10.30.2010

**I stand Amazed**

I'm not sure where to begin with this post. I fear that those of you who read this will not really understand because you might not have been around for these events...but it's all good. What you WILL understand is that God is truly good. That His plan is perfect and that He continues to use things throughout our lives that will continually blow our minds.

So...when I was in college, I joined the Sigma Phi Lambda sorority in 2005, became the Missions chair in 2006 and the President by 2008. While I was the Missions chair the Lord really opened up my eyes to a world of hurting people and showed me how I could use my personality and my gifts to be a part of huge life change. The changes I saw changed my life forever. Sometimes they weren't immediate changes...but they were lives of women who were serving others wholeheartedly. They were women who learned to LOVE missions and love the lost. They were women who got out of their comfort zone for the first time in their life and saw what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

While I did see some effects of my ministry in that sorority immediately...some effects are still being manifested today. I don't mean for this to sound like "its all about me" or that God couldn't have done it without me...its just that right now I can SEE that He used ME! Little ole me was a part of his huge plan and that is SO humbling and awesome.

One of the ladies in my sorority that came on the first mission trip I ever led in 2007 to the Bronx, NY, was named Rebecca. I can't say for sure that this was her first mission trip...but I think it was pretty close to that. Anyway...she is incredible to say the least. Later in 2009 she also attended a trip with Phi Lamb to Guatemala (not led by me...but I was on the trip as well) and just began to hear the call of the Lord on her life to missions. She fell in love with Guatemala. Earlier this month Rebecca left for an 11 month mission trip called the World Race, and wouldn't you know the first country they visited? Guatemala. While that may seem trivial...I was just blown away at how God brought these circumstances together. That years ago God laid it on my heart to start a missions department for our sorority and then years later God would use a trip planned by this department to send her into full time missions. Rebecca has dropped everything for a year to minister around the world and I am SO proud of her and SO blessed to see the way the God has worked in her life and mine. You can follow Rebecca's journey here: http://rebeccaweaver.theworldrace.org/

Then just another amazing story of God's provision and work...the story that prompted this blog post. By 2008 when I was the President of the sorority, a crazy series of events led us to the decision to host a rally to bring awareness about Human Trafficking to the campus of UF. We kinda randomly decided to work alongside STALL: Stop Trafficking and Liberate Lives--a division of Philip Cameron Ministries. They build safe houses for young women (and men) in Moldova (near Romania) to help keep youth out of the dangerous trafficking future that awaits them. Long story short, Philip's son Andrew and his girlfriend Natalie (one of the young ladies rescued by STALL) came and spoke to a group of over 100 people and I just had an amazing time with this whole experience.

Along with all this is the story of Emily, one of my sorority sisters, whose life was also hugely impacted by a mission trip to Barbados in 2006. Emily was a huge part of the Missions dept in Phi Lamb and attended many of the trips led from 07-09. After college she also joined the World Race (her race started back in July) and last month the Race took her to none other than Romania/Moldova. Andrew just happened to be in Moldova at the time so I mentioned this to both Emily and Andrew via facebook and they were actually able to meet up just a week or so ago!! I was so jealous :) but Emily was able to physically GO to Stella's house and meet the girls and I just couldn't believe the series of events that led up to that.

Not only was that really cool that they were able to meet up...but this morning I was reading a post Emily wrote on her blog about an incredible encounter she just had with a Moldovan girl. I was near tears in the car as I read it and wished that I could feel that passion again...that God would show me a sign like he has shown her over and over. I felt so close to the Lord in college as I was so involved in missions, but lately I've felt more distance since I've settled into "real life" and a day-to-day routine.

I followed this pity-party by checking facebook and saw that Andrew Cameron (from STALL) posted that he is in FORT MYERS today!!!! Hello?!?! How about a sign from the Lord?!

I was completely shocked and amazed that he and his father are here, of all places in the world, to speak tonight. (And YES I'm going by the way!!) Again...all this may sound SO trivial to all of you...but to me it's just the Lord speaking Loud and Clear that I don't have to be in college surrounded by 100 women all the time and constantly organizing mission trips to feel the presence of the Lord. I can be right here...in my "real life, day-to-day routine" and He is here with me too. God  has used something so simple as an anti-trafficking organization to just rock my world today.

I guess the moral of the story is...if you aren't sure what you are doing with your life, if you don't feel like what you are doing is making an impact...you might not see it now...but HE is at work. And HE is truly good.

Me and Emily at the STALL rally in 2009


10.15.2010

Let the GaToR GrOwL!

Tonight in TitleTown (aka Gainesville), Florida tens of thousands of people are roaming the streets and heading to Gator Growl, the largest student-led pep rally in the world!

It's hard to believe...but 5 years ago on this night...I actually got to get the party started by singing the National Anthem! It was one of the craziest, most exciting, most nerve-wrecking moments of my life. Performing in front of 60,000+ people with no real soundcheck due to rain the night before...it was definitely an awesome experience.

Thanks to the ability to post videos (however SMALL)...you can now reminisce with me tonight. Enjoy. :)

There are 2 parts because I think the "rockets red glare" scared my roommate who was video taping. But this remains as the only proof of my little claim to fame. So thanks to Sara Tolliver for some awesome videos.


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