Friday, January 15, 2016

aloha ll week one.

Aloha friends :) 

It feels good to be able to say that word again. 

I arrived in Kona, Hawaii last Thursday at basically midnight and have just finished the first week of DTS (Discipleship Training School) here at University of the Nations. I kept going back and forth on whether I would post weekly updates or not but decided it would be fun to post updates and not be radio silent for the next six months.
Disclaimer: When we go on outreach for three months there is a strong possibility that I will not be able to post due to no internet or wifi BUT I am definitely going to update when possible. 

I have always tried to be vulnerable when writing--especially in this space. It's easy to put a front up when writing for Lucky Magazine or other websites because to an extent--I am trying to sell what I am saying. Here, though, in this little space on the internet, I've always felt incredibly safe to share the good days and the bad ones, too. 

I absolutely cried the entire first three days here. I am not even being dramatic. I was comfortable at home. I was finally in the groove of having an amazing job, awesome group of friends and just a sense of belonging. I've made notes about being comfortable in my journal several times over the past few months and I've been praying to never be comfortable because I don't want to be complacent, either. I do know we serve and love a BIG and a REAL God because He let me get real uncomfortable--and fast.

The first weekend we got to spend at one of my favorite beaches here on the Big Island-Hapuna Beach. It was such a fun time to get to know all of my classmates. I've been so blessed by their stories and testimonies and we are only one week in. Living with six other girls is an adjustment when you aren't use to sharing anything but they are all incredibly lovely girls and they all LOVE Jesus and I'm so happy to be doing life with them for the next season.

Each week we will be discussing a different topic and this week it was on communicating with God. Friends, I've been wrecked. I've loved Jesus and asked Him to live in my heart when I was a mere 5 year old girl asking my daddy to lead me in prayer. And, goodness, I have loved Him since. I've always known He was who He says He is and that He is enough. BUT, there is a whole other level of LOVING and COMMUNICATING with God that I have missed. I've terribly failed at communicating with God in the ways that are available to us. Yes, I did my devotion and I prayed to God and I've always done my best to obey Him. But, beyond that, there hasn't been a deep relationship. It has been very surface level with God. And that's not the way He wants my relationship to be. He never sleeps, He never rests. He is always, ALWAYS fighting for our hearts. He loves us so much and wants to communicate with us on a daily basis. I'm four days into this new way of learning to communicate with God and while it's extremely frustrating when I think I'm not hearing from Him, it's okay. It's not a process that I'll ace overnight. It's about a day by day decision to choose to be in relationship with Him. Our speaker, Mike Brown, said a statement earlier this week that stood out so much. He said "Jesus is worth throwing everything else away and running wholeheartedly towards Him."

That's it. I've been missing the communication with God because I'm not devoting the right amount of time to Him. Just like with any earthly relationship, we have to take time with it. We have to communicate and we also have to listen. I'm not content with where I am at anymore. I want God to use every second of my life until I die to bring Him glory. I don't want my name or my self to get in the way. It has to be all about Him. God has way better plans for my life than I have. And, it may not look like I thought it would and it may not BE where I thought it would, BUT, it is SO much better. 

This is the beginning of a long and painful yet beautiful process of learning to fall in love with the One who created my heart all over again. I am so excited to see what the next 11 weeks look life before we leave on outreach. We will know locations in the next few weeks and when/if I can, I will definitely keep everyone updated as well. I'm nervous about this part of it because it's all about having more faith and trust--and I honestly lack in said areas. But, I know that God's hand is in this and I know that it's going to be messy and painful and amazing all at once. And, I've never been more excited to pursue Jesus for a set aside season to learn how to love Him better, to learn how to communicate with Him better and then how to take that love and relationship to the Nations. Thank you everyone so much for all the prayers and sweet emails of encouragement. If there are any ways that I can be praying for you, please let me know. :)

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