STP: one of the many acronyms the Navigators use that previously held very little value to me. After just one summer, I will never view it the same way again.
Going into STP, I didn’t have too many expectations other than expecting God to show up and do big things, both in the Dells and in my own heart. At the beginning, I had it all planned out… I would go to the Dells knowing that God wanted me there, I would share the gospel with a ton of international students, they would receive it well, lives would be saved, and to top it off, I was going to grow in my own personal walk with Jesus Christ at the same time. In theory, this seemed like a good, straight forward, positive plan because it all lead to growing closer to God, but God didn’t have this plan for me.
As the summer unfolded more and more, I began to feel inadequate as a Christian because I was not reaching students like I wanted to. Listening to all kinds of amazing stories and watching other STP people form strong connections with international students was incredible to witness, but it left me feeling like I was not doing enough. That’s when God began changing my heart…He began to humble me.
One day when I was having a TAWG time, I started thinking about what I was called to do at STP and I realized that I was trying to control what my purpose was at the STP (hence, my well thought out plan), all the while missing what God had planned for me. A huge reason I believe God brought me to STP was to recognize how prideful I was in my thoughts. He did great work in revealing different areas of my life that needed humility. Thinking that I could talk to these international students about the Savior of this world without relying on God to guide me…oh how I was wrong!! I needed God to be the one to do that. My realization: I cannot do anything without God’s help…period…and my words are so incomplete, but God’s words are perfectly complete. It was after this realization that I began to seek out God on a much deeper level. Reading His word in quiet and listening to what He had to say to me, talking to Him authentically, letting Him guide my actions and words, and trusting that His purpose is what’s best for me, all became my new action plan. My desire became if it was His will, for Him to put someone special in place for me to share His truth with.
So, what did God do? He put a very special girl in my life to do just that. I got to share with her the truth of Jesus Christ! t’s funny how that happens…when we go deep with God…He opens our hearts, speaks truth to us, shows us more of who He is, and reveals to us how we can build our character so that we can share the truth of Jesus Christ with an authentic heart! For me, I needed work on being inwardly humble; giving up my control and letting God!
What happened at STP? God happened. He showed up and did mind-blowing things! Things I could have never expected. He did it in my life, and He can do it in yours.
STP: an acronym symbolizing a time period where a radical transformation took place in my heart for Jesus Christ and making His name known to people all over the world.