About Impact

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bigger Than...My Hurt

I have a strong feeling this is going to be another huge year of growth. Thursday night Dr. Bob covered the topic of “My Hurt.” The hurt in life always seems worse during the hard weeks and this week has been hard. I walked into service broken and tired. I sat down and told God I found the strength to get there, now he was going to have to do something. And let me tell you, he did! It was a fantastic message. Dr. Bob didn’t share anything new but rather numerous reminders I needed to hear. But out of all the great things he shared, the thing that stuck with me the most was what he said to me after service.

As Dr. Bob walked by I smiled and said hello to him. He gave me a huge hug, looked at me straight in the eye I said, “Sarah I will never pass up a hello from you. This was for you. Remember, there was hope for Peter and Judas. Peter found it and Judas missed it. Don’t you miss it. There is always hope, Sarah. There is always hope.” And without another word he turned and walked away.

Little did I know how much I needed to hear that.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bigger Than...My Confusion

My good friend Jason spoke at NC tonight about what to do when you find yourself in the middle of the wilderness. How convenient that we talk about God being bigger than my confusion after yesterday. Jason shared three things to do while you are in the wilderness. Well I remember three.
1. Be real with God about your circumstances
2. Keep praising God despite the circumstances
3. Identify with Christ in his suffering and brokenness

For me the first one was a great reminder. In the last couple of days God has been showing me that once again I’ve painted my wilderness to look like paradise so I don’t have to deal with it. Do I act like things are okay or tell others how life really is? I hate being negative so I feel like I need to pretend like everything is going fine. But that is very thing that starts the process ignoring things and denying the reality. This is the constant battle I seem to find myself fighting.

Dan shared something I really appreciated while he was leading today. He mentioned that sometimes our healing is wrapped up in the healing of someone around us. That is why we have each other, to walk through the wilderness together. Who in my life needs to walk with me and needs me to walk with them?

A few good quotes from J’s message
- Don’t confuse faith in the end of the story with denying the circumstances.
-God is saying, “If you only knew how I’m going to use you, you would get real about the circumstances and praise me in spite of it.”
-God prunes branches that bear fruit so they can bear more.


God give me strength to face the wilderness head on and stay focused on walking with you through it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Failing

Today is the first day I’ve walked away from a class completely disappointed in myself. All teachers have off days, but this was far worse than an off day. It was horrible. I enjoy teaching, as long as it isn’t in the classroom. I love teaching at church or camp, but the classroom…not so much. So why does God keep placing me in the classroom?

I know teaching is a gift God has given me, so I’m going to do the absolute best I can. Today that didn’t happen and I hate that! And what is bothering me the most right now is that I don’t know how else to teach a class of 17 special needs students or a class of 28 low level 6th graders who have no concept of respect and never stop talking. I know how to teach those types of students in smaller groups but that many changes everything.

It is days like me that make getting out of bed seem like the worst idea ever. It is these days that make me want to revert back to the old Sarah. But I’m not that person anymore so I have to push through and focus on the good. We had our first Oasis leaders meeting tonight. I had some a couple good conversations with friends. And I have health insurance.

So as bad as today was it wasn’t as bad as as an Alexander day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pushing forward

At the beginning of the summer I had a discussion with God. I told him I really wanted to spend the summer investing in students but knew I needed money to pay the bills. I asked him to do something so big that the only way it was possible was because he did it. I knew I needed to allow God to stretch me more and I knew that probably meant me doing something COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone.

My summer consisted of camps, VBS, a mission trip and a few other random trips along the way. I felt God calling me to make the move to Mishawaka even though I didn’t have a job. “Craziness!” is what I said to that. But then I remember what I prayed and what God has been teaching me, so I went. I was beginning to get frustrated with the job search and wondering if I had made a huge mistake. Long story short – Hired Monday and school started Tuesday! I spend the summer doing nothing but hanging with students and looking for jobs!!!

I was so excited because it was so evident God has worked out every detail. Monday night I thought this was it. God had dome something huge like I asked. I was in panic mode going into my first day since I never interviewed, met the principals or even been to either school, but I knew that God had done what I asked and things would work out.

The first day was horrible. I was frustrated I was back in the classroom for another year and teaching choir of all things! Then I hadn't arrived at the end. God has only just begun this “huge thing” I had asked him to do. I’m pretty sure I’ll make it through but I think the year may be a little rougher than I first anticipated. Time to keep pushing forward. I’ll be honest. I’m scared out of my mind.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tearing down walls and taking risks

SEX GOD - Rob Bell (Read it!)
Excerpts from Chapter 5 -

“Love is handing your heart to someone and taking the risk that they will hand it back because they don’t want it. That’s why it’s such a crushing ache on the inside. We gave away a part of ourselves and it wasn’t wanted.

Love is the giving away of power. When we love, we give the other person the power in the relationship. They can do what they choose. They can do what they like with our love. They can reject it, they can accept it, they can step toward us in gratitude and appreciation.

Love is a giving away. When we love, we put ourselves out there, we expose ourselves, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

Love is giving up control. It’s surrendering the desire to control the other person. The two – love and controlling power over the other person – are mutually exclusive. If we are serious about loving someone, we have to surrender all of the desires within us to manipulate the relationship.” (98)

“The danger is that you will decide it isn’t worth it. Why risk if it’s going to hurt like this? The tragedy would be for you to shut down, to allow a wall to be built around your heart, and for something within you to die.

A decision not to risk again is a decision not to love again. They go together.

Why is it those we love the most are the ones capable of hurting us the most…This is because the more we open ourselves up, the more vulnerable we are. The more exposed we are the more it hurts. The more we let someone in, the greater the risk.” (108)

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A good number of relationships in my life have been ones of rejection. I reacted in the same way described in this chapter. At a very early age I learned how to build a wall around me and how to shut of my emotions. It was a very hard lesson for me to learn that the thick wall actually kept the pain in and didn’t allow love to come in and heal the pain.

For the last few years I’ve been on the journey of tearing down that wall. Slowly, painfully, piece-by-piece it has started to come down. I’m learning what it is like to take different risks in my life. It is easier now to take the risks than it was 3 years ago, because the wall has started to come down. I’ve learned to trust God and I’ve experience his love and provisions in ways I never thought possible.

Today I’m examining my journey. Am I doing what I need to do to allow God to heal me or am I still holding on to bricks and trying to rebuild my wall?

The View From The Top...

As I mentioned in a previous post our camp theme this year was “The View from the Top.” It was a great theme and two fantastic weeks of being challenged and stretched. For me the best way to sum up the two weeks was this, “The view from the top is God’s view, not mine, and He will reveals each part to me in His time.” That was very fresh in my mind as I traveled to Chicago.

While we were on the 103rd floor of the Sears Tower, I was looking down at the city, specifically the streets where we walked and prayed, and thinking about all the people we had met that day. I found myself thinking about the view from the top and my heart broke for the people of Chicago who were missing out on the greatest gift there is in life. Then I understood a little more how much my selfishness breaks the heart of God. I understood a little more how great God’s desire is for his children to return to him. It was one of those great “aha” moments.

The view from the top is far larger and more beautiful than I will ever now. The view from the top is God’s, not mine, but he is showing me the pieces I need to be obedient where I am and to grow closer to him in that obedience.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

New Look

I think I like the new layout.
I don't think I like the colors.
Considering how long it took me to do this, it probably won't change anytime soon.

And just for the incredible Corey Mann, enjoy the simpsonized skoutz.