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I’ve said it again and again, and I’m just so incredibly humbled and overjoyed that I serve a God that listens to me. Last night I was really just frustrated about the lack of energy I had and how much of this summer was draining it from me. I wasn’t sure how to have the energy I need to when I’m wanting to hide in a corner all day. I was a little impatient today because I was lacking that energy and wasn’t at the intense, level of pep that I’ve been at the past weeks. Today showed me that I don’t need that intense energy to serve God. I can be quiet and still reach His children. I’m sure that’s an obvious statement, but it’s something I needed to know and it gave me so much peace knowing that I’m not constantly having to give off all this energy that I don’t always have. Today I just chilled with my girls. I was able to see more because I wasn’t bouncing around everywhere, and I was able to sit with my more quiet girls. I have this incredibly precious girl, but she’s incredibly meek. She has a soft, humble spirit and she will let everyone else speak before she speaks, yet she’s not insecure. She is so confident in herself. (A couple weeks ago she just jumped up in front of the whole camp and sang a song for everyone! She’s BOLD!) She’s just a bright, fascinating, sweet girl that loves God and shows that by putting others first. I haven’t really had a chance to hang out with her because I bounce around so much and she’s always observing. Today I was able to just sit and spend time with her and she has a beautiful soul that moves mine. Today, she would eat a piece of candy, but before she’d eat any, she’d pull out all the best pieces and give them to me. Do you know how many red starbursts, jolly ranchers, and skittles I ate today?! A TON. I don’t even normally eat starbursts or skittles!!! LOVE that girl. Towards the end of the day, she just randomly yelled “I love you so much, Miss Melissa!” That’s a huge deal to hear. These girls don’t hear that phrase at home, so it’s not something they say. It’s just really precious and special whenever they say it because you know they’ve thought it out and you know they mean it. 

Also, here’s another thing that just reminded me that I can do this exactly how God made me. I don’t need to change. Today our memory verse was Philippians 4:8, and one of my girls wrote me a letter and in it she said “you are lovely, admirable and goofy.” My girl gets me. Tomorrow we’ll make sure she knows the verse.

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One of my biggest struggles I’ve had the past couple years at OC is just being an extreme introvert through it all. It’s so hard navigating all the people and the energy that gets drained from me is really challenging to restore. Thankfully I’ve had no Friday classes for the past two semesters, so I hide away in my room all day long, just restoring peace between myself and the world. I can’t explain the panic I feel when I know I’ve reached my limit, but I can’t escape. I’ve learned to balance my life with intentional periods of rest and time with myself and Jesus. 
                   Thankfully I was already trained to do that before I started this summer, because it’s all been a challenge for me. Honestly I’m not even sure if half my sentences make sense right now, I’m so exhausted. 
 Here’s my issue tho. I can’t really figure out how I serve God as an introvert and also in ministry. He made me an introvert. That was not by mistake. There’s some beautiful reason I don’t like people and get incredibly overwhelmed by it all, yet on the flip side of that, He doesn’t want me hiding in that hole (as much as I want to!). He’s called me to constantly be around people, in service to people. I love it. I never feel more fulfilled than when I’m with people that are hurting and searching. That’s my mojo. Broken people are my people.(Seriously I need a bumper sticker for it. Them’s my peeps.) Yet when I’m with people for 15 hours a day(broken or not), at the end of the week I have that deer in the headlights look and I’m just shaking when I go to sleep at night. (and in addition to that, people look at me like I’m crazy for saying I’m going to bed at 7pm. I sleep because that’s the only time people aren’t talking to me! I will sleep for 12 hours if it means I get to spend those 12 hours alone!) 
 I don’t know what the solution is to this. I don’t know if there is one. I think I’m just honestly a little frustrated. I just don’t feel cohesive. I have this constant obsession with souls, (Does that sound creepy? Ehh, it’s real.) yet I have this consuming self preservation for my own. I just don’t know how both are pleasing to God at the exact same time. Like I don’t get how they’re both supposed to coexist inside of me and not cause issues. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe this is just a cycle of run for five days, crash for two. I’m not sure what is normal, and what’s supposed to work, and maybe it’s just I’m getting in the way of God, but at the same time, my love of solitude was created by Him…. and it’s honestly why we’re so tight.. Yeah, Jesus and I are tight. So I guess the whole point of this was to ask how I’m supposed to function as an introvert in ministry…. I’ll let you know if I figure it out… 

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Lucky ducky and a sunflower :))

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Relaxing weekend with the familia! Face painting :)

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LOOK WHO’S IN TOWN!!!!!!

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This picture just amuses me so much!!!! Love these silly girls!!

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I just love these girls so much!!! The one on the left is beyond sweet and helpful. The middle girl is one of my original crazies. She’s gone this week at another camp and I miss her SOOOOOO much! The one on the right is her sister and I can’t even say how much I love that girl. It’s so difficult teaching without her!!! She literally repeats verses word for word, and remembers things days later, she takes my applications to depths I never planned, she’s just a genius! I’m so ready for those two to be back next week!!!

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This girl stole my heart two weeks ago when we first met. She’s so kind and helpful and it’s all in the midst of her confusion and heartache. Her brother ran away 4th of July weekend and hasn’t come back yet. That following week of camp she clung to me constantly, to the point that I couldn’t get up for a drink of water without her holding onto me. She’s doing better this week, but she’s still so lost and hurt. We spend a lot of time talking about our brothers and it just breaks my heart hearing her speak of hers in past tense. I can’t imagine where he is, but I’m pleading with God to return him, and to just bring this precious girl and her family comfort.

This girl stole my heart two weeks ago when we first met. She’s so kind and helpful and it’s all in the midst of her confusion and heartache. Her brother ran away 4th of July weekend and hasn’t come back yet. That following week of camp she clung to me constantly, to the point that I couldn’t get up for a drink of water without her holding onto me. She’s doing better this week, but she’s still so lost and hurt. We spend a lot of time talking about our brothers and it just breaks my heart hearing her speak of hers in past tense. I can’t imagine where he is, but I’m pleading with God to return him, and to just bring this precious girl and her family comfort.