Shining Like Stars

Upon arriving at training camp, my team and I were instructed to choose three items from our belongings and told that we would be spending the night in the woods! “Choose wisely,” the leaders told us, because we would not be able to return to our suitcase until 9:30 the next morning. I’ll admit.. I was a little shocked, but I put a smile on my face, grabbed my pillow, sheet, and bible and decided to make the best of it! 
Six hours later, around 2AM … laying on the hard ground, sharing a small sheet with 4 other girls (spooning for warmth!).. I became a little bitter. I did not sign up for this! I started thinking about the comforts of home, like my warm bed and loving mother. When a rather large spider crawled up leg, I had had it. I began to pray and pray and pray that I would fall asleep.. but God had other plans for my night.
As I selfishly prayed for myself, God reminded me that billions of people are homeless and sleep on the ground every single night. He reminded me how much I have to be thankful for and how much He loves me. My prayers immediately turned to all those around the world who sleep on the ground, in the cold or in the scorching heat every night… the homeless and hopeless and broken and poor. 
I soon opened my eyes and looked up at the sky. I was amazed by what I saw.. stars. hundreds of them, so beautiful and bright and warm. I was immediately filled with peace and a verse from Philippians 2 popped into my head. 
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. Phil. 2:14
In that moment, I saw all my team mates as stars, shining with the light that Christ placed in them. We are bringing that light to Thailand 🙂 With light comes hope and goodness. It takes away fears and drives out darkness. Darkness can never cover light.. light always wins! I can’t wait to go and bring the light and to shine with the love of Christ in a crooked and depraved generation. 
Needless to say, the night got measurably better after this revelation! I was happy and peaceful, and when I wasn’t praying… I was laughing! I laughed when a large bug landed on my face, when my team mate tried very unsuccessfully to make a fire, when a confused rooster could not make up his mind on just when he wanted to crow, when the crowing rooster caused what sounded like an angry donkey to wake up (We could not figure out any other explanation for that noise haha!), when we realized we had only know each other for a few hours and we were spooning (oh, the things you will do for warmth!). That night turned my team into a family, and I am so thankful. It never ceases to amaze me that God can take even the worst experiences and turn them into to joy that gives Him glory! 
My team.. I mean my FAMILY and I are about to leave for Thailand! We have gotten extremely close during training. I feel like I have known them for years, rather than a few days… We are ready, ready to bring the light and shine for the Lord! I LOVE these girls, and it is so very clear that God chose every one of us for a reason. We each bring something wonderful and unique to the table, and each of our individual talents combine and complete each other so that we are completely whole and not lacking in any spiritual gift or necessary experience! God is so good and I KNOW God is going to use us to break chains and bring freedom. We are the light. Get ready Thailand!!!! My family is on the way!!.. and since we carry the light of the Spirit in us, as soon we set foot there, there will never be darkness where we stand! Praise God

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