Monday, March 8, 2021

Real Growth

Hey you guys!

February was a SWEET month and not just because of all the Valentine's candy. (Comment your favorite Valentine's candy!! Mine are Reese's Hearts for sure.)
This month was one of growth for my girls, so I figured I would just use this blog post to talk about how I’ve seen all that growth. I know this post looks like a lot of words, but I really think this one has some neat stuff in it!!

    Let’s start with Lizzy. Lizzy is a girl in my core who has been meeting up with my co-fa, Sam, weekly studying the Bible, but recently I have been spending some time with her too. I had noticed her attitude and heart slowly shifting throughout the year in core, but I’ve gotten a much closer look at that transformation as I’ve spent one on one time with her. I asked her how involvement in campus ministry has changed  her life and she said this: “In high school, I never really cared about my faith. I was definitely a Luke-warm follower of Christ. But ever since joining campus ministry I have felt like God was calling me back. I have seen God work in my life by pushing me to dig deeper into myself and my relationship with him. I have never felt more worthy as a person. I talk to people about my faith which I never used to do, because I want them to feel loved and worthy too.” I mean…WHAT. Are you crying too? Lizzy is from Connecticut and has kept in contact with a few of her friends from there. They saw things she posted on her social media and noticed her bringing God into their text/phone conversations that didn’t quite match up with who she was in high school. She’s been able to share her story of coming to know God intimately with her friends all the way across the country and some of them are even expressing an interest in beginning to take their faith more seriously because of her!!! It is definitely not a mistake or coincidence that Lizzy ended up at UTA of all places over much more convenient, local school options! I think that is divine intervention- God’s pursuit of her heart and of those she has and will impact.

Lizzy, Sam, Me, Sarah
Gal-entines event!
(masks taken off just for a quick pic!)

Lizzy also has a roommate- Sarah! I’ve been studying the Bible one on one with Sarah for this whole school year. Sarah had a very real relationship with Jesus before getting involved in FOCUS, but recently I’ve seen things start to click in her mind and heart in a whole new way. Not only is she developing as a disciple of Jesus, but now as a leader in the kingdom. I’ve noticed recently as we have been meeting that she is taking more time to think and reflect on the questions asked in our bible study. She is really letting things simmer in her brain before giving a “correct” Christian answer. Upon reflecting on her school year, she decided to make a goal of meeting and befriending new people both inside and outside of the FOCUS community because she sees the value Jesus places on discipleship and relationships- which is SUCH a great goal for anyone, but especially for someone more introverted. The following week she came to an outreach event on campus! She also said upon reflecting that right now is the most engaged she has ever been in her faith, and I’ve had the honor of a front row seat in watching this! I continue to see her step out of her comfort zone as she takes initiative. She recently brought her journal to core and asked each of us there to tell her something she could write down to be praying over throughout the week. 

I wish I had time to talk about every girl in my core, but I think I’ll wrap up with just a few shorter thoughts. You’ve probably seen these names thrown around in my blog before. Vanessa has expressed difficulty in interacting with some of her old friends from high school because her values and lifestyle have changed so much. I am saddened at the tension she’s experiencing, but I am encouraged by how drastically God has changed her heart in just a few months. Melina has been initiating conversations with me about specific events in which she wants to intentionally think and act like Jesus.
I am blown away at what God is doing. Those of you who support me financially and prayerfully- thank you so much!!! The Lord is using what you give to move in radical ways over here in Arlington. You are so appreciated.