Friday, December 28, 2012

The World Didn't End, but 2012 Did.

Okay, I realize the title says 2012 ended when technically there are still three days left after this post. I figured I'd post it anyway. It has been a while since I have posted, so I felt an update was due. Things have started to become so different for me since the start of this year. I have begun to dig deeper into the scriptures, trying to immerse myself daily to understand the truth for myself. This has given me strength to build a stronger foundation for a Christ-centered life. Earlier this year, it was suggested that I go on a six month mission trip to South Africa by a new friend that was placed in my life. Through much prayer and many signs, it was confirmed by God that I was to go on this trip. Though, there were some issues with  the logistics of the trip that didn't line up. Issues such as: not having money for plane tickets, nor money for the six months rent that was due under contract of my current apartment here, or being able to have a job for when I get back. There were other personal issues such as me missing my girlfriend and my family that I couldn't get over. As I look back now I see that I was told by God to go in faith, and I ran away. I know this because of some events that happened the next few months that followed. I started to live in a feeling of guilt, and my relationship with God was starting to become distant again. I stopped reading the word as much as I should have. I became distracted by many things that I had thought I changed earlier in the year, things like consuming myself with too much entertainment. To top it all off, my relationship with Caitlyn (my girlfriend) was going downhill quickly.

About the same time I was to leave for the trip, I had begun to meet weekly with a good friend of mine. As our friendship grew, we stared to hold each other accountable for things, and help guide each other spiritually. We would tell each other our blessings each week or different spiritual lessons that we had learned. Among one of those lessons was learning how to be free from the feeling of guilt. I learned this when my friend showed me the passage at the end of Luke when Jesus reinstates Peter. In that story Jesus forgives Peter, instructs him to not go back to his old ways, and tells him to continue to follow Him. Through much prayer, and my friend's God-given gift of teaching, God used my friend to help guide me back to where I needed to be in my relationship with God. As my relationship with God began to get stronger, my relationships with others including Caitlyn began to be more positive. I have learned so many things this year and grown so much spiritually. God has continued to bless me, even after I turned away from His calling. I thank God for the grace that He provides so freely through Jesus.

For this next year I have bought tickets to go to the Passion Conference in January. Passion is a college-aged and young adult conference over about four days long that is at the Georgia Dome and has large worship sessions and smaller break out sessions. The large worship sessions last year had an attendance of about 45,000, and this year they are expecting even more to attend. They have various speakers that come and talk on different topics. Last year they did a session on Ephesians that was really powerful. I'm excited to see how God uses the leaders of this conference to speak to thousands of people in my generation. I'm also excited to be a part of worship with tens of thousands of others standing in the same room all praising God!

This year has been full of learning and growing, so there may be a few more upcoming blog posts on what I have learned that I would like to share. I can't wait to see what next year holds! All glory to God!