“These last few weeks have been a whirlwind. Honestly life just gets so busy sometimes that I forget the value in the stillness. As I sit here wearing dirt-covered camouflage in a 15-passenger van that is the color of a booger and full of a bunch of sweat/feet smelling teenagers, I’m reminded of the simple beauty in life. Sometimes we just get too caught up in stress, in worry, in life. But today was a day that I will never forget. Today was full of blessings, and tears, and scary things, and yelling, and silence. Not only that but today was full of Christ.”
I wrote this exactly a week ago after I had the opportunity to share my testimony for the first time in front of almost 100 teenagers at my youth group’s annual all-day-capture-the-flag event. That day will forever be one of my favorites. I’m overwhelmed and feel so loved and I just feel full. Friday night, I was stressing hardcore about having to speak the next day, I was trying so hard not to let my worrying get in the way of the joy that the day would be but I was a mess. It was getting late and I had to be awake by 5:00 AM the next morning but I couldn’t sleep. Then my verse of the day app sent me a notification. Now normally I get the verse pop ups in the morning before school but that day it came at 10:15 PM. As if that wasn’t weird enough it was this simple verse:
“Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Exodus 4:12
At that moment I sort of just stared at my phone in awe, mid-Facebook scroll, mid-worried thought. I think I automatically just started crying (because that’s my response to most things these days) It was so obviously a God moment and I just froze, expecting it to run away if I moved. This passage in Exodus is about Moses and him making excuses for why he could not speak and God’s constant response of “who do you think I am” God is able to use us regardless of our strengths and weaknesses, he is able to use us despite our qualms and denials. Moses doesn’t trust that God will do what He’s promised, and how much is that like me? God is always with me, always for me, always in me, always beside me. But I still have a hard time trusting some days.
“Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?”” Exodus 4:11
The Lord has made every part of me, He has created my strengths and my weaknesses, my flaws, my talents, everything that makes me His. If that is the case, why do I have any inkling to believe that He can’t use my mouth to speak when I feel unable, to use my hands when I am shaking, my feet when I am unsteady? I am fully His and in that I am fully able to be used. In the last two weeks I’ve heard this steady voice repeating, “In my weakness I can see God’s strength.” As if His voice wasn’t already loud and clear, three times, I heard this said to me by different people in the week before my speech. Looking back, I honestly can’t even deal with how apparent God has been to me in the last few weeks. From those little reminders that He isn’t leaving me alone to do His work, to the big things like allowing me to get through big trials in my life. He never leaves me alone, He never fails me. Sometimes the only way for me to really see those things is those obvious notifications on my phone or people repeatedly telling me these little things. I’m a mess and that’s okay, He still wants me. He still loves me. His love for me is beyond my fears, beyond me weakness, His love covers every crack, every broken place.
Somehow, I got through that day, ran 12 miles around the woods and Jesus gave me the strength to do that. I was a ball of tears and emotions but I got through it and honestly I couldn’t be more grateful that I got the opportunity to share my testimony. He gave me enough strength to simply stand in front of people, He gave me strength to hold my paper and my voice steady and he gave me the boldness to speak, to share things that were incredibly hard to say out loud but guess what? They weren’t my words, it wasn’t my voice–Jesus was there with me every moment, every word.
I’m sort of just in awe of this week. God’s plan is confusing sometimes and His love for me makes absolutely no sense but He loves me all the same. It’s easy for me to not understand where Christ is taking me right now, and it’s easy to think that I’m incapable of speaking or of anything that isn’t my “gift”. My prayer is that all of you reading this, can see Christ’s love for you in the big things and in the little, in the calm and in the busy, in your strengths and in your weaknesses.
On Thursday night, I got to go see Hillsong United in concert and let me just say after a few really long, really emotional, heavy weeks, everything hit me hard. I was crying the whole time and I was so completely overwhelmed by everything that Jesus is. It was such a great reminder of how God is constantly near to me. Even in the storms of my life, He is with me. I have no reason to worry for things that Jesus is making good, no need to fear what God has already equipped me to handle. This song has really been speaking to me in the last few days:
Your ways are higher
Your thoughts are wilder
Love came like madness
Poured out in blood-washed romance
It makes no sense but this is grace
And I know You’re with me in this place
All I know is I know that You are here now
Still my heart
Let Your voice be all I hear now
Spirit breathe like the wind
Come have Your way
Cause I know You’re in this place
Faith makes a fool of what makes sense
But grace found my heart when logic ends
When justice called for all my debts
The Friend of sinners came instead