Sunday, July 14, 2013

So Many Emotions

I leave in 37 days. I am filled with so many emotions. So many that my mind has a hard time resting. I want to jump up and down and scream, I am so excited. I want to throw up, I am so nervous. I become giggly because I don't know what to think. I freeze because I am overwhelmed. I cry because I am so blessed.

The more I think about all the emotions that fill my body, I realize the one that is the strongest and the one that drives the others is the feeling of gratefulness. I can't wrap my mind around how blessed I am, but I know that I am very blessed. I am grateful to have the time and health to have an opportunity to do this. I am blessed to have multiple communities to support me through prayer and in financial ways. I am grateful to have my parents support and walk with me on every journey that I make. I am grateful to know that they will do what they can to help me accomplish my goals. I am blessed to have my parents encourage me and stand with me through the joys and struggles that I face as I approach this year. I am blessed to know that God is with me through every step in this process. I am thankful to know that He will not leave my side as I try to do His will and follow His call. I am grateful to have space to respond to a call like this, to be able to live out this type of ministry, to grow in my own faith. I am grateful to know people who will listen to all of my fears and joys. I am blessed to know people who can help give me vocabulary to describe what I feel, what I need, what I don't understand and what I can't know yet. I am unbelievably blessed and when I start to think about this truth all I can do is cry tears of gratefulness. Thank you all for blessing me with so much joy.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Open Heart

I found out! And I bursted into sparkles.

I received an e-mail earlier this week and it had the information of roughly what I will be doing in South Africa. I will be living in Thohoyandou, South Africa! I will be hosted by the Devhula Leboa Circuit and I am blessed to have the opportunity to live and grow in their community. As to what I will be doing...that is the best part. I get to learn from the Dean of the circuit and follow in the ministry that he does. Tessa (my country program coordinator) wrote in my letter that she feels I will be enriched by this because of my plans to go to seminary and become a pastor. And this is where the open heart from God comes into play. I have been wrestling with whether or not I am going to seminary for about the last year or so, and I have not been sure if I want to be a pastor for the last year and a half or so. And before the summer started I was pretty sure that pastoral ministry was not a job that I had the gifts or skills for. But this summer I am in a leadership position at Lutherdale Bible camp (where I have worked as a cabin leader for the last three summers) and as this summer has progressed I have started to think that yeah maybe I can be a leader and yeah I might have some leadership skills (this is something that I have NEVER thought I was, a good role model, yes sure, but a leader...no). And so when I received this letter from Tessa about where I was going and what I was doing I was surprised when I didn't respond with resistance, but with an open and excited heart for what is to come. It is by the grace of the Holy Spirit that I heard this news with an open and excited heart. I read the letter and thought "oh my! This is going to be so cool. Wow, maybe by the end of this summer and then by the end of next year I may be called to pastoral ministry." I am overcome with joy and excitement to see where I grow this summer and then with the opportunities that I have for this next year, where will I grow in all of that. It is amazing to see the Spirit working, and it is SO COOL when our lives are changed by it. Please be continually praying for me as this journey continues to twist and turn with so much joy and excitement.