Wednesday, September 9, 2009

You're Not Through With Me Yet

The pathway is broken, and the signs are unclear,
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here.
But just because You love me the way that You do,
I'm gonna walk through the valley if You want me to.

'Cause I'm not who I was when I took my first step,
And I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet.
So if all of these trials bring me closer to You,
Then I will go through the fire if You want me to.

It may not be the way I would've chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my home.
But You never said it would be easy,
You only said I'd never go alone.

So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help...
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through,
And I will go through the valley if You want me to.

I LOVE this song. It seems to me that it should be our ultimate just say to God, alright, I'll do it if You want me to, because You're still on Your throne no matter what. And He is.

I lost my aunt and uncle last month, and its been so hard. To spiritually try to reason why God would allow them to be taken away is extremely hard...yet I know He's all over this. I would give anything to have just one more day with them, but I know if I had one more day, I would want one MORE day. It would never be enough.

The world has lost two extremely amazing, godly, loving, beautiful, compassionate, wonderful people who made a difference in everyones lives they touched. And we may never know why, but I believe that God knew that Anthony and Kim Brandon weren't going to live to see their 50th birthdays either one when he CREATED THE UNIVERSE.

He knew when He let them raise three beautiful daughters.
He knew it when I ran over to their house 3 days before the accident and my aunt asked me to come over more often.
He knew it when I hugged her and told her I definitely would.

He knew. It's almost too crazy to believe.

It still hurts. Its still gonna hurt. But God is in control, and He knows what He's doing.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Youth Camp

So, I'm on my way home from youth camp. I was REALLY nervous about it, because it sounded a lot like Student Life which I went to as a kid, I knew we had team recreation which I suck at, and it was change. But when I talked to Brandon about it, he said just go in with an open mind, so I did. Its always wise to listen to your youth pastor; I learned that with Kimberly.

The first night we were there, I had to make four trips to my room from the charter bus because my roomate sent her luggage with us but was going to fly down the next day. I lugged my 3 suitcases, pillow, and purse along with her big suitcase and garbage bag with bedding in it and searched for our dorm. As I walked in, our suitemates were already whining. Great start, especially since I was determined to have a good attitude about the whole thing. We didn't know how to turn on the AC, and we were in the Naval Academy preparation student dorms, so there were extremely tall, squeakysqueakysqueaky bunk beds with no bottom bunk, but with a desk in place where the bottom bed would have been. As the night progressed, the food we had for dinner made me sick, I pulled a muscle in my leg, and I didn't follow the speaker during worship. But I hoped the next day would be better.

Monday morning I woke up to the sound of my suitemates telling each other that it was 8:50 and we had slept through breakfast and had 10 minutes to get to church group quiet time. So I walk in late after having a lecture about being on time the night before. A few hours later before going to lunch, I ran back to the room and called Kimberly because she had been on my heart. After hanging up with her a few minutes later, I started crying. This year is the first year Kimberly isn't at camp, and it didn't hit me till we got there. I wanted to talk to someone about it, or maybe talk about it with the whole youth at share time, but how do you tell your youth pastor that you love him to death but wish your old youth pastor was there with you too?

Anyway, I didn't really get into worship until Tuesday night. I have never in my seven years of being a Christian, let alone my first ten years, experienced anything so amazing as worship on Tuesday. I have never felt that much freedom in worship. They invited us to sit, stand, pray, kneel, go back to the back and draw or write, or do whatever else the Holy Spirit prompted us to. I sang for a bit, danced a bit, raised my hands a bit, clapped a bit, sat and prayed a bit. But best of all, I gave my life to God. He has given me a tender heart...a talent for singing...a helping spirit...a skill for listening...a love for people, and I gave it all back to Him. Even the scary things. Like, I have a heart for the people in North Dakota and I feel called to missions in some way. He gave me those desires, he planted them in my heart, but I want HIM to use them for HIS glory-not mine...cause I've been utilizing them selfishly for a while now. Do you know how terrifying it is to totally give up the closest things to your heart? It would be like giving a friend your most precious possession that you'd never shared with anybody and not knowing if they would keep it, lose it, break it, hate it, never use it, or absolutely take awesome care of it. That's how it is giving God all of these things. They are my heart, my deepest hopes and dreams. But I'm ready. I've been asking God to do great great things through me for six months now. How do I expect Him to work if I can't help him out by yielding these things? He gave it all to me, and as much as I want these things to impact other people, I want it to glorify my Jesus even more, first and foremost.

Before coming to camp, I had a desire to dig deeper into the Word, but I wasn't sure how to go about it or where to start. But God helped me out with that, too. He showed me where to begin.

But the coolest thing is how God answers prayer in HIS timing, not Jocey's timing-which is a MILLION times better! At the beginning of June in North Dakota, I asked God to give me an opportunity to talk to Alicia about Him and what He's doing in our lives and to sort of start up our relationship again, but it seemed like there never was a good time to talk. That was 3 weeks ago. I didn't even know she was coming to camp until the day before we left. But we hung out throughout the week and had some pretty cool conversations. Then the last night, Alex asked us to find someone to pray with, and we asked God to keep our emotions in check but to allow us to bawl if we needed to. Then during worship about an hour later, I had her on my heart. I looked for her in the mass of 500 people but couldn't find her. She sought me out and was in tears. We sat down and talked and laughed and cried and prayed. It was AWESOME as I realized that God is always faithful!!!

All in all, it was an interesting week, but worship was so incredible that nothing else mattered. God worked in a way that I never imagined.

Thank you Alicia, for being such a sweetheart.

Thank you Brandon, for allowing the Spirit to move and for making it all possible.

Thank you Mom and Grandmom for paying my way.

Thank you Jesus, for being my best friend and the love of my life, and for working in so many peoples hearts this week.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Wanna Sit At Your Feet, Drink From The Cup In Your Hand, Lay Back Against You and Breathe, Feel Your Heart Beat...

Last Saturday my great-grandma passed away. She was 93ish and we knew it was coming; she was losing her mind. But it made me think. Life is short. Period. How will we be remembered?

NINETY years. That seems like forever. Five years seems like a long time in my own life. Five years ago I was entering junior high. That girl seems like a whole different person. Insecure beyond what anybody realized, confused, not sure how to fit in or where to turn to, not strong in who she was in Christ... It seems a whole lifetime away.

A few months ago, Phillip and I were visiting her and she couldn't remember where she had put a box of cookies or that she had told my grandmom that she played bingo three times already, but she pulled out her hermonica and played for us and then recited a poem completely in German. How freakin' cool is that?

And then I remember a few years ago at Thanksgiving, she came into my grandparents house for lunch, and she gave each of the great-grandkids a 5 dollar bill - there are 4 of us. That was a HUUUGEEE deal for her, because money like that in her eyes and everything she has ever known about finances tells her that it's a big amount! But she did it because she loved us, she did it because she could. And it was one of the best things about that Thanksgiving Salado trip.

Her death hit me harder than I thought it would, because we weren't necessarily that close, but I miss her. She was so awesome!! When I'm 90, I want my great-grandkids to look at me like I look at her.

Let's live awesome lives. Let's make differences and be cool and love Jesus and impact each other.

RIP Grandma Hunter. I can't wait to see you again.

Ich bin klein,
Mein Herz ist rein.
Dass neimand drinnen wohnen kann
Als Jesus allein.