Here I am at the end of the second semester and I can't believe it's gone by so fast, yet so slow at the same time. It seems like I've lived a whole new life here. It's probably because I have. I feel like a totally new person compared to who I was last year around this time. This year has been a healing process and a growing process. I finally feel free from my past, and everything that used to hold me down and come back to haunt me. God has finally showed me the purpose in it all...well most of it anyways. I've decided I really don't need to know absolutely everything. What would the fun be in that? God is showing me this semester that even if I don't know what's going on, He does and that's good enough.
This semester has been harder than last for a few different reasons. I will not get into all the reasons, but let's just say it has been emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally draining. I've struggled all this semester with fear of not being in God's will. It really tormented me. I want so badly to do what is right to the point that my closest friends were telling me I was a perfectionist. I thought, "Me? A perfectionist? How can that be true?" My view of a perfectionist is someone who gets perfect grades and has a clean room and is organized. Well God showed me that's not always the case. I wanted to be perfect at being a Christian. I didn't want to ever offend anyone or ever hurt anyone or ever disobey God or ever cause anyone any grief. It was to the point that I had an emotional breakdown one day. Something happened that I won't get into, and I started to blame myself for it. Suddenly I found myself thinking hateful thoughts against myself. God showed me that when I put that much pressure on myself to be perfect, I'll start hating myself. Only He can clean me out and make me holy. I didn't even realize I was trying to fix myself. I realized that over the years people put pressure on me to be perfect. If people ever heard how at home I disobeyed my parents as a kid they would say things like, "Kelsey? Nooo....I can't believe Kelsey would do that." Because of this, I felt like people expected me to be perfect from a young age. The need to do everything right was planted so deep in my heart and God has been working that out of me. Yes, it's good to want to do things right, but only God can help us do things right. We can't rely on ourselves like I did. We'll end up worn out and full of self hatred. God showed me that if my heart was to do His will, I was already in His will. It's all about the heart with Him. He knows I want to follow Him. I can't miss His will because of this. There's still things he hasn't made clear to me as of now, but I'm hoping He will soon. Even if He doesn't, I'm content. He takes good care of me all the time.
One thing I was praying about was going to Harvest School of Missions over this summer. It didn't end up working out for this summer, however I will be going next summer if I get accepted. Check it out if you'd like: http://www.irismin.org/missions/harvest . It's in Mozambique and I would get the chance to work with orphans, to feed the hungry, to pray for the sick, and to evangelize to bush areas. I can't express to you how excited I am to do this! I have been praying for a while about going to Africa. I thought about going the Uganda Water Project or staying with a missionary in Rwanda, but in my spirit it wasn't connecting. I knew I was supposed to go to Africa, but my heart wasn't lining up with these previous trips. It didn't feel like it was what I was called to do. Then I started hearing about this school. Finally I looked it up and as I read about it I started to cry and was filled with joy. I immediately knew this was what was in my heart to do. I started praying about going this summer. I was thinking about going and in was like God's voice interrupted my thoughts and said, "Go!" However, the spots were full for this summer. So I'm sure I'm supposed to go next summer. Whoever is reading this, if you could keep me in your prayers as I start to fund raise this summer and prepare to go that would be great. I'm excited, but at the same time I'm terrified! I've never been overseas before. I know God is speaking to me about nations though. I never would have thought God would ask me of all people to go to a crazy adventure to Africa.
As I've been thinking about this, I'm starting to think of other things God may ask me to do after Elim. I've grown to love and adore so many people here and the thought of us going are separate ways is heart-breaking. I can't imagine these people out of my life. They are my family as well as my immediate family. I feel like God never intended us to have to say goodbye. Once we're in heaven, we'll always be able to be together. It hurts so much to think of saying goodbye now though. I've felt my heart grow in love for so many people here. What's funny is most of them I thought unlikely to be close friends with. No particular reason, I just didn't see us as friends, but now I can't imagine my life without them. I love my Jesus and all the blessings He's given me. Some of them will be harder to let go of than others though. My friends will be hard to let go of...even for the summer. Seeing people every single day makes you close to them so fast.
Well, hopefully I'll be writing again soon. Love and Prayers to you and your family!