His Story in Me Part 18

After graduation from Clarkson wayyyyy back in May of 2012 I went home. For two months I worked intermittently with Upward Bound in preparation for the Summer Program. We had at least one meeting in late May, and the summer program orientation in June, and then we FINALLY started on the 27th of June.

There was a much smaller crew of new students this summer due to uncertainty about the grant being renewed. The grant was renewed and the program will exist for another five years! (That makes me excited of course lol)

I worked with the credit class this summer, three and a half hours of intro to theatre. But I enjoyed it, probably more than the kids did sometimes.

This summer was some real growing times though. My two closest friends, the two boys I began to mentor way back in 2010, visited me quite often. Most of the time they would show up at my house and my warning/knowledge that they were there was generally a phone call, and then “hey, we’re outside.”

I didn’t mind one bit though, in fact I relished the times they came over. I just enjoy spending time with them. They bring me to life almost more than any other people I know. I realized from this past summer that I love them like younger brothers. They continued to challenge me and change my life. I love them for that reason among many. My life has vastly opened up and improved because of them.

The summer program was an absolute blast! After six summer programs, I can officially say that this last one (the sixth), is by far the best one yet. If I could I would work with summer programs all year long!

In August though, I had to begin preparations to leave the area and head to Plattsburgh to begin graduate school.

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His Story in Me Part 17

Spring break came and went. My grandmother got sick one night and we feared the worst. But then doubt crept in. Was my grandmother letting her sugar drop on purpose? It’s possible. She may have lost all desire to live. We’ll never know. She was spotted quickly and rushed to the hospital. She had a lovely stay at Glens Falls Hospital for around 5 days I think.

After Spring Break ended, I was back at Clarkson for my last 5 weeks. They passed somewhat uneventful, although I’d had enough excitement in one semester to last me for a while.

During all of that I somehow managed to get into graduate school at SUNY Plattsburgh! I procured a summer job, received prophetic presbytery, and managed to finish my undergraduate career at Clarkson with the exception of finals.

I have only three finals this semester, a rarity, and on May 12, I will have a bachelors degree in mathematics. Today if I’ve planned out the posts correctly!

Now you know a rather large portion of His story and how it’s played out in my life. My God will continue to lead me and establish me in all his ways and paths, something I am very grateful for.

His Story in Me Part 16

Ben and I had begun leading a co-ed small group at the beginning of the semester. God was doing something incredible in the group. We asked each person in the group to simply come each week with a verse that God had been using in their life that week.

God brought together verses that otherwise no one would have known. Each week a theme emerged. One week it was about how God’s promises are true. Another week was something along the lines of God loves us.

God was truly beginning to move in our group and it was quite amazing. I had spent time convincing Ben to let go of planning, and in him doing so, God began to truly move. He began to sweep through our group each week. Everyone brought a verse and God seemed to weave them all together.

But where God moves the enemy will move also.

Not too far in we received a visitor. This visitor was interesting to say the least. He had a massive amount of head knowledge about the Bible. He shared what he knew and I think in at least the first meeting had a positive impact.

That’s when things began to get interesting…the next week he showed up I wasn’t there. But I heard about it from several people after and apparently it did not go over well at all. He was presumably interrupting people constantly, seemed to not really have anything to say that added to the discussion.

The following week though I was able to see some of this myself. That week we butted heads.

The visitor was becoming a stumbling block to the others who attended and I was not going to allow what God had established to crash down around us. We prayed and talked with others in the group, and those who knew more than us. We made the final decision to ask him not to return.

Note that this decision was made so that the group as a whole could continue to benefit from God meeting us. We did not make the decision simply because we didn’t like him or something similar. Both Ben and I had worked with abrasive personalities before.

This was a time when God taught me exactly how the elders functioned. They led and exercised authority when it was necessary for them to do so.

This semester was the first time when we realized it was absolutely necessary for us to exercise authority that was given to us.

Since asking him to leave we saw a rebound in the group. The group had been extremely open, closed down when he arrived, and after leaving it opened up again.

This also was our first encounter with an evil spirit. You see it was not the actual person who caused the issue. It was the enemy using that person as a vessel. Whether they knew it or not, I don’t know.

Community group this semester was exactly what I’d been looking for for nearly two years now. I’d finally found a community where people met to just meet God.

His Story in Me Part 15

This past semester I learned more about God than I expected to.

The semester started off well. I had submitted my application for SUNY Plattsburgh for graduate school right after I got back from Christmas break. I was in an entire semester of psychology classes.

That’s when God taught me about just how much he comforts those who are hurting.

On the morning of February 27th I got a phone call. I had been waking up consistently for the past two weeks at 6:45 in the morning. Now my classes start at 8am. So why in the world would I wake up that early?

A dozen missed calls.

It was a Monday. I picked up my phone to see just who in the world would call at least a dozen times over the night but I feel like I knew the answer. Just as I unlocked my phone I started receiving another phone call. My mother.

My grandfather had died. Early that morning. I was told it was peaceful for him. I’m not sure it was for the rest of my family.

I had talked to him only the day before. I always called home on Sunday, and I didn’t know that would be the last time I would talk to him. But just about the last thing he said to me was: “I just gotta make it til May right?”

The one thing he wanted to do most was see me graduate from Clarkson. He was so very proud of me.

I was home later that day, and then on my way to the funeral home to help work out details.

I stayed home that week and on Saturday we had the funeral. I’ve written about it in other posts so I don’t think I’ll belabor the point. It was a beautiful day though. Two of my closest friends traveled down from Clarkson to come and just spent time talking with me while there.

I headed back the next day because, well, school didn’t stop just for me. It continued on in spite of my absence.

But God taught me all about being the comfort for the hurting during that time period. I’m very grateful for that experience. It also produced for me a line I’ll probably keep using for the rest of my life.

There is a time to mourn the life that was lost, but then there must come a time when you celebrate the life that was lived.
I found a God who comforted me in my pain and sadness. It was a great learning time, one that I didn’t expect, nor particularly enjoy…but it was unfortunately bound to happen at some point in time.

I continued to learn from God, this time about spiritual warfare.  In the community group Ben and I have been leading we encountered something unexpected.

His Story in Me Part 14

So after the summer ended I came back to Clarkson for my senior year! This was a year that was going to be full of things I never expected.

I had in the fall semester my last round of math classes. Two of them which were difficult and one of which was semi-difficult. It wasn’t an easy semester.

Advanced Calculus was my first class I had real troubles with. Remember Number Theory? I told you about it at some point in another post. Yeah A Calc was just like that. It was a little better though. Easier by the smallest fraction of material possible.

The second class, Abstract Algebra. Now that was a class I had fun in. I enjoyed it quite a lot actually. It really applied to some things, more so that some other classes. I ended up with a B in that class which was quite exciting actually.

For the most part the semester was uneventful. I was still learning about God things that I never knew before.

My grandfather was in a new world though. He was always a tough man who always claimed he would live forever. Yet here he was facing a new challenge. A week or so before Thanksgiving he underwent open heart surgery. He had a valve replaced, an aneurism taken out and several arteries cleaned out.

He spent a good two maybe three weeks recovering in Albany Med. But he was strong. He went home after with no therapy. He grew tired of sitting at home. He was forced to do that for a good four months.

I returned to Clarkson after Thanksgiving break and had three weeks left. Two weeks of classes and then finals. Different from the three previous years. I headed home to find my grandfather doing really well. He was still under lots of appointments and being carefully watched, but he was doing fantastic.

We celebrated Christmas and it was fantastic. My grandmother and her sister, both prominent people in our family, had been arguing for a good nearly year I think. They began speaking shortly before my grandfather had surgery in November.

People showed up on Christmas, I ran the preparation of Christmas dinner, and we had a lot of fun. The family was beginning to look like it had when I was younger. I left to go back to Clarkson for my last semester before graduating.

His Story in Me Part 13

That summer of 2011 I went back to Upward Bound.

It was another great summer. I got to teach another elective course, this one about brain teasers.

Oh. Man.

I loved teaching it, and forcing the students to try the problems. Yeah but then I had to explain it. It was still lots of fun, explaining the problems actually helped me to understand some of them.

There’s this one problem, about an line of 100 lights. You walk down the hallway pulling every single cord turning the lights on. Then you walk down the hallway a second time pulling every second cord turning some of them off and leaving others on. Then you do it a third time pulling every third string. And then every fourth, and then every fifth, and then every sixth and so on. The question is, after your 100th pass, what lights are on, and what lights are off?

That problem always perplexed me. I mean always. Like I’d get asked the problem someplace and every time I never failed to not understand it.

But now I do. And it’s a tricky problem. Sort of. But I won’t give away the answer. Try it out sometime and see what you come up with. One hint though. Look at it on a small scale. Try using a hallway of 20 lights and see what happens.

But anyways, the summer was fantastic. Our big summer trip came up here to Clarkson, and it was fun. I played laser tag at least four times. I think it was around a total of 20 games or so, about 15 minutes a piece. Fantastic. In case you don’t know, I love laser tag. It’s probably the one sport that I would play if they had a league for it.

It was a delightful summer and I was a little sad that it had to end. But most everything will have to end at some point. There are very, very few things that will never end.

His Story in Me Part 12

Spring of 2011. Getting one semester closer to graduating, and well that was my toughest semester yet.

I had one class. Number Theory. I’m probably exaggerating if I call it the bane of my existence, but there were times when that’s what I considered it.

Doing the homework for that class annoyed me. I did not enjoy it one bit. I eventually made it through but not with much complaining. My final grade in that class was a D. First D I’d ever gotten. I wasn’t complaining though because I only needed to pass the class. That was it. I didn’t need to get an A, just needed to pass and that’s what I did.

My other classes were fun though!

I kept learning more about Jesus and just how much he means. Possibly sometime the semester before I had discovered a message entitled “The Eternal Purpose,” by Frank Viola. That message was the one message that I ever listened to and stopped doing everything else.

I played it, not too sure how I stumbled on it, but when I did I stopped everything. Something spoken in that message echoed in me. It stirred up the Spirit in me and I knew that it was true.

The basic premise is that God’s eternal purpose was four fold. To have a bride and body for the Son, along with a house and family for the Father. The bride, the body, the house, and the family.

God’s eternal purpose was wrapped up in one entity.

The Church.

But the main thing I realized is this. His eternal purpose involves the Church. But it centers around Jesus.

Suddenly things fell into place for me.

Things began to click and make sense. It left me with one sense.

God is so much bigger than what we know, but he is also so much more brilliant than I had ever known before. There were times that learning these things made my head hurt. I grew tired of learning such amazing things, but I didn’t stop, it was too exciting.