I'm hoping this a good time for you to slow down for a minute to read something I've been wanting to share with you for a while. I am about to step into an internship opportunity at my current church(Austin Stone Community Church) and have never treasured my church community more than right now. Over these last seven years, I've seen God transform me greatly, from a scared new college graduate to a woman who wants to know her Savior more every day.
Having grown up in church, I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was young and I always thought I had known what it meant to love Jesus well; it just felt a little tiring after a while. In 2007, when I decided to move back to San Francisco and start praying for God to move this city, I had just graduated college at UC Irvine, where I was very involved with serving on the worship team and leading bible studies for other college students. But back in the city, my prayers felt like they quickly dissolved when I realized the overwhelming opposition to Christianity in my very own hometown. In fear and disappointment, I turned away and tried to hide from God instead of towards Him. Through a series of unwise friendships and dating relationships, I grew tired and just wanted something familiar again.
In 2010, a good friend invited me to a small, new church plant (RealitySF), where I grew intimately close to Jesus and for the first time really dug into who my Savior was during a two-year study of the Gospel of Mark. I learned to love Jesus instead of figuring out how I might be serving him. My heart sank as I reflected on my own sins and my heart became overwhelmed with knowing even more about Jesus. This moved me to become more involved with serving as the church grew from 150 to 1300 regular attendees. I got involved with kids' ministry, greeting, and leading a community group for a few years. Although the pastors and leaders of the church did a great job of teaching and preaching--and there is not a doubt in my mind that the Spirit moved tremendously within this church during that time-- most of what I was doing felt more based on a feeling(of gratefulness) than any other solid truth. And I felt restless and tired, emotionally. I thirsted for personal discipleship, and especially as a leader, felt continually called to give and yet unable to spend time with others developing solid beliefs of my own. I began praying to God for ways he could disciple me, through older women in the church, through