Nothing Is Too Messy For Jesus // Debbie // CNU

Fear. Shame. Guilt. Loneliness. Need to control.

It’s a constant battle. These are all things I so badly needed to give to God, but wouldn’t. I’ve been so blinded by my sin that I’ve started to view things in ways that were not of Him. I found myself wanting to grow closer to Jesus, but not wanting to surrender my old ways. I found myself living a life that was half in and half out. I found myself not trusting in His plans for my life because I had this skewed perspective that my plans were better than God’s plans.

Little did I know…

Last year around September, every time someone would talk about summer mission with Cru my heart would start pounding out of my chest and my cheeks would turn bright red. I quickly pushed that aside because I already had plans of working all summer. Then I went to fall retreat where I heard more about summer missions, but I didn’t want to deal with raising support. So with that, I pushed it aside once again. Then I went to winter conference and heard more about summer missions and slowly began to pray about it. After about 3 months of saying no to God about summer missions, there I was in front of my computer screen looking through all the different locations.

Fast forward six months and I am in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with 30 strangers who quickly turned into my best friends. The month of June was a life-changing month. I was challenged, loved, and encouraged.

You see, for the longest time I tried to carry the weight of sin on my own and thought I could just go about my day as long as no one knew about it. Up until Jackson Hole, I had been walking in darkness alone because I feared judgment and condemnation.

Externally I was “pursuing Jesus whole-heartedly” and “living an obedient life,” but my heart? My heart had strayed so far from Him that I began to lose sight of His goodness and provision. I desired to trust Him fully, but I was too afraid to surrender my old ways, idols, and hopes for the future.

This reminds me of Lot’s wife in Genesis 19 and how similar I am to her when it comes to trusting God. When God was preparing to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah He sent angels and “one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!” (v.17). Instead of being obedient, Lot’s wife chose disobedience by turning to look back at her homeland and turned into a pillar of salt. And just like Lot’s wife in this passage, I wasn’t putting faith in what God wanted me to surrender to Him.

I chose to hold on to my lack of patience, idol of marriage, need to control, and selfishness instead of giving it to Him.

It’s easy to fall back into old ways of doing things and putting God on a backburner. It’s easy to get caught up in shame and forget that Jesus sees past our mess.

Nothing is too messy for Jesus.

We don’t have to be overwhelmed by our sin because He has already taken it to the cross. We don’t have to feel ashamed of our past because we are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Because of Jesus we are clean and set free from the bondage of sin. Instead of hiding from God we should be running toward Him to lay everything down at His feet because He has overcome it all. He died the death that we deserve.

Pause and go listen to this song

There’s something so beautiful about surrendering your brokenness that brings you to a place of intimacy and vulnerability with Jesus.

When I came across Psalm 116:1-9 the other day I was filled with joy because this passage is such a beautiful representation of redemption. Instead of allowing your heart and mind to be damaged by the words of the world, learn and choose to see yourself through the eyes of Jesus, who calls us daughter, son, beloved, chosen, bride, work of art, and more.

This summer has wrecked my heart in a beautiful way. Say “yes” to everything He calls you to do even if you don’t want to, because our plans will always fail. And be joyful knowing that our plans will fail because we serve a God who is all-knowing.

Ah… How sweet it is that we get to wake up to new mercies every morning and how sweet it is to have confidence in His plans.

You guys… following Jesus is such a wonderful adventure.

Hey guys! My name is Debbie and I am a junior at Christopher Newport University pursuing a degree in Business Marketing. I really enjoy watching God paint new colors in the sky every morning and every night, it’s one of my favorite things! I also love Ellen DeGeneres with a passion and it’s on my life bucket list to go to her show and scare her. My forever go-to look would be a midi dress and sandals with my hair up in a bun and a cute headband. Some of my other favorite things include my mom, pup, Jesus jams, Grand Tetons, hugs, wildflowers, and quality time. Currently I am going through a sweet sweet season of admiring my Savior and being adorned by my Savior.

Five Things Friday // Go Summer Missions {Meg}

Hi friends!

Happy November! Happy Friday! … Happy GOvember!

I don’t know if you’ve heard the buzz around your movement but this month is “GOvember” meaning we are praying for you and excited with you as you pray about and consider what God is going to be leading you to do on your campus, in your family, with friends, and after you graduate as you GO wherever you GO with the message of Jesus.  Maybe this means God will lead you to step out in faith in sharing your story this month with someone you know.  Maybe this means God will lead you where He wants you after you graduate. Maybe, God will lead you to go on Summer Mission with Cru this summer even if you least expect it…

I’ve heard it said by many staff and I agree with them.  I truly believe that Summer Missions are the best thing that Cru offers for students.  So, if you’re thinking about it, on the fence, or even if you have no idea what Summer Missions with Cru means… here’s my perspective on five reasons to go on Cru Summer Missions for our Five Things Friday post of the week!

1.  Why Not? Why not go with Cru this summer on a Summer Mission? You can go anywhere in the world, and practically anywhere in the US, for 2 weeks, 6 weeks, even 10 weeks to live in an authentic and Biblical community, get a job or participate in some sort of ministry full during your days, share the gospel with coworkers or new friends, and step out of your comfort zone to trust God with the unimaginable.  We call it a “spiritual greenhouse” and there’s a reason – often the growth for students’ personal relationships with God is unparalleled over summer missions than it is at any other point in the year!  So why not consider going? Why not?

2. It’s fun. Some of my favorite memories from when I went on a Summer Mission [OCMD ’09 what up] were the times when we were all sitting on the front porch of the building we shared, goofing off, or when we would go to the beach on Sunday afternoons or when we’d go get ice cream on the boardwalk after a meeting and just laugh the night away.  It was seriously SO MUCH FUN and I’m still close with many of those friends I made there… 6 years later! It’s just fun.

3.  You have 3 summers. Ish. [AmIright?] Three summers during college.  Yeah, you might want to work at a camp [they have summer missions for that] or have to get an internship [okay you can do that while going on a summer mission] and you might have to get a job [okay you can do that too] and you might want to study abroad [wait you can do that too, on mission with Cru]… I really can’t argue with your grandma if she wants you to make it to her 75th birthday party or something while you’d be in Botswana… but really, you have THREE summers during college. ONE could be spent on going on Summer Mission. What can God do in that one summer!? You’d the be the one to get to find that out…

4.  God says GO.  Not “go on Summer Mission” – you won’t find that in the Bible – although we think that’s a great option for your summer… but He says to go into the world, making disciples of all nations. [Check Matthew 28 for more on that!]  You can go in so many ways. You can make disciples at your internships. You can make disciples through your church, through your workplace, in your family… You can make disciples anywhere you are this summer. God will use you anywhere.  However, one of the long-term benefits of Summer Mission is how you will gain so much experience to know how to make disciples and to grow in your heart for the lost in such a unique environment that will set you up [we pray] for a lifetime of walking with Jesus and making disciples wherever He sends you after your years with us are up. He isn’t going to send all of you on Summer Mission this summer, and we know that.  But He is going to send some of you.  And regardless, wherever He sends each one of you, pray and consider going there intentionally.

5.  There’s a lasting legacy that comes from Summer Mission.  Whether you’re folding t-shirts in a souvenir shop on the boardwalk, investing in a local city in an urban context, hiking mountains with your coworkers, or communicating with those who don’t speak your language, God uses Summer Missions to prepare us for a lifetime of walking with Him [see #4].  Time and time again we see students’ hearts come alive to Jesus on Summer Mission, return to campus and make a significant impact there, and then graduate and go out into the world where God uses them to make an eternal impact for His Kingdom.  What will your legacy be? Do you want it to be one of knowing God more, investing in His people, and expanding His kingdom for years to come? Maybe, just maybe, He wants to start building you up in those things this summer… on Summer Mission.

Our challenge to you this week is this: Simply Pray.

Pray and ask God, “What will YOU have me do this summer?” and see where He leads you. It might be where you were expecting.  But it might not. I dare you to pray that prayer, with open hands and open minds/hearts, and listen for God’s answers.

We’re cheering for you.