Still Painting

Thursday, January 25, 2007

still painting

I just finished reading Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell.  It was so good.  I laughed, I cried, but most of all I mended my busted up toes.  He speaks on this level that, I think, connects with everyone.  I learned a whole lot.  It was good.
There are a lot of things in me that I am still working on changing, as many of you know that know me, or don’t.  But there are some things that have got to change right now.

When he was talking about sitting in a storage closet between services, not wanting to continue, I flashed back to a day when I was at LWFC and I just wanted to quit.

I was an intern with 24/7, and my six-month commitment was about up.  I was supposed to be telling Ms. Tammy whether I was going to do another six months or be done.  I had to write a paper on the things I have learned being an intern, and how I’ve grown by working alongside some of the greatest leaders in LWFC.  (You cannot convince me that there are greater people in the world than those at LWFC.)
I had no idea what to write.  So I was praying about it and God started connecting to me on a level that makes my spirit move.  He gave me a song.  This song is basically about who I was before Christ and who I am becoming ‘in Him.’
I wanted to quit.  I started seeing my internship as a ‘job.’  I dreaded getting up to go to work, and I felt myself slacking in the daily tasks I was given.  Things weren’t getting done, and I was the only one to blame.
But when I was writing this paper it was revealed to me just how much I have grown since the start of my internship.
For any of you who read that paper, or if you heard PSteve talk about it on a Sunday, you know my heart.  My life will never be the same because of Twentyfour7.  The lives of so many kids will never be the same because I put some note cards in a back pack and made sure there were always pens available.

This book brought that all back to me.  I was trying to become ‘super intern.’  I had a lot of responsibilities, and I had let them slack because it was just getting ‘too hard.’  I was trying to rely on my strength rather than seek God’s strength.  When I read the words, “kill your superwhatever,” I thought about how I had to strike down my intern ego.  I was “Kelsie the intern,” instead of Kelsie one of God’s beloved children.
I was trying to be a good Christian, going to church services, singing the songs, doing the motions, jumping through all the right hoops, as Rob put it, but I wasn’t letting Jesus heal my soul.
I have a lot of baggage, and I’m going to be the first one to tell you that I still hurt.  But trying to be something or someone I am not is not going to fix me.

I don’t know if any of this is making sense, I’m not sure if I want it to.  I don’t know that I want you people to really know my soul.  But until I can find a way to reveal myself in a real way, I will not grow, and I do not want to become stagnant.  I don’t want to be just another face in the congregation.
“The way of Jesus is a journey, not a destination.  On a journey, the scenery changes…”  If I am not changing, I am not on the journey.  If I stay the same I am only waiting to get to the destination.  I am just clinging to what I have rather than seeking what I could have.  If my faith falls apart, it really wasn’t that strong to begin with.  I am tired of falling apart.  I am ill with the disease called self.

One thought on “Still Painting

  1. This is the letter. In case you were wondering.

    My Life As An Intern

    The day I finally decided to make the effort to give my application to Pastor Micah, is the day my life finally started making sense. I finally realized why I had been hanging out at TwentyFour7, and why I felt drawn to teenagers. My place in life is in youth ministry so I can help kids get out of trouble before they are in trouble, and show them that they can still be who they are, and live in the world without being conformed to the world.

    Being an intern here I have learned more than most people learn in years of expensive schooling. I have perfected the art of envelope stuffing, and mastered vending machines; I have become immune to the smell of cash. But those things aren’t why I signed up for this. Coming into this internship I was expecting many things. One, I wanted to hold a job for longer than two months, two, I wanted to ‘prove’ to some people that my past is what it is, the past. Lastly, I wanted to grow stronger in Christ.

    I have done all of that and more. The one thing that I will take with me wherever I go is the love and acceptance I have received here, that I wasn’t lucky enough to receive from my own family. I have also learned that you don’t have to be a genius to love God, and no matter how much you learn about coffee makers, paper cutters or copy machines, it’s the personal relationship with Christ that will get you places in life.

    James 5:16b- The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
    I have learned that with prayer and the help of godly friends and mentors you can see exactly what God has lain out before you. And it doesn’t take expensive therapy sessions, tarot cards or psychic lines to see it; just prayer.

    If I had not decided to ‘partake’ of this internship I would probably still be living in the world while I wondered why God wasn’t ‘listening to me.’ I have come to believe that another reason God brought me to North Carolina was to come be a part of His family here at LWFC, and see what being a part of a family can do for you. My heart has been changed, and I am no longer scared to love others. I have learned more about myself in the last year than I have in the last 21 years.

    In the next six months I see myself learning more about how to share God with teenagers. I plan on coming up with the ground materials in order to start a ministry outreach devoted to troubled youth. I don’t want my experiences to only be shared with the saved, but I want to reach out to those who need it most. I never had a spiritual mentor while I was going through adolescence, and I feel that I could be that person to many kids. Through my experiences I have learned that there is only one way out, and that way is Christ. There is no telling where I would be right now in my walk with Christ if I had had someone share what God can do in your life, and that no matter what you’ve done, all that can be erased if you just give it to God.

    What I would say to someone considering an internship at TwentyFour7 would be: Search your heart, and seek God. Whether you are truly considering youth ministry as a ‘lifestyle,’ or you just need to find your place, this is where it should be done. Not only are you a part of a living, breathing ministry, but you’re a part of a loving and nurturing family.

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