It's harder than I though to consistently write every day, not even about one topic, just finding the time every day. Woops! I shall continue regardless onto Day 9 of The Dreams God has for me :)
The more I consider what dreams the Lord has for me, the more He reveals to me dreams that have already come true. Take youth ministry, for example. When I first started going to college, I was just working on an associates degree in general studies. I had ideas of maybe one day becoming a jr. high or high school teacher but hadn't given it a ton of thought. I just knew that my jr. high and high school years weren't the best and if I could help students with that part of their lives I would gladly do so.
Thinking back, I don't know what I thought I would do for them. Outside of Christ, what hope could I offer? But it just confirms to me God had plans for me to teach His word, counsel students, and pray for them as they learned about living a life for God. Shortly after we started ministry together, I realized that the idea obviously came from God. And the reason I desired to help students so much was because I wanted them to understand how amazing God is now. Not later when they grow up but now so that they could face the world knowing that no matter what, they had a God who loved and adored them. A God who would never leave or forsake them and who always wanted the best for them. I wanted to help them grow in their faith so that when tough stuff did happen, they had someone to turn to. So here's what happened and how that idea became the beginning of God working in my life.
Closer towards the time we got engaged, Nathan started an internship at Arizona Community Church with our old youth pastor (who happens to be awesome by the way.) I was really happy for him because I knew this was something God had certainly called him to do with his life. However, he was gone a ton. Whenever I wanted to hangout, I felt like he already had something planned with the youth. After talking about it, he asked if I would come join him to see what he did. Having never been a part of any type of ministry before, I had no idea what to expect. It.was.crazy. And I loved every minute of it. I will admit although I thought it was pretty awesome, at first I was only going to get in some time with Nathan. Then I started to get to know the students and God started to change my heart. I loved going to youth. I loved the gross games and the pranks at the all-nighters. I loved the jr. highers desire to learn more and change the world for Jesus. Being a part of it changed my life forever. I never thought that the reason for the past idea of possibly becoming a teacher was because God had plans for me to pursue youth ministry. I miss those days. I miss not knowing all the behind the scenes stuff. I miss not being the ones who got yelled at by parents. I miss just showing up and loving on students. Because after all that, I realized that's why God put me in youth ministry. To show love to the students no matter what their home life was like, or if they got bullied at school, or how much they might have already been through at such a young age. I was called to show them the love of Jesus despite all of these situations. And because God is so AWESOME, we got to have fun doing it :) The Lord grew Nathan and I so much during that time. We learned how to make a really heartbreaking decision together when it was appropriate for us to leave that church. I am so thankful for those times and being able to look back now and thank God for the dream He began in me long ago.
It had taken us a little while to get back into youth again, our lives got busy and we really hadn't had any opportunities. We helped at a friends church for a while and it was also great, we became close friends with the youth pastor and his wife. Then something amazing happened. God opened up a door for Nathan to truly live out his calling and that's how we started at Access. I will tell you the whole story sometime because it was amazing to see God work out all of the details. Now we are living the dream God had for us before we were born. Thank you God for being so gracious with us. For allowing us to teach students about You and for letting us be a part of the family at Access. My heart will never be the same because of what You have done in my life. I love you.