Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How I Learned to Be Awkward

A few weekends ago, I went back to Bowling Green, Kentucky, for a wedding shower for my sweet friend and former roommate, Brooke.  Besides Brooke, I got to see some of my very best friends in the entire world - Morgan, Katie, and Kristen.  I also had a fabulous Starbucks date with my friend and former discipler, Sabrina.  My heart wells up everytime I go back to Bowling Green.  Not because I went to school there or met these girls there, but because I became a Christian and fell in love with Jesus there.

And these women had absolutely everything to do with it.

In Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller (love him or hate him) says, "Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself."  I didn't really know what it meant to love the Lord before I met my friends at college.  Sure, I grew up in church.  But I did most of my growing during the six other days of the week and God was pretty much contained to Sundays.  At first, I remember how awkward it was to hear my friends say things like, "God is teaching me this right now."  Or "Look at this verse.  What does Jesus mean right here?"  Or "The Lord is so good.  Look at what he's provided."  Or even "Will you pray with me?"  It was awkward because I had never heard God talked about in day-to-day conversations like that.  God was this far-off thing that didn't really have much to do with daily life.  But to hear my friends talking daily about how God was working in their lives was fascinating to me.  And now I suppose I'm just as likely to have those awkward conversations (though not at all awkward to me now).
The whole weekend in Kentucky made me reflect on how the Lord used these Godly women and several others to shape me and teach me.  And it wasn't really that I attended bible studies or church with them.  Yes, we did those things together, but I learned the most about trusting God from the day-to-day living with them.  I learned what they struggled with and I watched as they responded by clinging to Scripture.  We laughed and we cried together, and slowly but surely, I learned what it meant to love the Lord and to trust Him.  By his grace, the Lord started a work in me at 18 years old.  I look back at that time and stand in awe.  I am so thankful for the people that He placed in my life then and those that he has given me now.  Because this sanctification thing is certainly not over.  The weekend made me realize how I still have to be intentional about friendships and community.  Yes, I keep up with my BG friends, but he has also given me new people to learn from and do life with.  And. praise the Lord, I am "confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil 1:6). 

I don't know why exactly I felt like sharing this on here.  Partly because I was just so overwhelmed with gratitude to God that I needed to write about it  and reflect on it.  But I also wanted to encourage anyone reading this to seek out community.  I have read several books lately that encourage you to make an effort to spend time with people who you know love Jesus.  So often we can think to ourselves, "well they didn't invite me to this" or "they didn't talk to me", so we blame our lack of effort on the other person.  I encourage you:  put yourself out there.  Be the first to start a conversation.  Invite them to do something with you.  I know that the Lord will provide community for you.  And your life will be so blessed because of it.

1 Thessalonians 2:8 - We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, becaue you had become so dear to us.


Jessica said...

This was so sweet, Alex! And let me say, we've only recently started getting to know each other, but you are such an encouragement to me. Your genuine love for the Lord is obvious to everyone you meet!

Morgan said...

So, so precious Alex! I love you girl!!

sabrina said...

The first of many times you will suddenly look back and stand amazed at how the Lord transformed you. He is faithful and so loving. Just the other day I was emailing with my very first mentor- the woman who showed me what it meant to love Jesus. And we havent stayed as in touch as we would like, but it was incredible to think back to who I was when I met her... I was such a mess!! Now I suppose I am still a mess but in other ways now, but praise the Lord that He did transform me and give me the blessing of being in community with people like you guys!!

Love you!

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