My prayers for boldness in faith began when I was in community college. After graduating from a private Christian high school, I found myself surrounded by a plethora of different worldviews, knowing the truth but unsure of how to find my voice among the muddiness of tolerance and self-discovery that our culture so desperately clings to. I thought I had the answer. Finding a great interest in apologetics, I thought that my knowledge would increase my boldness in faith. But after much studying, I found myself prideful in what I knew and still having little confidence in sharing my faith with others. I was disappointed that God wasn’t working through this, but looking back I see God’s hand very clearly.
After transferring to state college, I joined Cru. I was very encouraged by this community of college students. I didn’t think many college students followed Jesus, but after embracing this community I did not feel alone any longer. God used my fellow students at Cru to convict me of how content I was in my faith. By being with these students who were so passionate about Christ, God convicted me that my life was about His kingdom and not my own. As a result of this, the more I grew in identity as a child of God, the more steps I naturally took to share my faith and have spiritual conversations with my friends. I did not expect this to happen. God was beginning to answer my prayer for increased boldness, not by my own efforts, but by His own hand, giving Him the glory. I still find myself asking, “God, how did you do that?”
This all lead up to my journey to Hampton Beach. When I joined the leadership team at Cru in Fall 2016, I longed for God to be the One who sustains me and nothing else. Though God gave me great relationships intended to bless me, I still found myself putting relationships with my family, friends, and my boyfriend on the same level as my relationship with God. I longed for this not to be true, but no matter how much I prayed I still found myself in the same patterns of compromising my relationship with God in seeking after my earthly relationships. I was disappointed that God wasn’t working through this, but looking back I see God’s hand very clearly.
During Winter Conference of this same semester, summer mission was advertised. I had known about it before, but always blew this off thinking that it wasn’t the right time or that I had been on enough mission trips before. But when I felt a pull on my heart to apply, I knew that God had something in store. Of course this brought to mind every reason that I didn’t want to go on a summer mission. I didn’t want to book my last summer before grad school, I didn’t want to spend a summer away from my family and with a bunch of college students I didn’t know, I didn’t want to be mentored by someone who knew nothing about me, I didn’t want to do street evangelism, and I didn’t want to get a job at Dunkin’ Donuts. Truthfully, I didn’t want to go on summer mission, not even a little. But this made it that much more clear that this pull on my heart was not coming from my own fleshly desires, but from the desires of the spirit God has placed in me as His child. God used my reluctant heart to affirm his plan. I still find myself asking, “God, how did you do that?”