Tonight the question was asked:
"Is this how God made you? Or is this how you made yourself?"
God created each of us to be unique in His image. He made you and me a certain special way, but as life takes its course each of us takes the reigns and begins to create our own idea of self. In time, our relationships with God change us, bringing us back to the "original blueprint"or the plan he had for us from the beginning. We're not being changed from ourselves, we're being changed into ourselves.
Often times I have struggled with really being open to change within myself. Change everything around me and I can easily adapt, but real change in me is more difficult. I can be stuck in my ways and I am stubborn. It's always the little things I don't really want to let go of, the things I say make me who I am. Some of those personality traits ARE what make me who I am, but there are things like my tendency to be a bit crass or lack humility or to swear maybe a little more than I need to... sometimes I say "that is just who I am" because I've been identified by certain things I've always done and it's hard to imagine me without something unique in my eyes to be distinguished by. So it's comforting to have a new perspective; that God is not changing me to make me a different person, God is changing me to really make me who I am, who I know I am and who I feel I am deep inside. And I am defined only by God. I don't need to be a certain way to impress anyone. I am unique. I am special. I am gifted. I am chosen. I am beautiful. I am one of a kind. I was created by the King of kings. And He is changing me day by day by day.... and honestly I couldn't be more excited about it.
I have been following this truly phenomenal organization, Richmond Justice Initiative, for about 5 months now. I came across them on the web randomly during an afternoon of blog searching. (I am in love with blogs and not ashamed to admit it.) I was really excited about coming across RJI, because there are few anti-trafficking organizations in the Hampton Roads area and I have been aching to be involved in a community dedicated to giving back to abused women. I'm being patient in waiting for God's timing to provide the right opportunity for my involvement, but in the mean time I have been closely keeping up with RJI and many other organizations like it, and have attended a couple of their interest and informational meetings.
Recently they sent out an email about an aftercare training they were holding along a couple other organizations I had been reading about, The Gray Haven Project and the Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST). Saying I was VERY excited about the weekend training would be a severe understatement. The only problem... my work schedule is insane. I didn't think I would be able to get any time off for the training so I dismissed the idea entirely from my mind. Every time I saw the email in my inbox or saw something pop up on facebook about the training my insides burned. I wanted more than anything to register. So just a couple days ago I told Ben about it. It was weird that I waited so long to even tell him since we share pretty much everything, but he got excited and encouraged me to sign us up saying it would be a wonderful thing for us to attend together (to which I enthusiastically agreed!)I emailed RJI and turns out we weren't too late, there was just a couple of spots left. After registering the only thing I had to do was actually get Friday night off work which I felt was impossible. Reminder: nothing is impossible with God. He provided and I was amazed at how willing my coworkers were to figure out a way to cover the evening so I could get away to Richmond.
The training is called "Hands that Heal". It's a 2-day session starting Friday evening and finishing up Saturday afternoon. Ben and I have both been eager to get involved with trafficking victims and both have been praying and waiting for the right opportunities. We tend to get a head of ourselves so we've been trying to wait for Gods hand to lead. This event is most certainly from Him. We are completely excited at what the weekend will offer with information, equipment, community, relationships, connections, opportunity, etc. Ben and I both have loose ends to tie up with school and finances, but we are very close to being at the end of that road and both of us are waiting for God to give us the "go-ahead" to pursue our passions full-force. I'm optimistic that this next weekend will bring clarity to the next step of our future and how we fit into the ministry with human trafficking.
I've been praying the prayer of Jabez trusting that God is enlarging our territory and opening and closing the right doors for us!
"Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request." 1 Chronicles 4:10
Happy Valentine's Day!!
Today remember all the wonderful people God has blessed you with in your life. It's easy to get swooped up in valentine's bliss with your significant other, but extend your love to anyone within arms reach. It feels good to be loved :)
This is Ben's and my second Valentine's Day together. Last year we were living 15 hours apart and had a "date" via skype. Luckily this year we are able to physically be together.
Spring is upon us here in VA, we spent an amazing weekend in Charlottesville and Richmond with another couple embracing the warmth of spring and the beauty of the mountains. I've been leaving my winter coat in the car and just embracing the chill that lingers in the air. I love the changing of seasons mostly because I adore the anticipation of what is yet to come. Out with the old - in with the NEW! And yes, spring of 2011 has much to offer. I feel completely overwhelmed with blessing and privilege when I think of all the opportunities and endless possibilities God is presenting me. *happy sigh*
Be blessed today and bless others with the gift of love!