Here is my blog for this week. It is a reflection over my time here at the church, hope you enjoy 🙂
I have now been in Coeur d’Alene for 9 weeks and a lot has happened since I arrived. I taught Sunday School almost every Sunday, I co-lead the middle and high school mission trips, and I helped make Vacation Bible School (VBS) run smoothly. If time travel was possible and I could tell my past self all that I have done this summer, I would be in utter disbelief.
After completing my Freshman year of college, I felt a little disappointed. I was disappointed that I had not changed as much as I thought I would’ve. I grew up in public school and did not have many loyal Christian buddies and then I entered college and I became friends with other strong Christians. I had a realization that for the first time in my life I was not the most holistic person in the room. I felt inferior to their theological level. I wanted to speak up during discussions, but everything I had to contribute seemed to pale in comparison to their long-stringing metaphors describing John Calvin’s view of predestination. My pride was certainly humbled. The school year ended with more confusion than answers and I was drained, so I drove home and was comforted by my friends and family who helped bring me back to earth. Then after 3 weeks I said my farewells to my parents and friends and drove 7 hours to little Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I came with no expectations. I knew I would be working with the youth and children’s program, but the exact details were a mystery to me. Immediately, on the first day I was pulled from service and asked to help with the Sunday School. This was when I was told that I would be teaching Sunday School, co-leading a Vacation Bible school in a church with a new children’s pastor, and be a guiding voice in the middle and high school youth groups and mission trips. I’m not even going to try and pretend that I was strong and confident.
Now that I am on the other side, I can confidently say that the only reason I am still here and alive is because God has been gracious to me. I can 100% say that I learned more about myself and life in 9 weeks at 1stPresbyterian Church, Coeur d’Alene than 9 months in Spokane. People keep telling me how thankful they are that I was here this summer to help the church, but I always thank them in a state of confusion because I feel that I gained far more than I ever gave.
From teaching Sunday School, I gained confidence in my ability to teach and figured out my personal style of teaching. During VBS I discovered my love for little and older children. When I was on the mission trips, I lost my protective layer of pride and learned what it means to be a humble servant of Jesus, and what evangelism means for me. I cannot understate the influence from my host families who became dear mentor figures and close friends to me. Being in the church taught me how to love people with the best of my abilities and to find joy when working alongside drastically different personality types. The youth reinvigorated me to be the kind of mentor who runs in the Coeur d’Alene lake in overalls when all the signs are telling me “no.” From Coeur d’Alene I learned that life is steady and busy, yet there is beauty everywhere; I just have to take a closer look.
I am not the person I was when I entered the doors of 1st Presbyterian church on June 9th, but I can confidently say that Jesus put me here to serve and in return I gained everything I had been craving. Thank you for welcoming me into your doors, don’t you dare think this is the last you’ll see of me! God bless you all.