September 25, 2011

A Year Ago...

Exactly a year ago I was starting my first day at Bodenseehof Bible College in Germany...and one year later, here I sit...reminiscing in awe.

A year ago I was a completely different girl--and I don't miss her at all.

A year ago God was merely an afterthought--and today, His love overwhelms me.

I miss my multi-cultural family of 108 guys and girls. I miss the impact we had on each other, all the tears we cried together, and all the joy we shared. I think about them and I pray for them all the time. And I can't wait until we all walk those golden streets together, the streets of Heaven.

I regret so badly all the times I wasn't content during those six months abroad. Why is that? Why am I never content in the place I'm at? Why am I always living for the "next"? I regret, because all I want is to go back.

But in the here and now, God is challenging me, and everyday He is blessing me abundantly. And of the many blessings are the memories He has provided me with; each and every one of these memories is God telling me, "Jenny, look at everything I've given you...can't you see? I love you!"

A year ago God gave me the strength to run my very first 10k race.

A year ago God showed me what a true friendship looked like; the sharing of your deepest insecurities, your past, your testimony, and completely accepting one another with no judgement. And He showed Himself through many, many people in my life.

A year ago God taught me that I didn't need to be afraid of praying out loud; yes, prayer to God is a very personal thing, but it can also be a very moving thing to whoever's listening. Have you ever heard somebody pray for you? It is absolutely and wonderfully humbling.

A year ago I had finally heard what God had been telling me all 19 years of my life: that I am beautiful. I don't need makeup to feel pretty, I don't need to be skinny to consider myself worthy of any guy's attention, and I don't need to be talented to be liked by others.

A year ago God spoke to me: "stand before the entire school and share your testimony."
"But God, why? I don't want to...I'm too scared..."
He replied with two words, and my heart began to race. "Trust me."
The evening I shared my testimony for the first time, I had no idea that out of it great things would happen. I had no idea that my words would impact another student in the crowd...and that it would draw the two of us together. I had no idea that he would be a part of my life still one year later. I had no idea that our testimonies to Christ were the cliffs God lead us to, to fall deep into love. The evening I shared my testimony, I just had no idea that my life would be forever changed. Looking back I have learned that because I pushed all my fear and insecurities aside and chose to listen to God's voice, He has blessed me so much.

A year ago I went on my very first mini-missions-trip; it was a complete step out of my comfort zone, but God was with me 100% of the way. And right now, I can see myself doing that in the future. I can see myself absorbing the scripture and God's love like a sponge, and then reaching OUT.

A year ago my life changed, but as for today what is happening? God is still teaching me, and I don't think He'll ever stop. He is teaching me to be content in my circumstances, to put the feelings of others before mine, to trust Him with every ounce of my heart, and to thank Him as often as I can for blessing me so greatly.

Dear Jesus, thank you for the past 20 years of my life and especially for the past year that you gave to me. I feel so alive, and I know that it's all because of You. Teach me to be content, to be patient, and to take each day one day at a time. Teach me not to live for myself, but for Eternity. Love Jenny.

❤  ❤  

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