Well, I’m not sure who all reads my blog, but depending on who you are you could have met me before I started going to 24/7, during transit into 24/7, or after I plugged in. But no matter when you met me you have to have noticed changes in my life… When I was younger I had no commitment, whatsoever to anything, especially church. Now I didn’t think church was bad or anything, I just never enjoyed it or saw why anyone would, it was a requirement to me. Yes, I know I’m only 14 so younger isn’t that long ago, but it is for me. I continued to grow physically and I read my bible and all that, but I was never in to it. I was a Christian, I had accepted Jesus into my life and admitted my sin, but I didn’t like the idea that He was in control of my life. I wanted to ‘do it all by myself’ in example of a baby Christian. Then we started visiting LWFC. My mind was warped, there was something beyond what I was doing… In 8th grade I moved up into our youth church 24/7. “Um Tori, don’t you mean youth group?” Actually no, thats something I love about 24/7, we aren’t just a group, we have teams, it’s us students who set-up and run things under our leaders who minister to us. When I first came in I was shy, I stood in the back with my arms crossed during praise and worship and watched ‘all those crazy teenagers’ worshiping God. I didn’t get it, they looked like they enjoyed it! Then I went on Ski Invasion, My eyes were opened to true worship, still there was a commitment fear in me. But I began to open up, met a few new people. One of whom was Chasity, she invited me to join welcome team. At this point I was hungry for more, I pushed the fear of commitment aside and accepted. There I built lasting friendships with people I would have never dreamed of even talking to. I was forced to greet people I had never even met, when normally I would have trouble making new friends, then not long after that Girls of Grace started up. At that point I had developed such a hunger for anything involved with church that I snapped up the opportunity. There I built lasting relationships with the girls of 24/7 and created memories never to be forgotten. I continued to learn to do things I had never understood before, I learned to worship, how to give my all truly to God, how to take notes, and even how to meet new people. Pastor Tammy’s messages never cease to change me a little bit every week. To list every single thing Iv’e learned or gained from 24/7 would be almost impossible. Then they started advertising for our mission trip to Costa Rica, in the past the idea of missions freaked me out. I did not want to step out of my comfort zone for anyone else. But it caught me different. Something made me want to go this time, I thought about it, and prayed, and I signed up. That trip changed me sooooo much that I can’t even describe! I opened up outreached to strangers, and prayed with people I had never met, my friends there became like a second family to me, then I experienced leaving them for a year!!!! I learned to put myself aside and commit to others, and what God told me to do. Then at Vision Quest I dealt with myself, putting aside all fear, and I met my awesome friend Kalee 🙂 who led me to meet V.Which just proves, life isn’t just the big picture, every little stroke counts. Every message from our pastors changed my way of thinking. I learned how to use my gift, and what they were. Then came Xtreme winter, and I was faced with MY first challenging decision. I had to choose between buying myself what I thought I needed, or ministering to my spirit and putting my money towards this trip. I prayed and prayed about it, me being a girl, I really wanted to go shopping and buying clothes seemed an easy choice, but from all Iv’e gained from every trip in the past, I couldn’t let this slide so during my quiet time with God, I came across something that pretty much made the decision for me. Luke 12:22-28 that sealed the deal. I signed up, and God used Xtreme winter to minister to me like never before. Then more recently we had the challenge of becoming LAs. (leader assistants) Something I had wanted to do for a loooooong time. Being an LA requires allot of commitment, and being initiated was a huge challenge, but it’s worth it to me. I am a completely different person than I was 2 years ago. I am going to Costa Rica again this year, and hope to change even more, I have become something I never thought or dreamed I would. And I can’t imagine going back, I wouldn’t want to. I finally know the meaning of loving the Lord with ALL my heart. 🙂
Live long and prosper, Tori.