A Glimpse of Mi Vida...

It started with a missions trip to Camden, where my life and perspective were changed and where this blog began. Life has been a roller coaster filled with its ups and downs and I'm excited for the adventure and discovering what God has in store, even though I really dislike roller coasters... I am a Lady in Waiting...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Free Fall

Fall is now upon us again this year... for southern California that doesn't mean much as we hope for cooler weather and some rain- but we will take it gladly.

For me the fall season has always been hard because I think of how difficult the past few falls have been. Just over a year ago (a year ago actually this past Saturday, October 20th) I was fired from my job. It was a "backwards blessing" as I whispered on a friend's shoulder as a cried and hyperventilated at the thought of having lost my financial resource. I had hated my job and had been working there for almost a year in a half- I hated it because it was changing who I was as a person. I began to be bitter and stressed and had anxiety and panic attacks on numerous occasions. I worked in a very non-Christian environment and was constantly yelled at, made fun of, or just given work upon work. You might ask, why did you do this job, why didn't you just quit? I had prayed about it and I couldn't quit- I had respnosiblities and bills to pay... but I would begin to be diligent in prayer for change, but also in my job search. I honestly prayed that I would find another job or that I would be fired. Fired I was for unjustified reasons and as hard as that was... deep down I knew that God had a plan. He reassured me of that the week after I was let go because I had four job interviews already lined up. None of them panned out but God was showing me to trust in His plans. I filed for unemployment and was denied, went to court about it and my old employer and supervisor lied to the judge. I was devastated... but I knew God had something in store. So I prayed and volunteered. There was one point for about a month or two that I was volunteering 40-60 hours a week at my church. I feel in love with doing outreach- local and global. I was asked to go to Haiti, after much prayer I said yes. I began to co-lead a team of 17 individuals.
I was applying for 20 jobs a week at least and I had $100 to my name- I had drained my savings paying for bills. Then I got two interviews after applying through an alumni career network. I went in for an interview at a church- they interviewed me twice that day. Then I interviewed at least three more times that week and I was hired. I was now the church administrator of an awesome church in LA. Now I've been there 7 months and am so happy. I have begun working with youth as well... on a volunteer basis and am so in love with these kids and this ministry. I am a leader of a small group and within a young adult ministry.
I went to Haiti and fell in love with the people there- I fell even more in love with God. I feel in love with a little boy named Gilbert (my Gilbie) and I was re-baptized as I reaffirmed my faith and commitment to Christ after what had been a rocky few months. I was baptized in the Caribbean.
Fall has always been difficult, from losing my job, being devastated and depressed. The year before within a month period of October- I was hit and run by a drunk driver and had to pay a $500 deductible... money which I didn't have and am still paying for in paying credit card debt. Then a month later, my car lost control on a freeway on ramp as I was going 30 mph and I was slammed into the guardrail. Looking back I can't think of how blessed I am to not only be alive, but blessed by the people who have surrounded me and encouraged me during these difficult times.

This past Saturday- instead of feeling sadness or of having sad memories of this time last year- I celebrated. I gathered with a group of wonderful women to have brunch and talk about the sweetness of the Lord. I think back on all of the wonderful things that God has done and has been doing. I can't help but think He has some amazing things in store for me... that He has someone for me and that He has more amazing things He wants me to do and to take part of. So instead of falling back into the past... I fall... free fall into the unknown, but can't help but know that my Author knows and has control and has the best life and future planned for me. I do not live for anyone but Him- my audience is for One... the One and He lives in me.

"It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." 
-Galations 2:20

"Come then, my beloved,
My lovely one, come.
For see, winter is past,
The rains are over and gone.
Flowers are appearing on the earth.
The season of glad songs has come,
The cooing of the turtledove is hear in our land.
The fig tree is forming its first figs
and the blossoming vines give out their fragrance.
Come then, my beloved,
my lovely one, come."
-Song 2:10-13

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hide and Seek

A few months ago I downloaded this free album by Matt Wertz and have been falling in love with it. There is this one song that has just really hit my heart and I have been praying through the lyrics of the song because they so closely relate to my life and to the place and position that God currently has me in.

Take a listen and read through the lyrics with me:

Counting to 100
By: Matt Wertz
Never been much good on my own
So I'm tryin' to find somebody else
Never been good at findin' much except
Loneliness all by myself
Spottin' you ain't been easy
And what's a boy to do
Cause I got this spot right beside me baby
Waiting here just for you

So you go hide
And I'll come seek
Maybe someday in the middle
We just might meet
Cause I'm counting to a hundred
And I promise I won't peek
As you go hide
And I come seek

How much longer will this game go on
I guess only time will tell
I hate to hear that you're all alone
Overlooked in search of someone else

So you go hide
And I'll come seek
Maybe someday in the middle
We just might meet
Cause I'm counting to a hundred
And I promise I won't peek
As you go hide
And I come seek

Please show your face
Because I want you to be it...yeah
I want you to be it
I think this song relates to how I feel currently... I am hiding. Hiding in God's love and in the comfort of His arms, strength, and security. As I hide, I continue to seek God out, praying through life and praying for my husband and that he is seeking. I pray that he is seeking me, desiring to know who I am and for me to be revealed to him. But he has to seek God in that process and we both have to wait on God's perfect timing. I can't wait for the day that "some day (hopefully soon!) in the middle we just might meet". Because God's timing is perfect, neither of us can peek in that process because it will ruin what God has and what He has intended. It makes me think of me hiding behind a curtain awaiting for God to make the big reveal, I can't peak or attempt to pull back the curtain otherwise it will be like that moment (I think of the Wizard of Oz) where Dorothy pulls back the curtain and it's not this big and mighty wizard, but rather this tiny little man. Just to say that God's timing is so perfect. I am so excited for the day that God reveals who he wants me to be in relationship with and someday marry. For him to say one day that he wants me "to be it". I can't wait for the reveal of when I get to see my husband for the very first time as I am presented to him pure, and all dressed in white. For the day that he will pull back my veil and for my face as his bride and wife "be it".

Until that day, I continue to seek God and become the woman that God intends me to be. To be learning and growing and allowing myself to be stretched and I will continue to pray for you sweet Prince Charming and for the day that we are each others "it".

I can't wait... so I'm going to go hide, as we both seek and someday soon we will meet... I'll be counting to 100...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Is this really my life?

Five Minute Friday... Ready, Set... Go...

A million things are racing across my mind and my heart is racing as well... I'm sure a lack of sleep and a hazelnut latte with extra ice have more to do with that than anything else.

But I'm sitting here at my desk at work... oh yeah, I got a job. How cool is God? And I love it. A LOT.

I'm headed to Big Bear in five hours. Yup. So excited and nervous. That's kind of for work too. I am spending a weekend with some new friends and some strangers. We're going to attempt to live in intentional community for the weekend. Be praying for that. I think God has some serious things in store.

Wow, only three minutes left...

I get back on Sunday. Then I have to pack. For what you might ask... for HAITI. Yup. For Haiti. I'm going to Haiti. I leave on a red eye flight for Haiti on Monday night. I am helping to lead a group of 14 high school and college students, and 2 adults, along with my co-leader. I couldn't be more scared or nervous or feel just so honored at how amazing God is that He orchestrated all of these amazing things in my life. Wow.

Also, I have a sermon to preach in Haiti. In a brothel. Haven't written it yet however... keep that in prayer. I am going to be speaking about the alabaster jar and about the woman who washed Jesus' feet with her tears. Beautiful.

Well, my time is up... that was quick. More posts to come...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Support Letter

I will be leaving for Haiti in less than 7 months and so I began drafting my letter... let me know what you think...

Dear Bloggers:
My life has been marked and forever changed, by my time in the mission field. I was a new student and Christian when I first attended APU and during my time there my professors and mentors challenged me to face questions and ideas about my life and faith that have served in strengthening my walk with Christ. I have learned and been nourished in ways that are only possible through living a God First approach in life.
As my faith began to develop, I felt a call from Christ to serve others on my small Lutheran’s church campus and also at university, and then I spent three summers in Camden interning for a non-profit doing inner-city missions work. I began to live out this calling by leading a women’s bible study group through my new church, Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) in San Dimas. I also began serving as a prayer counselor and began volunteering in college and young adult ministries.
This past summer I traveled to Cusco, Peru, with fellow CCV young adults to serve with local missionaries that the church supports. We taught a Bible lesson via a puppet show that we translated to Spanish, prepared and delivered food baskets, as well as spent time doing community service and visited a special needs hospital. After sharing the gospel and testimonies, six church members came forward to accept Christ.
My time in Peru was unforgettable. I think of Deautoronmy 10:18, “He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.” Christ’s words of caring for the orphans and the widows among us constantly ring in my ears and I can’t help but feel that we were accomplishing Kingdom work and living out a God First mission in a palpable way.
This winter, I transitioned out of my job at a newspaper and began pursuing my own business while looking for a corporate career. I’m blessed and humbled to be interning in the church local and global outreach department. This position has allowed me to continue serving the local community through Thanksgiving meals, food baskets, help with special events, and a Christmas toy store in which at least 700 families received toys for their children. My time serving has no doubt stretched and challenged me, from my childhood at a lovely Lutheran church to know being actively involved at CCV.
I have been asked to co-lead a trip of 13 high school and college students on the church’s summer mission trip to Haiti. We will be working with Northwest Haiti Christian Mission. For more than 30 years, the mission has been touching lives in the name of Jesus Christ. We will spend about 10 days working at a maternity ward and orphanage, praying over the city, and running a VBS carnival on Tortuga Island.
My previous experiences from Camden to Peru and even locally would not have happen without the love and support of my family and friends. Thank you for your continued support and impact upon my life. I ask that you would please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I prepare myself for this trip, but also help to prepare my team. I hope that my fellow teammates and I can raise all the money through benefit concerts, flamingo flocking, dinners, and carwashes. I ask that you would prayerfully consider financially sponsoring my trip. My goal is to raise $2500. Your prayers and donations help to change lives around the world and we work together to be the hands and feet of Christ.

Jennifer Nichole Elrod