Saturday, June 30, 2012

Reflections on 2011

I wrote this post on December 30, 2011. These are my reflections for last year.

As I look back on this last year, I see that a lot has happened. A lot of big things for me. So much has happened to me, but I will just name a few highlights.
First off, I graduated from high school in May. That was a big hurdle jumped in my life.
Second, I got my driver's license, and turned 18 this summer. Which that meant a lot of extra responsibility. Now I can go anywhere I need to go, and if I have any personal trips to take, that means paying for the gas for the trip. It's been awesome "having my wings" (as my sister-in-law puts it). I've been able to do a lot of things since this summer that I wouldn't have been able to do, if I had no license. My sister and I took a trip to Tyler Texas in July by OURSELVES. I've also taken trips to the other side of Dallas, and then the other side of Fort Worth, by myself. So, that has been a major change for me. I think it has also been a huge help to my mom though. There have been many times when we needed something from the grocery store, and she was not available to go get it, so I ran the errand myself. Me having my driver's license has definitely been a help in the family.
Third, I got my first real job this past summer. I worked three months for iX3 technology, which a father in our church graciously gave me that job. I learned a lot in that job, both mentally, and spiritually. I had the opportunity of working with some people who were very gracious and patient with me, and took plenty of time to explain things to me. God taught me patience through this job, both what it looks like, and how to practice it.
Fourth, I started college. I am working through Thomas Edison State College, to get my Bachelor's degree in Music. God has used this time to teach me to trust Him more, and to trust Him completely for the finances, and I am happy to say that this whole next semester is provided for. So far, I have been able to pay for my schooling on my own, which is partly due to my job this summer. This past semester was a little stressful trying to map out my college plan, and there were some tears shed over it, but my parents were very patient with me, especially my mom, who sat with me when I was crying from being stressed over this. But, after giving it all to God's most capable hands, and trusting Him to lead me, that removed a tremendous amount of stress from my life. I have had a lot of worry about where the money would come from, but God told me to stop worrying, and to start trusting. I did, and I have not been lacking for funds yet. Praise the Lord for His goodness to me! This last semester went a little bit slower than I wanted it to, but I'm still on track. I have finished 18 hours of schooling, and by the beginning of summer, I hope to have finished the rest of my 60 hours of basics.
My spiritual life has changed dramatically this last year. And I don't say that to be prideful, but to give thanks to God and show how amazing He is. There are a couple of things that have really worked in my spiritual life changing to what it is now.
First, I started journaling. Back in March, I started journaling my devotional times, and I was inspired to do so by my sister Grace. That changed my devotional life dramatically, because it seemed like God was waiting for me to sit down with a pen and paper before He started revealing things to me from His Word. I am at the end of my third journal, and plan on finishing that journal tomorrow, and starting a new one at the beginning of the new year. I definitely encourage everyone who reads this to consider journaling their devotionals. I also started journaling different prayers, and it has been amazing to go back and look at my journals, and see the way that God has answered those prayers.
Second, God moved on my heart back in May to share something with my father, and he helped me to clear this problem up in my life, and once this thing was removed, I felt a heavy burden lifted from my life. It was after that that my spiritual life started to really grow.
Third, God brought some people into my life this past summer who really showed me what it is like to love Jesus. I felt so small by their love for the Lord, and wondered why my love for the Lord was not greater. Some of these people had not known Jesus as long as I had, but their love for Jesus far surpassed my love for Jesus. After seeing their love, it made me strive to love Jesus greater. I also saw their great love for reading God's Word, and their desire to learn more and more about Jesus. This made me feel so small, and start to wonder why I did not have this same desire. I prayed and asked God to give me this desire for His Word. Ever since this summer, my devotional time has become more and more precious to me, like I can't get enough. My prayer time has been tremendous, and I can really talk to God, and hear Him speak to me through His Word. If I go a day without praying or seeking God's Word, I feel like I have starved myself. I know my love for Jesus, and God's Word is not near where it should be, nor do I ever think it will reach what it should be, but I pray every day that God will make my love for Him to abound more and more.
Fourth, back in April, I asked God to put some young ladies into my life that I could mentor, and influence for Him. God put two young ladies into my life this summer, who have been a great encouragement to me, and have shown me where my heart lies, and where I believe God is calling me.
Fifth, I went to family camp back in October, and heard Mark Cahill speak, and he gave me a new passion for winning souls for Christ. I have sinced ordered his books, and tracts, and have had opportunities to witness to some people. I have found myself striking up conversations with complete strangers, which is not something I normally do. A week ago, I ran to the grocery store to get something, and struck up a conversation with the check out lady. I asked her what she was doing for Christmas, and she told me that she had to work. I told her that I was sorry that she had to work on such a wonderful day, but that I hoped she had a very Merry Christmas. After she finished checking me out, I handed her a tract, and said "This is for you. Merry Christmas." She had a look of delight on her face that some stranger would give her a Christmas gift. I felt so incredibly happy after handing her the tract, that I practically skipped out of the store. Jesus commands us to "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." I pray that I will be better at fulfilling this command this next year than I was this past year. I don't come across many unsaved people, living at home, and doing school from home, but I pray that God will bring lost people across my path this next year who are looking for the truth.
Again, I don't say any of this to make y'all say, "Look at Faith, she's some great spiritual person." Because I'm not. I want this to be an encouragement to everyone who reads this to live their lives for Christ, and to win souls like we are commanded to do. Remove the things from your life that may be hindering you from having that wonderful and sweet fellowship with Jesus. If something has become more important to you than Jesus, you should remove it from your life. We can even allow good things to become idols in my life. I also encourage you all to get Mark Cahill's book "One thing you can't do in heaven", read it, and start winning souls for the kingdom.
If you are reading this, and you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, I plead with you now to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. "For God so loved the World, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. All you have to do is accept the gift that God offers so freely, the gift of eternal life. "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." All you have to do is repent and turn away from your sins, and accept the free gift that God has given. If you would like to know more, please comment below, or order Mark Cahill's book "One Heartbeat Away". It goes into great detail explaining that there is a God, and that the Bible is true, and why we need to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We are not going to get to heaven by our good works. The Bible says so multiple times. So if you are trying to get there by your works, you are only going to fail. So I plead with you to believe on Jesus, who shed His own blood for us, who payed the penalty for our sins, that we might have eternal life, and spend an eternity glorifying God.
Well, this has been a rather lengthy blog post, but this was a good year! I'm looking forward to seeing what God is going to do in the next year of my life! Go with God in this new year, and may God make your love for Him more abundant with each passing day.

Because of Jesus' Blood,
Faith Christine
Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:10
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