As many of you know, I’m now settled in Redding California attending BSSM (Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry). We just finished week two and things are going really well.
I’ve said it many times, but THANK YOU SO MUCH to every person who has prayed, checked in, texted, and donated financially to me in this season. I love all of you and I’m beyond grateful to have friendships with each of you. (P.S. IF I HAVEN’T ANSWERED, I’m so sorry and I promise I am trying my best to get those responses flowing – getting adjusted + keeping up with homework + trying to savor the new friendships of my housemates has filled my time quite a bit, but I still value every one of you so much and I’m not ignoring you spitefully)
Here’s a glimpse into what life has looked like for me over the past couple of weeks:
Y’all – I LUCKED OUT and have the greatest housemates in the world. I don’t know about you, but I always seem to forget just how much I hate meeting new people and pretending to be awesome at the small talk game. The idea of awkward silences, being self conscious, telling jokes that no one understands, etc IN A HOME with 8 other people was not something that I was looking forward to. PRAISE THE LAMB that was not the case, and everyone felt like family almost instantly. We live in a beautiful cabin on the north side of Redding that is even more beautiful than the pictures we were shown prior to arriving. The owners of the home have adopted all of us (for the record, young adults need and love having extra sets of parents) and have enriched the experience so much with their support, conversation, and love.
Bill Johnson, Kris Valloton, and several other amazing leaders share with us during school hours. I feel so lucky to be sitting under fathers and mothers who fight strongly for the truth of God to be made known and for everyone’s full potential to be realized. I take so many notes and can’t write fast enough.
This upcoming week, we go on Retreat (which, to my understanding is a time for us to connect more deeply with classmates and Revival Group Pastors). When we return from Retreat, we’ll lock into a more normal schedule with City Service (community service) hours and Advanced Ministry Trainings (more in depth teachings of certain topics).
How’s your heart?:
Honestly, this portion of the blog has been pretty challenging to write – probably because when I typically sit down to type out a blog, it’s something that I’ve worked through and believe deep in my bones.
I just stepped out of a really busy season – one that felt like Aslan had left Narnia for awhile, and I was holding down the fort until he decided to return.
When you feel like God’s been MIA and the busy-ness of a season leaves little time to process, jumping into a world full of desperately hungry people would seem like the best possible remedy, but it can leave you feeling like you’re sitting on the outskirts at times. Some AMAZING things have happened already, and the Lord has been speaking some great stuff to my heart, but in a lot of ways, I still feel pretty numb and unaffected by all of the activity going on around me.
BUT Here’s what gives me hope —
I don’t think that I’m the only one. I think there are a lot of people with more questions than answers and more disappointment from seasons past than anticipation for seasons to come. I don’t think that I’m the only one who has hoped to walk in to a church service and be forever changed, only to leave feeling even more disconnected than when you walked through the door.
This process has been so challenging, because I can’t even point to one isolated event or area of my life that makes me feel as if the trust between me and the Lord has taken a beating, but I know that it exists. I don’t want to hide it in fear of not having it all together (still). I don’t want to fake excitement and wholeness and passion – I want the reality of God to encounter my reality. I want to keep showing up honest, even if honest looks battered and beaten and pretty apprehensive of change ever coming.
Although I have no answers, I’m convinced that when you’re really honest, you get really helped – really healed – and you can keep on believing things deep down in your bones.
I want to believe in the nature of God with every fiber of who I am – there are so many people here who do. They know that He’s good and they see Him at work.. But I think those believing down deep, know it in my bones sort of faiths only come through an honest process. (and THEN you have real answers and a real testimony for other people feeling shipwrecked on the island of disappointment).
Okay, but what are you looking forward to?:
The number one thing that appealed to me about Bethel was the way that they offer incredible tools to sustain revival and cultivate a healthy life. I am so excited to learn more about family, communication, processing pain, etc – not only for my benefit, but to have a healthy family and pass those tools on to those I am connected to. I’m convinced that if you know how to have great relationships and heal from hard things, there’s not much that can stop you.
Got any embarrassing stories?:
I wholeheartedly believed that most of my blogging the first couple of months in Redding would be full of stories where I somehow managed to humiliate myself, but that hasn’t been the case up to this point (don’t worry, I’ll be sure to let you know if anything changes)
SIDE NOTE though, apparently I have a bit of a southern accent (which is HILARIOUS because I’m from Ohio and Winston-Salem is not EVEN that southern).
Now accepting snack suggestions:
School runs from 10:30 – 3:45, meaning we eat some sort of lunch during school hours (sometimes around people whom we don’t know, making biting into an apple a really awkward endeavor). If you’ve got some killer snack ideas that aren’t too smelly or loud to crunch, I would love to hear them.
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for reading – hooray for update #1!
I am still raising support for this Bethel-Redding adventure for tuition costs and to help supplement with living expenses. My link is posted below!