thoughts
by *Stellina
(581 views) - 12/14/03
(recorded 12/14/03 @ 6:27:41 PM)
My eyes have been opened to what walking with God really means. I knew that a relationship with God was deep, but I did not realize how deep the relationship was. We have so much to offer God, and we have so much to receive from God. I now have goals that I want to achieve so that I might know more about God and grow closer to Him.
Prayer has always been important to me. Back home in Italy whenever a friend would come to me with a problem or with a big decision they were facing, I would stop what I was doing and pray with them. In my mind the first thing to do in times of trouble was to pray. Yet as I look back I realize that my prayers were mainly for others. Many times I would hesitate to pray for myself. My goal for my prayer life in this next year, is to bring myself before the Lord more often. To lay down before Him everything that is going on in my life and to be honest with Him. I’m already beginning to do this, and it feels wonderful. He has taken so many burdens off of my shoulders, and has begun to heal many of my emotional wounds.
As I was reading Richard Foster’s books Streams of Living Water and Celebration of Discipline, the word solitude kept jumping out at me. I love spending time alone with God in quiet places. In Italy I would leave the house and just walk around the squares and speak with Jesus. Just being out alone, looking at His creation and His people, would give me peace. It reminded me that He is in control of everything on this earth, and everything that happens is in His hands. I thought that I would continue spending times like those with Him when I arrived at North Central, but it has not happened. Life seems to always be on the go here and there is always something to do. My goal for the following years that I am at North Central is to make it a habit to be alone with God. I want to find a special place where no one can find me, and I can just be with Him.
The Bible has been a big part of my life. What started making me read my Bible was when I was 8 years old my parents would pay me 100 Italian lira (like $ 0.10) for every chapter I read. I know that sounds bad, but it worked. I got hooked on the New Testament, and continued to read it even after my parents stopped giving me money. I loved reading and rereading about Jesus. Then when I was about thirteen years old I fell in love with Paul’s letters. That was all I would read and read even until this day. A few weeks ago I began reading different books in the Old Testament. I never realized how many treasures were hidden in there. I have determined that in the next year I want to study the Old Testament and know it as well as I know Paul’s letters. God still speaks through the Old Testament, and I’m excited to discover the beautiful treasure He has put there.
In Italy a big part of my life was musical worship. I was the worship leader at our church and it brought me so near to the Lord. I would go to the church during the week and pray and ask the Lord what songs to sing on Sunday. I would spend much time at church during the week in personal worship. Upon arriving to the United States this changed. I was too focused on missing my friends and asking God why He had brought me here. I did not want to sing praise to Him. I did not feel any joy in my heart, therefore whenever a song of praise was being sung, I would not sing. All I felt was sadness and abandonment, and when slow songs of worship were sung, I would cry and question God about His will for my life. I want this to change. I’m tired of feeling so distant from Jesus. I want to worship Him with all that is within me. I want to push all of the questions aside and just praise His name like I used to. I don’t want to just stand in chapel anymore; I want to stand and worship my Jesus. My goal in this next semester is to renew my passion for Jesus, so that in the next years I can worship Him without any hindrances.
I do not seem to have a problem with submitting to many things or people, but I do with God. I sincerely want to please Him and to do His will. Yet when He shows me where He wants to take me in my life, and it does not appeal to me, I tend to resist Him. It is like I tell God, “I’ll go and do what You want me to do, as long as I like it and it sounds good to me.” This is wrong. This next year I want to learn how to hear God’s voice and to submit to His will. I want to stop being so selfish and do His will. I want to go where He is leading. He knows better than I do what is best for me.
I know it will not be easy to accomplish these goals. This does not bother me because I know God will help me. When I fall He will be there to pick me up and to put me back on my feet. He is my strength in times of weakness. Habakkuk 3: 19 says, “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of dear, he enables me to go on the heights.” I believe that verse, and I trust the Lord will be with me every step of the way as I strive to grow closer to Him.
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