With all of that said, I am now going to talk about that something personal. Since entering college, I've joined CRU which is an inter-denominational ministry all about loving others and glorifying God. I've been wanting to join it ever since I joined my current church which I miss back home. I had members there who worked at CRUs, so I had heard a lot about it and had wanted to join. Tonight at CRU this guy spoke about being remade and redemption. And that has happened to me. I'm not going to share my whole story tonight, or even how I really became a Christian. But I do want to share how God showed me that I am being remade.
I was a shy, very insecure person in high school who just wanted to fit in. I met some girls who were shy like me my junior year, so I did have some people to hang out with, but we were never that close. At the start of my senior year, I switched churches. I became a Baptist, and I'm very proud of being one. Just like I'm proud to be from the Midwest. The youth there were so welcoming and loving and inviting. I loved being one of them and going to worship and hanging out with them. It was one of the few times in my life that I actually felt like I BELONGED. A place where I could be myself and a place that I longed to be.
Suffice to say I loved it there. It's one of the few things I miss about home. My church and my friends there, my mom, my kitty cat, having a room to my own. I grew a lot there as a Christian as well. We were taught to be in relationships with each other and with God and what it meant to really live faith.
Fast forward almost a whole year to the middle of July 2012. It's Mission Tour, the church's annual summer missions trip. This year we went to Boulder, CO and ran an art camp for preschoolers. On the way there, we did affirmations. And that's how I found out about being remade. I had always thought of myself as the shy, insecure, quiet girl and that she was just who I was. But I discovered otherwise. This is what I was told.
"You're outgoing; you're friendly.
You're beautiful; you have a great smile. You're thoughtful, encouraging, so positive.
You're very outspoken and open. You're very confident about sharing you faith.
You're a nonconformist.
You're a very sweet girl. You're pretty, but you don't know it.
You have ambition and I admire that. You're focused and driven.
You're enthusiastic, energetic, caring, outgoing.
You are confident.
You have a great smile.
You love Jesus; you want to share your faith, and you remind me of Velma in Scooby Doo."
Later during reflections, I thought about what all my friends had said, and I wrote in my journal:
"Could it be that I am being remade? Becoming a new creation, new. That, in some ways, the woman I want to be and God wants me to be are the same. And he is making me into that woman. That I can have confidence in Christ and shed my insecurities. That I have been leaving behind a girl since my Redemption Moment (that moment I accept God's grace). Being transformed into a woman, a woman of God. And I am amazed to see that the quiet, awkward girl is being transformed. I am amazed."
Mission Tour was one of the funnest weeks of my life. I embraced myself and learned things about being NEW Rachel. I learned that I love little kids and that I love little kid stuff. That I love chalk, and getting paint all over my clothes, and getting wet and dirty from slip and slides and grass. That I love the sun, laughter, waking up early, clay/play-doh, crayons and drawing, running around, camp songs (esp the toti tot). And then as NEW Rachel I got to re-discover things I already knew I loved. Like hiking and mountains and cake and ice cream and worship and just falling in love with myself. It was a wonderful week. This post is dedicated to my church back home. I love you guys.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (King James Version)