Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God."

Today I am really grateful for the women in my college. We are starting to develop closer friendships and I have really needed their sisterhood.

On Tuesday we had dinner together and laughed a lot about frogs and how they're creeps. Sarah does a great impression of the way frogs would say "hello."

That night we went to Cocomero, Champaign's local froyo shop, to talk about emotional chastity and the dating fast. When we commit to our two years in FOCUS, we are in a really unique postion where we commit to fast from dating for an entire year.

 The fast looks a little different for everyone, especially if someone begins their work in FOCUS already in a relationship, but for me it means a 100% fast from romantic relationships and to discourage romantic feelings. I know this sounds crazy to a lot of people, but this fast is actually a great gift. This is a way for me to truly allow Christ to be my most intimate friend and for me to allow Him to be my first love. It will drive me to be a woman of deep prayer, it will allow me to heal from broken relationships in the past and the world's view of relationship, and it will allow me to grow in emotional maturity. Most importantly, this fast will allow me first view men as my brothers in Christ.

I know that this fast can sound like a lot of rules being put on to us by FOCUS. But really, this fast is completely about freedom. It is an opportunity to grow closer to Christ and to commit myself 100% to my mission. Yes it will be hard, but I think we grow the most when times are hard. 

Today we started to learn about salvation history (we are completing a 24 hour long session class in 9 hours) and then had team time. Since the whole UNL gang won't be here until Friday, my team got the afternoon off. It was nice to be able to catch up on some rest and catch up on work.

This evening we had women's recreation. It was a two hour scavenger hunt running across campus. It was hard. I am not athletically gifted at all and I can't even run for five minutes without feeling like I'm going to pass out, throw up, or just die. It was really hard for me knowing I was the one slowing our group down and keeping us from being quicker. I really struggle with allowing other people to see and know my weaknesses so that made this even harder.

This scavenger hunt allowed me to begin to open up and share this minor weakness with others. I had to accept their offers to slow down and walk with me. It was definitely a pride check and I was not very excited about it for the most part. Despite being constantly winded and feeling really embarrassed, I loved walking with these women and tackling the challenges at each station with them. I am so grateful that they were willing to love and respect me in my weakness and lift me up in it.

Tomorrow, the rest of team UNL comes into town. I'm really excited to meet them and to start our work together.

St. Therese of Lisieux, pray for us!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Letting Go

Camp Tecumseh Staff Training started today. And I'm really struggling with it.

When I was on my JVC discernment weekend we spent a lot of time talking about our attachments. They defined them as people or things or events that would keep us from serving with JVC. God really showed me how attached I was to Camp. To be honest, it was a big factor in my decision making process and organizations that would not allow me to be at camp this summer had a huge strike against them.

I was really looking forward to working in the formation of the Lake Village staff this summer. I was excited to teach them how to pray, be third, how to be the best counselor possible, and how to "love those kids." I was pumped to partner with Tom, Mike, and the LV coords to improve the day to day functioning of Lake Village so we could take strides to make CT2K12 the best summer yet. But God had other plans. 

I am so happy to be here with FOCUS shaping college students full time. My job will be to "love those students" and to bring them Jesus. Yes, I will miss the silliness of camp and working alongside some of my absolute best friends and people who have shaped who I am today. But through those struggles, Jesus is starting to show me that every moment, camper, and friend at Tecumseh was never mine to begin with. They are all His and He loved me enough to give them to me to love for Him for a few years. But now He needs them back so He can do big things in their lives at camp and big things in my life with FOCUS. As one priest put it today, "don't ever give up on what God has given you to do." God has given me this part in the Great Commission and I cannot give up on it.

College of St. Therese dominating at Volleyball

Yes, it was hard to know camp was so much fun today without me, but that's okay. I know this is my time to give Camp back to God. Every person I met and every moment I had at camp will stay with me forever. I will still continue to love those people and those kids. So now I turn the page and anxiously await the countless number of missionaries and students I am being called to love these next two years. Nebraska, you better watch out. God has big things in store for us.

3/4 of Team UNL!