People change all the time but where does this change come from? I always wanted to truly seek Jesus and go to Him with all obstacles in my life. However, prior to the internship I would question, “Am I really turning over the biggest things in my life to God? How can I possibly get to this point in my faith?” I was hungry for growth and that couldn’t have been made any more evident than it was this summer when I interned with BigStuf.
The growth I experienced did not come easily, actually very far from it. The same struggles and doubts I’ve experienced, followed me down to camp. I had to fight daily through these battles in my head, even when it wasn’t comfortable for me to do so. Yet, Jesus continued to pursue all of my heart, not just portions of it. I felt growth slowly starting to take root, even though the enemy was strategic in trying to tear away all of the good that was beginning to develop. This is where the internship molded me in confirming that the true growth I hungered for could only be transformed and made capable by Jesus.
My team was made up of 16 people designed with a constant hunger to know more and live more like Jesus. Being intentional with others and Jesus was emphasized from the beginning. This encouraged deep relationships to form, which is critical to the foundation of growth. I did not begin my summer as a Bible scholar and I was a new Christian, but getting real with people began to stir a fire for Jesus that is beyond anything I could have predicted. We were also challenged to always be intentional with Jesus every morning when we started our day. Choosing this as a daily priority was the game changer. Spending my mornings with Jesus helped make working long days and nights so much sweeter and well worth it. It began the solid foundation I needed to see the growth that was coming to flourish.
Whether it was long walks on the beach or late nights sitting, the conversations, or the accountability my teammates fought for, it all provided a constant reminder that if we kept persevering and seeking Jesus every second of every day we would be rewarded. Many days I wanted to give up being intentional and honestly it would have been the easy way out. I could have gone through the motions and just enjoyed my time on the beach or at camp but the community fostered at BigStuf was always right there to give that push I needed to continue.
I began to seek Him every day and look for guidance in every step and conversation. I would call on him in every situation and talk to him like we were the best of friends. I learned the growth won’t always be evident, yet, if I chose mornings on the balcony alone with Him and fight to use every moment of my day to transform my heart, the joy I will find is only in Jesus. I needed to intentionally search for the only One to satisfy our hearts, the One who makes us full.
This hunger didn’t stop at camp. What was ignited and nurtured at BigStuf came back to my hometown, my community and my college campus. The same could be said for the rest of my team. Much to our surprise, these are the places where our growth became most evident, not only to us, but to those around us. We began to grow by making small changes, by setting Jesus as our first and main priority. Our perspective had taken a dramatic shirt. We began to see each person we encountered as a soul that could be won over for Jesus. We wanted to serve in ways that may not have been priorities in our hearts before. We now want to find lost people in every classroom and cafeteria. We want to live in community with other Christians and help them see the importance of being real and growing together. We want to be on fire for Jesus. We have tasted and seen just how sweet Jesus is and long for Him to continually teach us more.
Slowly but surely, an intentional life for Jesus ALWAYS brings out the best in us. We may not see the impact regularly, but by having daily dedication to have a greater relationship with Him, you will start to see lives transformed more and more for His glory. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “We all, with unveiled faces, are looking in a mirror at the glory of the Lord and are being transformed in the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.” Know growth is a process of many small steps and we may struggle to see it. However as long as we are moving towards Jesus with all of our hearts and our minds, it is still growth.