Oh I don't even know where to start. At one point today I thought back to spring quarter at school as I was looking forward to working here this summer. One of the main things I hoped for was a major re-connection with God--to come away from friends and family (though I miss and love them) and find God again as the number one priority of my life. It's funny to say but not until today did I remember that desire and over the past few months, I've never consciously worked towards it but rather it happened day by day, and conversation by conversation. The environment, people, lessons, kids, beautiful surroundings, and God's overflowing love consumed me and I have felt overwhelmed and overflowing the past couple of weeks.
I feel like there are too many songs I want to sing, too many thoughts to journal, and too many prayers to pray. With the good amount of free time I have here and yet still feel like I don't have enough time to spend with God each day, I'm nervous for finding(making) the time once I'm back at school. What a glorious thing when we will be in heaven and can spend each second of every day of all eternity praising Him.
Though I didn't see it happening, this summer has given me exactly what I needed and hoped for. I remember struggling to spend any time reading my Bible or praying during the school year because I had no passion and it was more of an item on my to-do list than time with my Savior. I wanted to have the desire but it wasn't there and I didn't know how to find it. Slowly, over this summer, God has broken my heart and filled it with an amazing love for Him. Songs come alive each time I hear/sing them. Verses jump out at me and are so amazing. Just a little phrase someone says will stick with me for days. I'm amazed at how reading chapters at school was so dry and didn't help but here I can read a few verses and be so impacted.
I've realized the culmination of this overwhelming passion the last week but it really came to a head tonight at SNL. There wasn't a speaker but different "stations" that we were given time to go through for personal reflection. There was journaling, prayer for persecuted brothers and sisters, verses to memorize, a banner of Thanksgiving, and communion. During this time, Isaac played a medley of hymns and worship songs on the piano that was SO beautiful. He started with my favorite hymn (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing) and that's when I realized how much this summer has really changed my life. It's been one of the most fun summers, a great learning experience, and filled with great friends, but it has renewed my passion for God, refreshed my faith, and revealed a new perspective on SO many aspects of my life.
I'm still not super excited to go back to school knowing the struggles I will face but God is slowly preparing my heart for it and giving me strength to survive through it. One thing that really helped with this tonight was praying for Christians who are persecuted all around the world. Most often they are physically tormented and as I prayed, I was encouraged that when I feel mentally, emotionally, and spiritually persecuted this year at school I can think and pray for them knowing that if they can do it in a much worse situation then I can too.
One more month here. God has done so much in the past two and I'm so excited to see what the remainder of the summer holds. Here's some lyrics from a couple of the songs we sang tonight that really captivated me:
I need you Jesus to come to my rescue
where else can I go?
There's no other name by which I am saved
capture me with your grace
I will follow you.
I'm falling on my knees
offering all of me
Jesus You're all this heart is living for.