond all fame

And the cry of my heart is to bring you praise from the inside out
oh My soul cries out

My heart and my soul
I give you control
Consume me from the inside out

Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love you from the inside out

Everlasting your light will shine when all else fades
Never-ending your glory goes beyond all fame

And the cry of my heart is to bring you praise from the inside out
My soul cries out

Everlasting your light will shine when all else fades
Never-ending your glory goes beyond all fame

And the cry of my heart is to bring you praise from the inside out
My soul cries out
Oh, My soul Cries Out

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