Monday, September 8

Mountain Biking and Cheerleaders

Wow. How do I even begin to describe this weekend? I worked an IWS conference for Pine Cove... 250 cheerleaders, all from the same gym, between 2nd and 12th grade. We showed up Friday, and my friend Allison and I discovered that we were in charge of mountain biking. Yes. "M. Biking: Troggie and Sweet Pea." I'm sorry, what? We laughed. For a long time. It actually became the joke of the weekend. haha. Yall, I seriously hadn't ridden a bike since 10th grade. Thank you Jesus for muscle memory! So we led these high school cheerleaders through the Bluffs and down to the Shores... not a tough task, but hard enough. Our legs were burning and exhausted. The girls would complain the whole time... But I would just have to be like "Persevere, girls! It's worth it in the end!" in my most joyful voice possible. I had one junior look at me and go, "I am NOT having fun..." I did not know what to say!! I'm not used to working with girls only 3 years younger than me! I wanted to say, "yeah? Me neither!" But I didn't... haha. Allison made a girl cry. hah. But I played good cop and came to the rescue. Trying to be intentional and talk to them was one of the hardest parts... It's difficult to ask girls questions who don't even want to acknowledge your presence. We were definitely not cool enough.

The best part of the whole experience was that I had to pray every second of those rides that Jesus would give me joy and patience and strength to get through. I was so sore and tired and sometimes frustraited with the complaining 17 year olds. The fact that I had been praying all week for God to challenge me to the point of hopelessness without Him, and then going to a conference that I expected to be pretty chill, and finding out it wasn't, was so great. He answered my prayer, just through a few hours on a bike. It was so hard, but so good. It wasn't the chill weekend I would have gotten if I had been working at the Towers, but it served as such a good reminder that God needs to ruin my life and the plans that I have made. It's not about me, and this weekend wasn't about me! It was hard work, but getting to point others to Jesus was such a blessing. I don't understand why God gives me these chances to be used by Him! I have been so blessed... Just like Paul writes to Timothy: "How thankful I am to Jesus Christ our Lord for considering me trustworthy and appointing me to serve Him..."

Speaking bluntly about Jesus wasn't really possible at this conference, so we had to point to Him with our actions. It was so cool talking about integrity and gentleness and perseverance and knowing that the only way to prove it to them was by our actions. And boy, were they watching us. A few of us wore bandanas across our foreheads on Saturday, to keep our hair out of our faces... The store sold out of bandanas that day. Around 30 girls showed up to dinner wearing bandanas the exact same way. It was such a cool reminder that we were being watched. Who were we showing them?

When I was reading 1 Timothy today, I found a verse that explained exactly what we did this weekend. And it is so cool:

"We work hard and suffer much in order that people will believe this Truth, for our hope is in the Living God, who is the Savior of all people, and particularly of those who believe."
1 Timothy 4:10

My weekend of challenges did not stop there, though. 15 minutes after I got home, we started The Upper Room Discourse. The event I was dreading for weeks. An act of obedience that I knew I couldn't do on my own. It went well, apparently. No thanks to me. God worked despite me. And that's all I had been praying He would do! He showed up when I didn't know what to say. It was all Him. ALL Him. Abiding is so cool like that!

Then I had an interview... Another event I was dreading, but to a much harder degree. I almost left before they called my name. I almost cried before they called my name. But I knew God wanted me to apply, even if just for the experience. So I obeyed. And again, He showed up. I didn't cry!!

This weekend was full of trials I did not want to face... I did not know how to face... I COULDN'T face. And Jesus came to my rescue. So this is the constant cry of my heart: Challenge me to the point of complete helplessness. I don't want to think I can do it. Anything, everything. I want to depend on Him, to know He will show up, and to be still and wait. This semester... next semester... next summer.

Some of my favorite people in the world. Towers staff working at the Towers and Timbers this weekend
Waiting at the Towers for PBA to end... we almost lost Lace in this one
Before our bike riding adventures began... so young and innocent
Last ride of the weekend!
We adjusted a lot of seats.

Looking a little rough right before our last ride. hah. Sore and exhausted. I thought my legs were going to fall off.

Glory and honor to God forever and ever. He is the eternal King, the unseen One who never dies; He alone is God.

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