By: Ali Hoffman
Hey ladies (and the men who read this), it’s me, Ali. Being a full-time youth minister in the summer can be insane. There are conferences and mission trips to coordinate, coffee dates to schedule, the upcoming year to plan, etc. I’m exhausted already and it isn’t even officially summer!! I’ve noticed in the past during this time that my prayer life can go out the window. Zip. Gone. I’ll rationalize it with, “BUT GOD!! Don’t you see all the amazing things I’m doing for You?! Shouldn’t that count as my prayer?!?” And God, being such a good and gentle Father almost always responds, “That’s great… but I’m really after your heart... I just want you.”
I am 100% a perfectionist and someone who likes to take control. I know that when I personally do something, I can be sure it’ll get done how I think it should be done. The same goes for my relationship with Jesus. I like to put Him in a neat, little box away in a corner and only access Him like my own personal genie granting wishes when I REALLY need Him. The truth is, God desires to be Lord over your entire life — not just for an hour or so on Sundays. He desires to craft a beautiful, adventure-filled, everyday duties and tasks kind of life for you. He desires to show you how much you’re loved. He desires to give you good things. He desires to BE the Good Father He KNOWS you need.
I HATE flying. I absolutely hate it- especially when it becomes bumpy. A really smart friend tried to explain the science behind it, but I don’t buy it. It’s terrifying. However, part of my job requires me to fly. Ironic, right? Thanks, Jesus. Sometimes, when a plane can’t land at a designated airport, it stays in what’s called a holding pattern. This means that the plane circles in the air, hovering over the airport until it can safely land. A holding pattern could go on for hours- or until the plane runs out of gas (seriously, the science behind airplanes is ridiculous…). How many of us live our lives in holding patterns? We truly want to follow God’s will. We WANT that adventure everyone keeps talking about. We WANT to be bold and truly happy… so why don’t we do just that? I think there are a lot of reasons, but sometimes it’s because we want to wait until everything is perfect to truly follow Jesus… to land the plane. We can get stuck in a holding pattern of praying for God’s will to be done instead of just boldly going forth in faith, trusting that Jesus really IS Lord over our lives and will guide us. Yes, it’ll be messy, sometimes inconvenient, and you’ll probably make mistakes… but that’s okay. Jesus never said, “Oops, you messed up too many times... I can’t use you now!”
Friend, YOU have such an amazing task given to you by the King for His kingdom here on Earth that only you can fulfill. You have a job to do. You have people to love. You can’t put God in a cute little box in the corner and expect the world to change. You want more peace? Be more peaceful. You want more joy? Choose to be joyful. You want more love in this world? Be. Love.
It starts with you.
Change starts with you. The adventure that Jesus is TRULY inviting you on starts with you saying yes to Him every single day and allowing Him to be God over your life.
I want to end this little post with a Litany of Purpose a friend recently wrote that I’ve been praying with for the past couple of months. Print it out. Write in a journal. Put it on your mirror, in your Bible, in your room. Pray it until you believe it. You have incredible purpose. Don’t let the summer slip by and remain the same in your relationship with Jesus. The world needs you now. Please know that I’m on this journey too. Lets pray for one another!