There is truly no way to describe coming away from the Summit experience. There is so much sadness accompianied with leaving and all the goodbyes. However, God is good.
Unpacking was probably the hardest. It began to hit me that the Summit season in my life is over. Whether there will be another is up to God’s providence and I must be thankful for what I had. I am beyond grateful for the life lessons I learned while working there. For learning how to love people without expecting change, and learning to love even when I feel like I have a tank running completely empty. Learning that it is GOD working through me and that the pressure for results is off my shoulders because He is in control of all that happens. Learning that I am to love people not because of their story and who they are, but in spite of their past and because they are made in the image of God and He loves them. Learning that His grace abounds and His mercies are new every morning. And ultimately that God truly does provide for my needs on a moment to moment basis, even when I felt like I could not possibly continue. I am so grateful for the friendships formed, the stories shared, and the lives that are now intwined through shared experience. God’s sovereignty is so good in bringing many of those people into my life.
Now, as I’m back to a somewhat normal reality, God is showing me extravagant grace in providing a heart which is content. The fact that the Summit chapter of my life is over fills me with a joy for the future and what God has next. And I am beyond thankful for that perspective.
God is good. And He is so kind to His children. He brings us through things to teach us, grow us, and show us His goodness. He has a new chapter and season awaiting me, and I will rejoice and be glad in it.
Thank God for His faithful, never ending, everlasting goodness.
Everything my sovereign Savior does is for my good and His glory.
This is a lesson I’m realizing God has been very steadily teaching me over this past year; specifically in the past several months. Looking back, many things seemed to have fallen apart in my life.
Last month I found out that twelve of my college credits did not get accepted. Instead of being three credits away from graduating, I am now set back at least a semester and a half. It was a hard blow to take. As an artist, it is so very difficult to hear that your work is not good enough… But I am learning to trust in God in a way I never ever have before.
My life is His story and not my own.
God shut that door for a reason. And I have to trust that His plans are MUCH higher and better than mine.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways. For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” This is the Lord’s declaration. – Isaiah 55:8-9
God is love.
As Christians, we’re called to love God and to love others. My whole life I have struggled to follow this command that is higher than all the others. In all honesty, I get worn out. I get tired of the desperate struggle my heart goes through to continue loving others and God when I feel like I have nothing left to give. But here Jesus steps in and says: “Don’t get weary my beloved. Rest in ME.” And I believe I am finally beginning to understand what that means.
God is love.
Our loving of others and God is a cycle that starts with God’s love for us. It’s like the recycling logo. God loves us –> We love God –> We obey God (because we love Him) –> So we love others and we love God –> And we are only capable of loving others and loving God because –> God loves us.
The cycle just keeps going and going!! In this realization, I’ve found the freedom to give without reservation because my God is faithful to fulfill His promises. He is faithful to continue filling me with His love, because His love never stops. There is freedom in His love.
God is love.
Every good thing that happens to you in this life begins with: “But GOD.”
God knows how to deal with my mistakes.
But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he formed it into another jar, shaping it as seemed best to him. And the Lord declared, “Just like clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand.” – Jeremiah 18:4 & 6
I am truly beginning to understand the depth of God’s grace in my life. He works everything for my good; no, my best. As Lysa Terkeurst says, “God’s promises are not dependent on my ability to always choose well, but rather on His ability to use well.” God has had grace for me, and now I need to have grace for myself. He will use the mistakes I have made for my best in the long run.
And just because I’m not turning into the original jar I, or others in my life, thought I would be, does not mean I am incapable of becoming useful to the Potter. God is just taking my flaws and reworking them in the way that seems best to Him; for His glory and my benefit.
How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners. Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. – Psalm 1:1-3
For almost a year now, I’ve been ending every morning quiet time with a little prayer by Elisabeth Elliot. It simply says: “Work Your will in my life at whatever cost.” I realized today that at some point in the past couple months, I became too afraid of what God would do if I continued to pray that, and so I stopped asking Him to do that. But the thing is, God would never work out something in my life unless He had something better for me.
Temporary pain eventually turns to lasting joy.
Our God is a loving Father who enjoys giving good gifts. He doesn’t take things away unless He has something better. And when the point comes that you’re too scared to ask Him to work His will in your life no matter the cost because He might take something away, that’s a sure sign that you’re holding on to something that isn’t good for you. Paul said, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.”
This was one of those things in my life. The harder I clung to it, the more the leaves on my tree withered. I was unable to produce fruit, I was slowly dying because there was a block in my way to the waters of Life. In reality, it was I who allowed something to block that path to life. All that needed to happen was my surrender.
And boy, is surrender sweet when it finally comes. At last, I am finally at peace; no more withering, no more fruitless efforts.
Guard your heart above all else, for from it flows the wellspring of life. – Proverbs 4:23.
I have heard this verse my whole life, and have only just now begun to comprehend what it means…
Jesus is the ultimate life-giver. Without Him, there is no life, or joy, or peace, but only death, stillness, cold. When a heart is not hid in Jesus, being guarded above all else, there is no life flowing into it. Anxiety, stress, and unhappiness begin to take over. And when there is no life flowing into and from your heart, every other area of your life is affected: spiritual, emotional, physical. That is why it is so utterly important to remain in Christ and be centered in Him. When your heart is not living, your life begins to feel cold and empty; the meaning has left; the passion has left. All that remains are the bad things that spring from an un-redeemed heart. How do I know this? Because I’ve experienced it personally.
Guard your heart in Christ Jesus. Obey when He says to do something, immediately. Follow in His ways. Center your life around the everlasting spring of Life. Allow His peace and joy to fill your heart, and thus, overflow into your life.