Prayer Team

Last Friday night, the night before Graduation, we had our Baccalaureate at LIFE Pacific College. Baccalaureate is a time where all the graduates gather for a commissioning message, worship, and a prayer over the graduates. It was a good time where I got to see some of the friends that I started school with and hang out with one of my roommates from this past year. The roommate who I have known since elementary school.

Needless to say, my heart was already full. I was with people I love, in a place where I started my ministry education, a place of history. While preparing to go into the baccalaureate we had to fill out prayer cards that we would give to the people who were to pray over us. We were going to be assigned a group of leaders at the school, the denomination and pastors from the local area. I was a little reticent about this aspect because though for the sake of time, writing down ministry plans for prayer is better it seems less personal, but, as I would find out, God can work in our extreme planning.

Worship was fantastic and it was amazing seeing our classmates leading us all in this time of praise. As I was sitting there I felt enveloped by God’s love I asked that I could have someone praying for me that knew me or had similar interests. I was looking around the room picking different people that I knew. The speeches and charges were given and I definitely felt empowered for what God was doing in my life and where he was leading me. Then we began to be assigned to different groups that were to pray for us.

God did not just give me one person that knows me, he gave me a whole group. Within the group I had the pastor couple of the church I was attending before I moved. They are a couple That have been a constant support in my life from before I was attending their church. I have grown up with their kids and they have cared for my parents.

Tom was also in my group. I first met Tom when I went on a missions trip to Mexico when I was in 6th grade, he was on the team. From that point he kept popping up in my life randomly. I would see him at camps regularly and when I began to tell him the call on my life he would consistently tell me to attend LPC. I told him I wanted to attend a bigger school. He persisted while I resisted. Finally when God made it apparent this was the school I needed to attend, he was one of the first people I told. Then he moved to Virginia last year to teach at Ignite, where I was.

Dr. Mike Larkin was the final member of the team assigned to pray over me. Mike Larkin was one of my professors my Freshman year of College and he challenged me and pushed me while he was inspiring me. He also created Ignite Academy, which God had impressed in me to pray for. What I didn’t realize then was that I would be committing 4 years of my life to. I moved to Virginia and I have been working under and mentored by Mike ever since.

Do you want my prayer card?

I said to them. They smirked and told me no. Mike said that they knew me better than I probably know myself. God knew and he set it up so I would receive from all these people who have been pouring into my life.

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Three Things

I’ve been avoiding writing for a while. I’m not sure why. It seems that I have had something of note to write about for the past three days, but I have consistently busied myself so I would not have an opportunity to write. Today in a moment when I was praying I felt God impress on me to write. Write three things.

I graduated from college Saturday,

My mom suffers from severe Multiple Sclerosis,

and

God is good.

It may or may not be known but for the past four years I have been attending college at Life Pacific College, well in a manner of speaking I have. To begin with, I knew in 6th grade I was supposed to attend LIFE, but as these things go, by the time I was in High School I wanted to go anywhere but LIFE. In a longer story for another time, God made it clear I was to attend LIFE. So, much to the chagrin of my teachers, I applied to one school. I was accepted and I moved in Fall of 2010.

I got the most coveted job on the campus, the coffee shop and I enrolled in 19 units. Because of my IB Diploma units I was able to take upper division courses. Needless to say, I had a full semester. I also was able to make some wonderful friends in that time. During this first semester of college, God spoke again to me very clearly. There was a discipleship program moving across the country to grow into a school and I was to go with them. Though I was sad to leave I knew this is where God wanted me to go.

During my first year in Virginia I took courses distantly through LIFE, just a few, but it kept me on schedule enough for when LIFE opened up their Degree Completion Program, and 18 month online program that would allow me to finish my college education on time.

Thus we are now at present. Four years go by faster than you would think. I walked Saturday with those that I did Freshman orientation with four years ago. I graduated with to my first college roommate and nearly my whole quad for that first year.

Surreal

How amazing it was to graduate with those I started with and though I was apart from them for three years I was able to make it back to the finish line right with them. I would never have planned this, but it was a gift. I graduated college.

I’m going to Disneyland!

Sunday was Mother’s Day and this was the first Mother’s Day I have been with my mom in three years. Because it has always been a family favorite, we went to Disneyland. It was hot. My mom has severe Multiple Sclerosis. To give a gist, MS inhibits nerve function, heat makes it worse. Besides some difficulty we were able to manage the day.

We went again yesterday. It was hotter.

To be honest, living far away has made it easy to not think about this. To not consider how bad my mom’s disease has progressed. She is consistently in a wheel chair and my dad has to carry her in and out of it . She cannot go to the bathroom alone. Her legs shake and fall off the foot rests. She can’t hold up her body so she slides into the chair and just recently she has has had difficulty holding up her head. This creates the problem of drooling as well.

Ten years ago my mother would have charged through the crowd with determination, avoiding the people who lagged.

The first time we noticed it was bad, was about five years ago when we tried to ride the Matterhorn. It’s a rickety roller coaster but it was designed to do “lap sitting” so my dad could hold her. After launching off we proceeded with what was probably the worst ride of our lives. She was in hysterical tears the entire ride, panicking that she would fall out. My dad was holding her as tight as he could and she was still sliding about unable to hold herself up. After that we stayed away from that ride and mostly stuck with boat rides like Pirates of the Caribbean or It’s a Small World. She can no longer ride any rides other than the large ships that circle the Rivers of America or the Disneyland Train.

We finally decided after being there for a mere three hours that it would be best if she went home to rest. I realized that may be the last time she goes to Disneyland.

My mom loves Disneyland.

It has always been a place for our whole family to go. I think the realization that she may not be able to go back to Disneyland has made this disease real to me. When my dad and her left yesterday I nearly broke down.

My father is a champion.

He has loved and taken care of my mom since the diagnosis with more responsibility as it has progressed. He carried her, washes her, dresses her and does what he can to provide for her, all on his own. They live in Oregon while my sister lives in Southern California and I live across the country.

It is in these moments I question. I wonder. Should I move home to help them? What could I accomplish? Then I think, “No God called me here”. But, I finished college, I was gone for three years from home and in that time they were kicked out of their house and moved away. My moms health has deteriorated. I know it’s not my fault these things happened but could I have done anything to make it easier?

Looking back doesn’t help. I must look forward, but to what? Working at a school? Perhaps a higher degree? To what end? I sat pondering this, wondering if I should return west and help my parents. They have a huge Shakespeare theatre festival I could work. Perhaps I attempt to work there. I can’t shake this feeling though, that I need to stay in the East.

Do you trust me?

Is what I hear Him say. Can I trust Him to take care of them? Can I trust Him to take care of my future? I know I need to return now, but who knows what will happen in a few months? God will care for us, He will guide us, He will provide for us and I know it is still possible for Him to heal my mom.

God is Good.

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