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