February 27, 2012

has it really been 10 years!?

this weeks tour...The Experience 
this past week my church celebrated 10 years!
a couple of weeks ago my pastor (whom i will call PM) asked if i would share my story of how The Experience has affected my life.
i said yes (but deep inside i was saying no because i do not like speaking in front of large groups-even if i know all the people)
this is my story...
-10 years ago i would have never pictured myself standing up here talking to you, and i am sure many of you would have thought the same thing. i also would have never imagined that the things i am going to share with you, would happen to me

-i think many of you would agree if i said i am not the same person i was 10 years ago

-the truth is i am the same person, just more of who i am in Christ

-yes The Experience has changed me, but i have always been who i am, The Experience and the people in this community have helped me find who i am in Christ

-God gives each of us a toolbox, filled with various tools, to help us get through life
-my toolbox has been filled with many things in life, whether i chose to use them or not was up to me
-The Experience has been and always will be the largest compartment in my toolbox filled with many tools, and each one of you in this community has been a tool, and a blessing, in my life. you all have been vital tools in helping me realize the person i have always been, through experiences and new adventures i would have never thought of doing on my own

-i was and still am a quiet behind the scenes person, even as little as a year ago, i would have never imagined all the things that God has showed me and placed in my life

-here at The Experience you learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. stepping forward in faith is hard and scary, but God never asks us to do easy things when He wants us to follow Him

-for me it all began with hiking...i started to step out of my comfort zone only to realize that i have a love for the outdoors and that is where i feel closest to God. thank you PM for setting these trips up

-i even stepped out on my own and began going to singles groups at other church's and was asked to be a group leader and plan things for the group to do and made many new friends

-then last year, i think was my biggest or most noticeable change, i decided to step out even further and go on my first mission trip to Haiti. who knew? GOD DID!

-i never would have realized before all the things that God had planned for me, but through The Experience i have been given the chance to try things and grow and realize things i love. like hiking, missions, and community

-i have no idea what the future holds, but i do know that God holds my future and He has used and is using The Experience to stretch me

-as PM would say here at The Experience ‘you are changed for the ordinary’ you will never again be the you you were, but the you you always were and meant to be

-my next adventure is the Peace Corps, it is an exciting new adventure, to grow closer to God, and the me that God created me to be

-i saw a t-shirt the other day that really spoke to me as i have fears of leaving my family/community it said... God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a worrier, Sarah was impatient, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, and Abraham was old.

-i have been called, and at times it is scary and i have no idea why He called me. but i am choosing to be obedient and with time He will show me

-i am forever grateful for PM and The Experience community, whom i consider my second family, and how it has affected my life

needless to say i am going to miss my church family very much!
i know that Jesus placed The Experience, and all the members of the community in my life to prepare me for this amazing journey with the Peace Corps.

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