My First Love

At the end of my first semester of my sophomore year, our Cru leadership team met and divided into men and women for dinner. At dinner, a female staff member asked all the women in regards to our ministry, “are you tired in it, or are you tired of it?” As I internalized my feelings from that semester, all I could think of was, I’m completely tired of it; I’m tired of the meetings, I’m tired of follow-ups and I’m just plain tired. My honest voice answered the question, “I’m tired of it, and will there ever be a time when I’m not?” After that semester, I felt hopeless that I would ever enjoy ministry. I entered into my sophomore year with really high expectations and a bundle of energy, but sixteen weeks later, I felt beat up and ready to quit. This moment has become one of the most defining ones of my college career, a moment to which I tell girls about all the time. I am reminded that if I’m tired of it, it being the ministry God has called me to, then I’m probably not doing it with for the right reasons.

Last week was rough. As I drove home to Cincinnati for the weekend, I cried because I felt beat up; I felt like I was holding on to a bumper of a moving car, but I didn’t know where the car was going or why I wanted to hold on so badly.  I took the weekend to rest and asked Jesus over and over again what am I doing and why am I doing it? What should this semester look like if I’m following close after you? Gradually I realized I was asking the wrong questions and trying to fix the wrong problem. The problem wasn’t, “am I doing the right ministry?” but instead, am I letting Jesus be the Lord of every part of my life. In Revelation 2, John writes to the church of Ephesus, “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I now that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love” (Revelation 2:2-4). Yes, good deeds and perseverance matter, but not more than loving Jesus. My ministry is secondary to my identity as a follower of Christ. Focusing on Jesus, moment by moment, is the only way any of my life makes sense. Jesus is my first love, not Cru, or any other ministry. Cru is simply one of the ways I get to serve Jesus in response to all that He has done for me. The second I stop focusing on Jesus, everything goes down hill. In Him it all holds together (Colossians 1:17). In Him I will bear much fruit, apart from Him I can do nothing (John 15).

My prayer is that I never lose sight of my first love; that Jesus be the center and the motivation for everything that I do. I am first and foremost a daughter of Christ that has to shape my every thought, action and word.

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