Welcome to Midnight.

What a year it’s been y’all. 2016 has been an interesting but equally incredible year. There have been countless tears shed but also countless laughs. I’ve hit rock bottom but I’ve also found redemption. I have learned that the people God has placed in my life are the most beautiful and genuine people in the world.

Like most years, 2016 started out on such a positive note. I walked into the new year with some new friends and the possibilities were endless. Doing life and ministry with the people you love is such an incredible thing. But life quickly took a turn in the opposite direction when I could no longer ignore my depression or anxiety and they both began to get the best of me and almost cost me the very people I love.

And when I was certain that I had lost those people for good, to my surprise they stuck around. They got in the trenches and walked through hell and back with me. It was a hard road. But somehow, we made it.

I rediscovered my heart this year and the song that lives inside it. I have laughed and cried and everything in between. I have lost some people but have gained so much more than I lost.

I’ve learned that there is always beauty to be found in life and it’s usually in people. And I’m so thankful for the people I get to do life with.

In 2016 I will leave behind the mistakes that I made and realize that I’ve been made new in the eyes of the Father. In 2017 I will walk in the freedom that I have and in the hope that this will be an incredible year.

What will you leave behind in 2016 and what do you hope to find in this new year?

The ball will drop in a few hours and with it comes endless possibilities. There will be fireworks and confetti. What will you celebrate? What will you let go of? What will you welcome in?

Heavy and light. It’s a fine line. But one cannot exist without the other.

Welcome to midnight my friends. May you find the beauty that already lives inside you. May you fill the empty pages of this coming year with love and laughter. May you realize that those things have always been there.

Much love to you.

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At a crossroads..

As my previous post mentions, this past weekend was probably one of the best ones I have had in a very long time.
And on several different levels.
But currently, the one that sticks out the most with me would be the ways in which I encountered God over the weekend.

I was raised in the Church of God-Anderson, Indiana movement.
I was taught a specific way of doing “church”
This is what was done, this is what wasn’t done.

I am currently a youth intern at First Assembly.

Completely different in a few aspects of doing “church”.

 

Some examples:
AG believes very strongly in the baptism of the Holy Spirit and that the first sign of that is speaking in tongues.
They also believe that as a result of that, you also have gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as words of knowledge, healing, etc., and that these things are available to any believer.

CHOG-Anderson believes that baptism of the Holy Spirit is a spiritual gift.
Period.
That it isn’t available to all believers.
And it is something that is never taught about or preached on.

I went to a CHOG-Anderson college and in my freshman Foundations of Ministry class, my professor stood in front of the class and passed out a spiritual gifts test for us to take and began to go over it with us.
As we were reading through it he told us that he knew which two gifts we were all looking at and unsure of: speaking in tongues and the interpretation of tongues.
He proceeded to tell us that in the 30+ years that he had taught this course he had never had a student ever score anything in either of those categories and that he didn’t expect any of us to either because we were all from CHOG-Anderson churches.

And that was that.
All she wrote.

Over this past weekend, I was part of worship services that have literally changed me.
Friday night, 19 people were healed of various things.
Myself included.
The group from CFNI came forward and all had words of knowledge that God had spoken to them and shared them with those of us there, and one of them was exactly what I had been dealing with: right knee pain.
I stood where I was at and two friends of mine came and prayed for me and I was healed.
And it blew my mind!

Later that night, as I was being dropped off at my apartment, a friend got out of the car and came up to my doorstep as I was unlocking my door and spoke a word of knowledge over me.
I didn’t think too much of it, other than it did apply to my current situation.

Saturday after 20 Camp training, a group of us went to Arby’s to go eat before that nights service started.
As we were sitting there talking and sharing stories, I found out that one of the guys that was helping with camp this summer had a very similar story to mine in dealing with self harm and attempted suicide.
It’s not too often that I come in contact with people that share that experience.
Later that night during service, that same person came up to me and asked to pray with me.
He began to speak a word of knowledge over me that was almost identical to the one spoken over me the night before.

Mind officially blown at that point.

 

I grew up with none of that.
Where worship was very structured and almost no room for the Spirit to come in and take over and lead the service.
Now, I’m right in the middle of a church that does.
And I’m experiencing things that I never had before.

I can recall a few services or camps/conventions both while in high school and in college where I lifted my hands in worship, but never before in my life as a believer had I become so consumed by God to where I got down on my knees in worship.
Partially because of my previously injured knee, which the night before had been completely healed.
And mainly because that’s just not how we did things at Eastside.

And so now I find myself at a crossroad.

I feel like I’m right in the middle of these two very different ways of doing things.
And I have so many questions.
And I want to grow in this new way.
But I’m not so sure on how to go about it.

 

It’s hard to grow in something if you don’t know what it is.
And that’s where I feel like I’m at..

 

So now begins the journey of finding out what all of this is and what it means.
And how it applies to where I feel like I’m at.

So now I will begin sharing a new journey with all of you.
Both are uncharted waters.

But both are exciting.

Much love to you all.