Seek Ye First

In the past weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the anxieties and worries of life. Recently, I picked up morning devotionals with the Lord and have seen some transformations and happiness returned to me. I feel renewed every day and I have seen some miracles happening when I place God first.

This past weekend, I had gone on a high school mentor retreat with my church. I was hesitant at first and honestly wanted to ask to step out from the mentorship program. I had already asked to go on the retreat before I felt the doubt that crept in my mind. I had been signed up and could not back out now. At the least, I needed to go to the retreat and check the high school program out.

I was nervous at first. I did not know many people from the church in general and I was not extremely involved because I was in and out of college and could not commit. As a result from going, friendships evolved quickly even though that I just began them that weekend. To my surprise, the messages really hit me and were relatable. The speaker spoke about God as our compass, our true North. We must keep heading in His direction, not wavering West or East, because we only have part of vision set on Him. We have these burdens in our life– fear, anxiety, depression, etc. that keeps us from fully being attentive to Him. My burden was the fear of the future. But I could just feel God’s presence that weekend and Him telling me to lay my burdens down at the feet of Jesus, who had already taken them to the cross. I prayed against the enemy stronghold that was on me and God gave me peace and joy. I felt purpose going to this retreat, by speaking into the life of young high schoolers. I could enjoy who I am and love who God made me, which is a woman passionate for helping this age-group grow.

Also recently, I had been applying for positions with several health fitness companies. To my surprise, I had received phone calls and emails asking when to schedule a phone interview.

On my first phone interview, I had been emotionally traumatized. I felt totally unprepared and did not really know why I was even qualified for that position. To my surprise, I had received an email that extended an invitation for an in-person interview. Although it is exciting to be wanted for a “big-girl” job, I felt no passion for the position, location or even company, and so I denied the invitation. I had already committed to an all-girls Christian camp that I became passionate about after my first summer working there and in that moment, I felt that I had placed my life on a two month hiatus from the “priorities” in life.

My mother felt that I had made the wrong decision in denying the interview. She is Asian, and like many Asian mothers, she does not understand this idea of passion. She understands stability. She understands money. She understands “success.”  But she does not understand my passion for God’s children, and this all-girls Christian camp that I would be going back to this summer.

I had been emailing back and forth with a coordinator at my church and a bible study group. I had originally said that it would have to wait until after the summer (because of camp). My friend had convinced me to go before camp so that if I did not like it, I would not be pressured to go back during the school year. I decided to try out a college-age Bible study as well as a CrossFit workout and Bible study mash-up this week.

Yesterday was the college Bible study. I do not even know where to start, but with praises to the One on High. Thank You Lord for bringing me to a group I felt loved, cared for and felt that I fit almost too perfectly. I had so many connections within the group and even though I had only met these people once, I felt that I was able to be vulnerable and contribute to the group. There is something about Jesus as the connection that breaks barriers and strongholds between people.

The one leader (she’s actually Asian too!) was extremely encouraging and sympathized with what I was going through. She shared this verse with me:

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:33

I hate cherry picking verses sometimes, but somehow it fit perfectly with what I was going through. I went back to read the Bible passage and it was titled “Do Not Worry.” This was a passage I had sifted through seemingly thousands of times, but it clicked in my head and this verse truly stuck out like it had never stuck out before.

She told me that she knows God would be smiling down on me for choosing to seek His kingdom at this Christian camp rather than pursue personal gains first. Now, I see how the enemy has used the world, even family, to tell me what I am choosing is stupid or that my priorities are backwards, but I know that the enemy wants to discourage me from shouting the Good News from the rooftops and bringing the children to God.

Tonight, I will be going to what is called Faith Rx’d. I do not know what will happen and if I will enjoy it, but… it’s okay.

Thank You Lord for Your abundant mercies and gifts you showered on me. For giving me community that I had been longing for and felt that I had been missing. For being a mighty Fortress. Lord, I do not know what will happen after this summer, but I pray for blessings when it comes to job searches. May I follow in Your footsteps and be grateful. I pray that I may become more dependent on You and lean on You. I am not strong and deserve nothing, but You give me everything. Thank You.

 

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