Usually my posts serve to inform people about events happening at STP, but this week I wanted to share a little about what God has been revealing to me this summer through my leadership position.

All my life, I thought I knew what joy was, and, to a certain extent, that was true. I could define the word and tell you that for the Christian, joy wasn’t based on circumstances but on our unshakeable standing before God because of Christ. But I’ve been crippled by the fear described in Proverbs 29:25, “The fear of man lays a snare.” I have loved the Lord and the good news of the Gospel, but I’ve been afraid to step out and put myself on the line for His sake.

Until this summer.

I knew I had a lot of fear in my heart when it came to sharing the Gospel and doing ministry; that had characterized my years at school and even my past 2 summers here in SC. I’d been taking baby steps to overcome it, but it was a discouraging process; I felt like for every one step forward I took three steps backward.

Coming into this summer, knowing I was going to be responsible for a large number of girls all at different places in their walks with the Lord, I knew that fear was going to rear its head again in perhaps a stronger way than before.

The first few weeks were hard because I was constantly struggling fear and inadequacy,  but thanks to some encouragement from one of the staff, I was able to fight through those feelings, and God met me in some amazing ways as I stepped out in faith.

Since then, it’s slowly becoming more of a habit in daily interactions to step out a little more than I would have before. I still fail and fall backwards, but I know I have the sufficiency of Christ to rest on in my successes and my failures. As I’ve watched girls’ eyes be opened to their own freedom in Christ, cried with them as they wrestled through hard things, and laughed with them in their successes, my own cup has overflowed with joy.

“Christian joy is a good feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the Word and in the world.” – John Piper

Being a leader this summer has showed me so much of the beauty of Christ and the cross, and I can’t help but want more as I think about going back to campus in the fall. I want to see God work so that His name would be made great and glorious, and through that, that I would see more of his beauty and my joy would increase.