"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." -Galatians 2:20

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Back in Chi Town

So here I am, back in Chicago attempting to finish my last year as an undergrad at Moody Bible Institute.  Though excited for the new year, I feel like I wasn’t really quite ready for it.  I am still processing my summer and taking the next step towards…oh ya, I don’t know. Haha.

It’s kind of funny in a way, how for almost 7 years I have had a direction in my life, a goal, a calling from God to go to Amsterdam.  But while in Amsterdam I kept asking God “what is next?” and He kept saying “I want you to focus on now and let me worry about later because I am a better planner than you, believe it or not” :)  So I did, and soaked in every moment there.  At the end of it all I guess I figured God would make it clear to me whether or not I would go back, but He hasn’t.  What He has shown me is that He wants me to obey Him in every moment; whether He asks me to pursue a 7 year goal, or a 7 minute conversation. (By the way, if I knew I was going to have to wait 7 years, I don’t know if I would have done it! – I think God knew that).

     Being in Amsterdam and working with the different ministries and meeting all the different people there, God also showed me that I was supposed to be there not last year, or the year before that, but specifically this summer in 2011, for many different reasons.  In the really long amount of time that I had been waiting for the Lord to tell me when to go, He was preparing me with many different life experiences and things that changed and grew me into the person I am – the person He wanted to use this summer.  It really is an incredible thing to see the hand of God in retrospect and understand how “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)  Every day this summer, I was able to see how something I had experienced or learned in the past was directly connected to where I was and what I was doing. (SO COOL)  At the end of this summer I saw that God incredibly blessed me for obeying Him in going there, but that His vision for my life is bigger than I can see, and He wants me to just continue obeying Him, even when I cannot see what He sees.

Now in Chicago for the past couple of weeks I have been asking God the same question…and I keep getting the same answer.  So I am focusing on the now, and I know that God will continue showing me little by little how the pieces of my past and the next steps I take will fit together somehow in the beautiful mosaic of my life that God has planned already.
Chicago + Moody + Friends = LOVE 

Amor en Mexico

After a great time in Amsterdam, my next stop for the summer was Mexicoooo!  Koral Donnelly – one of my really good friend’s and roommate from Moody got married on July 31st and I was truly honored to be a part of it…
Went from Amsterdam to London, Heathrow where I spent the night being moved around from one “waiting lounge” to another and getting no more than possibly 1 hour’s sleep total in the airport.  I felt awful in the morning, ate some breakfast and finally got on a plane from Heathrow to Dallas.  In Dallas my connecting flight to Phoenix was so close that I was literally sprinting through the airport and barely made it to the connecting flight to Phoenix…only to be seated behind the most annoying child that was whining/crying and pounding on the back of my chair…

I was either in an airport or an airplane for around 48 hours and then crashed at a friends house in Phoenix, and we drove a couple hours down to Mexico.  I definitely felt like death, but driving through Mexico felt like home :)

It was a small wedding, maybe 30 of Koral and Jake’s friends, all stayed in a gorgeous mansion that they rented for the weekend in Las Conchas, Mexico.  It was great hanging out with everybody, doing the Macarena at a restaurant, enjoying the beach, and even sleeping outside because it got so hot in the house because the power kept going out so we had no air conditioning (haha).  But the best part was getting to be a part of a wedding that is just so completely put together by God.  The morning of the ceremony all of us met together and worshipped in song and prayer over Jake and Koral and I definitely cried at the ceremony.  What a beautiful act of worship it is to be married, and to witness that is such a wonderful thing and a great way to end the summer.

After that, I drove back to Phoenix with friends, and then flew back to California…I feel like I spent a third of my summer on an airplane or in an airport.  Spent two weeks with the fam in Cali, and then I had to head back to Chicago for school. NUTS, I know.  This summer was awesome – but crazy.  THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your support over the past couple months, I REALLLYYY appreciate it.  Please continue to pray for me though, because I could definitely use it. ....Pictures below are of Caleb's birthday celebration, which included a pinata and sparklers from the Netherlands - priceless.