Here’s to a Beginning (of something)

I am going to try to be at least somewhat consistent with this whole “blogging” thing. I’ve never really been good at keeping it going. I’ll start, and a few days in, get distracted with something and move forward to the next time consuming thing and, by the end of a few months I’ve forgotten completely about it. But, since summer is running out quickly, I am going to use this blog as a means to occupy the time I’d be spending on less mentally stimulating pursuits.

So first things first.

I’m Stephen, a Senior at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC. I’d like to tell you that I have an extremely high IQ, know 23 different ways to tie a knot, and once hiked to the top of Mt. Everest without a coat. But all of those things are lies. What is true about me is this: I want to be passionately in love with the Creator of the universe and am blessed beyond reason in the fact that He feels the same way about me. May my life be my testimony and the words I write here only be a shadow of what is (hopefully) already evident, testifying to the true vitality pulsing beneath my veins. Jesus Christ is real, living, and active in our world and I have been radically changed by the mercy he showed me by dying on the cross to save me from my sin, death, and Hell. He is the standard, the truth, the only one worthy of honor and praise. I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to do God’s work, and the best expression of that for me is in Youth Ministry. My heart aches for teenagers, and my goal is to proclaim the truth of the Gospel that it might save those who are lost without a way in life. My prayer is that wherever God calls me to do ministry, His power will  enable me to bring that truth in a way that is seasoned with discernment and love. His wisdom is the only thing I can depend on.

The people in my life keep me sane, and I am so blessed to have each of them. At school, I have met so many people that will be in my heart forever, whose company I enjoy and whose devotion to God propels me to pour all the passion I have into mine. My friends at home never cease to make me laugh. All of them bring me so much joy. Just last month, I lost one of the best friends I’ve ever had. Jordan Slusher died a few weeks ago on a hiking trip at Stone Mountain. Hearing this, my heart ripped in two. I didn’t believe it at first (and sometimes I still don’t) but God is slowly healing me. Though, if I’m completely honest, I am not quite there yet and its so hard because I feel like I need to be strong for everyone else.  Jordan was one of those people that continually strengthened and encouraged me in my walk with Christ and helped me push the boundaries of everything I thought real friendship was. He loved me and I loved him, and I know that he is in the arms of his Savior, Jesus. That comforts me.

My family—Mom, Dad, and Shelley–are always there for me and I love them so much. My sister and I are finally starting to work on a relationship that I always thought had long been fractured. To some measure, it still is, but God is doing awesome things and I am continually praying for the strength and intentionality to keep on building that bond with her.  My parents are some of the most understanding and loving people I have ever known. Sure, they drive me insane sometimes, but they are my parents, and I have no doubts that they love me unconditionally.

I have also been blessed to have an awesome girlfriend. We haven’t been dating for long, but I am excited to see where this goes and am praying for God’s direction and guidance on this, because, if I can be honest again, I really suck at relationships. But Heather is different, and I want to learn to show her how much I care. I will learn, I am learning. Becuase she is super cool and is an amazing woman of God and I appreciate that more than she’ll ever know.

I am by no means perfect, in fact, I am so far away from it that it makes me sick! Sometimes I am full of anger, greed, lust, laziness, and a host of other things. But I am learning a lot about honesty lately. I want to be forthcoming about my sins because the dark can’t survive when it’s brought into the light…and I might as well bring it out myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gonna unload everything on everyone I meet, but I want to be transparent with my life because when people look at me, I don’t want them to see me, for all the good or bad I have done, but I want them to see Christ and his work in my life. That is the most important goal I have: that people would see Christ. And if unleashing all of my inadquacies on an unsuspecting public can do that, then so be it.

There’s an introduction to me. I’m not very interesting, but there it is.

See ya next time…if there is a next time.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet he did not sin.Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.–Hebrews 4:14-16

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Author: panicpreacherpanic

I am not good.

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