Sorry it has been a while since my last update.
God has been doing A LOT in me and in the community at CSULB!!
Winter break was not the most spiritually rejuvenating season, entirely of my own doing. Instead of adopting disciplines over the break (plan) to help me rest in God, I was watching Netflix (reality). Not saying Netflix is evil (though I am sure someone has made a connection before), but I found myself spending all this time watching shows and movies and almost none letting God restore my soul.
As you can imagine that did not help me prepare for another semester at CSULB. Fun fact about CSULB: New Student Outreach is a YEAR ROUND thing. For those familiar with the crazy month at the beginning of the school year… picture that over the whole year. Dying inside? I was a little too. My soul was in need of rest which I had deprived it and then I was back to work, work, work.
My traditional prognosis would be rest. I was spiritually dry, so I needed to go off on my own and find the one who is described as a Spring, welling up into eternal life. I needed that life back.
But God had a new lesson for me.
Perseverance. Endurance. Being faithful even when it was not immediately refilling, rewarding, renewing, exciting, or fun.
And you know what?
“But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” – Romans 5:3-4
God is growing my character. When I thought “I am too broken to be here, to minister to students” God said “Yes. You were broken when I called you here. Nothing has changed.”
When I whined, “I am tired” God said, “Let Me be your rest.”
When I cried out, “I am so weak!” God said, “But I am strong.”
And then things began to change. As I trusted that God called me to CSULB knowing all of my faults, failures, sins and brokenness, I could be confident that I am where I am supposed to be. As I trusted in God for rest and not myself (or my hulu account), I began to feel restored and renewed. I was actually less stressed and more joyful, despite less time to myself and less sleep. (I have been struggling with anxiety about sleep. I want to protect it like a precious stone, and anything that took sleep away made me grumpy and irritated. God is working on that as I trust Him more.) And as I saw my weaknesses with more clarity than ever before, I saw more of God’s strength, power and glory than in seasons past.
God invited me into a season of “hope and joy.” I am beginning to think we had different ideas of how that would come about… but had I turned to Romans 5, I might have recalled that suffering is a necessary precursor to hope. If when I suffer I look to God and ask Him what I ought to do, then I find perseverance. As I persevere with God in life and faith, He works on my character. And, as my character grows in the LORD, I experience hope (and joy).
So that is my inner workings. What of CSULB InterVarsity?
THIRTY students are registered for Catalina Spring Conference! WOOT! It will be amazing!!!
A non-Christian student recently told me that she broke up with her boyfriend. Instead of being upset about this, she said “This is my time. Like Erna said, this time is for me and for Him—for God.” Oh, and this student happens to be the one prophesied to become a Christian by the end of this school year (which honestly, even the very beginning of the semester I was thinking to myself and praying to God, “Ok… You gotta do something major cuz I just don’t see it.) PLEASE keep praying for her! God is doing GOOD THINGS!
A student in a fraternity who hasn’t been very involved has been coming and is going to Spring Con. He usually leaves right after Sarah wraps up her talk. Last night he stayed after midnight and received prayer for physical healing!
God continues to bring new people each week to our meetings, including some non-Christians.
One of the students I am investing in is doing a God Investigation Group (GIG) with a guy in her dorm! He also comes weekly and will be at Spring Con!!
There have been monthly men's breakfasts that are helping the guys build community and learn what accountability and friendship can look like with Christ involved.
We consistently have 30+ people at Soul Thirst!
God is good!
OTHER NEWS: Brendan and I are getting wedding stuff finalized.
I got a new job at my church! I will start there after Spring Con doing administrative and special programs stuff.
I am very excited for this season, and it is full of much hope and joy (hey, how did God know?!)
Hope you are well!