The enemy has been defeated. Death couldn't hold You down. We're going to lift our voice in victory, we're going to make our praises loud.
Sometimes God asks us to do tricky things. Sometimes His timing is really inconvenient. I mean...come on. I have school. I have tests. I have papers. I have meetings. I don't have time to build relationships God. I don't have time to really care about others. Doesn't He get that?
This is how He often responds to me when I tell Him that:
He says, "Ashley. Kid...Honey, Child. What are you doing?"
And then I tell Him, "Welllllllll.........I..I..I....Eep..."
And He smiles. And reminds me that He will take care of me. And that I seriously have got to get my butt in gear and actively love people. And His timing, contrary to my belief, is actually quite on target. He also reminds me that He's gotta be more important than school. That He is the source and provider of joy, peace, passion, purpose, love, excitement.
So, why am I writing this at 3:20am? Because I couldn't sleep. These last few nights, I've been able to have really intentional conversations with people about Christ. And in both of them, He revealed Himself in a powerful way. I saw people break down and run straight into His glory. And people were faced with a decision. Christ or something else. Tonight, I got up so I could listen to some "Jesus Jams" as I like to call them. And I began reading "Starving Jesus". And then apparently...felt the need to write in this blog (what a weird word) but in a very real way.
Also, I'd like to point out that this is like a for real journal type entry. Yeah. Be proud. Bam.
Back to the whole God thing from a few paragraphs earlier. I gotta be semi-careful how I word this, write this, enter this...but here we go. So I have a really cool job. My job is to care about people. And I get paid for it. Pretty legit, yeah? Yeah......... Well. There's actually a lot more to it than just caring about people. A lot more. But I want to focus solely on the whole caring aspect of it. So, I have 43 people that I'm directly "responsible" (I don't really know what the right word is, but that seems to fit okay....) for. 43. On one level, that's not that many, right? It should be easy to care about 43 people. And to that I say, "You're right. It is easy to care about them."
I'm going to clump these 43 women together and say this about them: They are really cool. For real, they are amazing. Sure, they get on my nerves sometimes (in the most loving way, of course), and sure, they do some ridiculous things. But I have got to say. I seriously love them. I adore them. I admire them. All 43 of them. And I care about them. (And what's really nuts to me. Is that God loves them, adores them, cares about them. Way more than I ever could. That's the kind of God I serve.)
But those things...are easy to do. It's the whole actively loving thing that I have issues with. Mainly because I just don't have time. Or they don't have time. Put it together, and we don't have time. We are too busy to build a genuine relationship. And I have continued to use that as an excuse. That I've tried, but it's not going to happen. One of us is always busy. But excuses aren't really a favorite of God's. And He seems pretty adamant about the whole actively loving thing.
Having a genuine relationship with 43 people. And the rest of what my job entails. And being a full time student. And keeping up with other things and people. Is actually quite difficult. So this is where I complain apparently. Yeesh. What I'm getting at is this. 43 people is actually a lot when it comes to actively loving. So that's why I tell God I don't have time. Because if I spent just one hour with each of them. That's 43 hours. But a real relationship is more than one hour. It's continuous. It's many hours. And many hours with 43 people. Is a whole lot of hours. And that's when He tells me. Hey Ash, just trust me. This whole time issue ain't got nothing on me. I got you. You can do school. You can keep up with things. You can actively love. So long as I am in the midst of it all. So long as I. Come. First.
If you are one of those 43 persons. I'm going to let you know right now, that I'm going to be knocking on your door really soon and asking to hang out. And I'm going to be pretty persistent. Because I genuinely want to and because God really wants me to. Because you are worth it. You are worth my time. You are worth having an intentional conversation with.
Okay, okay God. I think I get it. Good grief.
So here's what I'm saying.
1. Don't use lack of time as an excuse to not love on people. Especially if you're a Christ Follower.
2. Actively love people. Be genuine. Build genuine relationships.
3. People are worth it.
4. The 43 girls I've been talking about are fantastic and I can't wait to for real get to know them.
And just so we're clear. I love my job. And I love my girls. And I love my God. And my schoolwork will still get done. And all is good in the hood. I'm not actually as overwhelmed as what it may have sounded, because I am continuously calmed down by the peace of God.