I know, hopefully, all of you reading this, have someone you love dearly. And sometimes, you want to know they love you back and that they want you like you want them. I think that's why God puts us through trials sometimes. He wants us to show Him how much we love Him. Maybe that's it, but biblically, the reason we go through trials is told to us in James 1; it says that we go through trials so that we can persevere. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4) This is why we face trials. In high school, the youth group was challenged to memorize all of James 1 by the end of summer break. I have the first half of it still but not the second half, but nonetheless, these verses have helped me to understand why we go through trials and tough times. And believe me, I have been through some trials, but God has always been there. He never left me. It's taken me years to understand this and comprehend it, but I know my God will never leave me. He also, will never leave you.
I just started classes again on Tuesday and I LOVE THEM!!! I get to learn about stuff that matters. I get to learn how I can allow God to use me. I get to learn how to interpret and apply the Bible at a deeper level. I am so incredibly thankful for this opportunity that God has given me to study at Crossroads. I am taking Culture, Race, and the Church and Introduction to Holistic Urban Ministry on Mondays, Dynamics of Change on Tuesdays, and Counseling Theology and Hermeneutics on Thursdays. It's a heavy load with a lot of work ahead, but I am so excited to see what I learn this semester. I love it that one of my assignments is to choose a sin that I struggle with and try and tackle it by the end of the semester. We have to write out a plan and a proposal on how we are going to conquer it and then keep a weekly journal on our progress. This semester, I chose worrying. So, if you're reading this and we end up talking later and it sounds like worry in my voice, call me out. Please. This sin has been holding me down for too long. I need accountability not only to keep me from worrying, but also for encouragement. I'm asking each of you to help me with this (all 5 of you consistent readers :) ).
On to other updates, my Christmas break was really good! I went to Kansas and visited some friends I met when I was hosting in Haiti. Remember when I was on my way back from Haiti and my flight was scheduled to stop in Kansas City and it did, but then I missed the flight to Indy. Well the family that I stayed with when I missed my flight was the family that I went to visit. I also visited another family in Sabetha, Kansas whom I also met in Haiti. I had a blast! I caught up with the Bolewski's in Kansas City then I went to Sabetha to visit the Sunderland's. It was so much fun just to catch up and hang out with all of them. We went to some hole-in-the-wall restaurants and walked around town. Almost literally haha that's how small the town was. We also drove around a go-kart and I got the chance to drive a 1957 Chevy Bel-Air. If you know anything about my obsession with old cars, you'll know that I was seriously ecstatic to drive this! It was a three speed on the column. How many people can say they drove something like that? Anyways, that was exciting and so was the trip. It was so nice to get away and have a break. Plus, the families I visited were so much fun to be around! I am definitely going back again sometime soon.
In other news, my back was getting a lot better and I hadn't felt any pain for about a month, but then I started doing some new workouts off of Pinterest (it's a website to organize stuff you find on other websites). Those workouts are tough! And they started making my back hurt so I'm thinking I shouldn't do those anymore. So, I guess, if you were praying for my back, continue to pray that it heals and that I'm wise in what workouts I can and cannot do.
Also, I turn 21 tomorrow!! I'm so excited! Not about the 'being able to drink' part, just the 'it's my birthday part' haha. I think I'm going to have a great day tomorrow even though I am going to be exhausted. I'm working with the middle schoolers tonight for their all-nighter lock in at the church. I love those kids and it is so worth it to stay awake all night just for the hope of making a lasting impact. We'll see about the impact part when I get to Heaven, but it's worth it. I always have a blast with them anyways.
Okay I think that's it for updates. Sorry I keep not updating very often. I get busy. Hopefully having a solid schedule with being back in school and work will help me find a more frequent time to update for you all. I'm praying for you all out there who read this. I pray that through my updates, you can learn a little from what God has taught me so maybe you don't have to learn the hard way too haha. Lastly, remember that no matter what you're going through, God is there and He always will be. He wants you to come back to Him. His arms are waiting. Yeah, that may be a cheesy way to say it, but it's true. God loves you and He just wants you to know so