graduation and a song

Last night at our church gathering, Kara Swindler and I officially graduated from our one year internship with Christian Associates. It has been a whirlwind year full of pain, joy and many lessons. I am grateful to everyone that has supported me throughout this last year. I wanted to share a little of last night. Sarah started the night by walking us through the “12 months of Karas”. Kara Swindler and I were presented with little luggage boxes filled with 12 items each. Each item represented something that we had experienced or discovered in the last 12 months. We also were given framed photos and notes from the Springers thanking us for our work over the last year. Kara and I were invited to speak (its still up for discussion on who was valedictorian!) on our experiences in 2008 and what God taught or spoke to us. I was able to share two specific things that God revealed to me:

1. Only when I am able to see and accept my uniqueness am I able to appreciate other’s uniqueness. I have taken this past year to identify my own spiritual gifts and desires and accepted who God made me to be. I feel more motivated and equipped to help other’s find their God given talents only after searching out my own. It was a painful journey at times, but looking back God knew it needed to happen this year. I’m grateful for the place He has brought me to- fully surrendered to His purpose and will.

2. God uses the crap in our lives to help others. Just in the last week, I have had two opportunities to share with students about my past; all the messy junk that I tend to want to forget altogether. But God is in the business of redeeming and he certainly has been doing so in my own heart. I’m truly amazed at what he was able to speak to these students through my past struggles. I pray that He would continue to show me opportunities to do this more often.

After I shared, the community prayed for Kara S. and me for awhile. They prayed for future ministry, for God’s protection and provision and praised God that He was able to accomplish so much in just a year. It was truly a blessed time.

After the graduation ceremony, our community participated in a group devotional together. We read and discussed three of David’s Psalms, Psalm 6, 13 and 63. We saw how David was so intimately connected with God that he cried out in desperation and desire for mercy and justice. We also saw that David was aware that even in the toughest of times; God was present with him and was his true salvation. We ended the evening with each of us writing our own psalm, a song of praise or pleading to God. It was a really encouraging exercise and I think I’ll be writing in this way more often. Below is the psalm I wrote.

God, You are the Master of creativity. Lord, You formed me and made me unique. Continue to give me inspiration and opportunity to share more about you. Help my eyes to see what you have created; help me to see it as good and something of worth. Lord, close my ears to distractions and let me see your beauty all around me. Your creation gives me life; it reminds me of who I am in you. I create because you created me. I am your work of art. May I never forget where the desires of my heart come from. I love you Creator God.

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