I wasn’t going to make this blog visible for awhile, but then I thought that perhaps I could start blogging even though no one is reading it yet. So, welcome, readers.
About a month ago, my church announced plans for a church plant in Iowa City. Pastor Troy and Pastor Mark are asking for college students and community members to go along and help out in this church plant. Really, I think they were just asking that people would be willing to go, and go if the Lord leads them there. This particular week, I had gone to church alone as Curtis and Sarah were out of town. I’m not going to lie, leaving church that Saturday night, I did not want to go to Iowa City…and I was sure that I probably wouldn’t be going anyway (or so I thought)…I wasn’t even willing to think about going. In the back of my mind though, I think I knew that God was starting to do something in me. See, I’ve been praying a lot about where to go after I graduate in Summer 2010. I’ve been praying that I’d be willing to go wherever it is that He wants me. And that includes being okay with being in Ames during the time that He has had me here. Who knew that God would be stirring in my heart to go to Iowa City of all places?
A few days after announcing the plans at church services, I was talking to my dear friend. She was talking about the frustration of not knowing where in Ames that her and her husband could afford for living next year in light of not yet knowing about jobs, etc. As an offhand thing, my response was, “I wonder where I’ll be next year…” To which I got the response of: “You should go to Iowa City.” That wasn’t the first time she had mentioned me going to Iowa City that day either. That was the first that I was able to actually grasp the fact that I was thinking about going. I decided that I needed to pray about it though. I was still not very excited about the idea, and so I was perhaps hoping that the Lord would show me that I didn’t have to go. So I avoided God for like a week. Didn’t talk to Him, didn’t seek Him, nope, nothing. My first piece of lifetime advice to you: Don’t avoid God. Especially when He’s telling you something and you’re just choosing to not listen, because He will still tell you, and you will still hear it. It’s much better to seek God instead of running away from Him. Running away really gets you no where anyway except to a place of hopelessness and despair. I finally started talking to Jesus again, and life went on…to find myself freaking out because I was saying that I am willing to go if that’s where the Lord wants me. I think I was hoping that the door would close in my face so I wouldn’t have to go. Honestly, at this point, it still could, but just looking at what my attitude has been through all this so far, my guess is that He wants to sanctify me through this process.
This past weekend, I cried most of the weekend. Much of it was just because it’s the time of the month and so I get ridiculously emotional about everything. But a lot of it is the sadness I have about leaving Ames and going to Iowa City. Not that I really have anything against Iowa City. Actually, I have nothing against it at all. I think it was more that I was hoping that maybe He would send me somewhere else. On Sunday, I finally verbalized why I was so emotional, and my dear friend was again able to look at things from not my point of view and see the good in it. What I mean is, I was seeing all the negative of me going…and my friend didn’t deny the hardness of going to place that desperately needs the Gospel and allowing Christ to work through me there, what she did point out was that God would be glorified through it. God would be glorified by our church going and planting a church, and God would be glorified by sanctifying myself through the process. Something that my friend said that was super encouraging was that since I’ll be a single community member, I can then be kind of like my hero is in Ames, pouring into girls lives…except I’m not 60 years old and won’t actually “become” my hero.
So, where am I at with this thing now, on December 16, 2009? I feel that God is making my heart more and more willing every day with the idea of going. I feel that I am supposed to go, and will pursue that track unless God throws me in a totally different direction. I’m still praying about what I’ll be doing there (besides living and working). I may not know that answer for quite awhile. I’m praying for things like: an accounting job, cheap living, and that the elders of our church would find a good teaching pastor to go to Iowa City with Pastor Mark.
On the note of cheap living, I’m praying for either roommates or that there would be a family that would be willing to take me in. If I was totally honest with myself, I really want to live in a one-bedroom apartment by myself, but I also know myself that in light of why I’m going to Iowa City, I should be at the very least within walking distance of other Christ-followers if not living with some. Actually, that’s true no matter where I am or why I’m there.
There is so much more that I want to talk about, but I need to stop for now. But that’s the scoop on my life right now when looking way forward.