Monday, September 1, 2008

Encouragement

Ever been talking to someone (or a crowd of people) and feel like you needed to hear the message you were telling them?

Well that's what happened this week. Darius called and asked if I would give the gospel message this weekend. It was a recap weekend of the past few weeks and we were talking about the One True God and he asked if I would give a 5-10 minute presentation of it. I said 'sure' as though it was no big deal, I know this "speech" in and out.

So i wrote up a few notes and Saturday night came and I got up there and almost felt guilty. Who am I to tell kids about who God is, about His love and how they need to be fighting for their friends to know who He is also. Amidst the chaos of change in life (marriage, last semester of school, moving, new job, most of my friends are 50 miles away) I lost my passion for the Lord. I lost my deep connection with Him because of "busy-ness."

I left that stage just dreading the next 3 services because I felt like a fraud. I told them that God loves them SO much and He doesn't care how much you have messed up, He died for you to go to heaven despite your imperfections. Why, before that, didn't I fully get that God, despite my "busy-ness" was waiting to have me back. Waiting for me to get SO exhausted and worn down from life to come back to Him???

I had a few classes that I had still not taken, and my biggest fear in and out was that God was punishing me for being busy and not going to let me finish classes this semester. I am already taking 21 credit hours (which is almost death to most students) and doing a senior recital for my voice major (ha basically that means that in 4 weeks I have to have an hour worth of opera, classical, jazz and musical theater music ready to perform and be graded on before I can graduate). The ONLY way I would be able to be done with classes this semester is if I were to take a test to pass those 2 classes. GREAT.. 2 tests will determine if I endure classes for another semester and prolong my LONG waited student teaching semester.

I go in to take the easier test first... Analyzing and Interpreting Literature (ah!) and 2 hours later, I hit "Complete" and my score reveals that I PASSED (WAY about the minimum score)....

So I think... ok... this could be possible.

So my second test I go in a few days later... College Mathematics (Ha so i met up with a friend who is a high school music teacher and she was stumped on many of the practice test questions.. GREAT!)

I figured... $80 and I can take a shot at passing the last test and finally breath... so i'll do it..
I walk into the testing center (the AC had gone out because of the huge storm)... I muster through the 2 hour long math test.. I hit "complete" and the it AGAIN reveals that I PASSED!

God is telling me to stop tip toeing to the future He has for me and to trust that His timing is PERFECT.

That message hit me as I gave the message to the youth kids all day Sunday. I felt discouraged that if I didn't "get it" that how could any 15 year old get it.

It wasnt until I was leaving the parking lot and got a text from one of the girls that was there that morning. She wrote "Amber thank you so much for sharing that message today. I look up to you so much and know that I can always come to you when I am hurting or need help. I love you."

I cried. I thanked God for His constant encouragement and for using a sinner like me to reach even 1 student that morning.


God is good... I pray He continues to reassure me that He will do what's best for me.

4 comments:

Penny said...

I'm so glad you passed the two tests. Yes, God's timing is perfect! And it's in our most humble, vulnerable moments that God uses us the most to His glory. Because in those times it becomes about Him and not about us. Praise God He used you this weekend and you were available to Him to be used. And your writing about this is also a testimony to anyone who reads and needs encouragement. We're all in this together! Another praise for that! God is so good! Love ya!

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you! Who ever would have thought that 8 years later you'd be one of my most treasured friends and a woman that I trust with my entire being! This is going to be a great entry for you to continue looking back on over the years because it is such a honest and true insert about YOU.
And for passing your tests... Girl, you do not give yourself enough credit. You are so brilliant!
I believe in you. You are going to finish this semester and everything you have going on... and you will be so proud of yourself! Hang in there... and remember i'm just a phone call away! 37 days until i have you in my arms! YAY! xoxo, Lauren

Lauren said...

I set up an account... :) who knows if i'll figure it out! :)

Stacey said...

That is awesome Amber! God is using you in more ways than you realize!