God Met Me // Resources from [TRVA Cru Fall Retreat]

Hey sweet friends! We absolutely loved women’s time at Fall Retreat this year, and we hope you did too. Doesn’t it always feel like we could use about an hour or two more in those discussion groups?? We would have loved to have sat down with each of you, with a cup of coffee or tea in hand, and hear your stories more deeply.

Maybe you should do that this week with some of your friends on campus! Seriously, it takes someone to initiate and be vulnerable… why not you?

For those of you who weren’t there, the theme of our morning was “God Met Me” — and we highlighted a variety of topics where different staff women shared ways that God has met them in different parts of their stories. From loneliness to injustice and everything in between, we had a chance to consider what God says about those things, what He does, and how we can respond in light of that.

Here are some further resources for each of YOU as you continue to dive deeper into what God has to say – books & articles from other godly men and women, Instagram accounts to follow, and podcasts to listen to.  This weekend, take some time away, and sit down with one of these things – journal, process, ask God what he might continue to teach you! Don’t let “what happens at Fall Retreat stay at Fall Retreat…”! He’s with you now, just like he was then. Lots of love to you… and enjoy these recommendations!

God Met Me [theme//in general]

  • Book: Unseen by Sara Hagerty
  • Book: Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen
  • Book: Simply Tuesday by Emily Freeman
  • Book: When Life & Beliefs Collide by Carolyn Custis James

God Met Me in My Loneliness

  • Sermon: Gospel in Life by Tim Keller, “Friendship”
  • Instagram: @soulscripts [she touches on way more issues than just loneliness!]
  • Book: Uninvited by Lisa TerKeurst
  • Book: Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot
  • Book: Seated with Christ by Heather Holleman
  • Article: Desiring God, “Six Ways your Phone is Changing You”

God Met Me in My Singleness

God Met Me in My Dating Relationship/Marriage

God Met Me in My Shame as I Fought for Purity

  • Book: Create in Me a Pure Heart by Steve & Kathy Gallagher
  • Book: Living Free by Ben Bennett, Brett Butcher, and Dr. Ted Roberts (Pure Desire Ministries)
  • Book: Sex and the Single Christian Girl by Marian Ellis Jordan
  • Pure Desire Ministries Resources
  • I’m Living Free Resources for Accountability, Working Through Pain, Locking Down & more
  • Article: Jessica Harris, “To the Woman Addicted to Porn”
  • Resources by Joy Pedrow

God Met Me when I saw Injustices in the World

God Met Me when My Life Fell Apart

God Met Me when My Life Didn’t Go As Planned

  • Book: Shattered Dreams by Larry Crabb
  • Book: Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung
  • Book: Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty
  • Any books by Elisabeth Elliot
  • Book: Anything by Jennie Allen

God Met Me Downloadable Art

  • Remember what God has done in your own life by downloading one of these “God Met Me” prints – or saving it as your background on your phone! He is the God who SEES and KNOWS you… and loves you! Be encouraged!
  • Downloadable Print 
  • Phone Background

Enjoy digging deeper & leaning into God — and comment below with other recommendations! We’d love to hear!

Stay awake, and be free! xoxo

Pursuing Prayer // Kendal // ODU

Have you had a concern, a problem, a tough decision, or a rough spot in your life and turned to your friends for advice? Well, that’s not a bad thing, but let me ask you this…Did you ask God? So many times we forget that we have a way to openly communicate with God—prayer. The Bible constantly talks about prayer and its importance in a believer’s life.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 confers two simple words, “Pray constantly.”

Now, I don’t believe that this verse would be able to stand on its own unless it was significant. Every time I read this verse, however, I always think to myself, “How am I going to pray 24/7? I have to eat, sleep, take tests, brush my teeth, etc…” I mean, how many times have you prayed while brushing your teeth? But, the point remains. We have a two way radio that goes between us and God and all we have to do is keep our hand on the button. Just always stay open for God to talk to you and He will always be open to listen to you.

So what do you pray about? Well, you may not always want to be repeating the ‘prayer requests’ you have had on your mind lately until you go crazy. Prayer doesn’t have to be a request. It can be a conversation, a praise, a worship, a question, or anything just as long as its communication. The more you talk to God, the more of a response you will probably be able to hear. (This is only because your part in the communication is more amplified, it’s not because God was ignoring you before—that’s not what He does.)

Since I’ve made my attempt to be more mindful about my own prayer life, I’ve found strange times when I’ll always just be talking to God. For example: I don’t know if any of you get anxious about being in front of people as I do, be it a performance, speech, or really just anything public. If you do, you know what I’m talking about. That feeling were your stomach twists up into knots, the legs get shaky, your mind feels numb, and your heartbeat is throbbing so hard you can’t focus over the pounding. Yeah, well it’s in those moments especially that I find myself just talking to God and just asking Him to take the nerves away. It works every time!

Prayer doesn’t have to be, “Bless this food we’re about to eat,” or “Help my cousin’s broken toe to heal, help my friend’s aunt find her lost cat, etc.” Although those are completely acceptable and there is definitely time for those prayers! It’s just that sometimes these become our only calls of prayer to God on a daily basis, if even that. Find opportunities to just talk to God.

What do I talk to God about?

Tell Him about how your day is going. “Today was ____”

Ask Him for advice when you need it. “I don’t know what to do about ___”

Take opportunities to glorify Him. “God, thank You so much for ____”

Tell Him your dreams. “God, I really wish that one day I could ____”

Come to Him with your questions. “God, why did ______”

Tell Him your concerns. “God, my friend _________”

Come to Him for your needs. “I need Your help with ____”

Any of these can work and so can many, many others. Sometimes, it’s even important to just listen. Keep the line open if you can’t find words to say.

What if I have nothing I can think of to pray about?

Other than just listening like I previously suggested, the Bible offers a verse for situations like this. In Romans 8:26 it says, “In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings.” Now this verse may make a little more sense when taken in its context—Romans is always a good book to study!—but it still goes to show us that even when we have troubles in our prayer life the Holy Spirit still dwells among us and is spiritually active even when we are not. (Disclaimer: This is not an excuse not to pray! )

Is there anything that can remind me to pray?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I find myself forgetting things all the time! So, I found a helpful prayer app that cannot only remind me of things that need constant prayer, but if you need to get back into the habit of praying it can literally send you a reminder to pray. This app is simple to use and has transformed my prayer life. This way, I have all my basic prayer requests written down and categorized. The app takes your requests and presents a few for you to pray for at a time and the requests change every time you finish a set. Personally, I am constantly adding prayers and reprioritizing them. I only go through sets of ten to fifteen requests each time I pray. That way I get in some time to just talk with God consistently as well. I strongly encourage this app, it is a very helpful tool that is easily accessed on your phone. It’s called PrayerMate. Please consider this app, even if you have a strong prayer life, this could help you organize all the requests you’re juggling.

Prayer is essential in a relationship with God and I encourage you to take time to talk to someone who will always listen and will never let you down.

 

My name is Kendal Adams and I am a sophomore at Old Dominion University studying Mechanical Engineering. I love sunsets, traveling, flying planes, music, movies, and Jesus! My favorite quote, which happens to be a verse of course, is “…be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.”  -Romans 16:19

@kendaltheaviator

“God Loves You Too Much to Leave You Where You Are…” : A Letter to My Freshman Self // Sarah

“Girlfriend, God loves you too much to leave you where you are. If you surrender to Him, you’ll see grace in His character and in His care for you, and because of that, you’ll see more of who He is and who you are in the process.”

That’s just a little snippet of what I would love to go back and tell my freshman year of college self. Little Sarah and I would have a lovely chat, let me tell ya… ((cookies would for SURE be present for this chat too, no doubt)).

To give some background, I really began to walk with Jesus during my freshman year, meaning I actually started to read and study scripture like forreal. I poured out my very lonely heart to Him quite frequently. Because of that, His presence became real, He drew near to me and I tasted and saw how good the Lord was in the first year of my college career. The gospel came alive to me for the first time after years of just walking through the motions. Through each semester thereafter, I anticipated (and sometimes cringed) knowing God was going to continue to stretch me, prune me and teach me in each stage even more so than the last.

Coming into college, I had a vision of what my life would look like over the course of my four years at VCU. I was under the impression that I would find my best Christian, college girlfriends within the first week of class, have the best time of my life, get married right after graduation and have a family who is the perfect little picture of “Christian success.” It seemed as though following Jesus was some time of cake walk, read the Bible semiregularly, do the right things and obey Him and life will be good. Safe, semi-comfortable, steady and sure.

Haaaaaaaa….. Reality check nah, nope, nada.

Life looks completely different than I ever anticipated and that, I have learned, is g o o d thing and I praise God for it. Why is that, you may ask? As I have reflected in these summer months “post-college”, I have seen a themeGod loves me too much to leave me where I am in my sin, in my circumstances, in my selfdependency, and in my brokenness to not intervene. That means, He shakes things up, He convicts me, He allows my heart to be confused, to break, and to search for Him. Through each year, He draws me to Himself, showing me more of my lack and more of His goodness. He meets me here in my brokenness. And it’s in this place I have also learned how wicked and deceitful my heart is, even on its best day. I have learned that what I have planned pales in comparison to God’s ways and God’s will. I have learned that safe, semi-comfortable, steady and sure is not where I would want to be on my own, because only in Him am I safe, in Him can I be sure and only He is steady.

I am not the only one who He loves too much to leave to their own devices and comfort. He has been loving people “too much” since the beginning of time. Let me explain…I have been studying straight through the Old Testament in the last few months. I am currently makin’ my way through Numbers. ((I can hear you cringe lots of words and lists but so much goodness and God’s grace)). To give a highlight recap for where we are stepping into:

Genesis= God calls a people group (Israel) to be His holy people, via the lineage of Abraham and his descendants. He calls them to go from their home (their comfort) and their land (their safety) and follow wherever God was to lead them. They struggle and wrestle yet God kept His covenant to be faithful to them.

Genesis 12:1-2 “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”

Exodus= God continues to leads His holy people, this time out from under the rule of Pharaoh and they begin their wandering excursion around the dessert for quite a bit of time. During this time, they start to regret following Moses and trusting God through the uncertainty and through their discomfort. The struggle continues as they get hangry and cranky, and yet again God remains faithful.

Exodus 29:45 “I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God.  And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.”

Leviticus= God gives His people the law for sacrifice and holy conduct. He gives very specific law, not ‘cause He just likes a good barbeque sacrifice, but because a holy and perfect God longs to meet with sinners in the Holiest of Holies. God draws them near. He desires to meet with them. The Lord wants to dwell among them.

Leviticus 22:31-33 “So you shall keep my commandments and do them: I am the Lord. And you shall not profane my holy name, that I may be sanctified among the people of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctifies you, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord.”

Numbers= God has promised His people a land called The Promised Land, sometimes referred to as Canaan. Because of their wandering and idolatry of self and pagan gods, Israel continues to doubt God’s goodness and leading. They complained, rebelled and rejected God’s guidance. They forgot again how the Lord had delivered them, provided for them and lead them into a place where they didn’t anticipate. The Israelites started to wish to be in captivity again, in their safe and enslaved homes. Because of that, God withholds a good thing He promised and graciously disciplines His people.

Numbers 14:18 “The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgressions…”

And that’s where I found myself this morning…

I saw myself in the shoes (or sandals?) of the Israelites. As I continued reading, I started making the connection to my heart and their hearts, their situations and mine. In the last four years, I have seen God lead me into circumstances and situations that didn’t always feel great, often times through tears and confusion. And like the Israelites, I have asked God questions and doubted His goodness. My comfort and certainty has been stripped away over and over as I have followed Jesus. And guess what….God has met me there, time and time again. For that I am so stinkin’ thankful.

So to conclude my talk with little freshmen Sarah and to other sisters in Christ, I would share this…

“I am thankful that God loves us too much to let us stay where were are, comfortable and complacent, Queens of our own Castle of Self. Instead, He leads us into season after season of walking by faith, in a total lack of control but gentle surrender to His leading. God’s word and His law have been a place of refuge in each of these seasons, reminding us of Who He is, who I am and to Whom I belong to now because of Christ.”

Praise God that He loves us too much!

Hi there! I am Sarah &  I am on staff as an intern with Cru in RVA! I am fresh-off-the-stage VCU alumni and now I get serve on my fav campus, along with J. Sarge! God has me in a place I never thought I’d be in but am SO grateful to be. Cookie dough is my ultimate weakness, running is my therapy and Jesus is continuing to teach me that He is always better. Thanks for reading!
@babyhouch