Eight years ago, I attended a summer camp called Summer of Service through the Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati. This camp was dedicated to showing God’s love in a practical way. I was going into 8th grade, I had been going to Catholic Church since I was born, but I can say without a doubt, that SOS was where I first heard about a personal relationship with Christ. It is during these 5 days that I was exposed to the reality of a God who was living and active. While I wanted to make a commitment to Christ during that week, and the same week a year later, I did not fully surrender my life… I didn’t know how.
Fast-forward five years. I was a freshman at Indiana University and God used two girls from the Vineyard Church in Indianapolis to show me that not only was a personal relationship with Christ possible, but it was something that I could have. I trusted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior during the fall of 2009, after numerous people had shared the Gospel with me, and I realized that being good, or my perception of good, was not going to get me anything.
As I sat in tonight’s session of SOS, where Beth Guckenberger, one of my favorite speakers and founder of the non-profit I’m working at this summer, spoke, I saw that God has written such a beautiful story for me. He has brought me so far. Even before I was walking with Him, He was carefully choosing my steps. Beth spoke tonight about something that had been on my heart all day and numerous times this summer – we don’t know what the next 10 years of our lives look like, we simply take the next step in faith that God will show up in big ways. It’s the small acts of obedience that the Lord works through and honors. I’m so thankful of the ways God has empowered me in the past 8 years to obey His will and His plan.
Not only do the many moments of experiencing God’s goodness and provision today remind me that my God does crazy things and will continue to write a beautifully unique story for my life, but it also gives me hope. It gives me hope that the people who I love most in my life, but don’t know Jesus will come to know Him; and when I do get discouraged, I hear Beth’s famous words in head saying, “the story isn’t over yet”.