I prayed a bold prayer.
Lord, let me share Your light, make an impact on and off campus for You,
and take every opportunity to love and serve others, for Your glory.
So, as I began my first semester as a full time college student, I was determined to change my mindset this semester. I decided to take the challenge of intentionally loving and serving others. It started with surrender. Then, as God has been placing opportunities across my path, however small they may be, I have been able to take on this challenge.
I'm not doing anything that big or noticeable. My heart just yearns to change this world, but one girl like me cannot do it on her own. However, making a difference in just one life is one step closer to a changed world. Just one smile, one hello, one conversation, one act of service (even just holding the door open), could make an impact that is beyond what I could ever imagine. It sounds simple, and it doesn't sound like I'm doing much. And maybe not. But I believe that God can use even a smile to brighten up the day of a person who is hurting. Just one conversation could encourage someone in whatever they are facing. Just my own personal Bible study with a few friends, even without the group increasing in size, could inspire or encourage just one person walking by.
I long to be an example of love in a world of hatred and discrimination and judgment and evil. And I believe it starts with being intentional with the small acts of love.
God has been getting me through. He is helping me overcome my shyness, so much so that I've been become the most outgoing that I've ever been in my entire life. However, I've also made mistakes. Some weeks, I forget the challenge. Fear overtakes me, and shyness slowly starts creeping back in again. I forget to take advantage of the opportunities God lays before me to love.
An overload of guilt overtakes me later, as I begin wishing I could go back and redo the day over. But it's during these times that I'm reminded to take on the challenge again. That it's not too late to start spreading His love again.
Whatever you're doing, wherever you are, with whoever you're with, you can make a difference in the lives of others. It starts with taking on the challenge of intentionally loving and serving others, and asking God for His help.
He can use even a smile and a wave to flip a day around. He can use the smallest act of service for Him to change the world.
Just a small act of kindness can make a difference!
Will you take on the Love Challenge?
James 2:8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, 'Love your neighbor as yourself', you are doing right.
1 Thessalonians 3:12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else...
...but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
In the midst of the waiting season, God is already at work. He's going before us, paving the path. He's shutting doors that need to be closed and pushing open doors that need to be opened. He's stirring in hearts, moving in lives, and making the way for victory. He hears every word of every prayer we pray...even when it feels like He's nowhere to be found.
His movement may not be noticeable right now. This waiting season may seem like it's never going to end. Life may seem as if it is never going to change. God's voice may seem silent and our prayers unanswered.
But don't give up! The second you pray a single word, God hears. He's already at work. He begins to open and close doors, move in lives, and make straight the path.
And it may never make sense. Why we went through what we went through. Why God seemed to disappear when life was at its worst. Why we're having to wait for such a long period for whatever it is we're waiting on.
We don't see the big picture. But God does. He knows what is best for us, even when it may never make sense to us. His purposes and His plans are greater than we can ever imagine. When we don't see a purpose, He sees purpose. When we don't see a plan unfolding, He sees a plan that has been so carefully drawn out, so thoughtfully designed.
You may wonder why God has you where He has you. You may wonder why God hasn't revealed to you what to do next. You may wonder what God is doing, as the people in your life move in and out.
We don't always see a purpose accompanying the people, places, and events surrounding our lives. But God does. He's gone before us, He stands behind us, and He's always by our side.
In the waiting season of my own life, God has been opening and closing doors, faithfully answering my prayers yet still not clearly showing me what to do about certain things at the present time. However, He's been reminding me to trust in His timing--His perfectly designed timing. He's been asking me to seek Him.
Because when we place our hope in the Lord, when we completely seek Him during the waiting season, our strength will be renewed. Our patience will be restored. The fire in our hearts for Him will be revived. We will discover this newfound strength, this freedom, that can only be found through Jesus Christ. Such a strength allows us to soar like an eagle, to run and not grow weary, to walk and not be faint. This strength is where we find peace and joy and an energy that can only come from Jesus.
I still don't know all the answers, but I do know this: God is working. I don't know what the next steps are, but I do know that He's already making straight the path. In the meantime, I'm going to strengthen myself in Him in the season He's put me in right now. I'm going to find my energy and joy and peace and full strength in Jesus, even when college life has been giving me five to six hours of sleep a night and things get stressful. And oh, has He given me energy! It's been unreal.
I'm going to seek Him with all my heart in the waiting season.
He's already at work.