Sunday, November 30, 2008


Time for an update... perhaps this will be a little less emotionally charged and bit more positive? I'm also going to throw in a couple of things I've been learning, walking through and getting excited about.

If I could rename myself, I would pick the name "Chemdah", which is "beloved" when transliterated from the Old Testament Hebrew. This is how I feel God addresses me when He really wants to drive home a point into my heart. Recently, He wanted me to know within my heart was how deeply loved I am. Sure, I can say to you God loves me because He sent Christ to die for the atonement of my sins. I do believe this in my heart and it does speak to me, but I want to hear God tell me Himself how He loves me. During Fast Friday, I wrestled with a statement told to me by a counselor. She said that I don't understand true love and I've had lots of experiences that show me wrong/inferior examples of love. Despite how much this hurt, I know parts of it are true.

From my journal:

Let us love one another, for love is from God and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God because GOD IS LOVE. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be propitiation for our sins...So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. GOD IS LOVE, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:9-10, 16.

So I was reminded that I know love. And no only that, but I live in love. Please continue to pray for me as I deepen my understanding of real love, true love and how much God loves me.

Other updates:

  • Things are alright for me. As I briefly mentioned earlier, I've been meeting with a counselor. Lots of things have happend in my twenty-four years of life and I honestly just came to the realization that what I've walked through is NOT normal. Each individual life event I've experinced is enough to take out a person... all of them combined is pretty much insane and only sustainable because of God's grace. My tattoo rings true. I definitely walk because of God's grace.
  • My roommates are PHENOMENAL. I love them so much and I'm soooo greatful for them. On Monday, December 8th (I think) we're going to the Christmas tree lot and picking up our house tree! A REAL TREE!!! This will be a first for me... for as long as I can remember, I've had an artificial tree...besides last year when Sarah and I had a cactus... :)
  • S.P.O.M :Sleep-over Parties Once Monthly. Our ladies are creative! Nov 21 was our first girl's night. After Fast Friday we had a sleep over that included playing games and getting to know each other. Many of our ladies who come to Nav Nite have the chance to see each other around on campus, but have yet to truly interact with one another. We created a once a month time to get together to seriously get into one another's lives. I'm definitly excited for these times.
  • Bible readings: Emily and I have had the amazing opportunity to meet up with a gal and read through a chapter of the Bible together. These times create great conversation and tons of challenging questions. We are both excited to keep these going through out the rest of the school year.
I'm sure there are more things to update on, but right now its getting late and I need to get ready to drive back to LBC in the morning. Thanks again for continually keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. If you want to hear about more of my processing, please feel free to get in contact with me.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Good has to happen out of brokeness.

"Just as bread needs to be broken in order to be given, so, too, do our lives." - "Becoming the Beloved" Henri Nouwen

Brokenness is such a weird thing. Until I read the above quote, I believed it was something of evil. I hate being broken. I hate not understanding. I hate knowing that I'm broken and feeling like I'm the only one with junk. I'm learning though, if I want to make a difference in this world, I HAVE to be broken. I have to break now so that I can give away later. I want to give of myself out of healthiness not selfishness.

These past few days have not been easy. Painful memories have been brought up and I've been told that I must dig through them to understand my brokenness. In them lies the root of my various issues. I was told by a therapist once that I'm a stuffer. When I experience something painful, I immediately begin to do what I can to stuff it down so as to never deal with it again. Plenty of people have called me strong. They look at what I've experienced and shake their heads wondering if they would ever be able to make it through what I've gone through at such a young age. Honestly, I can't handle it when I'm told I'm strong. It makes me feel as if when I'm having a hard day, I can't show how I feel. If I want to walk around all day in a mess of tears, I can't because I'm strong. Or on those days when I just want to run my fist through a wall, I must keep my composure. I'm too strong to crumble.

I'm broken. I'm crumbling. I can't handle it anymore. I've learned though that one day, this will be used for good. One day, I'll be a woman where people see me and feel encouraged because I've taken this time to deal with my pain. I will impact the world, hopefully in a positive way.

Right now, nothing is positive and everything hurts.

I'm attempting to cling on to hope. Please pray for me as I do this...

He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants. He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in... Psalm 107:33-36

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's Fall


If I were at home, I would see the beauty that Fall has to offer... the trees turn exquisite shades of yellow, orange and red. These wonderful leaves begin to blanket the ground and turn crisp. I normally step out of my way to step on the crunchiest leaf of all, just to hear it crackle beneath my feet. I miss the smell of fall. It smells of bonfires and hot chocolate. When the weekends come around, you can hear bass drums in the air from all of the marching bands beating out their football team's fight song. Hoodies are needed... sometimes, at night breath becomes visible in the air... it's apparent that God designed this season to signify a shedding of what was once before to prepare for what is to come.

I think fall is developing new meaning for me because it currently represents my life. Walls that were once built to self-protect are falling down. Masks that were once worn are breaking apart and falling away. I've been told by my wise roommate, Valerie, that I'm entering into a time to allow myself to finally grieve over what I've lost. I now get to deal with my past, break habits and watch God prepare me for what is to come. This time for me is hard and it doesn't look like anything I've ever experienced before. This is a precious time to truly look at myself for who I am and realize who God sees when He looks at me.

So, what else do you need to know? Well, things look different for me in the world of ministry. I'm not leading bible studies this semester. I'm taking a break from much of the heavy out-pouring I was giving and focusing more on the input I will be receiving. I may not have many blogs about the cool experiences I am having on campus. Many of the things I write here may shock you... but know that they are shocking me as they are revealed to me. I am excited to go through this time, as difficult as it may be... hmmm... that may be a lie. I think I'm more excited for the outcome of this time. Things are changing for the best. It just takes a process to get to that point. So please pray with me and for me as I walk through this time of "fall".

As always, thanks for reading and praying. Love and miss you all in Tempe & Cincinnati.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Thursdays = Office Parties :)

So... if you know me, you know I LOVE being with people. Constantly. And I love hanging out with friends and having new people join the party.

With this being said... I had a BLAST watching The Office on Thursday in N Building. Not only was Thursday's episode amazing... yay for PB & J (Pam Beasley and Jim, thank you Monique), it was just a really cool time of meeting new people and simply "being" around them. No need to perform. No need to have anything rehearsed come out of my mouth. No need for attempting to achieve anything. We all were able to "be" with each other. I like that.

Each Thursday is going to be an Office party. Show up around 9ish and be ready to "be" with people. It'll be a good time. (except for this Thursday... the Vice-Presidential debate will be on)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

When you have to walk through the hard things.....

This year is going to yet again be an interesting one. Once again, God is on the move and working in my life. I love that we have a big God who does big things. These big things amaze me because they are always for His glory. We get to see our Precious Lord work, change, refine, reshape... everything. Its not always easy, but its always good.

With that being said... I'm in a really hard time of change right now. I'm trying to cling to truth as every day seems to throw another curve ball at me. Or at least a ball I hoped that wouldn't be thrown my way. Today's news... I'm not going home to Cincinnati anymore. The trip is postponed and I know its for the best. I have personal and ministry things to work through at the moment. I don't exactly feel like bearing all kinds of detail here on my blog at the moment... but if you are interested in finding out what all is going on, please personally contact me.

I guess by writing this, I'm asking all of you to pray for me. Even if you don't pray... just toss up something for me. See how the Lord works. Pray that I would hear truth and remain in it. Pray also that I would continue to praise the Lord because He is good in ALL things. Pray that I would continue to boldly walk through the challenges God is setting before me. Please pray for my comfort. I can't turn to anything else, but the Lord. Also, pray for freedom. Pray that I would feel free from the tendency to perform and act as if I have it all together; freedom from putting myself under incredible amounts of pressure that NO ONE has asked me to be under; freedom from standards that are voiced and unvoiced; freedom from sin.

Earlier this year... possibly March, God gave me Isaiah 43. I wrote in my bible that it's my new favorite chapter. v. 2 says, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you." I believe the water refers to times of taking significant steps of faith for the Lord. The Children of Israel had to do this when the crossed the Red Sea and when they crossed the Jordan River. In both cases, there was incredible uncertainty but a desperate need for trust. When there is mention of fire, all I can think about is how fire refers to refinement. There is a purification when things are put into the fire; all of the things at are supposed to last, will. Throughout these two incredibly challenging processes, the Lord promises that He will be there. He makes mention of how these things are challenging, but they are for the good. In Romans 8:28 Paul says, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

If you lead me Lord, I will follow. Where you lead me Lord, I will go. Come and heal me Lord, I will follow. Where you lead me Lord, I will go. I will go.... even if that means through the water and through fire. Take me. Refine me. Use me for your will. Amen.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Don't Stop Believing

Wow... end of summer? Already??

I'm shocked that tomorrow school starts for CSULB. I spent this evening hanging out at the Joshua House (Ben, Ernest, Dane, Dan, Dan and Shawn) and met TONS of new people. Some were new freshmen and others were previous friends who hadn't had the chance to reconnect. Its cool to watch people come together and spend time with one another. Fellowship always amazes me. Its also refreshing to be around people who care about one another and the Lord. I needed this time as well. I feel like right before the school year starts or some big event happens, I'm always under some spiritual attack. This time... its my keys. I've lost my car keys and my house key. I spent an amazing day, yesterday, with some very special girls from ASU. After running around together, hanging out at different beaches and exploring southern California a bit... I realize that keys are NO WHERE to be found. I've checked everywhere. I'm trying to not be distraught and upset... but its so frustrating.

So my reminder tonight was the simple fact that God is God no matter what. He's continually in control and He will provide in whatever way possible. My role is to continue to praise Him...even when it hurts or when I'm super frustrated. The easy way out/way to quit is to just throw my hands in the air and claim to be finished. I've noticed that in these past couple of weeks, I've been hearing that I should just give up. I should just give in and claim that I'm no good and neither is God. Then I'm reminded of how much Christ gave for me and how much the disciples suffered for Christ. My struggles are light and momentary. There are bigger things to focus people who need to hear some Good News.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13,14)

Another reason for why I do what I do.

I press on for the glory of Christ because He endured the cross on our behalf.

Some prayer requests:

*Pray for me as I continue on this quest for my keys.
*CSULB and the start of a new school year
*The survey tables outside of the dorms: Parkside and Residence
*For my sister who welcomed precious Michael Jay Young into the world 12:58est Sept 1. He weighed in at 8lbs 15oz!!! As Monique called him... "He looks like a little turkey dinner!" I can't wait to meet him.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Refreshed. Redeemed.

God reminded me of some truth, so I thought I would share it with you.

2 Corinthians 12:9 is a verse that will probably continue to shape my faith and walk with the Lord this year... It says,

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

I struggled with understanding what Jesus actually meant by saying that. I probably wrote a blog about it a few weeks ago. Anyway, at one of my lowest points this summer, Jesus spoke to me in a dream. Now, this wasn't a dream that was all smoke and mirrors... we were simply having a conversation. There was specific sin that I was struggling with and attempting to punish myself for. I said to Him,

"Is that it? Do I really just get off the hook and walk away like that? How is that fair? Don't I deserve more?" His response to me was, "Michelle, this is what I meant by my grace being sufficient for you. I took care of the punishment by going to the Cross."

Later on, I read in Psalm 89:30-34

"If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my rules, if they violate my statues and do not keep my commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes, but I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness."

When I read that verse, I felt an incredible amount of refreshment. God punished my sins in Christ. His grace is sufficient. I am redeemed. That's all that I need.

Hmm... segue?

Tonight, I sat with my roommates of the House on the Hill and watched a trailer for the movie "College". After seeing this, I'm even more convinced of the need for my job...

I also wanted to include some prayer requests I have for us here at CSULB. Students are moving in at the end of this week and I'm absolutely shocked at how fast this summer has flown by. So if you think of it, could you be praying for the students who are arriving this week and next?
  • Pray that people would know and trust Christ.
  • That we, as Navigator staff and followers of Christ, would boldly encourage students to passionately run hard after Jesus and to work hard to know truth.
  • For energy during Welcome Week and excitement to build new friendships.
  • For our staff team to be on one accord as we show love and truth on campus.
  • For our team to trust the Lord as He leads us and our director, Don.
  • That we would also trust Don as he follows God's guidance.
  • For all of us and our fund-raising... that we would continue to work hard at this and trust in the Lord for His provision.
  • For our relationships with our financial partners...that we would continue to represent the Good News of Christ to them.

I think that's it for now. Be on the look out for my next newsletter. Oh and if you aren't receiving newsletters from me but would like to, please contact me and send me your address. I'd love to add you to my mailing list.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying. I love you and I miss all of you in Tempe. And if you're reading this and live in Cincinnati, remember, I'm coming into town September 17th - 30th. We should meet up.

Friday, August 15, 2008

External processing & A need for prayer

If I'm not honest with myself... who will I be honest with?

I love living here. Everything is different and its cool. I am beginning to adjust a little and getting used to living in Cali.... although, last night when we put together Esther's armoire, (sp) we had to earthquake proof it... which was a bit weird for me. I'm not used to earthquake proofing things.

The thing I need to be honest about is the fact that I am overwhelmed. I'm sooo overwhelmed with moving, being involved with a new/different ministry, the need to be vulnerable with new people who don't know me yet... everything. Please pray for me. Pray that I would find my comfort in the Lord and not any other place. Pray that I would feel okay to cry and be emotional. Lately, I've been telling myself that I can't cry and admit that I'm overwhelmed because when I do that, I'm doubting that the Lord is capable of working... there can't be any truth in that statement.

Anyway, the latest stress is funding...(isn't that always my stress?) As I said yesterday, I have to leave California in a month to head back to Cincinnati for 2-3 weeks to work more on my fund-raising. (September 17th - September 30th...possibly even through October 6th) Currently, I'm at 59% of my fully funded goal. 70% allows me to minister full time on campus for the fall semester. That means right now I've raised a little over $36,000. To be here for the fall I need at least another $10,000. To have 100% would be $62,000. Big numbers? Yes. Does it look ridiculous? Possibly. Do we have a big God? Yes. And, He does things that ALWAYS seem impossible. I'm excited because I've never raised this much money before, and I've seen the Lord do incredible things and bless me throughout these past few months. I'm discouraged because I unfortunately look at my percentage and realize I still have a long way to go. So, all this to say I need your prayer. Please pray with me in seeking the Lord for strength. Please pray that I will finally deal with emotions and fears and how I'm feeling. Please pray that the funding would come in... soon.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying. I'll see you soon, Cincinnati.

Here's an upside... I'll at least get to be there at the start of football season. WHODEY!! (that's for you Randall ;P )

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lets pack up and move to California :)

So... I MADE IT!

I live in Southern California! That's such a crazy statement for me. Three years ago, I would have never thought of leaving Cincinnati for a job. Now... here I am. I have a job and roommates and tons of new opportunities ahead of me.

I guess you're wondering what its like and how I feel and what I thin of everything... well, so far... I haven't seen much. People here are SOOO different and so is their driving. So, I don't like to venture out much. It's always intimidating when you see people speeding up behind you only to switch lanes, pass you and cut back in front of you. I'll have to get used to the aggression on the roads out here. My roommates are amazing. I have 4 of them... Valerie, Esther, Holly and Stephanie. Together we make up the Hill House and its been pretty cool so far. I haven't spent much time with Steph yet because she's actually been out of the country for the past 10 days. I'm hanging out with Esther tonight... we're going to Ikea with hopes to find a wardrobe for the upstairs bedroom. Holly is so sweet. She laughs all the time and I love hanging out with her. Valerie encourages me to go after things and to not be afraid. We get the most time together since our schedules line up the most. She's full of suggestions for places to see and where to drive and things to explore. Its pretty cool. My first day, we went down to the Queen Mary and attempted to walk in... but it was like $25 just to WALK IN THE DOOR! Lame. We decided against that and just roamed around downtown for a bit. I think I could get used to living here.

So... I think that's all the updates on Long Beach for now. I'm hearing all about how ASU is starting up with their semester planning and I'm sooo sad to not be around for that. Its been hard to know that once again I'm starting with a ministry in a new location and I'm walking through that whole new and uncomfortable feeling... but as Eddie Broussard said, "There's no comfort in the growth zone and no growth in the comfort zone." So... here's to growing!

Other updates: Funding... wow, this has been a crazy challenge for my life. But the cool thing is I'm learning to look at it with different lenses. I mean, I could choose to look at the total number I need to raise and call the Navigators and the Lord crazy for expecting me to raise that much money as a single woman. (Honestly, I tend to do that... often) But then, I realize that what I do is NOT about money. It is NOT about fund-raising and it is NOT about being comfortable and living a life of luxury. What I do is not even about myself. Its about the Lord and His good news going out to the ends of the earth. I care a great deal about people knowing Truth and knowing that this Truth will set them free. We have been freed from the holds of our sin (no matter how big or small) and we have the chance to live new and redeemed life.

Now, the part that I do get tripped up on is doing this alone. I've been saying for the past three years, I don't know how much longer I can do this by myself. The new lesson I'm learning is that I'm not alone. I've got a continually growing base of people who want to take part in this same vision. They too want to have an impact on someone other than themselves. These people want to see my life changed and the lives of college students changed. They want to see the message of Christ go out through the nation and through the world. So I'm not alone. I never will be. I have the Lord who is fighting for me and I have a base of friends and family who are also extremely supportive. Now, because this base does need to grow and I still have a fully funded goal that I do need to reach... I will be returning to Cincinnati.

In about about a month from now, I'll be back in the city that I love. I will be meeting face to face with people and getting excited about this vision of impacting lives. So take this as my first notice. I will be in contact with you when I return home. I'd love to sit down and talk about what the Lord is doing in my life and the lives at Cal State Long Beach. If you wanna get some time with me, please please please let me know!

I think that's it for now. I promise to add pictures and more updates as I get more comfortable and explore. Lets talk soon! Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying. I love you and I miss you.

Colossians 3:16-17"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the same of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Having the courage...

I looked at the title of my blog and felt the hot sting of tears. I can and very easily claim the verse Joshua 1:9 for my ministry and all the work that I do for the Navigators. I realized tonight, I've never claimed it for my life. If I am going to have the courage to go all over the world to share Jesus with people, I must have the courage to dig deep into my life and continue to share Jesus with myself. Going there with the Lord is hard and not something I always want to do. A wise woman once told me that the path of wisdom is always hard to walk along. I hate it when I have to actually deal with my issues. In my world, it seems like it would be easier to ignore the problems and let them go away. I'm coming to realize that has been the main issue for so long. Things in my life that I haven't dealt with.... I let them grow yet would attempt to cut them back at times... they would grow and grow and grow. The way to get rid of something is to pull it out by the roots.

I came home to Tempe yesterday and was shocked to see the growth that has happened all around my house. We have this bush in the front yard that kind of reminds me of an alien. In my head, I refer to it as the "space bush". Lame... I know... Anyway, this "space bush" had grown so out of control, I couldn't even make it to my front door. I had to push back branches that have these tiny round orange flowers all over it. The place was a mess and I was instantly embarrassed because I know many people have driven by and seen the attack of the "space bush". I was even embarrassed because I knew that the mail man had to push back these orange budded branches just to do his job and deliver the mail that was supposed to be on vacation suspend. Anyway, I say all of this because it reminds me of the sin in my life. These are the issues I just don't want to deal with. I let them go, believing that they will continue to be the same small issues when I come back. I'm wrong. They grow and create a mess that has to be pushed back in order to get to the door. They stop me from being seen as the real and redeemed Michelle. They attempt to look pretty and add decoration. These are just lies and they need to be ripped out at the root.

I'm reading a book, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free and its pretty interesting. I'm learning about how lies go back to the original sin of Adam and Eve. The lie that tricked Eve made the fruit look absolutely irresistible. She traded the truth about God for a lie that resulted in astronomical affects on His precious creation. If she can do that... what about me? What affects will the lies that I believe have on the rest of God's creation?

I'm here to say that I've fallen short. I've messed up and now have to walk through a process of understanding truth all over again. Things I do know is that God's love is unchanging, everlasting, permanent and will never ever ever be changed or taken away by anything that I do...same goes for you too. I know that I'm never too far away from God to be out of His reach. I'm never too close that I don't need Him.

I can tell that my move to California will be another life impacting step for me. Perhaps I will finally see freedom from the bondage of lies that I believe. Perhaps I'll help others obtain this same freedom. Heck, perhaps I'll even get married and really have to deal with issues in my life... who knows what these next two years of Staff In Training will provide for me. God is a big God who loves unconditionally and desires nothing else but to have us in right standing and good fellowship with Him.

You promised me that You'll never leave me nor forsake me. You say in Isaiah 43:2 that when I pass through the waters, You will be with me, and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm me; when I walk through fire I shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume me. You said to me in Joshua 1:9 to be strong and courageous; to not be terrified or discouraged because You are with me whenever I may go. So here I am, I will walk. I will go. I will fight. It will be hard and I'll probably try to quit on You. I'll probably say mean things to You; say that You are wrong; attempt to not trust you. I'm sick of watching all of this grow into an overgrown ugly mess. Please go to the root and tear it out. Continue to make me new. Continue to keep me excited about what you are doing in and through my life. Here I am Lord... let's do this.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


So... I made it back to Tempe... safe and quickly! Thanks for thinking of me and praying for my trip. I really appreciate it. I must say that Amber is a great road-trip friend. We hardly needed to stop for anything and we made it back to Tempe in 27 hours! I know, I know... that sounds like a loooonng time... but that's the fastest I've ever made it back. My longest time is 35 hours.

Anyway, I'm back in Tempe, and I face a ton of issues... like packing my room, paying the last bit owed on my condo, switching over addresses and canceling services/magazines, dealing with the mistakes that were made this summer and the lessons learned, saying final goodbyes and new hellos....

I have lots to journal I think I'm going to go do that. Perhaps, I'll journal and sit by the pool for a couple of hours? Anyway, once I process, I'll have another one of these posts for you to read. In the meantime... rest assured that I didn't suffer any loss or feel anything in the earthquake in LA. I've had lots of phone calls and emails asking if I was okay. Thanks for the concern... I'll be out that way this Saturday :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

letting go helps us to live new lives.

Experiences teach us so much.... so does letting your guard down. I'm amazed at what it looks like to finally say, "Okay, I give up." For the past nine years I filled my life with hate and confusion. I made vows to never trust or love her again. I spent all this time being bitter and walking around with a huge chip on my shoulder because she's wronged me in the past and she must know how much it hurts. Even with a huge loss in our lives, I still attempted to do things out of my own strength and not out of love. I hurt her more than I can ever imagine and random acts of kindness cannot heal those wounds.

This summer has taught me what it looks like to pray and trust God with your prayers. It has only been 5 weeks, but I feel like I've experienced tremendous healing. I could chalk it up to circumstance and say that's the reason why things are going the way they have been. I think it would be better to let the Lord get the glory out of this one. I've looked at our interactions objectively and seen what's really being communicated. At times there was fear... which I've easily mistaken for anger and judgment. There was frustration at outside events that I took as a personal hatred. There was the needed alone time that I had intruded upon, yet took the reaction as a message of disdain. I've realized that over the years, I would stand on my soap box and scream about how grace + acceptance = love. I never included forgiveness. At times I would get frustrated but comfort myself by saying that I'm being the bigger person because I chose to walk away... yet I held onto my anger for her and let it grow very ugly things in my heart. I could smile at my actions knowing that I didn't throw the first or last punch... yet I still reminded myself of why I hated her and kept the secret anger inside.

Now I love because she's all that I have. I forgive because He forgave us and holding onto anger belittles the grace that Our Savior bestows upon us daily. I've accepted her for her faults and cherish the things that make us more similar than I, at times, would like to think we are. I'm sad that I won't be around for new life changes. I'm glad that we learned how to talk and treat one another like adults. I praise the Lord because a few years ago... er... a few months ago, I never would have written this blog.

Please take this as my apology. Know that I'm finally growing and letting the Lord make things right.

I love you sister.

"And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26b

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Honestly, this is my prayer...


I think I'm scared. I'm sitting here attempting to type a letter that is asking for a lot of money, so that I can be fully available on campus in the fall. I'm scared, because as I write this letter and add the specific dollar amount, I'm afraid of the reaction that it will receive. I am afraid that the faith people have in you will shrink away and people will once again believe that you are incapable of making this amount of money come to be. I'm scared because I know I'm the one who is believing these things right now. Lord, I know you are big and I know that you ask us to trust you, even when it seems shaky and extremely uncomfortable. I do know that I am excited to see where my faith is going and that one day I will have all kinds of wisdom given from you because of these experiences you walk me through. Lord, just know that I'm scared. Know that I don't want to walk into these meetings. Know that I don't want to ask for this money. I am tempted to simply hide behind my fear. Know that I will be bold and will do these things because you've asked me to. I asked for you to help me grow and in return, you asked me to trust. So here we are...Please help me to stand on the promises you have given me. Please help me to know that you are faithful to your word when you tell me to trust because you provide. Please help me to once again be strong and by faith step out because you have asked me to. I pray for my funding and for all of my friends who are doing the same thing. Please calm our nerves and help us to trust/rest in you. I love you Lord and I thank you for all that you walk with me through. Thank you for situations like these where I can do nothing but call out to you and put all that I have in you.
- Amen.

Please keep praying for me and all of the staff who are fundraising right now.

Just 28% more... then I'll be at 70% of my total budget and I will be able to report to campus on time.

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Heb 11:1

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Even in the small things....

This is my story of encountering God in the small things. It may not seem like a big deal or anything... but it made me stop and think about big God is and how He is all about the little things that seem important to us.

So, there I was, spending a ridiculous amount of time searching for a song without knowing many of the words and only knowing a little of the bit of the chorus.

Then, God told me to ask Him for the song. Of course, I think this is ridiculous, because:
a) would God really ask me to pray about finding a song?
b) and if so, why would God even care if I found it or not? I mean really, aren't there bigger things for Him to focus on?
Clearly, this was the wrong mindset. So, I kinda shrugged my shoulders and asked Him anyway.

Then, the word "everlasting" came to mind. (this was a huge improvement... the only other words I had before were "unchanging, your love never fails"... a line that is not even in the song)

A few more minutes of searching... I found what I was looking for....

Lesson: Never doubt that God hears you. Even in the half-hearted prayers about the small, seemingly unimportant things,  He still hears and will act.

"From the Inside Out"

A thousand times I've failed
Still Your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
I'm caught in Your grace

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

Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending
Your glory goes beyond all fame

In my heart and my soul
Lord I give You control
Consume me from the inside out, Lord 
Let justice and praise
Become my embrace
To love you from the inside out

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
Lord my soul cries out

"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act." --> Psalm 37:5 (ESV)

**No matter what you believe, I hope that you can experience God in the "little things" at some point today. And if you do... feel free to write me about it. I'd love to hear what happens.**

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fundraising can be encouraging and discouraging.

I'm starting this off by saying that I think God and I must communicate through music. He's always providing a background song for whatever situation I may be in...

This time it was Relient K "For the moments I feel faint"

Anyway, I just got a little overwhelmed. I thought I should blog about it. Funding is tough but I just checked my account and added a few people and my little bar graph went from 22% to 24%. That's a sweet feeling! Its a little slow, but still going. As the song was playing in my head, I began to realize the message that it was sending me. I'm doing this whole funding thing so that I can continue to share Jesus with college students. I should not underestimate Him. Obviously, the money will come in at the appropriate time. I can no longer doubt that I will get funded. Every need I have will be provided for.

I sat with a friend today and we talked about life, money and jobs. We talked about how good it feels to finally do something you truly care about and get excited for. If you do something you hate solely for the money, then there's no point in doing it at all. I love my job and couldn't be happier to have a career at 23.

I think I feel a little more encouraged about the whole funding process I have to walk through.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying. If you give, thanks for being a part of this. I (along with a lot of ASU Navigators) appreciate your partnership.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts and I am helped; my heart exalts, and with my song I give thanks to Him." Ps. 28:7

Friday, June 20, 2008

Cincy: Week 1

Whoa... I've been home for a week.. crazy! I feel like this has flown by sooo fast! Plenty of highlights to write about. First and foremost, God is good. I must give Him the praise. I came into town not exactly excited to arrive, and God has changed my thoughts/heart around... completely.
Highlight #2: My nephew was so happy for me to come home. He's spent so much time just sitting with me and telling me about his life. Conversations with a five year old are amazing.
Highlight #3: Seeing my sister has been so fun. I love her pregnant belly and I'm excited to meet my new nephew Michael!
Highlight #4: I love my friends. The best part about seeing the people who are such a big support network for me, is that Sarah has been able to be here this whole week. I've truly been blessed by her friendship and I'm glad that she's been able to experience the greatest city in the nation :)
Highlight #5: Skyline chili... this just makes me love Cincinnati

I'm sure there are more highlights to report on, but I'm spent and I have to unfortunately drive Sarah to the airport early in the morning.

If you've been praying for me and my time here in Cincy, thanks soooo much! Things are going well and God is so incredibly good. I will try to keep updating throughout my time here.

Prayer requests: Pray for my time at home with my family and friends. I hope that this will continue to go well and that I will continue to be encouraged. Pray also for my funding as I am reconnecting with people and trying to make it to Long Beach before August 15th.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying. You're Great!

Ps. 37:5 "Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, He will act."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

ugh... really?

its 12:35am pst... I'm leaving to DRIVE across the country yet again in 6 hours and I'm awake blogging/crying. I'm having such a hard time dealing with change. I know that exciting things await me in the very near future, but its so hard to change. I love so many people in Tempe and I (right now) hate that I'm leaving.

I have plenty to look forward to... I'm seeing some of my greatest friends in Cincinnati in a few days; I'm hanging out with my family; I get to meet up with people who have partnered with me in ministry; I get to see people who are extremely excited for what God is doing in my life... and so because of these things, I will try to end this positively. I know that good things are happening for me and I really am excited. I'm just a bit stressed about the next six weeks and the crazy changes I have to endure again.

I am excited because, "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:1-5)

I'm gonna go to sleep now, but before I do, I'm going to be thankful for changes, challenges, trials, endurance, courage, faith and hope.

Please continue to pray for me as I take giant steps of faith and put all of my trust in a very big God.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for praying.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Where does the time go?

So I feel like time has been speeding by lately. Its already time for me to drive home to Cincinnati and really hit fundraising hard. After this, I won't be living in Arizona any longer.... wow. Anyway, if you in Cincy from June 15th -July 27, let me know. I would LOVE to see you this summer.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Just some thoughts...

Needed a little bit of processing time...

I am so excited for next year. I have been taking time to think back over my life from the past two years and I have gone through a lot of change. I moved away from my comfort zone in Cincinnati and had my world completely rocked. All that I thought I knew was completely challenged and refocused. This process that I am going through can only continue to get better as I walk through it. Not that any of this has been easy. I have wanted to throw in the towel and give up plenty of times. I have fought with myself and attempted to refuse change. I claimed that things were better before, which is completely untrue. As I type this, I am reminded of Jeremiah 29. The popular verse from this chapter says, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." I actually encourage you to read this chapter in its entirety because it paints a beautiful picture of what it means to seek for hope in the midst of struggle. The Israelites wanted to give up... they could not see a purpose for being in exile or understand what they were walking through. In Hosea 2:14 God says, "Therefore, behold, I will allure her and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her." (In the NIV is says "desert" instead of wilderness...) God needed to bring the Israelites (and myself) to a place where we could get away from all that was familiar and actually focus on the things He wanted to say. Anyway, I think that would describe my time here in the desert.

So...if you don't already know, I am moving to Long Beach, CA. I am continuing on staff with the Navigators through Staff In Training. Through lots of time in the Word and praying, I have sensed the Lord calling me to something big and outside of my realm of understanding...(that is what makes me excited to keep going and to continue trusting in the Lord.)

Moving is challenging and I am sad to let go of a lot of things. Its sad that I won't be apart of things here at ASU. I had such a hard time at the end of the year luau knowing that this was the last event for me to participate in with the Navs here. Throughout my time at ASU, I was asked if I had found a home in the desert. I can definitely say that I have. I met people here who became like family to me. These people fought for me to know the Lord in a more intimate way. They prayed for me, encouraged me, called me out, and helped me find truth. These people loved me when I was hesitant to love them back. I don't want to leave that. But again, through prayer and time in the Word, I am encouraged. Experience has taught me that the Lord will provide everything I need. So, I will find more people to add to my family out here in the west. I am excited to meet new people and to allow them to speak into my life as I grow, make mistakes and continue to learn truth. This will be another hard journey, but it will be good.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Internal and Eternal

It's 1 am and I don't know why I'm blogging....

Possibly because I always process my life and things that God is doing during the wee hours of the morning. Here are my thoughts right now.

Today was our "End of the Year" Luau and it was a bit hard. I realized earlier in the day that this was my last event with the ASU Navigators. Wow, sometimes I'm still in shock that 2 years has already gone by.... anyway, leaving this place is and will be hard. I have made some incredible friends here and I don't want to leave them. As I hear about plans for next year at ASU, a part of me becomes jealous and is tempted to question my decision to move. I know that what I am doing is good... God is good and He's the reason why I'm doing it. But leaving behind the old and comfortable SUCKS. Who wants change all the time?

So, while one side of me is venting and desperately attempting to cling to what I know in Arizona, another side... one of reason... kicks in. I am reminded of John 17:3, which says, "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." This is a part of the prayer Jesus is praying in the garden... right before He's arrested, tried and sentenced to crucifixion. I am reminded that I'm in this job and I minister on campus because I desire so greatly for people to know truth... the truth about God and how His truth will transform lives. I think this has to be more important than my temporary comfort or discomfort level.

So Jesus, I resolve to serve You and You alone. I pray that the Good News would ring out throughout the campuses of Arizona State and Long Beach. Thank you for how you've transformed my life and used me to impact the lives of others. Thank you for great friends at ASU. Please continue to bless the Navigators here at ASU and all of those whom they will interact with. I pray the same for Long Beach. Please help me to always serve you whole-heartedly. I love you. Amen.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Photo Shoot :)

Sarah and I had a funding photo shoot. Thanks to our lovely photographer, Alicia :) You rock!! Here's some of our favorites:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Talk so sweet....

"Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her." Hosea 2:14

In the NIV, instead of wilderness, the word used is "desert". I believe this is why I have ended up spending the craziest two years of my life in Phoenix, Arizona. God knew I needed out of my comfort zone in order to hear the sweet and tender things He wanted to tell me. Moving wasn't easy... I left behind many friendships and lots of comfort. I left the only place I truly ever knew. Now, I'm ready. I'm ready for the next chapter of my life. I'm ready to listen for the sweet things God wants to say to me... whether I'm in the desert or not. I believe I'm finally stepping into whom God designed me to be... and I'm finally excited about all of that.

What are some of the sweet things I've heard our amazing Creator say to me? I've heard Him say that my shame doesn't belong to me any more. We sing this song at church and one of the lines is, "Sin has lost its claim/My soul has lost its blame/We've been lifted up from the fall once and for all." Because Jesus died on the cross, all of the blame and shame I've always felt no longer belongs to me. Freedom. Sweet, sweet freedom. God has also shown me how beautiful He thinks I am... now, that's amazing. I don't have to search any longer for an identity. I have one because of Christ. I'm dearly loved. Sought after. Paid for. Free. These are a few of the things I've heard God say to me. I am excited to hear what else He desires for me to know.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

So its been awhile.....

I just saw that my last post was from back in December. Soooooo much has happend in the past 2.5 months. Sorry its been so long since my last post. From now on, I'll try to keep this going.

Lets see, I don't think it's wise for me to sit here and try to remember every detail from way back when, so I'll just focus on some of the highlights.

My last blog was a desperate plea for me to remember to cling to God and His truths. He always provides, is always trustworthy and will never leave. I spent a lot of time in December/January feeling out of control and scared because nothing was in my hands. Part of me questioned whether or not I could trust God for seeminling mundane things. Well at the end of January, God blew me away. I needed to become fully funded by February 1, 2008 in order to continue serving full-time on campus. January 28, 2008, I just so happend to check my account and expected to see that I was still below my funding goal. God came through in a HUGE way. I only needed $36 to become "offically" 100%! I also found out that there was still some of the ethnic funding from the Navigators that was originally going to help me become 100% if I still had need. I was overjoyed! Two days before my deadline, the funding goal was met and I had nothing to worry about. Praise the Lord!

Enter February. Not only is it the shortest month ever, but it has seriously FLOWN by. I was talking with Sarah earlier this week week and asked her if she realized that March was on Saturday. So here's something crazy, by the beginning of Spring Break, there will be exactly two more months until ASU holds GRADUATION for the class of '08. I feel like time is flying by and I can not grasp onto any of it. On one hand, I'm excited at how fast time is going by, but on the other I know that means I have big decisions to make. At the beginning of February, I sat with my Regional Director and discussed what next year could look like for me. I was shocked that I've already finished a year and half of EDGE and that I have to start serious decision making about Staff In Training. I told Joe that I wasn't sure if I wanted to do this whole "staff thing" for the long haul. I told him that I still had my doubts about funding. Joe reassured me that I have relied on the Lord for two years now to fund me fully and He's gone above and beyond what I "need". So no longer does the question "Will God provide for me" still exist. So if I choose S.I.T, and if the funding doesn't happen fully, and if things become financially hard for me, God still will take care of me in every capacity I need for Him to. I've seen that firsthand and He's proven that to me over and over.

February has also been a month of learning for me. Each semester I try to find girls that I can claim as "mine" and say that I've had some awesome eternal impact. I think I can call that Learning Lesson 2. (The whole lesson about funding and provision was lesson 1.) Well this time, the girls I was extremely excited about simply just decided that meeting with me looks a little different in their minds. Some have simply made themselves comepletely unavailable and no longer answer or return any means of communication made towards them. Others have just decided that "This isn't something they feel like talking about or dealing with or want to do." I respect that. I'd rather them tell me they don't want it rather than feed me false answers. But I did sit back and wonder what the lesson was in all of this. Well, as I was crying and feeling extremely discouraged one day, God reminded me of Jesus. How Jesus watched people turn from Him daily. How His own disciples denied ever knowing Him and even scattered after His arrest. How Jesus died on the cross for the World and daily people decide that the message of Christ isn't a message they "just feel like believing in today." Who am I to get sad over the fact that a few students don't want to meet up with me? I mean, it hurts because I truly do value the friendship and mentor relationship of these women and when they don't want to meet up with me, I sometimes don't know what to think. Jesus felt this so much worse and I need to count it a blessing that I'm "sharing in His suffering" just a little bit. This was a huge lesson for me because not only did God remind me of who I am and who Jesus is, but He also showed me how to combat the lies I believe with Truth. When I live in Truth and walk in Truth, I don't have to continue to live in discouragement and defeat. The lies I believe about myself, my ministry and who God is are disarmed and will not have an effect on me anymore. Wow, what a mighty God we serve.

There are definitely more blogs to come. Right now I should get back to working on Bible study. Thanks for reading my ramblings about what God's been up to in my life. Love you.