As I sat in my room full of every emotion under the sun beginning to unpack my new life here in Waco, TX I was anxious to accept my new reality. One of new friends, faces, churches, relationships, classes, experiences, pains, joys, laughs and tears. But most importantly the most important reality Ive began to embrace is the boldness in which I stepped into my vision. You see three years back I was encouraged to write down where I saw myself in five years and this is what I wrote verbatim. “I hope to be married, plugged into a Church singing in the worship band. Working for the A21 Campaign counseling women and helping rehabilitate and bringing them back into society. I will be educated in Cosmetology and Counseling. Pregnant with my first child, looking into adoption and I desire to have taken part in three mission trips’. After reading that I stood in awe of how God was working behind the scenes and I wasn’t even aware of it. I find it funny how when writing that I had no idea I would be attending Paul Mitchell Cosmetology the following year or would now be attending Baylor University pursuing a degree in Psychology so I will have the ability to counsel these victims. I stood flabbergasted at the God breathed vision written before me that I am currently living out. It is refreshing to be in the center of Gods will but it is also a journey. At times his plans seem far fetched and mine seemed easier to achieve so you latch on the easy one only to see yourself worn out tired and set back.. so you begin again.. in front of HIS vision.
This last week of Link year has been an emotional one however very educational as well. We had a speaker come in named JP whom speaks at the Porch at Watermark Church in Dallas, Texas. He opened my eyes to issues in our society that we face daily, however do nothing about. In this generation our biggest pitfalls are Narcissism, Entitlement, Noncommittal, and Pornography. In the realm of narcissism he touched on the fact that so many people are in it for themselves. Their number one goal is to get rich and the second is get famous. A sad statistic is the depression rate has skyrocketed in this generation as well as suicide. I believe my generation wants to party it up and find God later live “YOLO” when in reality the death toll is one to one. You live and then you die to the things of this world or you live, find God and then spend eternity with him. He gave a great analogy that everyone wants to party it up but they are walking towards a cliff with a drink in hand saying oh I just want to have fun. What they don’t realize is they are walking towards death and away from God. If we want to be first we have to be last. You can live your life with yourself in the middle or you can invest it into eternity. The second pitfall ( sorry guys this is a long blog 🙂 is Entitlement, which is the highest form of expectations from which we fall. I myself have fallen in to this trap on too many occasions thinking that things will be handed to me wanting all of the responsibility but none of the maturity. So often we desire to look like that magazine cover or be that big NFL star when in reality God made us all different with different ambitions and attributes yet we continue to desire something else – as if its never enough. We feel like the world owes it to us and if we do not get it we face depression and despair. We need to realize that the people who have what you want are not content with their lives either. John 3:30 “He must become greater, I must become less.” The third being a Noncommittal generation, in which its hard for God to be glorified in our lack of commitment. JP discussed that in relationships its not so much what you think and what you feel but what God desires for you. The divorce rate is one out of every two marriages. People are dating jumping in and out of relationships not realizing that they are indirectly conditioning themselves for divorce. If you are not ready to marry then don’t waste each others time. He touched on the fact that some people may claim to be spiritual but not religious when in reality they are not spiritual at all, they just cannot commit to God. Matthew 5:33 clearly says we need to let our yes be yes and our no be no. If you make a commitment to hang out with someone and something better comes up. You need to realize the first commitment you made with that individual and acknowledge you committed your time to them and you need to correctly ask for that time back instead of bailing and being uncommitted. Learn to keep your word even when it hurts. Realize that the Gospel is a picture of commitment and people often trust Christians before they trust Christ so set a good example. I encourage you to keep that commitment it marks a Godly person. Lastly, the pitfall which many dread talking about is Pornography. Which is fantasizing about anyone that you are not married to, it is sin without exception. Matthew 5:28 This sin is adultery it will take you out! This issue damaging so many marriages and is shaping the culture around us .Sex is becoming the center of so many relationships and it is replacing the meaning of love. Sex is not a bad thing when in the context of marriage, no one is more prosex than God. He invented it, do as he ordained it and obtain from sexual immorality. There is hope in that. There is no greater way to overcome sin than the satisfaction of an intimate relationship with Jesus. Guilt is an incredible motivator but it is a terrible motivator because it doesn’t last. You will not find true Joy when indulging in sin you will only find temporary happiness. If you are dealing with someone who is struggling with this just know that people will listen to you when they know you love them continue to pray for them and encourage them to pursue Jesus. ( 2 Timothy 2:22, 1 Corinthians 6:18) Our generation is in desperate need of a revival and there is hope trust me that there are planet shakers out there, we just need to resist these temptations and draw nearer to Christ. Allow Christ to become more and us to become less. I will leave you with this – We often plead to God for our souls but not often enough plead to souls for our God.
This week we started it off right going zip lining through the Missouri Mountains, where at the highest course we were 350 feet in the air. Our first speaker this week was Joe White who came in and impersonated Paul from the Bible. He recited the entire book of Ephesians and he expressed the importance of being serious in our walk with the Lord. He was so passionate in the talk and he was explaining how in jail Paul wrote this great letter and that shows his devotion to the Lord and that we have the ability to love him all the same. Our second speaker came in Tim Watson whom is a Christian counselor. He spoke on the importance of counseling and that whether or not we have a degree, counseling is teaching and we will be doing that until the day we die. As a Christian we will continue to counsel others. He spoke on many different subjects of psychology and how the Bible ties into it. I am interested in pursuing a career in Christian counseling myself so I was trying to soak it up. He referenced tons of verses and expressed the importance of knowing the Bible in the counseling world to direct our clients to the cross. I am now excited to pursue this career. The twist I desire to bring counseling into is the world of sex trafficking. In which I will help rehabilitate and bring women who were traded in sex slavery back into society. I will help them realize their worth and value in the eyes of the Lord.
This week was taught by a former Kanakuk Institute Student who took what he was taught and has impacted so many lives with it. He had the opportunity to impact us LinkYear students this week and boy did he ever. He covered a ton of topics but the ones I will touch base with are the battlefield we call earth, our vision for a high impact life, and our three callings in life. He made a good point that all to often we think this world is a playground is which it is a battlefield we are waging in the war against sin, there is no time to play. We were reminded that what we do in this life echoes into eternity which is so applicable to really anyones life. He isn’t saying that we cannot have fun. However, he is saying instead of going to college partying it up, we need to take life by the horns and start impacting lives instead of living for ourselves. To live this high impact life you need to have a vision and set goals. Start thinking globally, but acting locally. Nothing is going to get done on its own you have to take the initiative. He also touched base on our three callings which are our General Calling as a follower of Christ, our Vocational
Call to serve God in our work and, our Special Call that’s God exalting, and the soul satisfying purpose of our life. These three topics hit close to home with me that I need to recognize my calling and start writing out a vision for my future because no one is going to get me where I want to be other than myself and God. Don’t waste your life, start with the end in mind!
This past week Sean McDowell came in from California and brought an interesting twist to the group. When he walked in, he stated alright guys when I put on this coat I will turn into an atheist. For the next two hours we were able to question him and his thoughts and let me tell you he is well studied in how to defend atheism and christianity. My peers surprisingly got very defensive and almost mad at him throughout these two hours but we realized how foolish we looked in the way we treated him and the fact that we are not well read at all on either subjects. He shared with us that so often us as Christians feel inferior to our culture. He also gave us a few tactics as to how we should approach an atheist and how not to be judgmental but loving. Afterwards we discussed truth and how it is when your belief matches your reality and we discussed the differences of the subjective, and objective truth. You know what someone really believes about morality, not by what they say or do but how they want to be treated. This statement tied into how we should think about abortion and how society is perceiving it. How we treat something depends on what it is and its nature is so the real question our society is trying to ask itself is What is the unborn it is not just a clump of cells rather a human being.
This week I only had the opportunity to hear Mr. Straub speak on one occasion due to the stomach bug this past week but when I did hear him speak I was enthralled by what I was hearing. Despite the fact that I myself desire to become a psychologist and that is his profession he had some really great points and I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to hear them all. But he started the week off great by describing the attachment theory and different personalities to that theory. The attachment theory is how relationships shape our brains ability to regulate emotion and learn to participate in close, intimate relationships. Often times when meeting a person anyones initial reaction is to think is this person a safe person. You’re safe base can be ultimately anyone you make it for many it is their mother or father. When you lose that attachment figure there is a deep sense of grief that you feel, often times so many try and brush it under the rug and not confront the hurt but you cannot heal what you do not feel. Straub discussed many different attachment personalities but today I will just share the one with you that pertains to my own life which is the preoccupied attachment. These theories help explain they way you do things and the basis behind why. The Preoccupied person is – anxious with relationships and abandonment, people feel like they can never love you enough because you don’t trust they will be there. They are not comfortable with closeness, withholds feelings and dreams, difficulty with commitment, distances and restricts affection, their focus is on control, they use things to self soothe, they keep feelings buried and are not often the first to share them. I know this description may seem a little harsh but I believe that a lot of these emotions do pertain to a lot of instances in my own life and has really helped me realize the way I act in certain circumstances and why. I believe this week was really helpful in understanding myself and the way my brain operates.