I cannot believe how fast this week has gone. It feels like yesterday I was sitting down after church writing my week 1 blog post. Between the content we learned this week, my own realizations and revelations, and the continuation of the hundred degree heat this week was quite eventful. Our speaker, John Broersma from YWAM San Diego Baja spoke to us about Hearing the Voice of God. I think between the four days of lectures I took 20-30 pages of notes. He gave us so much information, with so much background experience and biblical evidence. It was incredible hearing his stories and listening to him speak. He taught with a gentle confidence but spoke in humility. John is very clearly educated on the topic, and had a lot to say and share, but it was all very concise. He did however go on a lot of rabbit trails that often involved a great story or example. Those moments were appreciated. While I greatly enjoyed and learned a lot from the topic itself, I got a lot of personal growth and a lot of thoughts were sparked from these stories and examples. I also gained a lot from the idea of intercession, both by praying for others and being prayed over myself. Because I believe in speaking honestly, I feel compelled to say that about halfway through day 2 of lectures it was like a switch flipped in my brain. I came down from lunch thrilled to learn more about the topic and all of a sudden like 15 minutes in, I was just completely numb to everything, I had an anxious mind, and my thoughts were racing. John had us write a letter to God about what we were struggling with that was keeping us away from hearing His voice and I wrote about fear of man and my own doubts regarding Him. I realized one HUGE thing though while writing this: despite all I've been through I've never had a struggle of faith, it was always a struggle of obedience. That was big for me. It kind of finally made everything my responsibility. Which is nerve wracking, but that means things can change. I still felt all numb and goofy, and it kind of travelled into the next day of classes which made paying attention kind of difficult. Generally unfortunate, but good in this situation, with all my practice doing things feeling out of my body I took great notes. But most importantly, despite the mood I was in I was able to get prayed over and spoken over by the entire class. We followed the process of intercession, and then asked God to speak to us. People got and said things that related to things they would've had no idea about. All of it was relevant, but the most significant thing that was said was that I do have the desire to know God. And that is one of the biggest things I was struggling with writing the letter the day before. I really didn't have a desire to know Him or to hear Him, so hearing that was incredibly encouraging.
Despite all the good of this week, I still don't necessarily believe that I heard God except for one time during intercession on Friday morning. A friend of mine put it nicely, actually learning about this topic complicated something that seemed so simple. Besides the fact that I know this will be a work in progress, one thing John said really, really stuck out. And that was that God is waiting to be discovered. My desire to dive deeper and learn about Him has only grown exponentially since being here, and it's only gonna get better. I think my bible reading group has significantly helped with that. Andy and Eva (a fellow Minnesotan) have been absolutely awesome to talk about the bible with. They both bring perspectives and views I would never have found by myself and I love how they both ask questions. We're reading through Luke right now, and its so nice hearing how they interpret the parables and the things like historical context that they've already been taught. We may rabbit trail a little bit but the conversations are always fruitful and I thoroughly enjoy 3:45-5 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
On a totally separate note, we started doing stuff with our tracks this week which was really freakin exciting. I went with the photography gang to Mount Baker and tramped through the snow in my sandals. The mountain was absolutely beautiful. There's pretty much no other way to describe it. (photos down below).
We spent a lot of time this week talking and playing games. I can already tell that the friendships growing here are going to be incredible, and honestly I'm still wrapping my head around the fact that we're all really cool people that love Jesus. I don't know why, I think I'm just wrapped up in the worldly view on that. I hope that changes while I'm here. And I'm sure it will. I feel like with every passing day, despite the times my broken mind rears its ugly head, I am excited to learn and grow and love and support people who truly love and support me. I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but it's so clear to me that I am supposed to be here at this exact moment. So for all my friends and coworkers and family, and especially YOU reading this, thanks for being a part of this journey with me.