We Conquered ITW…and We’re Awesome

As the final days of my last year in college tick by, I find it a little bit more difficult to sit down, quiet my busy mind and write these updates. One of the only things keeping me going is the fact that I can use my updates to keep all of you—my support team and prayer warriors—in the loop. In this update, I am going to cover an entire week which consists of a lot of stuff my team and I went through. Here goes…

During the last weekend of January, all teams had to participate in Intensive Training Weekend (ITW). It being my second year that I have gone through this training weekend, I was unsure of what I would learn and what I would feel. Last year was the most amazing experience and it carried me through the majority of the spring semester. It got me excited for my trip, brought me closer to my team and even showed me more about myself, things I had never truly noticed before. That being said, I was not sure I wanted a similar experience this year. Being a veteran, I knew I would be experiencing things most of the people on my team had never gone through. I was more excited for them than I was for myself.

Regardless of my expectations, I was still put through challenges. I had a hard time understanding why this year was so much different from the last so it took me a long time to get into the swing of things. But it all ended up working out.

The one thing I am most thankful for this year is my team. We are all so different and we bring so many different things to the table, but we are still able to embrace both the strengths and weaknesses of each person and work together. I am being challenged in so many areas simply because I tend to be quieter and reserved, and my team is collectively the exact opposite of quiet and reserved. But I have learned to appreciate the opportunities I have to step outside of my comfort zone. I will never be able to learn and grow if I do not take a chance and go somewhere I can be challenged.

So we survived ITW…the next day, we spent four hours as a team. We watched a documentary and came up with ideas for fundraisers and such, and our awesome leader cooked us dinner.
I was so easily going through the motions of team time and training that I failed to realize just how much I was being worked out. Little did I know that my entire week, in very subtle ways, was going to be used to bring so many things into perspective and encourage me.

After team time last Monday, I spent the week struggling to find some quiet time for myself. Eventually the weekend arrived and it was exactly what I needed to put things in perspective. On Friday night, a couple of friends and I went to the Grand Canyon. We drove all night JUST to watch the sun rise over one of the seven natural wonders of the world?! It was amazing, and such a simple way to be reminded of the most amazing love there is. We returned to campus later on Saturday, and the next morning I had the chance to speak at my church. It was a simple act of obedience, and I was blessed by it. I did the exact same thing last year and got no response from anyone. But this year, it was the exact opposite, proof that He listens to our hearts.

Today, Feb. 9, was yet another day of training. But this time was different for me and three of my teammates. Why? Because we learned how to story. Storying depends solely on memorization. If you cannot remember the bulk of a story and accurately repeat it, there is a good chance nothing will happen. But if you can memorize and orally share with others the stories of why we believe, it can be a powerful tool.

Later, during our team time, I resolved to spend more time working on storying and training my brain to retain what I need to know. How can I share more, and how can I be more confident in that?

That is all for this week. I apologize that this has not been the quickest turnover rate for my updates; being a senior is difficult enough, but add my schedule and the level of difficulty increases by a factor of 10. It gets difficult and challenging, but I know Who is going to bring me through! Please continue to pray for my team and I!

God bless!

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