Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Moment of Truth

So this is it. 5:00 today the first groups come. At 5:00 today Steph and I will be leaving the main housing site and heading down to Anacostia with our group from Kansas. And that's about all I know right now. Come 2:00 we'll have our first official staff meeting and get our schedules for the week. But right now I know next to nothing about what this week will hold. Not only do I not have a clue what's going on for the week, we're also not going to have Internet for the week. Which wouldn't be a huge deal if I hadn't been planning on mapping everything out on google maps to get from site to site. I told the staff that God is probably laughing in my face right now. I'm not a huge fan of not knowing what's going on. I like to plan and be prepared. But there's only so much prep work you can do when you only know your cohost, the state the group is from and where you're living for the week. "You said you wanted me to challenge you this summer - you've got it. I'll start by making you as uncomfortable as possible going into your first week. Get ready!" I'm pretty sure that's what God's saying through this. 

And don't get me wrong. I am SOOOO excited for this week. I'm ready to meet the group and show off this city I'm falling more and more in love with each day. I'm just feeling slightly out of my element. Which is a good thing because I can't expect to grow if I'm not. As Steph said at dinner last night - I want to be uncomfortably guided by God. 

For me, last night at church and even dinner afterwards was the perfect culmination of everything I've been learning these past two weeks. Pastor Mark preached out of 2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" Basically he talked about the importance of examining our spiritual selves. And using scripture a the mirror through which we see ourselves. If I could only come away with one thing from these last two weeks it would be the emphasis on doing everything for the Glory of God and how necessary it is to be in the Word to know what brings Him Glory. Anything I learned about hosting will go back to that idea. Getting around DC, maybe not. But also not quite as important to the overall significance of the trip. And that's why they make maps. We ended the service with communion, after reflecting on Colossians 3:1-17 (the same passage we discussed in training last week) and then recited the Apostle's Creed. After church Craig Steph and I went to dinner with a group of people from NCC and Will, the small group leader who also happened to spend two semesters hosting for CSM in DC "grilled" us with some thought privoking questions regarding our first week and why we're here this summer. Talk about self examination. It was pretty perfect actually. 

Training has been great. We've spent a lot of time getting to know each other as a staff. We've worked the different ministry sites, eaten dinner at some of the restaurants and circled DC probably about 50 million times. And it was awesome. I loved having the opportunity to serve along side the rest of the staff and taking time to get to know this place I hope to call home in the future. But it's not about us anymore. I mean, it never really was, but as much as these two weeks were about God and serving this city, they were also very much catered to what we needed to know and do to be succesful at our job this summer. But now, after serving God, it's our job to cater to the needs of groups we host. My will, my life, is hidden in Christ and it will be hidden in the people I serve this summer - both residents and guests to this city. It's not going to be an easy summer. God's pushed me too much already for everything to be smooth sailing the entire way. But I am prepared. Jason and Kristen have made sure that we know everything we need to know to host this first group. And God has made it very clear that this summer isn't about me and He is the one guiding each and every group that comes to DC this summer. 

So this is it. Training's over. Jason and Kristen have handed over the reigns and I'm handing them right over to God. This is the moment of truth. I'm not quite ready for 5:00 tonight. But God is. And He's ready to move. And that's a truth that I can cling to.


Katie Jones said...

You're doing your job RIGHT NOW! I love that you're being challenged to dive into something without a plan. Too funny. But as I recall, "[You] know how to be spontaneous!" so it's all good, I'm sure. ;) Praying for you and the ministry your peeps is doing. Please keeps this updated as much as possible. We're reading.

word verification: preoci:
Cool abbrev for "preoccupied."

Claire said...

Ashley! I'm praying for you this week. I know that God is going to challenge you (like He already has been doing) and resting on His strength, you're going to make a great guide.
I can't wait to visit you in this city that *you* love so much ;)

Sadie said...

agreed with the rest of 931.

SO GLAD to finally have a friend love the city like I do ;) (and probably more by the end of the summer!) Seriously glad y'all have bonded.

I do mean you and DC.

But also by now probably you and the Kansas folk. Who knows, maybe for the grand finale they'll bring in an *ar*kansan. We're usually the big finish, you know ;)

No really, though. I will be near the city on Saturday, got big plans? Or do you already have an adulterous date planned with my man? (still meaning DC)

Love you like whoa. Glad God is giving you some direction.