4 Reasons That I Am (Apparently) Crazy

To be honest, everyone always defined me as…interesting. That’s how they always put it, anyways. When I was a kid, I was crazy for my wild personality, loud voice, and imagination. However, now that I am an adult (kinda), I’m hearing “Oh my goodness, you are crazy!” about more important things in my life. But they always have a theme to them. So here are four reasons I am (apparently) crazy.

1. I’m going into ministry.

God has called me to be a pastor. So with barely a backup plan or any kind of plan, I am going to Bible college to be a full-time pastor. A lot of people thinks this idea is nuts. How could I ever expect to make money as a pastor?! And I am really going to school 4 years for it?! Yes, yes I am. Why? Because God has called me. Not only that, but God has designed me for this. No, I don’t plan on making much money. But that is okay, because I am serving God.

2. I’m going into ministry… as a woman.

Yep, I’m going there. Kinda. Let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, I am a woman, who believes I am called to the ministry. And I am not saying I’m going to be “The Pastor’s Wife”. While that is completely 100% awesome and admirable (I am in no way under-valuing the role), it’s just not for me. God has called me to full-time ministry, as a pastor. Sure there may be seasons where I am not working, but God has told me He has called me to be a pastor.

3. I’m going into youth ministry.

Not only does going into youth ministry make some people blink twice, but it’s also quite interesting to see people raise an eyebrow to a woman being a youth pastor. To be honest, I was a little uneasy about the idea at first. Before Bible college, I hadn’t met a woman youth pastor. Plus I couldn’t really see myself as the a youth pastor. But with a year of prayer, I know God has called me to be just that, and I have no doubts about it.

4. I’m getting married!

Okay, I wasn’t going to post this at first, but yes I’m getting married. I figured seeing my blog was about the transition from teen to adult I should probably mention this monumental change. God started calling me and my fiance, Garrick, to get married, unlike after we finished school like we planned. But God not only provided for all my financial worries, but also my emotional and spiritual worries as well. It’s kinda funny to say that I was scared to get married. I was believing that I wasn’t good enough yet. I was convinced that I had to have all my spiritual and emotional baggage all checked. But the thing is, I am never going to be good enough. That’s why marriage is not just husband and wife. It is husband, wife and God.

However, it is still crazy I’m getting married. Yes, I will only be twenty. Yes, I will be finishing school and living on campus while being married. I have been praised and condoned for it. But Garrick and I prayed and fasted about it and we know God wants us to get married.

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So overall, I’m always called crazy when I follow what God has called me to do. Following the call of God is crazy and it doesn’t always make sense. However, it is the best thing you can do with your life and God will have your back every step of the way.

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My Next Adventure~ My Internship with Youth Alive!

page17_picture0_2Today I am leaving for my internship with Michigan Youth Alive! I recently posted in Recent Blessings, Lessons, and Opportunities about how God has blessed me with this amazing opportunity to minister in the way I have always dreamed of, with Youth Alive.

Youth Alive is a program that trains students to being missionaries on their middle/high school campuses, as well as help students create on campus Bible studies and clubs. I was a campus missionary in high school, and my friends and I tried to start a Bible club at my school.

So long story short, (read more in the article above) I was hired to work with Michigan’s Youth Alive and work at youth camps and such for two months. I am really excited! I get to work with teens and talk to them about evangelism, which is where my passion is.

I am also quite nervous. I have never been so far from home before for such a long time. Especially alone, with no friends or family with me. It will be hard to be away from my fiance for two months too. And driving in new areas petrifies me. But I know that it is out of my comfort zone where God will use me. So here I go!

Please pray for safe travels as I drive from Massachusetts to Michigan and please pray for the ministry that will be taking place. I will be keeping you updated on my adventure! Make sure you follow me! And comment with any questions if you’d like 🙂

God bless!

~Lillian ❤

Recent Blessings, Lessons, and Opportunities.

beachHello, dear reader. I apologize for not posting on my blog in such a long time. There is no excuse, but I wanted to update you on recent things in my journey. The end of my first year at Bible college is approaching, and I can not believe how much time has passed. But most of all, I can’t believe the amount of growth in God that has occurred in my life. .

As you know from the news and my post titled Snowmaggendon 2015, the semester started off rocky. Despite this, the semester has gone very well. I had a lot more time on my hands going from taking 7 classes last semester to taking 4 this semester. The overachiever in me wanted to take more classes, but God held me back from that, telling me this would be a season of rest and growth. And I am so glad I listened to him! I have learned to forgive long held grudges, to believe in God’s plan in my despite where I have come from, I have learned to love the way God created me and see the beauty He has given me, and I have been delivered from the spirit of anxiety. (I will post on these at a later time.)

However, spiritual growth is not the only blessing I have received this semester. God has been teaching me to trust Him with providing for my needs, from small to large. It started off with quarters needed for laundry- whenever I ran out I started finding them everywhere. Whenever I ran out of a toiletry, a friend would randomly bless me with what I was needing. I have starting giving my needs to God, refusing to buy what I needed and let God provide. God hasn’t failed with it yet.

Then God provided for me greatly as well, and this is where opportunity has arrived. The US Missions of the Assemblies of God was offering internships across the country here on campus, and I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me to apply. I did and I was accepted, and I will be working my dream job this summer. I will be interning in Michigan with Youth Alive, a program which teaches teens to be missionaries in their public middle/high schools. I will teaching teens to evangelize to their friends and peer at different summer camps. All these things have been dreams of mine! Not only that, but in exchange for my work this summer, I will be receiving a grant of half my tuition for next semester. And I am blown away by what God is doing. He is so good!

This summer I will be keeping you up to date on the work I will be doing and all the things God will be showing me. I hope you enjoy these posts and I am looking forward to showing you my adventure even further! And please pray for my travel and what I will be doing this summer!

God bless!

Lillian ❤

Snowmaggeddon 2015???… Not so much….

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Sunday night, my friends and I received a call from the school. The automated voice recited that on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday there would be no classes. What a cry of rejoicing followed! Voices of excited students filled the campus of Northpoint Bible College.

But the next day, the excitement turned into chaos.

Monday morning was peaceful until we received yet another call from the school, asking anyone who lives an hour and half away to go home for the week. The school wanted to have as few students on campus as possible in case of loss of power. And guess who lives exactly an hour and a half away? That’s right, me.

At first, I refused. I have lived in New England my entire life, I sat comfortably through 3 ice storms and several state of emergencies. This storm would probably be less than we are expecting. But worried students from everywhere else in the country would not rest. People were really worried, it was crazy. My anxiety started to rise. After several students and staff members asked us, my fiance and I finally decided to head home, against my personal wishes.

Now I am at my fiance’s place, sitting by the window, watching the snow fall. The storm has not met our expectations (yet). But I am seeing this storm as an example of God using all things for the good of those who love Him. My fellow students and I basically have a small break for this week. Also, I get to spend some lovely quality time with my in-laws and my fiance. When the snow clears up in a few days, I will be able to visit my own family, too. This will be a nice recharge before the rush of the spring semester. I’m relaxed and blessed.

To my fellow New Engalnders, how are you surviving in Snowmaggeddon? Any blessings falling with the snow?

Thanks for reading and liking this post 🙂

God bless

~Lillian ❤

The Struggles of a Perfectionist in Bible College

perfectionismThis is another post where I am transparent with you, my reader. I don’t want to be ashamed to tell you my weaknesses. I’m no better than anyone- I’m just human. I used to think I couldn’t blog about anything until I mastered it. Now I am learning to tell you about my struggles along with my triumphs. I believe God will use this to help me and you. I want to be brutally honest and ask for advice, and maybe we can both learn from my story. So here it is: my struggle with perfectionism.

Starting to college was amazing. Experiencing God fully for the first time in a while and making new friends was exciting! I am very happy to be here, Northpoint really is a great place. However something started happening. Being in a fresh new environment, oddly enough, started bringing back old habits, things I thought I had solved years ago. For the first time since kindergarten, I was in a school of new people who I could make my first impression with and I could start with a clean slate. This made me start to worry about what others were thinking of me. I found myself talking and acting differently in order to get people to like me. All this worrying was very draining.

Then my fiance started noticing that I would divert conversations that brought up my weaknesses. When he would try to talk to me about it, I would freak out, often crying and shutting him out, and wouldn’t talk about it. Later I found myself lying to people about my past, avoiding things I used to share as a testimony, because I was ashamed. I was become antsy over my appearance and I would watch what I would say because I didn’t want anyone to see my flaws and judge me. 

I was trying to portray myself as perfect. I has struggled with this when I was younger and thought the issue was long gone. But I learned that wounds can be reopened. It’s confusing, I would often get angry that I was struggling with this years after I concurred it. But life’s not a check list, you don’t just tackle obstacles and they are gone for good- things resurface and come back to haunt you, and it’s a constant fight, a struggle that never ends.

One night, the girl’s dorm had a devotional night about being transparent with what we struggle with according to James 5:16. The Holy Spirit started to move and we stayed up till 4 am confessing our flaws and praying for one another, and it showed me that no one is going to judge me for being human. At least not around my Christian sisters who were struggling as well. We should be open and willing to help one another and accept help.

So this is me sharing my struggle with you. I know  a lot of you who read my blog are more experienced in life than I am, so I ask that you would give me some advice. How do you deal with never ending struggles? I would love to hear from you!

God bless,

Lillian ❤

Call to Me (Jeremiah 33:3)

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you did not know.” ~Jeremiah 33:3

I find it so comforting that we serve a God we can call on and He will answer us. God wants to help us and is ready to answer our prayers. God answers prayers because it is us acknowledging that only He is capable of handling our troubles perfectly. When we go to God in prayer, we give it all to Him instead of trying to do things ourselves. God is faithful to help us when we pray for His help.

Life is confusing and hard at times, but if we pray to God for help and wisdom, He will give it to us. He will give us guidance and help us in times of trouble. He will show us things we never thought possible. He will help us handle our problems and we will one day look back and say with amazement, “Wow God, how did you do that?” God will teach us so many great things through our circumstances, things we couldn’t have discovered on our own. We can be confident asking God for these things because Jesus said in Matthew 7:7:

“7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Of course, God isn’t going to tell us everything. I believe God doesn’t reveal everything to us because without knowledge, we can have faith in Him and be humble to follow Him. Remember that we must walk by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) After all, knowledge is not a right. It’s a gift. We should be thankful when God gives it to us, but be faithful and patient when He doesn’t.

So pray to God for everything in your life, and He will show you great and mesmerizing things you would not have discovered on your own. He might show you these things before, during or after your trials, but have faith that God will teach you these great things.

Don’t Play With Fire~A Blog on Teen Dating (Song of Songs 3:5)

I wrote this blog post with young teen girls in mind, but anyone no matter age or gender is welcome to read it. Bringing teen girls to Christ is my calling into ministry which is what has made this blog post so personal to me, along with my story and my experiences. 

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the doves of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

Song of Songs is one of my favorite books in the Bible. It is a symbolic story of love and companionship filled with sweet words and wise advice. In this verse, King Solomon’s new wife tells the women of Jerusalem to wait for love until the time is right. But what does that mean?

First of all, I want to say that I write this blog not recommending a specific age or time but I write about the effort put into finding love. In almost every magazine for the ages of 10 and up, you will find articles such as How To Get Him To Like You and How to Get a Boyfriend. Girls are told that they can flirt their way into the boy’s heart. I remember trying to do this in middle school and my early years of high school. However, the verse above advises us not to do this.

Why not try to find a boyfriend? Often, it becomes a waste. You try to hard to get this boy to like you and if he says no, you get hurt. If he says yes, the relationship will not be a good one. A forced relationship often means the two are not right for each other, and the relationship can be for selfish reasons. Wanting a boyfriend because he’s cute, or you are lonely, or you want to have fun is not a good reason to start a relationship. Also, when you enter a relationship you give your heart to them, then when you give your heart to so many boys until “the one” comes, you will not be able to give a full and healthy heart to him. I know not having a boyfriend when you are surrounded by today’s media and your own friends who have relationships is very hard, but the pain of waiting is worth it. Imagine how happy your future husband will be when he learns that he’s the only one to have the privilege of loving you. Imagine that handsome prince you grew up hearing about- he’s that special to you and deserves your whole heart.

Girls try to hard to get a boy to like them, when really the best way to find love is to not look for it at all. A good example of this is the story of Ruth, who focused on God until He sent the man of her dreams to her.  If you want a wonderful relationship full of love and happiness that leads to a marriage one day, stop looking for one. Focus on your relationship with Jesus, be happy as a single woman, and when the time is right, God will send you your man and everything will fall into place. No relationship is perfect, but the relationship that was patiently waited for will be blessed.

Making It Beautiful (Ecclesiastes 3:10-11 NIV)

10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes is another book by the wise king Solomon in which he examines what he has learned over his life. Solomon is known as the wisest man ever and towards the end of his life he tries to analyze big questions like why bad things happen to good people. The scripture above is one of many wise conclusions he comes to.

The first thing Solomon states in the passage is that life is hard. The people of earth deal with a lot in their lives, and he addresses God as the origin for many burdens of life. This is often true. However, a lot of trouble in this world and problems in our lives come from the enemy or even our own mistakes. Still, it is undeniable that some struggles in our lives happen because God lets them happen, but why?

Next, king Solomon instantly shifts to explaining that God makes everything “beautiful” in His own timing. Life is hard and it may seem like people are drowning in trouble, however we may not be able to see it, but our situation will turn out for our good because of God. The Bible says in Romans 8:28 that “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

God often uses bad situations or seasons of our lives to teach us something, make us stronger, and for many other reasons, even ones we can’t understand and won’t know until we stand before Him. One example from my own life is the suffering I went through in middle school when I was bullied. I was harassed and abused by my peers through out middle school and it created me into an angry, depressed monster. However, this event brought me to Jesus and I found myself in Him. This awful season of my life made me who I am and brought me to Christ. This shows that even the darkest days can bring light into my life later on, but only by the power of God.

We can have faith in this because God “set eternity” in our hearts. This means that everyone, no matter who they are, have a feeling or belief in eternity in their hearts. So, with this internal belief in us, we can use that to believe that God has a plan and He will succeed because we can feel it. We can know that God will come through and bring good out of the bad in our lives.

As Solomon finishes, I finish saying that no one can understand the full grasp of God’s plan. Why is this? It’s simple: we are not God. We can not see everything that was and is and is to come. We can understand the story of every person we meet. We often can’t even understand ourselves fully, but God can. God sees and knows anything and everything, and He’s also in control of all. So have faith in God’s plan for you, even when you don’t understand it, and be comforted that the perfect God that can do no wrong has in all under control.

 

Born For This (Esther 4:14b)

And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? ~Esther 4:14b

Last weekend I attended the Girl’s Night Out retreat, where Woman’s Ministry’s Tana Miller shared with me and 200 other teenaged girls a message titled “Born For This”. It was a wonderful message that inspired me and showed me the mind-blowing reality of God’s destiny for me.

The book of Jeremiah says that God has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (verse 29:11). This means God intends to help us grow and mature, and promises us a future full of hope. God has a good and perfect plan because He is a good and perfect God (Psalm 18:30a). After all, He is the creator and master of everything. So let me ask you something:

Is is just a coincidence that God has brought you to my blog?

One line Tana and many others at the retreat were saying to us was that God had brought us to that place and time for a reason- we were meant to be at the retreat so God could speak to us. Just like God had it in His plan for me to attend that retreat, God has destined you to be here, on my humble little blog, to read this message from Him.

However, that’s not the only thing God has predestined. Esther was chosen to be queen so she could save her people. God has placed you where you are for a reason. Maybe it’s to help the needy in your community, or to reach to the non-believers in your workplace, or for you to discover a new part of God’s plan for you. What ever the reason may be, remember that just like Esther, you were born for this. You were born for where you are and where you will be. You are born to hear from God and to change the world around you; and most of all, you were born to enter a relationship with God and to be His light in the world.

 

Who Holds My Future?

I’ve been stressed lately. I’ve been feeling scared and have been avoiding the topic of my future. However, aren’t I suppose to be making an adventure of what’s ahead?

I have been haunted by the things to come: college loans and scholarships, college, graduating, jobs, living on my own, all of it. I’ve been scared to imagine my future because I usually jump to the worst-case scenario. But I have been forgetting something important Do I not know who holds my future?

I need to focus less on the possibilities ahead and focus more on the One who has already chosen them. God knows what is in store for me, so why should I worry? God said He shall make my paths straight, that His plans are to make me grow and not to harm me. God’s will is good and perfect, therefore everything will turn out good and perfect even if it doesn’t seem like it from my perspective.

God, please help me not to get overwhelmed by my future. After all, there are so many things to discover and learn ahead! Remind me that You have it all under control, and I can just focus on You and everything will be alright. Amen. ❤