Consecrate

Consecrate. A word we hear sometimes, never use, and rarely give a second thought.
Even so, it is a word that God has declared over these days leading 
to Bulgaria, and over the entire trip.  
Consecrate means to "declare something sacred, to ordain or to formally dedicate".
Such He is now doing.
The timing of Bulgaria isn't exactly perfect.  It has come at the busiest, most chaotic time of the year.  Soccer games, revival services, trip to Florida for a college visit, senior trip, another college visit, away games, and a boat load of school work and projects all coming due at the same time, not to mention preparing to graduate.  

And on the tale end of this crazy jumble of activity lies 10 days - consecrated.  

10 days set apart, declared holy, and dedicated to Jesus.
And in these 10 days, God promises to work, to move, and to do amazing things.
Elevation Worship has a song entitled The King is Among Us which God used to begin opening my eyes to His heart for the trip. 
He's still of the God of miracles - He's still the God of big, impossible things.  He's still the God of the miraculous, and He still invites us to join Him in this. 

In church, pastor John reminded me of just how much we fail to remember how big our God is.  
We expect small things, ask for the minimum, and forget that we have the God that walks on water, raises the dead, feeds the thousands and saves our souls.

As a team, we've hoped that we'll be able to lead some, ("please, Lord, at least just one!") of the Bulgarian students to the Lord. 
But now I expect, I beg, "God - revive Bulgaria!" 
"Use the 10 days we have to touch the nation - whether we touch the students we work with, they touch their families, their families touch their neighbors, their neighbors touch the country - or however You choose to work, do the BIG things!   Show yourself as the God of miracles, break chains, transform lives like the God you are."
We've boxed God up in our minds - it's time we let Him out.  

In the business, in the daily rush of mundane life, He calls and presents us with opportunities to work with Him, to learn from Him, to hear His heartbeat for our lives. 
But I'll be the first to admit that I forget to listen.
I get lost in daily, sometimes even lost dreaming of a future day when it'll be my sole purpose to work with Him, forgetting that that is my sole purpose now.
But our God of grace calls still, still presents the opportunities, and still invites us to join. 
When the chaos threatens to overwhelm, consecrate. 
Consecrate yourself to our God - declare your life as sacred to His service.
See trials as season of growth opportunities, and take Jesus's yoke on yourself, laying down your own. (Matthew 11:29)

We leave for Bulgaria in 5 days.  Those will be some of the most chaotic and stress-filled days I've yet to experience.  This month has already contained times of extreme stress and business. But this is a season I have to consecrate to my God. 
This is a season I have to be weak so that I can embrace my God's strength before 
leaving for Eastern Europe. 
This is a season I have to die to myself and turn to my only true Hope.
This is my season to consecrate. 


Pensacola, FL ~ School College Trip


Pensacola was a trip full of memories to say the least. 
We left Greenville, NC at 4am and traveled through the South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida by 5pm.  We made a gas stop in Alabama, and looked up with amusement at a sign reading “Greenville Alabama”.  Seems we can’t get away from our hometown!



Traveling with twenty-two 10th - 12th graders set the stage for quite 13 hour drive. 
Though it was so early in the morning when we left, there was still quite a bit of chitter chatter from our excited classmates.  However, it didn't take too long for us to konk out one by one and sleep for a few hours.


When we arrived at Pensacola, I was blown away by the large size of the campus.  Pictures just hadn't done it justice!  After getting check in, our starving group made a beeline for the cafeteria before marching off toward the dorms.


I had the privilege of rooming with three of the sweetest, most christlike college girls I've met in a while.  Two were international students, and a third was an out-of-state student.  All three were studying for varied degrees, and all three showed themselves to be true followers of the Lord. 

The first - and only - night we were there, all the girls in the hallway met in my roommates room for prayer meeting before bed.  It ended around 10:50, and lights out came at 11:15.  
As I layed in bed, I marveled at the fact that I could be sleeping in a room with nearly complete strangers and feel so entirely at home.  It was quite a surreal moment to realize how the love of God bridges so many gaps so quickly.  Anyways, after laying on the top bunk, thinking for a little bit, I fell asleep I drifted off the sleep.  
The next day, the girls kept talking about how the RA's (resident advisors) came into their rooms in the middle of the night and ended up waking them. 
 "Did they come in yours, Brittany?" they asked.  
"They didn't," I replied.  "I slept great - straight through till morning." 
Then Erin came to me with an extremely funny story that we laughed about for the remainder of the day.  The night before, when the RA came to check her room, Erin was lying half-asleep on the top bunk and was very groggy.  
"Sarah?" the RA asked her, "Sarah!" 
Erin sleepily opened her eyes and groggily responded, "Yes?"
"Sarah," the RA continued, "What's your sisters name?"
"You mean Brittany?" Erin murmured.
"Yeah, what room is she in?"
Erin sleepily gave the dorm number, and the RA left the room.
Seconds later, she sat up.
"Wait a minute," Erin thought, "I don't have a sister... and  my name is not Sarah!" 

We laughed so hard at this when Erin recounted the story to me the next morning.  It was an honor, I told her, to be her sister!
To make matters even more funny, I returned to the dorm that evening to begin packing and preparing to leave.  One of my roommates was there, and said,
"Brittany, I'm so sorry about the RA waking you up last night!  She came in so late and kept asking you questions.  Remember it?"
I looked up confusedly.  "You sure?" I asked, "I don't remember that at all."
"Yeah," she answered, "they came in and asked you for your last name.  They even had to wake you up for it, but you were so nice!  I was like, 'don't wake her up, she's exhausted!' but you were so nice about it.  You don't remember?"  I laughed and shook my head. I guess I sure was tired, but what a funny story to tell! 



Sadly, we almost spent more time traveling to Pensacola than actually being there.  The trip to and from tallied up to a whopping 26 hours, while we only stayed for about 28 hours. 

Even so, we had so much fun!  
With Michaela and Erin, I attended Medical Surgical Nursing, Early Childhood Growth and Development, Pediatric Nursing, and Teaching the Reluctant Learner.  My favorite was by far Early Childhood Growth.  I could have sat in that class all day.  I loved how everything was taught with the Word of God as the foundation, with everything stemming off from that.  Nothing taught was from man's ideas or theories, but everything was founded on the Word of God.  I just loved that, and knew I could trust and rely on what was taught because of where it came from.  


Much of our free time was spent in Pensacola's sports center.  It has bowling, a water park, rock climbing walls, ice skating, roller skating, volleyball, racquetballs, exercise equipment... simply an endless supply of active fun!


Even in our extremely limited time there, I learned so much in the classes, chapel, and time spent with my classmates and the Pensacola students.  I made new friends and grew even closer to my a couple of my best friends.  It was a great senior year memory to say the least! 


Life of a High School Senior

Life has officially hit a speed of a million miles an hour.
Once the third week of March hit, we arrived in Crazy Town. 
Here's what life looks like these days....

March 20-24:  War of Special Forces (a youth revival team using games as evangelism tools) arrives at school for a full week of services both in school and in the evening. 



March 27th and 28th: Away soccer games back-to-back in Jacksonville and Elizabeth City, NC.


March 30th: leave at 4am for Pensacola, FL to visit Pensacola Christian College.


March 31st - April 1st: Drive back to Greenville, NC.


April 3d - Leave for Senior trip to NYC, New York.
April 8th: Arrive back in North Carolina.
April 10th: Visit a small Bible college in NC for the day.
April 11th and 13th - Away/home soccer games.
April 14th - 24th: BULGARIA!