Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Why do we put a mask on ourselves? Why is it that we feel we cannot share our hurts, fears, and failures? Why do we feel that we must put on a false self and feel the need for perfection? Several students shared the hurt they have felt over the years and the inability to express this hurt to those around them. One student gave a fantastic representation of what this looks like. She had in her hands, something that was wrapped with clothe, that protected it from being broken. She slowly unraveled all the clothe to reveal a vase, something fragile, yet something of beauty. This is us so many times. We hide ourselves, wrap ourselves in a false identity that keeps us from being broken, but hinders us from being useful and covers the beauty that we have. We tend to hide behind a false identity that grants us safety, but makes us miserable because we lose the joy of being who we were created to be.
I believe that a big part of this masking is due to our lack of community. We have failed to build a community where we can be open and vulnerable with each other. Something that was repeated over and over today as students shared, was how they had never experienced community like this before and how vital that is for us. God himself lives in community and desperately desires us to share in community with Him and those around us. We need a place where we all feel comfortable taking off our mask, where we share our failures and hurts and where we just live life and love. This is the challenge for all of us from FLI this semester and a challenge to everyone else to bring about a sense of community and to be the person God has created you to be!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ready to Move

This has been the greatest growing experience of my life. I have learned so much about life and all the things that are around this world. I have spent three months in the greatest community I have ever known and have grown to love forty-three other students along the way. I have gained knowledge and wisdom, and have learned to be open and vulnerable. God has moved me so much from the beginning of the semester. It has been a painful and incredible transformation.
But I'm ready to be home. I miss my parents and just being around them, I miss my sisters and brothers and being able to hang out, and I miss my nephews. I have only seen them less than a week in the past eight months. I miss running around the house with the boys screaming "Uncle Scotty". I miss running across the yard to grandma's to get some cookies, and chat about life. I miss the smell of the farm. I miss dearly Milford Chapel and my church family and the youth group, who has been so faithful in prayer and encouragement to me over the past two years. I miss worshipping with this family and standing around an hour after church to just chat. I long to be home and to rest. It has been such a spiritual battle the past eight months, and has been draining.
Tonight I read through some of the notes of encouragement my mom has sent me over the past two years. These notes are so uplifting, even the second, third, and fourth times around, and every time bring tears to my eyes. They are so encouraging and always put my focus back on God. The last note I read, my mom ended with, "Remember that you just take one step at a time & the Lord will direct your path as you trust in him!" I am ready to step out and use what I have been learning, to take the wisdom of God out into the world. I love it here, I love the people here, but I am ready to be home with my family and with my friends from home. It has been an incredible experience, but I am ready to move on.