Monday, February 21, 2011

Peace

Hey Circles! I am so excited to be back from New Zealand to dive into community with you guys. I know I am a little behind on blogs and getting to meet you all, but I already feel as if I am part of a family :) I have been so encouraged by how fast we have come together as a community. It shows me how being raw and vulnerable and having a passion for Jesus can really bring people together. This is the community I have longed for. Thanks for all being so real and open with one another.

As I have reflected back on my trip to New Zealand, I have felt so full of awe and joy with being blessed to be in God's beautiful creation. While I was there I was on a bus a lot of the time, but I was able to just sit with my Ipod listening to worship music and talk to God while looking at all He has made. It was so awesome! I struggle being still and present and with giving God my time in prayer. It was cool to be able to do all of that. Now that I am back home, I feel that I have come to appreciate God's creation even more and want to make prayer more a part of my day. :)

I have felt so at peace lately even though my life has a lot of changes going on right now. I am starting school up again, starting Circles, and my life group of one year just ended. I am actually excited for all the changes which is normally not like me. I don't like change. It has been cool because over the last few months I realize God has been transforming my plans and thoughts for my life. I went to Kenya and Ukraine last summer for five weeks and came back a wreck. My heart broke for the people there and I felt overwhelmed by all I had saw. I have had a growing desire and passion to do missions work. It became even stronger on this trip. I came back wanting God to just let me go into the mission field and to lay out a plan for me. I felt like 'I am willing so why not just show me what you want me to do.' While in Kenya I felt that God kept showing me that I need to trust Him and not worry about the future but live in the moment. The verse that I felt God gave me was Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." I think I am now finally resting in this thought that God has a special plan for me and that I need to trust Him and not try to plan out my life for Him. Awhile ago I came to peace that God wanted me here in California for now. Now that I am staying in California, I was blessed with the opportunity of Circles and now will be going back to school to further my education in nursing to help others and possibly open more doors for the future. I am so excited knowing that I am exactly where God wants me even though I don't know what is going to happen. It is amazing how we can have peace in the unknown :) I was out running yesterday and this song came on my Ipod by Sanctus Real called "Whatever Your Doing".  The chorus says:

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something Heavenly

This rang so true for me. I feel like surrender is so hard especially when I can't see what is going to happen. However, once I do surrender it is so amazing and there is so much peace! So anyways, my prayer right now is that I be still before the Lord. Even though I am at peace I find myself already starting to try to plan my life again in all these amazing opportunities that Circles and other things in my life are presenting. I know I can't do everything but I realize now I need to take it all before the Lord and let Him rule my life. His plan for me is so much better :)

17 comments:

  1. so good! There is no peace apart from the Father.
    "God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing." -Clive Staples Lewis :)

    It's an awesome feeling to have your life feeling so chaotic but at rest simultaneously. I think this comes from knowing that God will never give you more than you can handle and that He is in control.

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  2. thank you for sharing ashley! your peace is very encouraging. i am so glad to hear that you could sit in rest and stillness and spend time with the Lord while you were in New Zealand. i pray that will continue on here while you get back into your life here. i am very excited to meet you!

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  3. It's been a blast getting to know you and the Circles people a little bit over the weekend, and I'm excited for the months to come!

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  4. You're in a great spot. Just love Him, serve Him, worship Him and He will never ever ever let you go.

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  5. Nice to meet you Monday! Thanks for sharing you thought and journey to here a bit with us...the feeling of serenity, peace, and purpose is awesome...enjoy it!

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  6. It's so cool to hear how you've been able to spend time with God in New Zealand! I would really like to travel somewhere as well..

    I am also trying to rest in God and letting go of trying to control everything. But, like you said, I know this year of 2011 holds something unexpected and awesome for all of us!

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  7. So cool to hear the things God is doing in you. And they're not small things. He's changing you.

    Side note, I went to high school with the guys from Sanctus Real. Really good guys.

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  8. Thanks for sharing Ashley...we're glad to have you back! I'm excited for Mondays and to get to know you better :-) I struggle with the same things for sure...surrendering control when we can't see very far ahead...but you have reminded me how much peace there is when we are willing to trust in Him!

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  9. I love watching scenery and listening to worship music its so cool! Praying for you and your stillness and peace :)

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  10. Finding peace in surrender to God is such an amazing thing but its so true in that its hard to maintain especially with the world trying to pull you in all different directions and telling you what you should be doing with your life.

    I'm praying for you.

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  11. Really cool things. Such an exciting time. I'm excited to travel this time with you. Praying for you!

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  12. Great to have you back and to be part of this new chapter in your life.

    It will be exciting to see what you life looks like once the dust settles, and you start to see the patterns in what God has planned for you through all the change.

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  13. ash, thanks for sharing! i'm so stoked for this opportunity to reconnect with you. i thought what you said in that last paragraph was really interesting. i question if it would even be a true sense of surrender if we could see what was lain out before us. i think the mystery is a part of the deal on that. definitely exciting and scary.

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  14. I am so excited for you! I love that you recognize that you need to live in the present and not the past and future. I think we all get so caught up in planning everything out that we forget to listen to His voice.

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  15. so excited to see how He uses this season of waiting in your life. the peace isn't coming from nowhere - philippians 4 is says don't be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your request to God and the peace of God which transcends understand will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. as you continue to bring everything to the feet of Jesus, He promises peace that doesn't come with understanding but surpasses it!

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  16. Dude, so awesome to see you working through those things Ash! Praying for you to harbor God's strength and stay steadfast!
    Great running into you and Dannah yesterday!

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