It's my first morning in this apartment. I am aware of the presence of the Spirit and I let my thoughts wander. I feel a wave of thankfulness rush over me. I have such a homey space to live in for the next year. It's old and dated, definitely doesn't smell new, it has an interesting paint job from the previous BSM intern, mismatched furniture, stained carpet, and the ceiling looks like it's falling down in the bedroom.
But my mind's on something else. I'm imagining the fellowship that will happen in this space. I think of those who'll meet here weekly and do life together, our time in worship, the revelations that'll occur through bible study, and heartfelt prayers uttered praising God and lifting up the needs of brothers and sisters.
I see the entertainment center and think of watching movies and playing games. I know there will be purpose in reaching out and including new people on those fun nights.
In the bedroom, I'm reminded there will be sleepovers and plenty of girl time (aka, emotional outbursts of laughter and tears). I glance toward the kitchen and think of conversations over coffee, potluck dinners and the way sharing a meal or dessert adds an important element to the spirit of community.
I look up and see a blank wall. I get the idea to have visitors write prayer requests or scriptures on colored cards and post them there so I'll be reminded to pray for them each by name.
This is such a significant moment communing with the Spirit because yesterday my thoughts were focused in an opposite direction. Friends who graduated with me have "real" jobs and they wanted to show me their places. As I walked into beautiful homes decorated with new furniture, fresh paint, and perfectly coordinated décor, I began to felt envious and inferior. They have new cars and are starting their careers. It seems they're so far ahead of me and I'm stuck. My job this year is basically to continue living as a college student, my salary is a joke and a perk is the meal plan in the cafeteria. Need I say more?
And don't be wishing you were someplace else, or with someone else. Where you are right now is God's place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status (job, apartment, car, financial situation, etc…), defines your life. 1 Corinthians 7:17, The Message
Perspective. How quickly I forget my calling and surrender to selfish desires and the illusion of the American dream. I get focused on the material and neglect the spiritual. Discontent sinks in and I forget even the root of my issue. The devil loves that and uses my weakness to His full advantage, but God is up to a greater work, He chooses to display His glory through my weakness, limitation, and sin. He redeems my wayward thoughts and transforms my lack of thankfulness into a beautiful story of His blessing, grace and mercy. He reminded me of how thankful I am for this opportunity to be here a 5th year.
Join me in praying for contentment and faithfulness despite the desires of my flesh. Pray that God will bless the ministry I continue to engage in on the campus of ETBU and make His strength apparent through my weakness (2 Corinthians 4:17). Pray that He will break down barriers to discipleship and that our love for Him and one another will be a witness, on this campus and beyond.
By Lerinda Baham, BSM Intern at East Texas Baptist University. Before graduating from ETBU in May with a Business Major, Lerinda was involved in BSM at ETBU and served on BSM leadership for 7 semesters. In addition to being a BSM intern, Lerinda has started online seminary and has a part time job in marketing.
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