Another week of learning, growing, and building relationships with truly incredible people has passed. I am blown away by the change in my own heart. I had two life-altering experiences this week that I just have to share. The first was our time in the Avondale community, a local low-income neighborhood full of children who desperately need to experience the love and grace of Jesus. Starting this week, we are volunteering with a summer camp in the park inside of the neighborhood. It was hot and sweaty and fairly dirty. But it really didn’t matter to us or the kids. We just wanted to have a good time and play basketball or make crafts together. Though it was only 2 mornings this week, I could actually see a direct change. Kids that came in not speaking not even smiling walked away yesterday afternoon talking their siblings’ ears off. Interns that don’t typically bond well with children were suddenly contemplating their original decision of not wanting kids themselves. The visual difference of just 2 days is remarkable. I am so excited to see what the next few weeks have to hold.
My other experience this week was very much a personal awakening. I realized how I’ve let my personality become an excuse to be more distant from people. I’m sure it’s fairly evident that I am pretty terrible about openly sharing what is really going on in my life. And honestly, normal life is easy to just say that this mentality is perfectly acceptable for typical function. But since coming to Fort Lauderdale and doing life with 23 other people, I’ve realized that this mentality is the farthest thing from acceptable. You can survive by bottling up anything resembling a feeling. You can survive by running yourself into the ground with work. But just surviving is not really living. God intended for us to do life together – “My goal is that they may be encouraged in love, so they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ” Colossians 2:2. And it wasn’t until I felt God pull on my heart to share some of the struggles I’ve been having through the internship that I truly felt my heart change. The friends I was talking to didn’t have to say much of anything in return to me pouring out my feelings. God was just there. Yet again, my heart was broken so that God could find His way in. I never knew that I was missing anything. And that’s why I will throw out any plan I could imagine in order to accept God’s.
I know that my blogs are probably disjointed and dramatic. God is changing so much for me this summer. Any breaking of my heart is now encouraged because His healing process is so renewing. To say that I am excited to see what the next 5 weeks continue to hold is most definitely an understatement! Know that I am continuing to pray for you and God’s work in your life this summer.