I do everything I can to prepare for what I'm speaking on to the Junior Highers on Sundays, so that it's memorized... ready... and marinating in my brain. I do this because I have to work Saturday nights from 11pm - 7am (Sunday morning). I can try my hardest to sleep until 9pm on Saturday night, wake up and take a shower, trying to convince my brain it's the morning and my day is just starting, but it just doesn't work. By the time it hits 7am, my body needs sleep, and my brain is a little delirious.
It's amazing to me how "out of it" my mind can be. The staunch difference of my whole being is shocking in comparison to someone with normal sleep and not. Even if I'm just tired after a long day, it's still different than being up all night. It's weird, and it kind of freaks me out. What it's doing to my health is a different story, and unfortunately is something I am going to have to address in the coming months.
But what I hate about this the most is that while my heart is telling me that I'm sooo excited for Sunday mornings - so excited to see all my kids - my brain isn't registering it. I'm not fully there on Sunday mornings, and I hate every second of it.
As I enter the Junior High room after small groups, I pray to God - "God, please be with me now. Use me as Your vessel, and speak through me with Your Holy Spirit." It's strange. It's like because I am so weak, because everything I have prepared is hanging on by a string, and because I can't mentally put together a coherent thought, God is able to lead me more easily. For the 20-25 minutes I stand before those kids, I have this increase in energy, and my heart and mind and completely aligned with God's; I am only listening to Him (because my brain isn't working...). On Sunday night's when I awake from my sleep, all I can remember about Sunday mornings was that God and I had a reeally great time. It's pretty sweet.
Yesterday, the Spirit was moving. I preached (ya, I "preached" this one to the full extent of the word) on Saul's conversion, and I showed this awesome video of the guitarist from Korn, Brian Welch, who got saved a few years back. He spoke about how the Holy Spirit filled him and changed his heart. After the video I shared that the same exact thing happened to me, and that I remember being physically moved by the Spirit when I asked God to come into my life. I asked the students, "Do you want that same Spirit to fill your life? Do you want to have a relationship with God forever?" We had 30 students in Junior High, and there was anywhere between 7 and 10 students who shot there hands up. They just seemed to be going up everywhere, I couldn't even count fast enough! The awesome thing was that every new student who was there, rose their hand and gave their life to the Lord. It was just an awesome morning... the Spirit was moving.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Cor. 12:9-10
I never really could relate to this verse until now. I mean, it's great that so many kids gave their lives to the Lord yesterday, and I know that all the glory goes to God, but many would say "Hooray for the work God is doing through Carrie." But it is so apparent to me, and to many of the people around me, that I am weak. And therefore, I am truly delighting in my weakness, because in it, Christ's power is more clearly shown.