Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Season to break down

Last night was my first time being a regular in the main study. The message hit home. Yesterday I had car problems, money issues and have been struggling in the balance of placing my complete identity in Jesus and not other things. And that's what was spoken of at church. The pastor spoke of patience and prayer. Seriously when Jesus speaks, listen. I'm learning. Always. New seasons have its ups and downs.

"a time to break down, and a time to build up"
Ecclesiastes 3:3
I was 17 years old, just graduated high school and a few of my friends and I didn't want to miss out on summer camp. So we signed up to be counselors. I had no idea how that would change my life. This journey of serving has wrecked me, beaten me, challenged my walk, refined my desires, opened my heart and reveled a deeper need for continual cleansing and out pouring of His spirit. 

I've seen people come and go, students genuinely seek Jesus in their new adventures outside of high school and built some great relationships with the people I got to serve with. It's been a fun, crazy, hard, heart wrenching 10 years. 

Too many summer camps to keep track of, all nighters, movies, costume roller skate nights, beach days, bike rides, serious chats, crying chats, countless prayers, lack of sleep, genuine love. The Lord has grown me so much through serving Him through the high school ministry. I am beyond grateful for the pastors and fellows servants who have invested in such an important calling. I have only seen just a glimpse of the magnificent, unconditional and powerful love God has for the youth. I have seen radical transformations and been blessed by many lives. 

I have loved getting to grow through this 10 year season. I'm sad, sad to leave the known for this unknown season. But excited to rest, trust and be refreshed. 
I'm reminded to always put my identity in Jesus. We are all prone to allow other things take place of the simplicity of who Christ is and who I am in Him. 

 My comfort and promise to cling to. 

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭26:3-4‬ ‭

To you young men and women of ekklesia, 

Thank you for letting me be apart of your short but defining moments as high schoolers. You are all loved and cherished by the Creator of the universe, you have a purpose and a calling. Love Jesus and make Him known. Seek Jesus and let Him be your everything. 
When Jesus speaks, listen. Listen, rest and follow Him no matter the cost. Place your hope, faith, trust and fears in Him and He will take you beyond your greatest desires!

 I love you guys so much!!!! If you ever need prayer I'm here. 

“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand." James 5:7-9


Wednesday, August 05, 2015

seasons to weep

 "a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace."
Ecclesiastes 3

Travels on the 91 to riverside were always long and full of traffic just to get to my grandparents house. Weekend visits with my brothers entailed chili cheese fries, Mario Cart, Duck Hunt, Nintendo, coloring books, boxes and boxes full of every color of crayon and of course, a karaoke machine.

My Nanny would share stories of how her and my papa met, she was 15 years old working at a skating rank and my papa was a 22 year old chap stricken with love at first sight, within 2 weeks they were engaged, within a year married and after one year and one day had their first child. My grandparents built there own house back in Detroit. In later years my Papa worked on the Apollo 11 that went up to the moon with His and my dads initials engraved on the rockets. My grandparents shared tragedy, tears, happiness and love for 74 years. 

On July 14, my 96 year old Papa, Henry Charles Leveck passed away. He was such a sweet, hard working, loving husband, father, grand and great grand father. He had the most beautiful eyes and tender heart. His tent was laid to rest and His spirit joined in heaven with Jesus. 

I really don't handle sad news very well, my tendency is to usually push it aside and save it for a rainy day. Which in most cases wouldn't be such a biggy. But going through the loss of my Papa isn't something I really know how to deal with. Grief is a foreign word and I struggle with the process of the emotional roller coaster. I can't help but be reminded that as humans we were not meant for death. This ending of life was not what God had wanted for us. That makes me feel a little better knowing that its alright that my heart aches and is frazzled by the power of death and the power of life. Knowing that Jesus values my life and took my place on that cross, there is no way to repay such pure love. 

"by this we know love, that He laid down His life for us..." 1 John 3:16

Life has so much meaning when I know that God created me to live for and through Him. This season of seeking Jesus, finding my identity in Him, gaining a better understanding of the vast love of God is going to be exciting. I'm thankful that I can lean on Jesus in times of valleys. I'm thankful that Jesus intercedes for us, He knows my pain, my struggles, my thoughts, my heart and my weaknesses.
Thru these past few years I have really desired more of Jesus, but have allowed my identity to be in what I do and not who I do it for. I've been given a time of rest and a time of being poured into. I have hungered and thirsted for God and He has said here Melissa, I made this feast for you, sit, rest and eat. We are all invited to come to the table, to sit with the Creator and to be filled. Jesus has called you to be all in, to forget the old and walk in the new.

He knows my name, He knows my fears and worries, He knows me. He loves me.

I exhort you to rest in Jesus. Whatever you are facing, if it be grief, pain, sickness, lack of joy, misunderstanding of the amazing and pure love God has for you.REST.  The first thing I do when times get tough, I go to the Word of God. The greatest comfort, food to my soul.

"You will keep him in PERFECT peace whose mind is stayed on you, because He loves you." Isaiah 26:3


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Am I enough?

Recently I have been challenged...

Challenged to either give into my whiney poor me selfish attitude of self loathing or to be genuine with my intentions in all areas. Genuine with Jesus, my desires, my friends, my job, my identity. 

Tonight the Lord used my words to not only encourage a high schooler to have her eyes on Jesus,  but reminded me to also seek HIM. And re thinking what God keeps asking me which is "am I enough?" I almost cried while telling this to a girl because God has been asking me this question. 

Now as a Christian I would most definitely without a doubt say boldly that yes of course You are enough Jesus. But with my sinful and selfish desires I can't be satisfied in my boxed view of what is "the best of the best". I can't possibly imagine what really is good. Because I'm not. My sinful nature has thrashed the view of what the words good, perfect and enough mean. 

Am I enough? God thank you that through my pain, my hurt, my hopes and dreams, my failures and my short comings. You paid that cost, you declared over and over again that I'm enough. 
Those words twisting my thoughts and wrecking my own perception of what is good enough. I am brought to my knees. Humbled. Broken. Torn. Emptied and filled. Because by surrendering myself and all that I am. I can say boldly as a sinner saved by grace, nothing to offer, weird and all that YES. My Jesus is enough. 

It is not easy as a 27 year old single woman who serves Jesus, loves Jesus and wants to be more like Him to not question God's best. It's not easy to set aside the ideal life I should be living according to what I want. But I know that it is worth everything to deny myself and seek Him. The struggles that I face, the fear that I hide in are all teaching me. I'm so thankful that God can use what  I'm  going though to minister to others. And if for some reason God decides to bless me other than the long list I've given Him, I will at some time have to trust that He has a reason and purpose for all things.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭28‬

I realize that this is not a one time question and answer. But rather a continual life choice of denying my fears of being rejected and living a life full of that fact that I'm chosen. I was, am and will be enough. Sometimes the hardest part about hearing of God's promises are first believing you are worthy of receiving them. 

"In tenderness He sought me,
  Weary and sick with sin,
And on His shoulders brought me
  Into His flock again."

I rejoice knowing that My God has sought me and will continue to seek me. 

"And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you." Psalm‬ ‭9‬:‭10‬

How can I not rejoice with knowing that my Jesus loves me, seeks me, intercedes for me and promises joy in the morning and rest from burdens.

He finds me worthy to die for my sins.  Do you find Him worthy to walk in freedom and allow Him to be your hearts desire? 

Be vulnerable with God. Ask for big things and expect that our big God is able :)

-Mis out 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Comfort, Coffee & Conversations

It's a beautiful Tuesday night, As I start to walk towards the coffee shop on the corner I realize that it not only appears closed for the night but in fact. Closed down forever. Like they moved.
I was devastated. This isn't just any coffee shop. This place represents years of the needed venting nights. It provides great coffee and a venue of comfort for some heartfelt conversations. After standing at the door I felt saddened, hahaha. I could have cried. 

But then. I was reminded by my friend that it was a new year and time for some new beginnings. I'm blessed to have friends who encourage and point me back to Jesus! 

I am in some ways very comfortable with where I'm at. I tend to put my hand up to change. I seek comfort to my terms.

"Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. "Psalm‬ ‭119‬:‭76‬

I need to stop thinking and start praying. I've mentioned this before but I feel sometimes like a Jacob just wrestling with God. Jesus always meets me, always provides me with the best comfort, always wants sweet communion with me. I admire Abraham for His faithfulness, Moses for his humility and Paul for his transformation. These guys were all called to go beyond. Called to lead and die to themselves. Ministry has definitely challenged me to lead, to follow and to die to myself. I'm addicted to serving His people. 

How often do we go to that door that is closed and give up. How often do we stop seeking Jesus because He didn't give us what we wanted. 
We can be so hot and cold to how we  treat God when we don't get our way.  It's a choice. We have a choice to live our lives always seeking and being filled to the fullest or turn our eyes to other things that will never satisfy. 
That's a big word Never. I can't imagine my life without knowing peace and love and hope.

To this new year. I expect great things. I expect God to mold me and shape me into His image. I expect to be shaken and rocked. I expect to be met and blessed. 
This year marks almost 10 years with High school ministry. 10 years out of high school. 10 years at my job. 

I want to travel more. Seek Jesus more. Live beyond. Give more. Receive more. Rest more. Laugh more. Cry more. Experience joy like never before and obey more. 

Hello 2015. What's instore?! 

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matthew‬ ‭22‬:‭37‬

To you joy & peace,