IVLI Week 1

So, I’m just gonna post on here whenever, and…yeah…eventually we’ll get to the point of once every two weeks…one of these days…lol. Sorry guys! I hope you’re all doing well. 🙂
As most of you know (if you survived my really long post from last time) I was gone for a month at InterVarsity Leadership Institute. It was from July 6th-August 2nd, and I’ve gotta say…it was quite the month! Now instead of just one long post for you guys to read, I’ve decided to break it up into segments for you. 🙂 (What?! I know, crazy!) So, without further ado, here is Week 1 of IVLI. 😀

Week one was all about the leader’s call in the sense of the vocations that God calls us to in life. Our speaker, Deborah Lloyd, taught us through a narrative style in which we engaged in the Bible by looking at the stories of Esther, Ruth, Rahab, and Joseph. While looking at their stories Deborah had us identity what their first pains were. (For Esther, it was her inequality both as a woman and as a Jew.) As we went through their stories, we were shown how their first pains in life were transformed into their passions in life. Continuing with the example of Esther, her passion in life became fighting for equal treatment for her people. While studying these various characters and their lives, Deborah took us through a week of putting our own story together. She had us make a timeline of our lives, and she highlighted three main things: our first pains in life, our favorite Bible verse, and a metaphor that describes our spiritual journey. (There were other things on our timelines, but these were the main ones.) This all lead to the creation of our vocational credos-a statement of why we do the things that we do in life.

            My first pain in life was feeling that I was never good enough, and that in one way or another I was a mistake. This pain stemmed from my stepdad’s (and my own) perfectionism. This also came from believing that I did not belong with my family, or with the African American community (more on that later). My favorite Bible verse is Song of Solomon 1:5-Dark am I, yet lovely, daughters of Jerusalem, dark like the tents of Kedar, like the tent curtains of Solomon. (In doing a study of SOS, I came to a revelation with this verse. You see, in an allegorical sense, the bride in the book of SOS is realizing something very important to the concept of Christianity, a concept that for the longest time has been lost on me: the bride is realizing her sin (that which makes her dark), but at the same time, she is realizing that she is still lovely in the groom’s eyes. It reflects the concept that God still loves us even in our fallen state, and He still desires us to chase after Him in His pursuit of us.) My spiritual metaphor is something that means a lot to me because one of the greatest things that God showed me even more so last month is that He has called me to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6) and rise up and be the warrior that God has called me to be. My spiritual metaphor is “a princess hidden: a warrior within.” I am a child of the King of Kings. I am a princess in His kingdom. I am a warrior in His kingdom. This lesson has taken me years to learn, and I’m still trying to figure out just what that means and how to live it out. But I am well on my way. 🙂 Praise the Lord! By the end of the week, we were asked to take what we learned about ourselves and the passions that we have and to create a vocational credo. My credo is this: “God has placed me on this earth to help trafficked women and children to find the courage to rise up out of slavery and to reclaim their lives as God’s virtuous children.” This is what I know God has called me to. 

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