We made it!
You know, we're drawing to the close of the school year, and the end of my first year as a full time senior staff member. It's been such a good year! As I sat and reflected before this blog, so many good memories came to mind...so many lessons learned, both fun and difficult ones...so many new friends were made...and you, my ministry partner, are a huge part of that! You've made it possible for me to work full time on UNT campus through your generous monetary support. You've brought me, my staff team, my family, and students before God in prayer consistently. Both of those things are huge and I'm extremely thankful for you!
I think my biggest takeaway this year is the importance of pursuing my relationship with God. I am learning that unless I'm really pursuing my own relationship with God, I have very little to offer to anyone I meet up with. This makes so much sense, because it's impossible to pour anything out if you're completely dry spiritually. But even for how much sense it makes, it is still SO HARD for me to be consistent in my pursuit of God. I'm learning how to make and protect my time with Him, instead of letting daily distractions (ministry, life, laziness, etc) keep me from Him.
I think I figured this would get easier...I'm a full-time minister now, so being filled with the Spirit is just one of the perks, right? Spending quality time with Him will be easy, right? I wish. It's still a discipline that requires effort and faithfulness. But God has been so gracious in making me deeply understand my need of Him this year as I seek to minister to the students here at UNT! Now it just comes down to daily practice!
I'm really looking forward to the summer and hopefully having a bit more down time. I have plans to participate in a School of Ministry class that will give a general overview of the Bible and want to explore some different ways of worshiping and spending time with God.
|Ashley Mullings, mucho talented singer|
I wanted to update you on this event, because it was a SUPER SUCCESS! This event is a mishmash of amazingly talented entertainers and artists who lend their skills to raise funds to send students to SICM (the Student Institute of Campus Ministry). Last year was our first year to do it and this year was just as amazing.
Not only were the acts on point, the event raised enough money to help fund our 103 students going to SICM. If you came out to the show, made a donation, or are one of the talented artists who made this event possible, THANK YOU!!
|Brittany (left) & Darby sharing their testimonies.|
|Sarah & me|
I've been so proud of each of these girls and how they've all grown in such awesome ways this year. As each one shared their testimony, it was apparent that the Spirit was strong at work in each of them. Seeing students make decisions to follow God with their whole hearts, pursuing Christ, and living to impact their peers is one of the things I love about getting to do student ministry right now.
The Ah-HA! Moments
I love the end of the year, because it seems like this is when people GET it. There have been so many encouraging encounters for me and the student leaders I meet with each week where the people we've been mentoring had light-bulb moments!
|Our AWESOME Leader Team|
I've watched one girl I've been studying the Bible with develop a deep desire to know God and to want to apply what she's reading to her life. When she first started reading the Bible, I told her to start in Matthew and look for answers to the question, "What does this tell me about the heart of God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit?" In the first few chapters, she told me she couldn't find anything because Jesus was still a baby...what could she learn from that? (To which Imentally face-palmed.)
Now she sends me summaries of what she's been learning and has so many questions, that sometimes it takes most of our meet up time to talk through them! The Spirit is so strongly at work in her and it's amazing!
Another girl told me last week "I understand why you ask so many questions and push back on decisions I'm making...it's not because you want to run my life, it's because you're looking at things from an objective angle and love me enough to help me make the best choices!"
|Students at Pizza Theology in April|
A girl one of my student leaders has been studying with finally got why she kept telling her to read her Bible, instead of relying on simple daily devotionals. She told her, "I get it! When I read just a devotional, I'm getting "processed food." I'm reading someone else's interpretation of God's Word. But when I read my Bible, I'm getting "whole food!" God can speak through devotionals, but I need to be seeking Him out for myself, instead of always relying on other people to do it for me."
What awesome break throughs!! This is why I love my job and getting to see God bring about changes in students' lives that they are going to carry through with them into adulthood and whatever job field they choose! What an honor that we, you AND I, get to be part of that!!