I have a feeling this will be a shorter blog post, but this has been on my heart for a while, and feel it’s worth sharing. So let’s see where this goes!
Last week I attended the young adult conference at Citipointe Church. Powerful worship and a strong community stood out to me the whole time. However, the thing that stood out to me the most (and has been on my heart since then) is the scripture that the head pastor (Chardon) brought up- Galatians 5:22-23.
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Honestly, I tune out when pastors bring this Bible passage up because it is used in the context of marriage. Since I’m obviously not married, my mind dismisses it as irrelevant. Despite my habit of tuning out, Chardon’s explanation of the passage got through to me. I saw it in a new light.
He asked which one of those “fruits” are we missing from our lives. Am I missing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, or self-control in my life? Do I live my life full of sacrificial love for others? Am I staying faithful and committed to God?
As Chardon began a prayer for all of us, he went through each fruit of the Spirit, praying over anyone who was lacking in one, some, or all of them. I feel that God set love, joy, and peace on my heart. Now that I was able to view the scripture in a new light, I suddenly could see their relevance in my life.
My Australia Studies Centre family (PC: Australia Studies Centre)
2 wonderful friends from the ASC program: Megan (left) and Hannah (right)
I have seen love in the family I’ve developed here in Australia from the Australian students, my mentors, and especially the other ASC (Australia Studies Centre) students. It is sometimes overwhelming how much love I have in the 2 months I’ve known them. I can’t imagine my life without them now. It is crazy to think how I would’ve never known them if we didn’t all decide to go on this program, on this exact semester.
Joy has been appearing in appreciating the little things during times that I have felt uncomfortable, out of place, or homesick. Despite my circumstances, God has proven to be with me, and I can live my life in freedom and without worry, stress, or anxiety.
Similarly with peace, I have been learning to let go of the things I can’t control. I will do my best, and God can take it from there. I’m settling and finding my place here in Australia, and it is a relief to give this chapter over to God to do what He wants with the person I am. Peace has come through surrendering to the change.
I’m grateful that I decided to go to the YA service at Citipointe, because Chardon’s message is changing my outlook on my study abroad experience. His message has been reminding me of the love, joy, and peace that God has for me and is surrounding me in.
PS- If you would like to keep track of the pictures I’ve been taking in Australia, I have created a photo gallery! Just scroll down to the bottom of the web page where it says “Australia Photos”. Go check it out! I’ll be adding to it throughout the semester 🙂