Falls Creek this year, at least for me, was about getting back to where I need to be. I had been drifting away from God & His plans for me, & just felt really distant from Him. The worship leaders, the Nick Thurmond Band, sang a song throughout the week that really got me thinking. The chorus went like this:
“Oh be exalted, be the King of my soul,
& I lay down my life, & forever I’ll know
that You will be there in the moment I need You,
& You have been here, only I couldn’t see You.
& I’ve been missing You.”
This made me think, what does it mean to miss someone? To not see them; for them not to be around. But God is always there, so why couldn’t I see Him? It became clear to me that the only reason I wasn’t seeing God at all times is because I wasn’t looking for Him. I realized that I’ve been praying & asking God to speak to me, then completely ignoring Him when He did because He wasn’t telling me what I wanted to hear. So I started listening.
One thing God brought to my attention this week is the importance of prayer. One of the speakers said, “If you’re not talking to God about your friends, you’re not going to talk to your friends about God.” This is so true. If we’re not praying for our friends & asking God for opportunities to share with them, then we aren’t going to share. Another speaker used the analogy of farming. He said that we have to plow the fields several times before the soil is soft enough to plant the seeds. This means that we have to pray for our friends over & over & over before their hearts are ready to receive the Gospel. So don’t give up on anyone! 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing.” I prayed for my older brother for 4 years before he came to Christ. No one is a lost cause!
Another thing God taught me about is the importance of forgiveness - & not just the forgiveness of others, but the forgiveness of ourselves. Guilt is ungodly & unnecessary. Jesus already died & paid the price for our sins. We can feel guilty, or even continue sinning, but it doesn’t undo what Jesus did for us on the cross. So what’s the point of feeling guilty? 1 John 1:19 says that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful & just & will purify us from all unrighteousness.” Just confess it & let it go.
The final thing God gave me to focus on at Falls Creek is the importance of living a Godly lifestyle. Everything I do needs to match up with God’s ultimate goals for me. For example, I feel called to counsel with kids/teens with cancer. If I go to college & get a degree in accounting, that’s great. But how is that helping me reach God’s goal of counseling with cancer patients? It’s pointless. Also, we (as Christians) are the Jesus people see in the world. Our actions are what they will know of Him. One of my all-time favorite verses is Proverbs 27:19, which says “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” Others should see Christ-like qualities & a Heavenly love in our everyday actions, because Christ is overflowing from our hearts.
Honestly, I have grown to love Edmond during my first year of college, & I was not excited about spending two months here in Ponca. But Falls Creek showed me that the Northeast Baptist youth group is the reason why I’m here. It was truly a blessing to be able to spend a week with these students & watch them grow closer to God, especially as God was also drawing me closer to Him. I have built some great relationships with these students this summer, & I’m excited to see how God will continue building these relationships in the future. God gave me 365 days of service between now & next year, & I plan to use them!