"Oh, Adonai, have mercy on me."
As of today, when I am writing this, we have been a part of this program for 37 days. And what a fantastic time it has been!
This week, we were asked to look inward and reflect on the question, "How have you seen growth since joining The Fellowship?" And today, during some reflection time, I realized how I have personally seen growth since being here.
I could share stories about things that have happened since joining The Fellowship, but I've been doing that with these last few posts, so I would like to take you with me on a little trip down memory lane to reflect on things I've noticed have followed me to this beautiful place.
Let's jump back to seventh-grade Cesar. This guy was a little different from the Cesar you might know today. Anyone who has known me for a while or maybe known me from that time would know I was pretty shy, awkward, and all the other things a 12-13-year-old boy is at that time. Well, around that time was my first time learning how to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The way that was taught to me is what I know as the "Three-Circle Gospel." I learned how to present this Gospel in several ways throughout junior high and high school youth groups. And while I used it a lot back then, I can't say I have used it much since graduating high school, if I'm being honest. But yesterday, when I was sharing the story of Creation, Fall, Flood, and Nations with my team, I realized that what I was sharing is how I was taught to share throughout my teen years in youth group. And I was so excited! This fun, maybe kiddish way of sharing the Gospel brought me so much joy and made me appreciate the growth since I learned about those three circles years ago. So, I would say I have grown in storytelling and sharing the Gospel even in the short time I have been here.
Let's jump to this last year. Now, we are looking at a lot here, but I'll point out some things I have learned and brought with me to The Fellowship. Last year, I was on what is known as the "Tim Team" at TBarM. There was so much growth there, but I have noticed things I've brought with me to my new team. On my team, my good friend Joe taught me what it means to be servant-hearted. Sarah taught me the importance of asking good questions and listening to people. Jamie taught me that it's okay to share a different opinion and speak my mind. Amy taught me the importance of getting my heart right each day through early morning quiet time. Meghan taught me how to love my friends like Christ. Emily taught me to have joy in everything I do. Audrey taught me to challenge my theology and ask hard questions. Tristan taught me how to lean on Christ when times get tough. Leland taught me how to ask for help even when I really don't want to. Danny taught me to have fun along the journey. Jay taught me that you can never ask too many questions when trying to learn about or understand something. Haley taught me how beautiful God's creation is through art. Seth showed me that walking through life with Christ at the center won't make life easy, but it will make it a whole lot better, especially when He brings you friends to walk through life with.
I learned all of these things shortly before coming to The Fellowship, and I have done things here that have reminded me of that sweet family I had this last year. In the way I carry myself and interact with my team, I can see each of those dear friends teaching me through the way I interact with everyone in my day-to-day life. I will never be able to thank them enough for their impact on my spiritual growth and growth as a person in general. Thank you, friends.
Although it has only been five weeks, I can tell I am going to learn so much from these new friends I've made. And I pray to God that He uses me as a vessel to teach them some things along the way as well. This year won't be easy, but I know it will be full of blessings and fruitful seasons if we abide in Him.
So, I ask you to pray that my team and I Abide in The Spirit as we move forward.
As I bring this blog to a close, I am overwhelmed by emotions because of the growth I've experienced in my short time at The Fellowship and everything else God used to bring me here. Thank you so much for reading my blog. I pray it brought you joy and a small glimpse of some of the ways God has grown me through the people around me. The song for this post is Adonai by Chris Renzema.
Congratulations Cesar, in finding a place that you can continue to grow in HIM. I pray you will always do so. May this be a foundation that you can build on your entire life in any earthly space; whether weary or soaring. I recently have been studying the story of Elijah from 1 Kings; my God always care for you, may He ask you “What are you doing here,” may you obey step out on a rock. May you stand on that rock though the wind, the earthquake, the fire pass you by may you be able to lean in to hear HIS gentle whisper. May you always talk to God! Take care and grow always learn always. Because truly He care to ask “what are you doing her?” And He is always doing something!
Cesar, I am so proud of you. It has been so sweet watching you grow and learn this last month and come to know and love your new team. For 9 months I had a front row seat to watch you grow as a follower of Christ, in the moment you notice a lot but now that we have all taken a step back it is evident how your time on team and now your time in the fellowship has taught you so much. I love you so much!!!
Cesar, reading your blog brought me great joy! How amazing and blessing that you are part of the Fellowship. Reflecting on your life journey, you can look back and see God's sovereignty. It's evident that many people have impacted your life. In the same way, continue to influence many for God's kingdom through the power of the Holy Spirit. I strongly encourage you to study God's word inductively. There are many books or you tube resources that are free. Praying that your love and knowledge of God will continue to grow. Very proud of you!