Wednesday, October 19, 2011
~day 19~ Being Available
I volunteer as a "mentor" for college students at an InterVarsity chapter at my alma mater. (I put mentor in quotes because it sounds much more official and planned out than what I feel like I actually do). I meet with as many of the girls in the chapter as I can throughout the semester and just love them. I try to listen to them, although I often catch myself talking much too much. I offer them encouragement and sometimes a perspective that they, nor their peers, simply don't have. I very often feel like I am the one getting more out of our meetings than they are.
I have been doing this for almost 2 years and I love it. I feel like this year I am really finding my groove. I'm connecting with girls, I'm meeting with a couple of our leaders on an ongoing basis, I had 11 of them down for a movie nite. Sometimes I sit in our large group and I ache to pray with them. I want nothing more than to put my arms around them and just hug them. In those moments I wonder if what I do is worth it. Does it have any impact. Is it making a difference. As He has a number of times in the past, God speaks up and shows me ways that it is making a difference.
Two years ago at our winter conference a student I'd gotten to know realized that she was allowing a sin in her life that she didn't want there anymore. She was allowing something into her heart and mind that was separating her from God. I sat with her as we sang and held her hand as she cried and dealt with it before God. I didn't pray for her, I didn't say much of anything, but I was there for her to lean on.
A couple of weeks ago our speaker gave a great message about living for God. Honestly, I don't really remember most of what he said, but I remember that it held weight in that room. One of my girls came to me as they sang at the end and asked me how many times God would take her back before he stopped taking her back at all. I was able to speak truth to her and hug her and pray for her and assure her that He will never leave her or let her go.
Shortly after I started our area director asked me to begin meeting with a specific student who had some pretty major things going on. I met with her weekly (more or less) for a year and a half. I know that my role in her life was to speak truth to her. She would come up with these ideas for things to do or ways to earn money that were not only potentially dangerous but also would be deeply damaging to her as a person. I knew a couple of times that when she came to me she truly wanted someone to tell her no. We live in a society where anything goes, everything is okay, you can be whatever you want and do whatever you want with your life. But we rarely talk about the things that can damage us and hurt us permanently. No one would tell her that idea, that option, that plan is not a good idea. And not just because I say so and not just because God says XYZ about whatever. But because you haven't really thought these sides of this idea out. You don't realize that will hurt you emotionally. I could share from my experience and life why those things weren't good ideas.
The 2nd meeting we had there was a young woman there who asked me if I would pray for her. She is new to school and left a mother behind who relied on her heavily. That was all she told me. I prayed with her. I haven't seen her since.
Sometimes, Hope comes in being available. Being there for God to use you. Being out there, living life, doing your thing. I've heard many times "You can't steer a parked car." And that's true. God will have a much much harder time trying to use you and work through your life to impact others if you never leave the 4 walls of your home. If you go to work and go straight home and never interact with anyone else. If you live life with your head down just trying to avoid anything that might request time or energy from you. I concede the base theological point that God can use whomever he wants, that God could steer a parked car, that God can use you if you never leave your home etc. Each of us is called to something. Be it big or small doesn't matter. I'll even concede that some people are called to minister inside the 4 walls of their home, through blogging or the internet or whatever. My larger point is that even those people are open to working with God. They are Available for Him to work through. They are willing to hear from Him and follow what he says.
As long as there are some of us still hearing from Him, still working with Him, still being Available in life, I will have hope.