Thursday, August 8, 2013


Psalm 126:

When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
 Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
And we are glad.

Bring back our captivity, O Lord,
As the streams in the South.

Those who sow in tears
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him.

Next week I will begin my ninth year of college ministry. For me, August is every bit as much a New Year as January 1. It’s that way for those of us who live by an academic calendar. We have two New Years and really, the January one is just for show. For us, reality hits mid-August.

This time, my New Year is starting with a different view. I’m typing this from my desk in the assistant director’s office of the Conway Baptist Collegiate Ministry. If you were to cut me open and examine my DNA, you would not find the Ds, Ns and As. You would find instead Bs, Cs and Ms. The ministry of the BCM changed me to my core; that’s how deeply this ministry affected me in college, so much so that I have dedicated my life to it. My heart beats for college students and campus ministry.

The older I get, the more I’m able to see how different seasons weave their way into and then out of my life. Over the past two years I have deeply missed doing the job I love in campus ministry. I asked God, ‘did I hear you wrong? Should I not have taken this job and moved to Conway? What should I have done differently?’ But I knew I had heard him. I knew how perfectly he had worked out the situation I was in. So I waited. I pleaded with God to move me or make me content. I got angry with him for putting me in a place that felt a lot like purgatory. Just waiting. I even gave him the silent treatment for awhile. 

After that, I did my best to remain faithful. I clung to my personal Bible study and devotions as desperately as if they were the air I needed to breathe. I clung to friends and family who understood my heart and prayed over me while I cried in frustration and despair. I clung to my church family and to the words of truth and hope I heard each week from the pulpit. I clung to moments spent praying in the altar, telling God, “I don’t know. But here I am.” I clung to ministry opportunities that came along, wanting so desperately to be used even in a small way.

But mostly, I clung to Jesus. Through his word, through his servants placed strategically in my life, and through his spirit at work within me, I experienced his peace.

In January I sat down and thought about what I wanted out of 2013. I knew something had to change. I began noticing how Jesus’ teaching did not make much sense to the world. Love, instead of hate? Mercy and grace, instead of punishment? Poverty, instead of wealth? And so when I began praying in earnest about whether or not to take the BCM job, I could hear logic saying, ‘this doesn't make sense. Why leave a secure job with secure benefits and a comfortable atmosphere?’ Leaving CBC for the BCM didn't make sense. And that’s exactly what gave me the courage to make the move.

I trust Jesus more now than I did two years ago or even a year ago. I trust him in ways I cannot put into words. Without this season of waiting, I might not have learned to trust him like this. And if that's what it took to shape me more into the person he’s crafting me into, then I'm thankful for every frustrating moment and every tear. One of my dearest spiritual mothers always says, “God will not waste your pain, if you’ll give it to him.” I believe nothing I have endured in the past two years will go to waste.

He is my faithful provider, orchestrator, and father, and I have hope he will redeem even my darkest moments for his glory and my good. 
What I spent two years sowing in tears I am now reaping with great joy.

One week ago today I began a new adventure, a new season with the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. What season, you ask? 

I’m calling it the harvest.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6.9


1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written, my friend. I'm so excited for you as you enter this new season of ministry. I've known you for a long time, and I can honestly say that this is exactly what God made you to do. You'll be amazing. Love you, #1!