Where do I begin?!
Today is the four week anniversary date of my time here in New Zealand, and I'm so glad to finally sit down and share the ways that God has been working in my life. The schedule of each day is usually jam-packed here, but I am going to do my best to stay committed to posting so I can keep everyone updated! Because I'm beginning this a little late in the game I will probably have a few "flashback" posts so you can have a full understanding of where I've come from, where I am, and where I'm going.
But since "there's no time like the present," I'll start with what has been going on this week!
In Matthew 16:13 Jesus asks his disciples, "Who do the people say that the Son of Man is?" It was drawn to my attention in lecture this week that just as Jesus asked this question to his disciples (or to us), so also can we turn the question around and ask him, "Jesus, who do you say that I am." I have spent so much of my life pondering this question.
Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose?
I have spent so much of my time consumed by this question. This week, I finally took a moment to ask the one who CREATED me what the answer to this burning question on my heart is. I sat with my eyes closed and it was only moments before the still, small voice of my heavenly father answered me:
"You are my daughter; a daughter of the King. I have made you and I look upon you as royalty. You are my image, made perfect in me. You are a lover, filled with passion in pursuit of my heart."
Yes, I was blown away by this revelation. I am enjoyed by the God of heaven and earth. He looks upon me as royalty. I am like a princess to him. I am beautiful! And I am made in HIS image so that each day when I look into the mirror, I get to see a piece of the majestic God whose hand created the mountains and all the wonders I see before me.
This message was so humbling. What's so great is that the more I encounter and meet with God, the more he shows me who I am; and the more I understand my own identity the more I can help guide others to understanding their own identity's. Honestly, it's more fulfilling to see things click with others than it is to see it for myself sometimes. It's so awesome to see a person discover themselves! It's been one of my favorite things here at YWAM: watching my new family grow in their own relationship with Jesus.
I'm planning a post to introduce you to my new family of friends here, but I will preface it with the fact that the people I have met here, the one's going through this experience with me, are incredible. Truly, incredible. We are from all over the world, full of different languages and cultural customs, but we come together in this place and find that deep down, we all have the same issues. We share the same passions for adventure and excitement, and we are each in a place of seeking God and understanding what his heart is like for us. Best of all, we've become best friends on a soul level. Our friendships are built on the foundation of God. It ties us together in a way that only He can do, and it's exciting to know I will forever be connected with each person here. More on them later though... :)
This week has really blown me away. Stay posted to learn about my experiences with our awesome speaker, Josh Cole. Trust me, it's profound stuff. Tomorrow is Saturday here so that means SNOWBOARDING! It's been so much fun to head up to the mountain as the sun rises. The beauty of this nation is beyond anything I've ever encountered! I'm convinced the sky here is God's favorite canvas. In the dawn he paints it with extraordinary and striking colors that make waking up at 7 a.m. an exciting event. In the evening the milky way streaks visibly across a sea of stars that shine like diamonds. All of this is only the backdrop for the majestic mountains that stand tall, touching the clouds with their snow-covered peaks. At their base lie green fields dotted with fluffy, white sheep as well as cows and horses.
My description doesn't do it justice. Have a lovely day, friends! Be patient with me, as all of my posts won't be so long. It's just the beginning so I feel like I have quite a bit of ground to cover :) I'm always open to comments and questions.
|Saying goodbye at the airport|
|First day boarding at Mt. Hutt|
|Josh and I on top of Mt. Hutt|
|Fun Day at Castle Hill (Scenes from Lord of the Rings and Narnia were filmed here)|
|Longboarding to the Supermarket. This is my back yard!|
|Fun night cheering on the Crusaders at my first rugby match with my YWAM fam!|
|Serving with the children's ministry at a church in the city of Christchurch.|
|Josh and I at the Rugby game! Yeah, Crusaders!|