When trying to find the words to even being articulating what this summer met to me, one thing immediately comes to mind and that is- Jesus showed up. Gosh, He’s so good and throughout the entire summer He was so evident. He was their for the morning worship, sitting in on teaching, going out to the community, various conversations, etc. He was always there, thank goodness for continually faithfulness and love.
Yesterday we learned about the prophet Samuel, and how he took a stone, set it between Mizpah and Shen and named it Ebenezer. When Samuel placed this stone he said “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” 2000 years later I had the opportunity to place my own stone on top of an altar. I was asked to write on this stone, a single word that would sum up how the Lord has shown Himself to me this summer. My word was loved.
I never thought entering into this summer love would be something I struggled with. Months before coming to Africa, I prayed with anticipation that I would be wrecked by the love and goodness of our Father and surrender my life to Him. I didn’t fully realize that with that prayer I would have to deal with past experiences that I so easily put in a box, under my bed so I never have to deal with again.
But, with God being a God of love and forgiveness He was there to walk with me through those past experiences. He had forgiven me long ago and loved me through it all, but I wasn’t granting forgiveness and love for myself. This summer while going through that process of forgiveness, His love for me become more evident then ever before. I began realizing that through whatever my past may have looked like or whatever my future entails, He is right there walking right alongside of me, loving me through it all.
This summer He has renewed both love for myself and also Him. While yes, love and forgiveness will be an ongoing thing I will wrestle with. I am more certain then ever that Jesus is with me right now as I type this blog. He is with me as I continue on this day and He will continue walking with me through this life, loving me through all the joys and trials. Thank goodness for that, because I will say it a million more times- Jesus always shows us, and I am so excited to do this life right alongside of Him.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erin Ridder • 2017 International Immersion Intern