I don’t want to write this post because it means it’s really over… But alas I can hear the rain outside and the dull grey of the Puget Sound reminds me I am indeed home. Where did two and half months go? Better question: where did I go? Because the person I am today looks nothing like the man I was on May 18th. I’ve grown in ways I didn’t think were possible, and now I believe Drew Worsham (the mastermind of the trip) when he said you would gain years of spiritual experience in just 10 weeks.
Where do I start? I guess I’ll start with community. There is NOTHING like biblical community. If you aren’t in it then go find it right now. People who are a guide for you, there for you, willing to go to bat for you, call out your faults and all the while love you and point to Jesus as the example and last word, not themselves. You ever want true friends? The kind of bond you see in a movie between two individuals after decades go by? I made 40 of those relationships in 10 weeks. That’s what Jesus can do. That’s what fighting side-by-side with one another, failing with one another, succeeding with one another and honestly, completely and unabashedly doing life together in Christ can do.
I didn’t stroll through these 10 weeks. None of us did. None of us were good enough, or tried hard enough or prayed hard enough, or (insert really stereotypical Christian thing to do here) enough. We all fell apart at one point or another and no one judged someone else for it. We just loved each other. Why? Not because we had to, or because it was the right thing to do. Just because Jesus loves us and honestly that’s enough.
We practiced various spiritual disciplines; I prefer the word habits, during the trip. For the first time I viewed them as something I can do to draw closer to God and not rules that God gets mad at me for not doing. For example I memorized and read scripture willingly for the first time since… well probably ever. It was something previously done for a grade, but now it’s being done to explore the heart of God and to keep in my heart. For example Romans 5:8, Psalm 139:23-24, James 5:16, Romans 8:28, Matthew 6:33, 1 Corinthians 13:10 and so many other verses are now seared into my heart. Understanding them brings me closer to the Lord, and their power is an aid in times of temptation and struggle.
Its about having a FOUNDATION in the Lord. So often you see Christians fail because what are they built on? John 3:16? That’s a fantastic start but it’s a pebble, not a solid foundation. I speak about this from experience. I failed a lot and sat stagnant because I had no foundation. Don’t get me wrong I’m still going to fail, but with a solid foundation in Jesus you can still grow. To illustrate it imagine the classic parable of the men who built their houses on sand and rock.
For the Christian who tries to build upon the pebble, every time he gets somewhere the weather tears his house down. He just cant last amongst the elements, it isn’t possible. This is like a Christian who either A: goes through life thinking he doesn’t need spiritual discipline and wonders why he/she are victimized by spiritual warfare so easily or B: Christians who go from zero disciplines to trying to participate in them all right away. For B, he/she will build, build, build and then get burnt out as each time they build it crumbles down around them. The Christian who builds upon a foundation of Scripture, memorization, prayer and time spent getting to know God will be able to actually build his/her house. Sure, he/she will mess up and make some wrong measurements, but they just have to redo that specific part of the house, the whole thing doesn’t crumble to the ground. You still see progress. You still see growth.
That’s me from this summer. Did I mess up? You betcha, BUT I’ve seen so much growth and progress and the really encouraging part is that it isn’t all spontaneously combusting now that I’m home.
Lets see, where else should I take this. I guess girls are a good subject, so dudes listen up. I spent a summer living with/loving on 30+ girls as sisters in Christ and its been such a drama free relief. Seriously. Learn to love and appreciate the women around you for who they are in Jesus. Stop looking around and thinking “hmm I could date her” or any other thought that pops into our pervy little heads. Don’t worry I am still a realist and I know, girls are cute, heck girls are hot and worst of all some are drop dead gorgeous. You will fail, I know I did at times, but honor their hearts, keep your eyes where they should be, don’t try and show off or boast and treat them all equal (cause they are) and with respect. I was so blessed by the relationships I was able to form with the girls on this trip and I saw the beauty that comes from a true woman of faith, eagerly seeking the Lord.
Alcohol is another good talking point. I wont be drinking this year in Pullman. At all. Some of you don’t know that yet and reading this may come a bit of a surprise or a “psh, yeah right” moment. But I’m serious. I’ve felt called from drinking for a while now and I’m not going to ignore that call any longer. Honestly last semester I would have fun in the moment but I would hate myself every morning waking up. I just felt empty. For those who know me well you might try and call BS and say “I saw you have tons of fun” but ask my housemate Matt, he could tell something was wrong for a while… I just spent a summer sober and it was the best summer of my life and the happiest I have been in a long time. Also I will be a freshman village leader next year and part of the rules of that is not drinking while you are in Pullman. Even if you are 21. So that’s what I’m gonna do. If I’m in Pullman ( and I think Moscow too actually) you can bet I’ll be sober.
I just realized my last post on here was from… a month ago. So you are probably wondering what we actually did the last month. We spent 4th of July on the beach (rough I know) and spent our last weeks spending as much time as possible with our co-workers and friends in California. I hungout with Miguel in Balboa park and got to share the Gospel with him a bit, and we people-watched at comic-con which was so epic haha. Another co-worker from Petsmart, Steve, started going to Church with the flood group and hanging out with us every Sunday and playing ultimate Frisbee or Soccer. I found cliffs to jump off of around La Jolla Cove so that was really cool. Some family friends came down from Washington and had us over to Coronado for dinner. TYLER GOT BAPTIZED and it was freaking awesome haha coolest moment of the trip for me for sure. Also sarah, a girl who we thought was going to leave and wasn’t a Christian, has been moved so much by God its incredible. I love seeing the way God is preparing her heart and I’m gonna try to steal some of her poems and post them here because they are beautiful.
WHAT ELSE?! We went to a water park the second to last day in SD and that was a blast. Gah there is just too much to make this sound coherent. We had our last Sunday at Mission Trails Church and all got journals and coffee cups (it got a little emotional) and I had to say goodbye to my Broncos friend from church Geoffrey. I hurt my shoulder the last day of Ultimate Frisbee so that’s a bummer, it still doesn’t feel right. I was told several times the last month that I should be a pastor so there is that. Its in my blood so who knows? I’m just going to be listening this next year and see where God calls me, but I feel like its going to be somewhere in ministry, of what kind I’m just not sure.
I miss all my friends now that I’m home. BUT home has been the best its been in a long time. I’ll enjoy spending time with family this next week, but I’m so excited to get back to Pullman and continue to grow with our community and to just make it bigger. That and I miss Pullman and Football very, very much.
So I think this is where I’ll leave it. Somewhere around the 1500 word mark haha. I want to say thank you so much to the people who prayed for me, and supported me financially. You’ll all be getting notes and things of that nature, but you honestly have no idea how much it means to me that you took the time to invest in the best summer of my life, and I hope you all know that I consider you spiritual investors in me. Please continue to read my blog as I’ll be posting about my adventures in Pullman in both professional and spiritual endeavors.
God bless everybody, Jesus is so good.