I think it's very important for girls to know who they are in Christ. So many times we get so wrapped up with what the world says we should look like and be and lose sight of who God says we are. I always made sure that I told the girls at some point during the day that they are fearfully and wonderfully made and beautiful and perfect just the way they are. Every day. Week 1 was great, but, as I've already shared, week 2 was rough. I struggled with discouragement a lot. I was so used to my huddles wanting to hang out with me all the time and basically just thinking I'm awesome that I wondered what I was doing wrong. Satan really attacked me with discouragement in every way possible. Half way through week 2 I realized that I had invested so much energy in making sure that these girls knew how beautiful they are that I forgot about myself. I let Satan fill my head with lies about how I look and my capability of leading these girls. My sweet friend Lindsey reminded me that the truths in Psalm 139 are true for me too, not just these girls. I had to remind myself who I am in Christ. I am beautiful. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am perfect, made in His image. I am equipped for everything that God has called me to do. I am never alone. I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ. I am His daughter. And the list goes on and on and on. I think that sometimes we all lose ourselves in our current ministry, but it's important to remember to take care of ourselves too.
I have said a thousand times before that God really uses music to speak to me, and these 2 weeks were no different. One song that Hello August sang is called Let It Rise and the chorus goes like this: "let it rise, let it rise, the sound of redemption" I started to think, what does redemption sound like? As I looked around at over 500 people worshipping all around me, I realized that scenario is exactly what redemption sounds like. It's signing at the top of your lungs. It's hands raised and hearts overflowing with love for God. It's being in total awe of what God has done. What a wonderful sound redemption is! Another song says "all that we are, all that we are, desperate for Your love" When I hear desperate, I mostly think of someone being desperate for a relationship, and mostly girls. I think about a girl being so desperate for a relationship that it consumes her every thought and every conversation. Isn't that how we should be with God? Want Him so badly that we know we cannot function without Him? So badly that we cannot even carry on another day if He doesn't give us the ability? That is total dependency on Him. That is what I strive for. And last but not least, the song Hosanna. For months now I have really been drawn to the part that says "heal my heart and make me clean, open up my eyes to the things unseen, show me how to love like You have loved me. break my heart for what breaks Yours, everything I am for Your kingdom's cause!" I kept praying that God would make that real for me. I feel like He really did heal my heart of a lot of things over the past 2 weeks and made it clean again. He opened up my eyes to all kinds of things that the girls in my huddles had been through that I had never experienced before. And most importantly, I learned how to love like He has loved me. I have never pleaded for someone's salvation like I did for Alex. I have never felt that kind of love for someone who I hardly know. I have never cried over someone like that before. I just wanted her to get it. I wanted her to see so badly that it hurt my heart to think that she wouldn't be joining me in heaven. I realized later that that is just small taste of what God felt like before I came to Him. I had no idea why I had been praying that for so long, and now I see. I love how God does that.
Most importantly, I was brought back to the basics. I think so many times we lose sight of the cross. When we sang Lead Me To The Cross (here we go with a song again), I really made that my prayer. I was able to see the cross and Jesus' love for me in a whole new way that totally blew my mind. I love how He just shows up like that. You're never too old to get back to the basics, friends.