Monday, April 8, 2013

oh to be like howard.

this title may seem a little odd, but hello, im odd.

there should be at least one person in your life that you look at & think, "i want people to see in me what i see in them."

when i see dr. c (howard), that is exactly what comes to my mind.

last night was the first district assembly service. (district assembly is big gathering of nazarenes that happens once a year. there are meetings & worship services & what not.) there were a lot of people. & as i stood at the back of the sanctuary, dr. c was called up the front of the stage. there he was, just standing there smiling as usual. dr. toler was giving him this big introduction and talking about the great missionary service that he had done & his work at southern nazarene university. he is retiring this year.

let's not talk about it. i will cry.

nevertheless, dr. c deserved every clap & shout that echoed in that building last night, even though he did none of those things for the claps & shouts & attention.

when i see dr. c, i see his heart. i swear it is bigger than the size of texas. he has a great concern for everyone. he wants everyone to do well. he cares about you outside of the classroom as much as he does inside the classroom.

when i see dr. c, i see his compassion. he has told story after story in class about ways that he & barbara (his wife) have reached out to others. he spent some years in florence, italy (rough life, ha!). he spent some years in haiti. & each produce stories of the greatness of God & the work that God is doing in each of those places. each story that he tells (& sometimes retells) reflects on the person that he is. he has so much compassion for others & love for others.

when i see dr. c, i see Jesus. no, i do not think that dr. c is Jesus, but i do see Jesus shining through him. in everything that he does. wherever he goes, whomever he speaks to, it is with the intention of letting them know that he loves Jesus. & it's obvious.

i am not the only person who loves this man. everyone is sad to know that dr. c won't be around next year. ( i have tried to talk him into staying just one more year for my senior year...but he won't.)

i have had the privilege of getting to spend some time with dr.c by working as his student assistant. i have my little cubby right outside his office. not only do i work for him, but i also get to sit in class with him & he is also my academic advisor because i have been called to follow in his footsteps. & to be honest, i am a little afraid of that. they are some big shoes to fill. he has worked hard his entire life to glorify God to the utmost.

i certainly haven't known him for as long as some have, but in the short time that i have known him, i know exactly what he is about. there is no getting around it.

oh my friends. if there were more howard culbertson's in the world, the world would be a much different place. the world would be on fire for God & there would be nothing to hold anyone back from sharing it with every person that we come in contact with.

dr. c, thank you, from the bottom of my heart for all that you have done & for the example that you have given us. you will never know the amount of respect that i have for you & you will never know how greatly that you will be missed around this place.

we love you.

the end is nigh!

what a horrible blogger i am. i haven't blogged for an entire month! shame on me. a lot of life can happen in a month & surely a lot has happened. i have had two breaks from school, & glorious they were...well, minus the separation from my wonderful friends.

it's near the end of the school year & anytime you ask anyone how they are, the response will inevitably be "tired." there are roughly five weeks of school left. they are the crucial weeks. it's time to "hunker down." as the end of this school year comes though, i get a lot of mixed feelings. yes, i am more than ready for a break from the homework & deep thinking. but i am not ready for a break from learning. i have grown a ton in this past year. more than i could imagine. i have learned more than i honestly expected to. my relationships with people have grown deeper, with people that i didn't really expect them to. & because of that, the end of the school year is bittersweet.

with that being sad i am seriously looking forward to my summer. i have the opportunity to spend a whole month in italy serving with the local church. i'm beyond stoked. & i know that i am going to have a great time & that i am going to learn so much about the life that God has led me to. but with that comes the scary reality that i am soon going to be in the real world. in one short school year my life as a career missionary is going to be staring at me in the face.

here is my reality. i am scared. i am scared to go far away. i am scared to be away from my family. i am scared to be away from my church. i am scared to be away from my friends & from the people who have invested so much in my life. i am scared to leave "my comfort zone." i am afraid of not being the best missionary that i can be or failing to do the job at hand.

but i am more afraid of backing down from the task that God has asked of me. i am more afraid of not pleasing the Lord with all that i do. i know that God has placed this call on my life, a call that i have chosen to accept.

so as i try to wrap my mind around my call, i am more than grateful that i still have next year. as ready as i am to be done with this semester, knowing that i have one more year before i go into the big kid world is a great peace of mind.

i am excited to see how my life is going to unfold, but for now i am going to relish in these last five weeks of the semester & i am going to be present in the lives of the people that i love.

ever overwhelmed by the plan that God has for your life? don't worry, you aren't the only one.