Tuesday, September 18, 2012

First Week Down, Four and One-half More to Go!

Well, my first week of NYSUM was pretty good. We are very busy, but that was to be expected. The funny thing about New York City is that there are parts of it that are just beautiful. Before I came I was expecting to not like the city. I'm definitely a country girl. I feel close to God in nature, around God's creation. The beginning of this week we had some seminars, and one thing a man said was that those of us from the country tend to forget that people are God's creation too. That hit me hard. God cares a lot more for His people than He does for His countryside. Perhaps my priorities are a bit distorted.

I think when I decided I liked the city was when I rode the Staten Island Ferry for the first time at night. Not to be a total hopeless romantic, but it was one of the most romantic sights I have ever seen! This picture doesn't do it justice at all. I was just overwhelmed by the lights on the water. I've never seen anything like it. I suppose I never thought something man made could be so amazingly beautiful. I'm reminded, however, that God created the creativity of man as well. How beautiful is that?

We also did prayer ministry in Central park. We set up a booth and prayed for whoever needed it. It was a great opportunity to reach into other people's lives. I also just enjoyed how artsy Central Park is. There were so many people playing music and it just gave the atmosphere even more beauty to it.  Being a country girl, I wasn't expecting much for a park in the middle of a big city. "What do they know of parks," I thought. However, what a beautiful sight it was. It wasn't like a park in the country, it had it's own originality. It's funny how God can teach you things through landmarks. I felt like I was taking a big piece of humble pie.
There's definitely been some hard times here as I am learning to let God clean me out. I can't quite explain it, but it's like God is opening up my heart and taking all the junk out, but in the mean time I feel quite awful. My emotions are everywhere. I'm either laughing or crying it seems. I think God is allowing me to just pour out all that's in me that needs to come out, whether it's through tears or laughter. It's rather hard though because people I'm used to talking to are not here to talk to, so I'm forced to rely on different people and God more. It's good, but very painful at times. There's been times that the only person I want to vent to isn't there to vent to, so I have to go elsewhere. God is showing me how much I rely on certain people more than others. I need to rely on Him most of all. Why is it so hard to rely on Him at times? I've realized it's because from the beginning of our lives, everything has been about what we can see, feel, taste, smell and hear. We can't usually do any of those things with God. God may be more faithful than anyone else, but in order for us to totally trust Him, He's gotta work all of that stuff out of us. It's been hammered into us from children, until now, and God has to undo a lot of that. I want to trust God so much, but there's so many things that I am holding onto. There's so many things I want an answer or a reason for, but God just says, "Trust Me." Sometimes God sounds like a broken record to me, but that's probably only because I haven't gotten the message yet.
As I've spent more time here, I've realized how important my personal time with God is. I crave it. Those times when I'm surrounded by people and I'm annoyed and I want to cry and I can't get away, I long for God's presence. I long to just be with Him. You don't realize how good that time really is until you can't have it whenever you want to. I do make time for God everyday, but with all this stress and teamwork, it doesn't always feel like enough. There's many times I just want to hide away from everyone else and just be with God. He is enough, and I am learning that. I don't need anyone but Him. I'm sure as these weeks go by swiftly, I'll be learning that lesson over and over again.
Whoever is reading this, your prayers would be appreciated for us here in the big city. We will be doing a lot of ministry in the upcoming four weeks. Until next time! Blessings!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

NYSUM...The Excitement and the Dread.

I'm here on my internship at NYSUM. It's in NYC and my team and I will do ministry in the city for about five weeks. The number one theme is flexibility. This is a hard one for me. I like to have a plan and stick to it. I hate it when things don't go as planned, but I need to realize that everything is in God's plan. As we do ministry we may be asked to do things on the spot, for example, preach on the subway, or lead worship or do skits, ect. This is so difficult for me, but I am confident God will address a lot of fear I deal with.
NYSUM is scary to me for many reasons. I am scared of speaking in front of people. I desire to do it, but I'm scared to actually step out in it. I want to share the love of Christ, but there's this fear in me that freezes me. I was honest with God yesterday as I arrived in NYC. I told Him that I wanted to be willing to do anything. But I also told Him I couldn't promise Him I could always follow through. I couldn't promise Him that I wouldn't shrink back in fear at times, but I would try to follow through. My heart's desire is to be fearless and unashamed of the Gospel, but I'm not there yet in all honesty. My knees knock and my heart faints when I think of sharing the Gospel with others. I'm scared even to be in the city. I'm a country girl. I don't feel like I belong here, yet here I am. I feel like I could drown in such a huge city. My comfort zone is in my field with my guitar. This is another world to me, yet God has put me here. It's so unreal. I can't wait to see what He does in me and in those around me. I can't wait to see how I will be used by God.
Another reason NYSUM is hard for me is because during this time I'm letting go of some hopes and dreams, hoping I will get them back, but not having a promise that I will. It's very scary to place something in God's hands not knowing if you will get it back, but that's what God has asked me to do. God is teaching me to rely fully on Him and no one else. As hard as this is, there is peace in the midst of it. I don't know what my time here holds for me, but I know that God has me in His hands. He's been so faithful to show me that.

So the first experience I had in the city was this morning on a rooftop. Me and one other person on my team was asked to lead in worship on the rooftop as we prayed for the victims of 9-11. Up there we could see the whole city. It was beautiful. We interceded and worshiped over the city. It was just amazing to be there singing to God. I may never get to do anything like that again, so it was very special. I've posted some pictures of the view.
I do not have a lot of time, so this is a short one. However, keep me and my class in prayer, as I'm sure there will be warfare against us as we minister to dark places. Pray for unity and focus for all of us. Blessings to you! Thank you for reading. Hopefully I will be able to write again soon.