Lauren (city director): Moses, smile!
*We all start laughing*
So, if you have been keeping in touch with me or following me on any social media platform, then you know that I have started a new job with Center for Student Missions (csm.org) as a city host.
These lovely people?
They’re going to be my co-workers and roommates for the next couple of months. (Yes, i’m living with a guy. He’s in a totally separate room, but still, totally new experience.)
Anyways. The girl’s name is Sarah and the guy’s name is Moses. It’s so crazy how when we first met how many similarities we have to each other; sometimes between all 3 of us.
For instance, when I first met Sarah, I told her that I used to live in Bridgeport, then she told me how her and her family stayed around there and ate in Bridgeport often. That totally caught me by surprise, because not many first timers in Chicago find their selves in Bridgeport unless they’re going to a Sox game. Later on that night we met Moses. He told us how he’s from the south side of Chicago, so we asked from where and he said Bridgeport (crazy, right?). So being a Chicagoan (I guess after 4 years I can claim it), I asked him what street did he live on and turns out, his family lives about 2 blocks from me (very very crazy, right?). Talking more with Sarah and Moses we found more similarities between us and I said out loud how I felt like they (the city directors) planned this, but they didn’t know any of this stuff about us. Dear ol’ Sarah pointed to the obvious and said God knew what he was doing when he bought us together :) even though we’ve been living here for just a week, it has felt like much longer, so I can’t imagine how well I will know these crazy kids by the end of fall season. Can’t wait to see what God has in store for us as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Now my job. Well, i’m still training. Got one more week. So far so good, even though I think my brain has for sure slowed down since yesterday from the information overload. Most of the reason I am blogging is because with learning things and feeling things (i’m a feeler) and being an extrovert, I gotta let how i’m feeling out or my brain is just gonna be a hot mess. During training, they actually encouraged blogging, which was for sure an encouragement I needed. So what is a city host you maybe wondering. It’s a lot of things, but mostly youth groups and college groups can come to Center for Student Missions, and I as their city host will facilitate their experience while in Chicago. So I will take them on prayer tours taking them a bit around Chicago, telling them about it, and praying for different things. I will take them out to different global cuisines. This week already, I have had Afghan food (so so good by the way), Vietnamese food, Mediterranean food, Chinese food, and Mexican food. Awesome, right? And there’s more! I haven’t eaten out so much in my life haha. Then I will also take groups to different places they can serve and serve along with them.
Then this weekend, we got to serve with a youth group coming to CSM at Cornerstone Community Outreach, Two Lil’ Fishes, and Canaan Missionary Baptist Food Pantry. Just getting to go to the sites for the first time and seeing the faces for the first time and being able to bless these people and show them God’s love through serving, man :) the fact that this gets to be my job! Well, there’s actually a poster in our space that says “This is more than a 9-5 job, it’s a lifestyle.” I am quickly learning that is true.
So with this being such a big deal and me having to learn so much and me being passionate about this, I am remembering that I can be a perfectionist. When I typically write for iBelieve or even when I was in college, before I turned in something, I most likely looked over it like 6 times to make sure it was perfect. I was never the girl to just do it and turn it in (well, unless it was 3am, then I did haha). All that being said, my perfectionist is coming out during training, and to be honest, I am taking out not getting something down on myself. Well, really learning the map of Chicago, and learning my way around. The thing is, I have never even got us terribly lost. It’s just if I get one turn wrong or something, I would beat myself up about it internally. The directors have told us plenty of times how making mistakes at this time is okay. It wasn’t until, after like the third training or so, Moses asked Sarah and I what God has been teaching us so far, and I flat out told them how I have been getting down on myself and God is telling me not too. Moses kinda laughed and just said nonchalantly how it’s okay to make mistakes. I’ve heard that before, of course, but when he said it, I was just like, how could he have such freedom with that?! As of recent though, I have been clinging to Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." and just remembering that I can do this and even if I make a mistake, it’s okay! I will get it.
So yeah, I am already growing mentally and it’s just been a week.
But yeah, when I think of my past couple of months and just how it was such a hard time to God bringing me to this point. To be honest, I didn’t think I would make it to this point. A point of happiness. Where I am truly happy with life right now. And the fact that I have grown in my relationship with God, and I get to have this sweet time with him of learning and growing and having so much fun. Ahh, I am sure that these next couple of months will be amazing. Now that my directors have suggested blogging as a way to escape, there will most likely be more post :)
Oh, and random, but I painted recently! If you know me, you know that painting is the visual art talent I wish I had. I have never really painted before since like grade school probably. Long story short, worship night, especially for artist, paint canvases, journals, sketch pads, me writing, then God telling me to paint, and boom. Now, the painting is not a Picasso, but I am proud of it, because I painted without inhibition. God gave me the freedom to paint, even though I am not great at it, and man, did it feel great. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Man, is that true. Now, I just gotta remember that freedom I have.
*ADDITION* So just came across this verse and thought it was too perfect. It’s from Colassians 1:17 “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Yes, yes, and yes.