By nature, I am who people refer to when they talk about a “heavy sleeper.” My family, roommates, and friends will attest to this. Ask my mom about the time I slept through the fire trucks driving by at the parade and also the time I slept through the fire alarm going off in my room. Ask my sister or any of my roommates how hard it is to wake me up in the morning.
Once I’m asleep, it takes a lot to wake me up. Waking me up also takes time and patience.
Never did I realize that my sleeping patterns could be viewed as a mirror of my spiritual life. That is, until I woke up.
When I was younger, I just thought that going to church made you a Christian. I also thought that living in a Christian family automatically made me a Christian. I was “that kid” who was always at church, always at Sunday School, always at youth group, etc. I read my Bible. I prayed. I lived like a “typical” Christian–I didn’t smoke, drink, have sex, or have a mouth equivalent to a sailor or a trucker. Part of why I didn’t get baptized until junior year of high school was because I didn’t see the point of it–I thought that all of those things, by themselves, made me a Christian.
Once I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior and became a follower of Him, I started to wake up to all that it meant to follow Christ. At the time, I didn’t see it as being awakened.
College stretched my faith in huge, undeniable ways. There were times of pain, times of grief, times of questioning, but also times of great joy, undeniable experiences with God, and great realizations. Even though I couldn’t always see it at the time, God has always been at work in my heart and in my life.
Major times that I have seen God at work in my life, to wake me up, include:
- My mom getting really sick freshman year–I learned God’s faithfulness.
- Passion::DC–I learned what it means to be a “fruitcake” for Jesus; I also learned about putting my itty, bitty life into the eternal flame of God.
- Serving in Exuma in 2008–I learned what it really means to live in poverty; I completely surrendered everything to Jesus and was absolutely changed as a result
- Reading Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love–I learned that I have been lukewarm in regards to my faith; aside from the Bible, this has been the most convicting book that I’ve ever read. I’m reading it for the third time now with a group on campus, and God is still speaking through it to me.
- Serving in Exuma in 2009–I realized that healing is in God’s hands after He healed my broken heart after the unexpected death of my grandfather just a month before the trip.
- Passion::2010–The biggest jolt to wake me up. See other blog entries about this.
- Serving in Exuma in 2010–“This is my awakening” showed me that “this”, in my life, means my four years in college. I realized that these four years at college have been my awakening to who God is, the glory of God, the importance of an intimate relationship with Him, and so much more.
At the end of a video that Passion Conferences made to summarize this year’s event, Louie Giglio said
“The thing that we want them to be carrying away from here is a personal awakening to who God is.”
I can personally say that that was accomplished. I know that I am just one person, one story of the 22,000+ people that attended. Even so, I know in my heart that nothing else satisfies me like God does and that I have been fully awakened to who He is. On this year’s trip to Exuma, two verses really stood out to me and represent a huge part of why I exist:
34“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”
I am on planet earth to finish the work of God–that is, to tell every person I can about Jesus and how He has changed my life. I’m not great at public speaking, and far too often, I miss chances to share my faith, but I will continue to speak out. I am AWAKE and ALIVE in Jesus. There is nothing better.
To quote Francis Chan in Crazy Love,
There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you.
For You and You alone
Awake my soul
Awake my soul and sing …