I was so excited but there was much work to be done to prepare to host that many girls in my house for a weekend. I have used every spare second (which come rarely) to study God's Word to figure out what in the world He wanted me to share with these girls that He had brought into my life through supernatural circumstances. I spent hours writing, cramming and studying the Word of God. I had NEVER taken anything like this on but was determined to do my very best as I knew this could be a life-changing weekend for the girls. Not only affecting their lives but generations to follow. I wanted them to fall in love with Christ and hunger for His Word as they are living in such a hard season of life. I believe college is the hardest time to take a stand for Christ because of the rejection and peer pressure that surrounds you. You have to swim HARD up stream or you will get swept away by the tidal wave of sin.
Saturday morning, I taught on Holy Passion and the danger of sexual sin. We had all memorized Titus 2:11-14 and learned that it was GRACE that teaches us to say "no" to ungodliness and wordly passions. Not an abstinence program. That is not what this was. Holiness and abstinence are two VERY different things. Here are some of my notes from that... I think I taught for 2 hours on this subject. That talk started with forgiveness. The beautiful forgiveness that is found only in Jesus Christ.
God does not want us to live with the consequences that come with sexual sin.. (guilt, condemnation, anxiety, a divided mind, damaged self-esteem, feelings of hypocrisy, emptiness, disappointment, anger, depression, pregnancy/abortion, addiction, disease [my OB just told me 90% of his patients have an STD], and God doesn't want anything in your life that will break His fellowship with you because He loves you so much!) He doesn't want you to suffer the consequential storm that comes along with this sin. He is warning us out of LOVE!
Don't you dare follow your hearts, girls. Follow God's Word. Our hearts can get us in BIG trouble.
I was reminded of this as I prayed with a beautiful college girl on my bedroom floor as she was repenting and committing her life to serving Christ. He is at work in your storm too. Hang in there! Keep trusting Him. He is our living Hope.
Two of my favorite Christmas verses...
"And HIS NAME will be the Hope of all the world." Matt 12:21
"The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devils' work." 1 John 3:8
Everytime you look at a manger scene this year, remember these truths. There was unfathomable power wrapped in those swaddling clothes.
Here is a short video from the weekend. I could cry that we don't have more pictures of video but we were in survival mode-- not even thinking of pictures and video. Just trying to take care of the girls.
Here is what I do have... (pause the music at the bottom of the page)
To God be the glory!
"This weekend I was totally inspired. To walk into a room that was full of strangers but even more full of love was the best feeling. This weekend was so great because I got to share my testimony with girls that were just like me, who are striving to love the Lord with all they have, while being in the middle of college which is super hard. Being around these girls gave me hope. They pumped me up by encouraging me that God IS worth it. God really revealed himself to me this weekend. This weekend really got me excited about my single time and how I can use it to honor and serve the Lord. I want to use my single time as best I can, I want to focus on the gifts God has given me and I want to be available in any and every way for the Lord to use me. Having the opportunity to share my testimony was awesome for me, it made me want to share it with so many more people! This weekend I was introduced to the idea that Jesus is my husband. An idea that gives me HOPE and JOY. My delight is in the Lord and my love for Him is more real now than ever. Your ministry is changing lives Steph. You and Tim are incredible. On the way home me and Sarah basically planned how we want to carry your torch and begin our own ministry. I cant wait for God to use me. I am praying that he will use me in big ways. To hear you say that you think I'm ready to lead might be the biggest compliment I have ever gotten. I needed this weekend, I needed it to be reminded that I already have a partner in Jesus, that I can stop looking and just look to God. Thank you for being the role-model you are. Keep doing what your doing because you and Tim are changing lives. When can I come stay again??? :)Love you!"
"So much of my college experience has been spent chasing after my prince. I had been so caught up in finding a Godly man that I was inching further and further away from being the Godly woman I know I am called to be. This weekend was a joy to meet new friends, an encouragement to learn more about my Creator from Steph, Tim, and others, and, above all- this weekend has set me free. God has revealed Himself to me in ways I’ve never known Him. This is the first time in a very long time that I feel at peace knowing God has the future under control, as I chase after him with relentless passion. His love is my PORTION, His grace is my HOPE, and His word is my LIFE. I truly feel like He has taken the shackles off of my feet so I can dance. I know struggles will still come my way, but I'm so excited to get closer to the One who will fight my battles for me.