Blessed and Broken

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to assist in leading a group of students on mission to Atlanta, GA. As always, missions’ experiences are tiring and fruitful, however this one was a mixture of emotions for me. I recently read an article that suggested we should refer to missions’ trips as pilgrimages – this experience allowed me to see what the author of that article was trying to communicate.
We tend to view missions through rose colored glasses, we see ourselves going to do some good things and have a check list of things we can say were accomplished at the end of the trip, however, those kinds of missions trips can provide a sense of arrogance, I think. We assume that we took God there, did the work and all is well, however the reality is God is present there and will be there long after! What if we went to a place expecting to learn about how God was working in that setting? Dangerous thought, yes! If we went somewhere with a sense of vulnerability allowing God to work through us and provides us with new eyes to see the gospel at work in a setting unfamiliar to us – we would be ruined, our of walls ignorance would be knocked down and we would have to deal with some of the ‘junk’ in our spiritual suitcases.
Well I took my messy spiritual suitcase to Atlanta hoping God would open my eyes and break my heart. He broke and blessed me. I’m grateful for the breaking and molding that took place in Atlanta! I now see the world differently, have a restored energy to live out my calling and be faithful to the gospel.

May God break my heart so completely that the whole world falls in. Mother Teresa

Hold Tight, Lent is Coming!

“I can’t see ’em comin down my eyes
So I gotta make the song cry
I can’t see ’em comin down my eyes
So I gotta make the song cry…”

Rap artist Jay Z eloquently says the above statement in his song cleverly titled “Song Cry”, well I have to admit I had the same feelings as Jay Z a few years ago, but in a different context, he had a relationship end badly and I was struggling with what to give up for lent, so why not turn on some rap for inspiration!

Lent was fast approaching and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to fast from, I had been praying and really struggling with what it was I needed to let go of during lent, while at the same time I was questioning the tradition of fasting from something I would go back to doing or abusing after Easter. I had to be honesty with myself, I didn’t feel like I was really valuing lent and all of its beauty when I was fasting from specific things and would say a prayer when I was tempted to have the item – there were days I just said forget it and had the item or I didn’t pray – I’m ashamed to admit that! Well, I made a decision that has since ruined me; instead of giving up things for lent I add something, but not just anything, I add something that causes a change within my spiritual life! I have read books, wrote prayers and letters to God, and stopped to pray at a specific time – while these are just a few things that I have done, I hope to do more as I explore the practice of adding rather than denying.

I hope I don’t sound like a typical millennial wanting to change the way things are done, because that was not and is not my intent. My intent is simply to find a way to connect with God on a deeper level as we journey to the cross during the season of lent, the way I connect best is by spending time with my creator – I wanted to ‘see em’ comin down my eyes’!

My plans for lent this year:
– Read through Deitrich Bonhoeffers Meditations on the Cross.
– Write prayers of confession and hope for myself each week.
– Pray for my enemies and genuinely mean my prayers for them.

My prayer is that YOU will experience a special connection with our Creator, God, not just during this Lenten season but one that will last for the next few seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years to come.

Blessings to you as we journey through the season of lent!