Goodbye, Summer. Hello, Conviction.

Well it's still blazing hot but my heart still does the same dance every autumn. Maybe it's being in campus ministry that resets my spiritual clock to begin new things every fall rather than January.

I just finished reading Crazy Love. Books have always helped me on my spiritual journey because I respond to the written word and I enjoy being able to go back over thoughts, opinions, and arguments and process them slowly.

In a nutshell, it definitely poked a few sore areas in my heart. To name a few: comfort, materialism, selfishness, apathy, laziness, etc.

This morning I told my husband that I want to know what I'm doing will result in Jesus saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant," at the end of this life. After further reflection, I can only say that's true some of the time. Most of the time I want to know what I'm doing will result in the people around me patting me on the back and praising my work.

And I wonder why it's hard for me to make changes. I'm not enough of a reason for me to change. I would like to think so, based on how much I enjoy attention, but I'm just not.

Jesus is a reason. He's a reason for me to change.

With all these thoughts percolating, I also asked God to either confirm (or refine) my calling. More and more, lately, I have this resolve that doing anything besides what God would have me do is a waste of time. I reach out to the women on a specific college campus, primarily through discipleship; and I love it. But I want it to be worth something besides my own satisfaction.

Then I read an article a friend posted on facebook. (Don't worry, I'm working on pulling this all together.) There's a lot out there about the American Christian church's need to change. About how we're selfish, bigots, homophobic, ignorant, materialistic, narrow-minded, political lemmings, etc.

And I'm not saying I haven't seen that before, but my experience has been different in my local body of believers. We're not perfect and I've been hurt by my church, but we are made up of people, after all. So these thoughts percolated some more and I realized that the difference, in my extremely humble and (hopefully) able to hear, "You're wrong," opinion, is discipleship.

True discipleship surpasses the shallow in someone's life and gets into the deep & often dirty. The parts that are uncomfortable, hard, require time and sometimes finances. People need. Discipleship opens up those needs instead of pretending as if they don't exist. Discipleship requires that those needs be answered, somehow. By listening, by pointing to Jesus, even by sorting out the healthy needs from the unhealthy ones.

The other thing about discipleship is that it's extremely difficult to do it well without realizing your own weaknesses and needs. You can't sit across from someone and hold their hand through brokenness without some of your own rising to the surface.

I think the Holy Spirit is stirring a lot of change in me, many areas that need to be chipped away. Areas of my mind that need to look a little more like Christ and a little less like myself. But today it seems the Spirit did confirm my calling. By the grace of God to try and help people look more like Christ. To do this with humility, because to be honest there's no one on this earth who knew Jesus in person, and even those who did walk with Him seemed to often misunderstand what He was about.

So, written prayers have always been a little awkward to me, but I feel like it's the only way to really end this one:

Give me the humility to desire You more than myself. The grace to see You in others instead of always needing to be right. And the love that transforms me and overflows to others. Start the change with me, Jesus. 

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