Transitions, Transitions, Transitions

Oh my! Where has the month gone? I cannot believe that it is already the middle of August and that I am going into week three of the apprenticeship! I cannot wait to tell you all about what the Lord has already done, but before I do, I want to say a very big thank you to all of you- the people who have provided me with prayer and financial support during this season. There is no way that I would be able to do this without you! 

Change is a Good Thing

Anyone who has known me longer than a handful of minutes would be able to tell you that I am not one to embrace change. I like routine, and schedules, and predictability, so when coming into a season where change is inevitable, my heart seems to beat a little faster and I am a little more panicked. The transition from July to August was no different. Leaving nannying behind, moving into a new house, and starting a new job have all required me to face change head on and to ask God to meet me in my weaknesses- and let me tell you, He has shown up in so many ways. Through this transitional season, God has reminded me that just because things are changing doesn’t mean He is. I have been reminded over and over again that God is steadfast when our world seems to be shifting and that He is ultimately in control, not us. Although these are not new concepts, God has been so gracious and merciful to remind me gently that there are so many people cheering me on through this season and that the people that He has placed in my life are willing and ready to meet me in my mess! I don’t think I like change anymore than I did at the end of July, but I am excited for all that is to come and am ready to embrace the newness of this next season!

Start of Something New

At the beginning of the month, all of the apprentices (10 of us in total) started our Old Testament class alongside two women from our family of churches. To say this class has been so interesting would be an understatement! So far, we have read through Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Numbers, and 1 Samuel- all books that I have never read before and have been so excited to see how the biblical narrative is woven together from the very beginning. Through our reading times just as apprentices, we have bonded over the newness of it all and how incredible the bible really is. I have learned so much about how each book comes together and points to Jesus from the start. Along with our Old Testament class, we were able to join our senior staff at staff retreat this past week. This time was so restful and made me feel so much more excited to move into welcome week and the start of the year. Jesus is at the center, and during staff retreat, we were challenged to continue to point to Him when it could be really easy to take credit for ourselves. As a student in the UTD ministry, I was able to see some of the intentionality in the decisions that were made behind the scenes, but it was so amazing to see how much the staff really prays for our students, each other, and the campus as a whole. I am so pumped to be back at UTD this year and to work on our team!

Welcome Week and Beyond 

For the next two weeks, we are jumping into what we call Weeks of Welcome. At UTD, we have two weeks where students move back onto campus and begin classes. As a student, this time of year was both exhilarating and nerve wracking because no one knew what the next semester was going to be like. For FOCUS, these weeks are where we get to be the hands and feet of Jesus and really get to show new students on campus what college can look like. Weeks of Welcome are two of my favorite weeks of the semester because I get to meet so many cool people with so many cool stories. Would you be willing to join me in prayer for these students? I am specifically praying that they know that they are seen and loved on a campus where rates of loneliness and isolation can soar. Through the next two weeks, we are going to have a ton of events on campus and will also be building our cores (small groups). I am so excited to see who God will put together for my core this year and cannot wait to tell you all about them!

Yay time! 

As part of my team, I would love for you all to send me prayer requests and keep me updated about the things going on in your life! I envision it as a little section of yay time to rejoice in what the Lord is doing in all of our lives and I would love to include you all in that! If you would like to have a story featured in yay time let me know- but for this one I will share a little story of my own! I have been meeting with a teen from CTF (Christian Teen Fellowship) from our church for about a year now and I have seen how much God has moved in her life. At one point in our time together she did not want to talk about Jesus and honestly wanted nothing to do with Him. Over this last year, she has expressed more and more interest in God and has asked me to do our Focus on Jesus study with her! Yay God! 

Seriously, thank you all so much for being a part of my team this year! I hope that it never goes unsaid how much you all mean to me and how grateful I am to have such a wonderful team of supporters by my side!

Until next time,

Jessica :)

P.S. Can you find Waldo? He is hidden somewhere in this post!


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