Wow, it has become very clear to me that blogging on a regular basis in the summer is nearly impossible. It has been a longggg time. Nevertheless, I finally have an update on my summer in Detroit. For the readers that may not know the whole story, I will start from the beginning:
I live in the suburbs of Detroit, MI. I have always loved where I lived, enjoyed being in the safety of the suburbs, & never had any intention on really stepping out of the little bubble that I live in. However, at some point during my sophomore year at MSU, it became evident that God had some different ideas. I started to look back on the times that I had volunteered at a soup kitchen, & how much I really enjoyed serving people’s physical needs. Over time, God started growing the passion to serve in me, & then,out of no where, came a passion for the inner-city. The next thing I knew, I was being lead to apply for an internship with Hope Community Church in Detroit. The internship is working a kid’s day camp 3 days a week. After spending a weekend in Detroit on a women’s retreat with Campus Crusade for Christ, God absolutely confirmed that He was asking me to give my time this summer to be at that church, & in that neighborhood.
If we are going to be real, it’s been a rocky road to get to this point. Logistics were a challenge. The journey to find housing for the summer was one that reminded me that trusting God is not only what I am called to do, but for my good. When I tried to plan things the way I thought they would be best, heartbreak & frustration came. It was only after I submitted to God’s plan & stopped trying to control things that a wonderful housing arrangement with two wonderful women of faith was presented as the solution. Another challenge has been emotions. Buying into lies on multiple occasions, I developed plenty of questions about what I was doing with my summer. Am I going to be wasting my time? Am I even adequate for this job? Are the kids going to hate me? Am I mature enough in my faith? & there was even one particularly dark point where I found myself wondering, Am I truly a believer? The Lord was perfectly loving as He guided me to answers for each & ever one of these questions. I don’t think it can be called a coincidence that each time I was wrestling with one of these questions that the passage I was reading that day just happened to speak to me about the matter or I would listen to a sermon that addressed that specific lie, or I would listen to a song that had lyrics that sounded like they were written straight from a transcript of my thoughts. As always, God was good to me. He reached out His big fatherly hand & led me through the dark sea of lies to His refreshing Truths.
As I write this entry, I am reminded of how much God grew me even while I was just preparing for this summer. At this point, God had already revealed my spiritual gift of a desire to serve & a passion for urban ministry. After that, he continued to grow me while simultaneously gently teaching me to trust Him & the plans He has for me.
& that brings us to this week. Tuesday, June 7th, was the first day of my internship. I drove down to Hope & we had our first day. & when the day ended, after turning a 10 minute drive into a 30 minute one by getting lost, I arrived at my new home for the summer. [As I typed that, I almost typed “summer home” which made me think of a “vacation house.” & I think that’s what I’m going to start calling it! I think it’s fitting.] But anyway, this week was definitely full of firsts for me.
- My first time getting lost in Detroit.
- My first time getting lost & not having an anxiety attack.
- The first time I used a club!
- My first time INTENTIONALLY taking a cold shower on a daily basis. [& praised the Lord the whole time!]
- The first time I got to study the Word with teen girls that were so transparent & vulnerable in their questioning & their prayers.
- My first time getting cut off 7 times in a 10 minute drive.
- The first time I heard a gunshot.
- The first time I’ve lived in a house that is not owned by my parents.
- My first time being un-phased by a blackout.
- The first time I think I have TRULY realized that God really is bigger than anything or any circumstance in this world.