What happens when you run into a famous or important person? What happens when you hear amazing or surprising news about someone? What happens when you are given an opportunity you have been waiting to get for a long time? Your eyes open wide with amazement. I'm not sure if my eyes were actually as wide as a small child with a big lollipop, but I have certainly had a spring break filled with wide-eyed moments.
Besides praying all week for the ministry of HeartSong: Yellow, I myself have been ministering at my home church, The Chapel Wadsworth Campus. Ever since the Wadsworth campus was established a little less than a year ago, I made the move from the big church building to this small, more intimate community, partly to serve as a piano player whenever I am home. On Wednesday I got to rehearse with a great band and choir, and on both Sundays and Tuesday I played piano and keyboard for different services. I LOVE to serve in this way, and getting an opportunity to be a part of a community, MY community, even on an inconsistent basis, makes me really, really happy.
On Tuesday evening, the Michael Gungor Band was at my church (Akron campus) for a concert. Zac from Orange Team came up, and the two of us joined my Wadsworth worship band for pizza and then went to the concert together. Besides getting a chance to hang out and get a mini-tour of the sound booth area, we got a chance to meet Gungor while they were eating dinner! AND, I found out from Zac that their cellist toured with HeartSong for four years. Wide-eyed? Yes, I was. Getting a chance to get to know Zac and my worship band a little better made the night even more special.
Then came Ash Wednesday. Lent is a tradition that I had never heard of until I was a teenager, and even then I was confused about it because it seemed like only my Catholic friends had ever heard of it. Though it is a more strict tradition in the Catholic Church, my home church began observing it as a period of time leading up to Easter for Christians to take on more Christ-likeness, and a common way to do this is to give up a hobby or favorite food in order to spend more time in prayer and growing in Christ. This year, I decided to give up Facebook for lent. And I didn't just log out and take Facebook off of my list of top sites; I deleted my whole account. I wanted to fully commit to get rid of this distraction and spend more time in prayer and building relationships the "old-fashioned way" by meeting people in person and writing encouragement notes through the mail. I'm missing it already, which shows that it was a good thing for me to give up! My desire is to use my time away from Facebook to put on more Christ-likeness.
Friday night, I had another opportunity to tell my story about my call to be single. About 15 sixth- and seventh-grade girls met at the house of my mom's friend; this was the other opportunity I was given the night that Jackie asked me to speak to her youth group. I needed to adjust my story a little bit for their age, because for some of them boys still had cooties, and for the rest they knew they were too young to date but didn't know when they should start or how they should go about it. I told them about my fifth-grade crush, and my seventh-grade decision not to date, and my ninth-grade opportunity to date that I turned down. I also talked to them about why it's important to remain pure and how choosing not to date until you find the one you are meant to marry is a way to remain pure; I talked about how hard it is to watch my friends in relationships and have opportunities to date that I need to turn down; I also talked to them about ways they could stay true to their commitment, whether it was not to date or not to kiss: prayer, three Bible verses I picked out, and accountability with each other. We also had a question/answer time. One girl, at the end, asked if she could pray for me, that someday I would find the one and get married. That touched my heart; I know that God will honor this decision I have made to remain single until I am ready to pursue courtship with the one I know I am supposed to marry, and I rrrrrreally hope that I will find the one someday. What a great encouragement, though, to have a change to tell my story and encourage other girls to do the same!! Even if I don't get married, this is what makes my decision and my commitment worth it.
Serving in my church, meeting Gungor and hanging out with good friends, choosing to give up Facebook for the sake of putting on Christ-likeness, speaking to young girls about purity; I might not have spent my spring break somewhere warm, but all these great things I got to do were enough to make my eyes grow wide with how amazing God is. Even now I'm anticipating HeartSong's Live Event this coming weekend with wide eyes, in awe of what God has in store for us. What amazing thing is God going to do next??