This was written at the beginning of May, during my last few days at Bible School.
I’m at the end of my year here at Capernwray Harbour, BC, and I reflect on all the things that God did.
I remember flying over BC for the first time, watching the mountains and the clouds below, holding my breath because I couldn’t believe that this was actually happening. I was listening to “Keep Your Eyes Open” by needtobreathe, and I was surprised that the butterflies in my stomach had flown away and I was feeling an incredible peace. I prayed: “Lord Jesus, this year is a gift from you, every bit of it. I didn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, and it is only by your grace that I can do it. I will accept whatever this year brings with hands open, both the good and the bad, because it is all a gift from you and it is all for your glory.”
I remember meeting my room mates for the first time, and thinking they were wonderful but also that we were all kind of weird and I wondered if we would ever get to be good friends or if we would just get sick of each other. It turned out that we did get along pretty well after all, so well that I wish I could bring them all to live with me wherever I go because they are such wonderful women of God, and we have had some amazing times together. They gave me the nickname “Babe” and now I just go by that.
I remember the first lecture on the first night, when our principal explained the concept of “zoe”- spiritual life, and how when Christ comes to live in us He makes us spiritually alive. I remember the first couple of weeks when all the girls and guys were flirting with each other (and I just rolled my eyes). At the beginning everybody was nervous and we all asked the same questions (Where are you from?) and we tried to make friends so we weren’t lonely.
The beginning was rocky in some ways, but it was beautiful and it was new and I loved it. All of the best things happen when we don’t know what we are doing because then God can work without us getting in the way:)
It’s hard to summarize the past eight months, but God worked, and He was faithful as always. He was good and I was changed.
There is something transformative about living in Christ-centered community. The body of Christ is designed to uplift, encourage, and push us towards Christ, and when a group of people commits to following Christ’s design for community, it is truly amazing. It’s not perfect by any means, and just because you live in community doesn’t mean you are never lonely, but it is SO worth it.
God did a work of healing in my heart this year, and I am ever grateful for the things He has done. I was so broken when I came here (who wasn’t?) and throughout the year God showed me just how much I need Him. He has slowly but surely been helping me overcome insecurities, anxieties, and struggles that have kept me from living the life He designed for me to live. Once again, it is not perfect, but it is worth it. Healing doesn’t happen in a day, it is a lifelong process, a journey I will be on until I die. He works slowly, like a potter molds clay He molds my heart and shapes me into the person He wants me to be.
I remember the Sunday night when I knelt on the floor of my cabin and told God I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t be me, I couldn’t live, it was just too hard and messy and I was soul-tired. He said to me: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
So many times I want to quit, I want to give up, I want to stop loving and caring and giving because it’s too hard. But He says wait, endure, trust me. He says to wait on His timing and to keep living because He still has plans for my life. He says that His strength will carry me through and His life will become mine.
So I trust Him, even though I complain and doubt sometimes. What keeps me going is this radical goal to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly in the strength of His love. I want to love with every bit of my heart every moment of my life, because at the end all that will matter is Him and His kingdom and love.
Photo credit to my wonderful friend, Rachel Schulz.