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Journal Excerpt #3

21 Sep

IMG_0547I think this is #3, I suppose I could go check, but I’m too lazy right now 😉

This is something I wrote a few nights before I left for Guatemala this summer. I don’t know why I feel the need to share it…I just do. Maybe it’s because I want people to know how much I love this life I live, and this happened to be a time when I could put it into words somewhat eloquently. Most of it is word-for-word from my journal, other parts are things I’m realizing right now. Anyway…here it is (hope it’s not too long):

Recognize that when you come to love people in another place, there is always going to be pain-you will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place” –Miriam Adeney

That sums my whole life up right there: so much richness because of all the people I know and Love. much of that richness has been as part of CTI, and I don’t know why the joys of all that have been given to me. Why does He choose to pour out His love for me this way? He keeps pouring out love and my heart keeps growing bigger and bigger.

I spent much of my adolescence yearning to be part of something huge. I didn’t know what that something was until this moment. Now that I see it, it seems so obvious, I don’t know how I ever missed it before. It’s not being part of an organization. It’s not making a name for myself in this world. It’s not even being on stage, doing something I love…it’s being part of & loving the body of Christ. It’s having your eyes opened to all that God is doing ,all over the world. I don’t think I’ve ever felt smaller, yet more significant than I have this year. Smaller because I’ve seen, in so many ways, that God doesn’t need me to accomplish anything. I dn’t offer anything He can’t do on His own. More significant because he chooses to use me anyway. He calls me to take part of His love by serving alongside incredible people….so that I will know Him more. It’s overwhelming! It’s the most beautiful thing I think I’ve ever seen when people, who don’t know each other, come together and worship Christ by their service. And they learn what He meant when He said, “Man has no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Being part of a Fulltime team with CTI, and now leading a Summer team, I’ve learned what “laying down” my life really means. It’s not just saying that I am willing to die for someone. Of course I would say that! Instead it’s saying, “I’m going to die to my own desires so that I can look out for their best interests. I’m going to serve them in this moment by doing what’s best for them instead of what’s best for me…because that is love”.

Isn’t that what God did for us? Yeah He died an earthly death, but, in becoming a man, He died to His own rights as King of the Universe…for our good. Oh how different the world would look if we all took on this “attitude” of Christ (Philippians 2:5-11).

Christian (my co-leader of Awesomeness) added a great thought to our team-devotional time the other day (actually, I think he was quoting Paul Vasilko but…whatever). He said that if all 10 of us on the team are putting everyone else before ourselves, “then there are 9 other people putting your interests before their own”. That’s a cool thing to think about.

You know what else I’ve learned this year?  I’ve learned that my standards for love are NOT too high. I have this renewed hope in what I’m trusting God for.

I’m trusting Him for a huge gift that I don’t even deserve. I’m trusting Him for a man who is unashamed, in every way, of his love for Jesus. A man who fights sin at any cost. A man who delights in, and abides by, every word from the mouth of God. A man who is passionate, and loving enough to love the Lord more than he loves me. A man who will challenge me; to love more, to pray constantly…to trust my everything to the One who gave it to me. I’m waiting for a man who comes alive when he forgets himself. A man who I will be so proud of, not because of his talents or his job or his looks…but because I see Christ more clearly through him.

I’m sure there are a million things from this past year, that I will be learning for years to come, for now though, I’m rejoicing in these.

Thanks for reading my rantings.

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3 Comments

Posted by on September 21, 2009 in "Debriefings", Just thinking

 

3 responses to “Journal Excerpt #3

  1. Nancy Keppeler

    September 21, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Great writing!

    I knew there was a reason I loved you the first time I met you! We are the Church!

    I love you sister of mine!

    For His Glory and by His Grace, Nancy

     
  2. Tj

    September 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Beautiful. Simply Beautiful

     
  3. Colleen

    September 30, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Oh. my. word. Gretchen. I love you.
    Also, that is a really really good quote that you started with.

     

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