Blog Blog
  • Glass Completely Full

     

    Walking into this internship I was depressed, insecure, overflowing with grief, spiritually struggling and unsure of my passions in life.

    Walking in obedience to God’s voice has led me into healing: AMAZING healing, holy healing.

    The healing journey began on a long flight to Nepal. It had nothing to do with the flight or the destination I was headed to, but the honesty that my Spirit was pushing forward. For the first time in a long time, my pain didn’t seem too BIG, or even BIG at all. The problem with grief is that people tell you, “You’ve been through so much” and “It’s okay to be sad and stay sad”. So I took those lies and lived in it. 

    However, in Nepal I was reminded that EVERYONE has unbearable pain. Everyone needs kindness and empathy, not just me. It was so refreshing to stop the self-pity party I had been throwing for myself the past year and a half and ‘suck it up’; put my feelings aside and love others through and in their emotions.

    I also found my passions in the beautiful country of Nepal. I’ve always had a passion for females knowing their worth and value. I love watching girls be empowered and find their value in God. It’s the most beautiful transformation. I’ve found myself continuing in this journey as well.

    Returning home was a challenge. I hated everything about the way we live our lives in America. I was so upset by the vanity, materialism, and greed. I’ve always had a built annoyance for all three to begin with but when I returned home, it was like my tolerance for them stayed on the plane.

    God was showing me my passions for missions through the annoyances and healing me with His powers, rather than the temporary materialistic things I tried to heal myself with prior. 

    During this time, God started introducing balance into my life. I began practicing yoga again and feeding my body with beneficial plants. I was reminded of the wholeness that food, faith, friendships, fitness and focus can bring to one’s life.

    Throughout this journey, I’m continuing to learn the power in honesty. Being honest about my feelings, emotions, and wicked thoughts has been so freeing for me. Having people to be honest with is the biggest blessing and that’s one thing I’ve gained in my internship. Honest community is a perfect nest to heal in.

    While traveling in Kenya, God broke open new parts in my heart I didn’t know existed. For example, I had no idea my heart could love another place as much as I loved Nepal. I’m so quick to fall in love with places and the people that call it home, but resistance tempted me when we landed and our first few days. Through raw honesty and confession, God brought me to the fullness of His love and I experienced a new depth of love I didn’t dream possible.

    On one of my flights I watched the movie “Me Before You” (yes, I absolutely cried on the plane) and at the end of the movie the main character speaks something powerful that I can’t quote directly, but I can share what I took from it. The words were along the lines of, “Most of us live, but only few will dare to live well” and I realized, “WOW, I want to live well. I want to love well and I want to be well with hope in this life”.

    God has done it again! He took a story of brokenness and has once again redeemed it. My cup is completely full and although I have so much more to learn and gather from God, I feel completeness in His presence. I’m no longer tip-toeing, wondering if I’ll disturb Him with my existence. I now confidently run into His House and announce my presence with a shout of, “I’m home”. Every chance we speak to God we have this opportunity. We enter His front door, smell the prepped food and call out to Him our presence is willing to acknowledge His existence.

     

     Here are some scripture that have been crucial for me through this year:

    “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your Name give glory.” Psalms 115:1

    The Book of Ephesians

    “Just as you’ll never understand the mystery of life foaming in a pregnant woman, So you’ll never understand the mystery at work in all that God does.” Ecclesiastes 11:5

    “The last final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you. And that’s it.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

    “I will see him myself; I will see him with my very own eyes. How my heart wants that to happen!” Job 19:27


  • Authenticity

    I had a conversation with Dave Shuman this morning and was telling him that I had no clue what to do for this blog post. I told him that I felt like this was an opportunity to really say something important and nothing felt like it was enough. I told him how I love this program, and didn’t want to do something just to do it. That really wouldn’t be me. He looked at me and told me to say that. To just say everything that I had told him right then.

     

    So, being totally honest with you guys here…this blog post is roughly three weeks overdue. I got to the point where I dreaded thinking about having to do this and was trying to see if I could find a way to get out of it. This was hard for me because I love writing, I feel it is the medium that I best communicate myself in, so I’ve been trying to figure out why I’m struggling with it.

    It’s not for lack of trying, as I have written and deleted and written and deleted drafts for a month now and nothing came from it. It’s not for lack of things to talk about. I could write easily about the people I’ve gotten to meet and the amazing conversations we’ve shared. I could write how my faith has grown so much through the speakers, the workshops, and the stories that we’ve gotten to go through in our intern meetings and retreats. I could write about how much I’ve learned about myself and about how a ministry works. All of these things are true and incredible things that have happened this last year but none of them felt right on their own.

    I realized that I was struggling because I didn’t want to give out something fake. I could write a halfway decent post about a multitude of topics within this intern program but if it wasn’t really something on my heart then it wouldn’t be true. It wouldn’t be authentic.

    This is something that I strive for in my life. This thing called authenticity, this thing that is so incredible to me because it gives everything meaning. If something is done without it, the purpose is lost, the feeling behind the action is lost. It’s part of what makes us human and what makes love real.

    I just want to challenge you to live authentically, to go after everything with your entire heart. And when the heart isn’t in it? I challenge you to be honest in that, to pray that it may come out of love and sincerity and not just a sense of duty.

    Colossians 3:23 - Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters


  • Lead Love


    Being 20 years old, many people frequently ask me what I believe my calling is for the future and how I plan to get there. When I heard this question about a year ago, I had no idea I would soon be responding that I was going to apply for a 10 month long internship at Kensington Church. I had no idea this internship would be one of the best growing experiences God laid out for my life, in order to be even more equipped for where He is taking me. I had my plan of only focusing on school and working retail (where I was a year ago) until I would receive a degree and then look for work that I am truly passionate about. I am grateful that this internship has already allowed me to work from that passion. God is so good and I love resting on the fact that He knows exactly what He is doing every single moment. He was, is, and forever will be paying attention to every detail of our lives, even the details that seem small or unimportant to us. I knew the internship was a big decision, but I had no idea the fruit from saying yes to it would be so plentiful! How did I get to where I am now and how did I not see this coming or have a plan for it all? Simply because God’s ways and plans for my life are higher than mine, and I don’t have to question following His guidance ever. God brought me here. He led me to be in this moment, right now, reflecting on His glory and faithfulness so I would have the opportunity to express that as best as I can it in this blog.

    It seems crazy for me to believe I am entering the 7th month of being an intern at Kensington Church. So much has happened through it and I am still excited to see what awaits these last 4 months. Being on the worship team at Orion has inspired me, challenged me, empowered me, encouraged me, and taught me so much. I have always loved to sing and love the art of music, but everything of what we think we know of the art, changes when the Holy Spirit moves through a song. Experiencing God move through a song, through the opportunities I have gotten to lead worship at Kensington, has inspired me to become more passionate for the Lord. This internship has given me a way better understanding of how God can use anyone’s passion for the advancement of His heavenly kingdom to conquer the world we live in. I have a passion to let God use me through worship for Him to “destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8)

    Much of what God has revealed to me during this internship, some things of which I have already stated, come from Him speaking through Josh Korn (worship leader at Kensington Orion). I told Josh I had to give him a shout out, and he told me not to mention him in this post. Well, I’ll use the statement “sorry, not sorry Josh”. I have been honored to work under his leadership these past 6 months. God has gifted him with such an authority that he humbly uses to always operate out of his overflow of the Holy Spirit. It is obvious he is in love with Jesus, and from that, his passion has inspired me to be the same. Josh’s walk with the Lord, and countless hours of him investing into my life, is how I knew I wanted to grow in becoming a worship leader. He is one of the biggest influential people in my life, and the biggest reason I have grown so much as a warrior for the name of Jesus in this internship. I had to mention him because much of the revelation I am expressing in this post comes from God speaking through Josh.

    With that, I will do my best to share some of what God has drilled in me to know and grow in. As a worship leader, I have to be strong in my identity on the stage, just as well as I am confident in it off the stage. I did not think that this was that big of a deal until I led my first song “How He loves.” I thought I would be completely fine leading this song because I felt secure in who I was, but as soon as it started, the nerves of being in front of so many people were suddenly overwhelming. I ended up doing almost everything wrong you could think of such as starting to sing at the wrong time, and singing the wrong part of the song many times during the song. Yikes. That moment sucked, but then it became a humbling moment for me and gave me the chance to process and recognize I still needed to grow in knowing my identity. I realized I needed to believe in who God says I am rather than spend any of my energy worrying about what people thought. I have grown in believing that people’s responses do not and will never dictate my love for Jesus. I had already known that, but sometimes our experiences lead us to actually believing what we already know. I can know my identity, but my belief in my identity has become stronger especially for leading worship. This has helped me grow in confidence with the authority that Jesus has given me, and all I need to do is listen and obey His direction.

    What has probably been the most important thing I have grown in, and will continue to grow in, is knowing God’s love for people. Leading worship is not just singing songs that people can enjoy listening to. I have learned that while in that place of leading a song, I am responsible to listen and obey where the Holy Spirit is taking me to go. I am responsible to allow God to lead me, and people will encounter God through my obedience. It is not so I can just have a beautiful personal moment with the Lord, but so I will not get in the way of what God exactly wants to do in a song for His people to have an experience with Him. Knowing how to love people only comes from God revealing what love looks like. Our purpose is to be imitators of Christ, loving people into the kingdom of God. If I always live out of an overflow of the Holy Spirit, and always let God give me an understanding of His love for us, I will be so moved by the power in that to never want to get in the way of how God wants to move through me in a song. Loving people has given me a deeper hunger to desperately want others to experience a powerful moment with the Lord like I have through worship music.

    I have developed such a deep respect to value all the ways God uses us for His glory, from interning at Kensington. I love all the relationships I have formed from it. I love being in a place of knowing that there is so much yet for me to discover and grow in and I never want to miss what God is doing in me and around me. I am grateful to work with amazing people and can’t thank God enough for putting me here. 


  • Spirit of Competition

    "I don’t have to earn God’s love and approval by being perfect, or being the best, or having the most skills. He already loves me, I already have His approval, simply because He created me."

                Ever since I can remember, my family has been competitive. Everything has a competitive flavor. “I can run faster than you” “I can eat more than you” “I can be better than you.” It doesn’t help that we’re all musicians; think “Yeah, you’re better at piano but I’m better at guitar and she’s better in vocals than either of us.” Nothing is ever just good, much less good enough. It’s like Ricky Bobby saying “If you’re not first, you’re last.” The family motto might as well be “There’s always room for improvement.” There’s no such thing as satisfied with your work in any area; we always find the flaw. This constant comparison formed my outlook on life.

                Because of this, when I entered this internship on August 1st, I had one objective – to be the best intern Kensington had ever seen. After all, if you’re not the best, you’re the worst. I came in with an inability to admit what I didn’t know. Anything I was asked to do, regardless of my actual level of familiarity with it, was met with “I can totally do that!” I found myself feeling like a fraud, frantically googling how to do or perfect something and just praying I could do it well enough to pass with no one knowing I had no idea what was going on. I was terrified to admit when I didn’t know how to do something, because in my mind, admitting weakness meant I couldn’t be the best.

                This of course led to a lot of misunderstandings, frustration, and unmet expectations on both sides of any situation. I was upset and frustrated because I couldn’t be what I wanted to do. You see, God didn’t design any one person to know how to do everything put in front of them. We’re good at some things and not great at others, and we’re supposed to ask for help on those things were not great at. God created us to be in community; trying to do everything on your own isn’t just unhealthy, it’s just not how we were created. Instead of enjoying my time in my internship improving my skills in things I like to do, and learning from people who are good at the things I am not, I was constantly stressed over the things I didn’t know how to do, and not enjoying the things I was good at because of it. My God-given gifts were being passed over and ignored so I could pretend to be the best at everything.

                Deliverance from my self-imposed competitive prison came in the form of a serious call-out from my amazing boss, Richie. He looked at me during one of our meetings about how I was doing and said “You know it’s okay if you don’t know how to do something, right?”

                This statement was completely foreign to me. I literally said to him, out loud, “No, it’s not.” Let me tell you, the look on his face was hilarious. We dove into conversation about why I felt like this, why I felt the need to never show vulnerability, weakness, or anything less than.

                You see, in the moment, God revealed something amazing to me. God doesn’t want or need me to be perfect in order to do the job he’s set for me. If he did, he would have made me that way. No, God made me with a specific set of skills to complement the skills of the people He puts me to work with. What it all boiled down to was this; I don’t have to earn God’s love and approval by being perfect, or being the best, or having the most skills. He already loves me, I already have His approval, simply because He created me. The pressure that this revelation took off of me was visible almost immediately to everyone around me. Since that day, I’ve been more joyful, more relaxed, and more honest. Through this internship, I have become more emotionally, spiritually, and mentally healthy than I can ever remember being. And all because I realized the simple truth that I don’t have to earn God’s love; He freely gives it. 


  • Experiencing The Impact


    I love this internship. I get to come in to work every day and do what I love, using my talents to further God’s kingdom. I am gaining valuable work experience while being challenged and strengthened in my relationship with Christ. - That could really be the whole post right there, but I like to express myself through an excess of words.

    To be more specific, I am the Video Arts Intern at Kensington, and I get to work as a member of the team that creates all of the narrative video content that plays in the services. I have worked on testimonials, lyric supports, short films, interviews, documentaries, and so much more. The video team is comprised of industry professionals from several different backgrounds who have come together to spread the message of Christ and tell the story of Kensington and the church as a whole. I get to work one on one with each of them, receiving hands-on training in all aspects of production, building on the skills I gained in college, and applying them in a fast-paced working environment.

    With a new service every weekend, new projects are in high demand, and the video team puts in hours of work to deliver a final product that will spread the message of Christ and help to draw people closer to Him. Aside from all of the technical and practical experience, what really draws me in to the work we do is the sincerity of the message. The entire staff at Kensington truly believes in the mission of Christ; everyone does everything in their power to reach those far from God. And I have the privilege of working alongside them every day.

    I entered into this internship right before the 101 series, the most ambitious project the Kensington video team has ever produced. It is a series of seven short films, each pertaining to one of the core values of Kensington Church. Shooting this series took the team all over, from an abandoned church in downtown Detroit, to an early morning storm on Lake St. Clair, to the redwood forest in California. Each film featured one of Kensington’s teaching pastors delivering a message, accompanied with a story or visual metaphor to drive the idea. Not only was I a part of the team creating the project, I also was able to sit in the service each Sunday and experience the impact with the rest of the church. To experience a project that I worked on as a member of the audience is an invaluable experience for a filmmaker. I get to feel what the congregation feels, what works and what doesn’t, every single Sunday. And I get to see how the work I am doing for the Lord is impacting the church and the world, every single week. But the work is only half of the internship. The rest involves meeting up with the other interns and the intern director once a week for devotionals and leadership training. We get to grow together as a community to impact the world for Christ and to prepare ourselves for the work He will eventually do through us. Each week one of the interns leads the first half of the meeting with a devotional on a certain passage of scripture or a specific topic; sometimes we spend the entire time in worship. Afterwards we have a different guest speaker from the church come in and train us in the aspects of biblical leadership. We learn of different leaders who finished well, and those who didn’t, and we gain practical knowledge that we can apply to our lives and our ministry.

    We also meet up once a week in discipleship groups and dive deeper into scripture. These are smaller groups consisting of four or five interns and a spiritual leader from the Kensington staff. In these meetings we strengthen our relationships with Christ, and with each other. We openly share the struggles in our lives and help one another in staying on the right path. We tackle difficult biblical topics and cover different spiritual truths.

    “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17

    We get to live this out every day as we grow both spiritually and professionally. I already feel like I’ve come so far in my own walk, and there are still four months left in the internship. I am excited to see what God has in store, both in the next four months and the rest of my life. But I know that I am absolutely where he wants me to be right now, and while I am here I want to continue to learn more about myself and about Him.

    Well, that’s it. That’s what I’ve got. I’m kind of surprised I didn’t throw any jokes in there, but I wasn’t really feeling it while I was writing. It really turned into more of a sales pitch for the internship (a genuine sales pitch, you should really consider doing this internship). I guess I’ll leave a link for the 101 videos, so you can see just what kind of work I get to be a part of.

    https://vimeo.com/185068867

    https://vimeo.com/186046822

    https://vimeo.com/187420854

    https://vimeo.com/188404262

    https://vimeo.com/189433103

    https://vimeo.com/190357990

    https://vimeo.com/191246908

     

     


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