Friday, July 20, 2012

My experience at Summer Beach Project 2012

Where do I even start?

The past eight weeks have been indescribable in many ways, but I’ll attempt to tell of my experience I had while at the Summer Beach Project in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Coming in to project I was looking to deepen my relationship with God, develop a more outward focus, rather than an inward/self-centered focus (in other words: gaining more of a servant’s heart), and show others the Love of Christ, not only by living out the Gospel, but also by sharing the Gospel, boldly and with full faith (evangelism).  It was my experience that the goals I had set for myself were far less than what God wanted to do in my heart.

While I looked to develop a better lifestyle and sought after behavior change, God looked to my heart and started there. The stubborn child in me thought, “Do we have to start there?” That’s just what I realized I was (and still am), a child of God. An amazing part of my summer that seemed to be a theme to me is that God revealed His character in new and dear ways to me. I experienced God as not only healer of my heart, but as a tender-loving Father in the way he mended and renewed my heart. Not only as Creator of all things, but as Creator who cares for His created. I also experienced God as Protector and Guider as He enabled me to reflect back on my school year and see how He prepared my heart for so many of the things I was to experience at Beach Project.

Going in to project I had no idea what to expect, but the neat thing was that God had prepared my heart for what I was about to encounter. How sweet this was to be able to reflect and see God’s work in my life. To see evidence of God’s hand in situations and decisions leading up to this summer experience, regardless of the fact that I was not whole-heartedly following Him, that I was picking and choosing when I wanted to be Godly and when I wanted to be worldly.

I also experienced for the first time Jesus as the true Lord of all in my life.

I knew Him to be Savior, and loved this part of the story, as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
"For the love of Christ Controls us, because we have concluded this: that One has died for all…"
This was the part of these verses I accepted and really liked, but there was more to these verses that for so long I had swept under the rug…
“…therefore all have died; and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.”

‘No longer living for myself, but instead living for Him…’ This was something I had talked myself into thinking that I did. You could have asked me before project: “Lindsey, who do you live for?” I would have responded and said “Christ”. You see, I knew the whole verse and I knew all the right answers, but knowing, believing and doing are three completely different things, because if you were to examine my life and shadow me for even just two days, you wouldn’t have seen a servant living for and running to the reward that Moses was looking to in Hebrews 11:26. What you actually would have seen was a girl, sugarcoating her brokenness with layers of crap consisting of cute outfits, forced smiles, and a whole lot of good works she was hoping to get recognized for. 

My identity was found in what I could do, what I looked like and this blog I’m currently defacing with this off the wall blog post. I was aiming for the three C’s: Classy, Cute and Conservative, but I was missing out on the biggest “C” of all, Christ. For the most part, Jesus was Lord, but God doesn’t want us for the most part, He wants all of us. This is going to sound stupid and obvious, but Jesus did not “half die on the cross” and he did not make a half-hearted sacrifice. Yet, I had only half-heartedly given myself over to Him. I had accepted Him and made a lot of decisions with Him in mind and with Him as my reason, but He wasn’t spread over all of my life, only the areas I ‘allowed’ Him to be a part of. No Lord reigns over only part of His servant’s life, but rather, a Lord reigns over all things.

This summer, the love of Christ compelled me to make Him Lord of all. While this means
e v e r y t h i n g,
let me sum it up for you:
1. He’s Lord over my wardrobe, my wallet, my work, my wants and everything else in between.
2. He is my reason, my center, my motivation, and my model.  
3. He is what I find my worth/value/significance/purpose in now.  (How sweet this is: He who is worthy is what I find my worth in.)


This is only a small taste of what God did this summer, but it will have to suffice for now. 
Stay tuned for more to come and also a blog-remodel!

In Christ,

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