Friday, August 15, 2008


Today has really been a struggle to hold back the tears. For some reason, I'm very emotional today and homesick. A close friend of mine left a little note for me on Facebook that made me cry and miss home, so ever since then I've been very teary. Gosh, someone could blink at me and I think I'd burst into tears!

Humor aside, I've been dealing with lonliness these past couple of days. It's hard to explain how I can feel so lonely with so many people surrounding me, but I'm pretty sure some of you can sympathize with that feeling. And I know it's okay to have that feeling of loneliness, since it is good for the spiritual life. I'm so thankful to God for putting a particular book into my life recently that really hit home on the idea that loneliness is part of our sanctification.

Although, I remember dealing with similar feelings in college, and I let those feelings consume me and I began to take on a very selfish and egocentric view of the world I was in. I definitely do NOT want to go near that again. So my prayer has been, daily, that God would protect me from selfish desires and that He would create in me a kind, compassionate person who will reach out to others before thinking of her own selfish desires. He gives me strength where I am grossly weak - and I am not just saying that as a cliche. He has truly proved to me these past few days that He knows exactly what He is doing and He knows exactly what I need and when I need it.

I was blown away yesterday when He revealed to me why a certain thing did not happen. Back in April I was trying to organize a trip to come down to Southeastern to visit the campus and see what everything was all about. I tried to make plane/hotel arrangements and nothing would happen. I couldn't get in touch with people, money was an issue, and other things happened that prevented me from going down to see Southeastern. For some reason, I was thinking about it yesterday and all of a sudden Truth hit me:

Stefanie, I did not bring you here back then for I knew you would not be here presently.

And from there His reasons washed over me. If I had visited this seminary back in the spring, I would have been so scared that I would have just disregarded God's calling and would probably be working somewhere else right now.

And you know what else is interesting? After hearing this Truth, I wasn't ashamed or guilty. I knew He was right (when isn't He?) and as I look back, I should have felt guilty and ashamed. But He revealed it to me in such a loving way that I was thankful. He knew me so well and found me so worthy of His love and grace, AND He believes that I can get through seminary so strongly (only through His strength, as He so quickly reminds me) that He was willing to say "no" to my desire so that His greater and better desire for ME would be carried out.

I stand here, completely shocked. Me? Worthy? Of a grace and love of this magnitude? Thank you, Abba - You overwhlem and overfill me. Continue to guide me, no matter the cost. Continue to protect me, no matter my pride. And continue to have mercy on me, a sinner. Praise and glory are Yours!

He reminded me of my favorite Psalm - Psalm 139:

O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.... You are familiar with all my ways.... You hem me in, behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.... I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:1, 3b, 5, 14a

(FYI, the book I was referring to earlier is Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot - although I'm not really reading it for the love and marriage purpose, but simply for the everyday applications she interweaves throughout the book. I strongly recommend it. )