Back to life in Blacksburg

All summer long part of my heart longed for Blacksburg again. I am now incredibly grateful that God shut the doors for Radford and has redirected me to Tech. I can’t imagine not being back at Tech. Right now I am taking my time and getting my bachelors at Tech in Religion and Culture. I am also going to take pre-req classes so I will be ready to apply to nursing school after I graduate. Because of these changes I am so excited for the free time I have in my life to invest in relationships with so many people God has placed in my life: my cousins here at Tech and in Blacksburg, Atieh, my roommates, community in Intervarsity, classmates, my church fellowship, and all the students at Virginia Tech. I am thrilled to get to dive deeper into the ministries at my church and in Intervarsity as well as with my family and roommates. I am so excited each day about what God is doing at Tech.

Upon returning to Blacksburg I was already so excited about new ministry opportunities, especially with my roommates. We had already talked about and planned to do a house bible study at our new apartment (which we love!) and to gather to pray during the week as well. I know God is going to stretch and challenge each of us as we dive deeper into our relationships and his word through bible study. But what I love is that through this excitement and asking God to prepare each of us for what He wants to teach us this year, he has spoken so clearly to my heart.

This first week back in Blacksburg the theme of community has been reoccurring. We heard about it at BCF both last Sunday and yesterday. Community was also talked about at both CRU and IV large groups last week. It was as if God was sitting there directly telling me, “Lesley, life goes on and circumstances happen and humans get busy, but there must be time in your life for me, I have to be your first desire, and then community has to be a discipline and a priority in your life.” God used my church and these ministries to speak those words, but also the scripture I had been reading throughout the week. So many verses stuck out where he called to the Israelites, “I, the Lord, your God, I am jealous for you!” He is jealous for my affections. One verse in particular has stuck with me and I pray will be a reminder on my heart and mind throughout life.

Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified,” says the Lord.You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” declares the Lord of hosts. “Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce.” –Haggai 1:8-10

Reading this scripture left me totally in awe. There is so much wisdom and encouragement in these few verses. First God makes it clear that our actions are first and foremost, for HIS glory. Not ours. Then he goes on to make the point that when we are stressed, worried, empty, tired, whatever we feel as a result, it is because his house (our relationship with him) is lying in ruins while we are busying ourselves with everything and anything else (relationships with others, ministry, school, idols…) Now I am still just as excited for ministry and relationships and everything God has in store for me in Blacksburg. But I am even more excited about my walk with the Lord. About the time I get to spend with him. About all the things he will teach me and show me. About worshiping and glorifying him-just because of who he is, and nothing more. I am excited to see his glory in new and different ways, and through that to fall even more in love with who he is. I pray he will be my first and foremost desire and love.

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