Do you ever wonder why? If you ask my parents what my favorite question was growing up, they would tell you “Why?” I asked it ALL the time - to the point where my parents would just respond with “because.”
To build off this question, another one I ask a lot is “God, why are you allowing this to happen to me?”
For those of you that don’t know, I am the intern here at the BCM. I was a student at UA and I graduated with a BS in Athletic Training. The BCM played an important part in helping me find a local faith family. Since my time at UA, I started working as an Athletic Trainer for a local company, I started grad school at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and I became the Missions Coordinator for Forest Lake Baptist Church.
Now, because my church created a partnership with a church planter in Indianapolis, and a variety of other reasons, I have had an opportunity to move back and forth between Indiana and Alabama. And this past year I lived in three completely different areas. (Tuscaloosa, Indianapolis, and the UK). Crazy I know, but, there is a reason for my moves: the Great Commission.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." // Matthew 28:18-20
August feels: I have obeyed God. I’m where he told me to be; I’m in the position where I felt him lead me to be; I’m doing what I think he has instructed me. But, things were hard. My thoughts about certain things changed. Culture shock from the UK to Alabama was rough, and my living situation is not what I expected: I have three jobs, I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and I feel completely ineffective because everything is new. When I got here, I felt abandoned, frustrated, and exhausted. How could God lead me to this place? How is this good?
Then I had an opportunity to go to a friends wedding overseas! While it’s great to see friends and catch up, I think the entire reason God allowed me to go back overseas was to show me that for this season, I’m not supposed to be there. God was once again very gracious and very faithful. He very gently reminded me that he called me to Alabama. In this moment, I felt God invite me to go deeper in my walk with him - to press in - when I wanted to bail out.
Then January: I’m ready!! New Semester = new opportunities! I can’t wait! What are we going to learn about this year God?! God: “Persecution.”
I literally couldn’t escape this lesson. I went to a conference in the states where they talked about Persecution. In my history class we learned about persecution. I taught a D-Now and the subject matter was persecution.
I was intimidated and not a fan. Why? Why persecution? Why not something easier?
Side Note: My life was changed because of a woman who was killed for her faith. So, I understood from a young age that following Jesus comes at a high price of your entire life. Other countries especially where the gospel is illegal get that,but here in the South where there is a culture of Christianity we don’t see people being killed for their faith.
So why is God teaching me about persecution? I live in the “Bible belt;” I can share my faith freely without fear of being imprisoned or killed by the government. Well, persecution is still present in the Bible Belt it’s just masked as other things. For me, I’ve noticed a pattern, there are three or four areas of my life that are consistently attacked when I’m obeying God: finances, family, health, relationships, I began to go deeper in my walk with God this semester, the persecution came - literally every one of those areas in my life was attacked.
However, God once again was very gracious and very faithful. What was once intimidating (and if I’m honest a little scary) lost its power. God affirmed that I was heading in the right direction. God redirected my eyes from the anxiety and the stress to peace and comfort because God showed me that he has power over my circumstances. Finally, God has reminded me of his presence when I feel alone or like no one understands. Specifically, he opened my eyes to see how intimately aware he was of every detail in my life.
So, what have I seen this year as an intern? God has told me to go make disciples, but as he teaches me I am to teach others. He promises to be with me always, and He has been. He’s been faithful before and he will be faithful again.
That being said, I am excited to see what God has in store for this next year! I’m so excited to be your BCM intern again for 2019-2020. I know it is going to be challenging, and I know that persecution will come. But I know that God, who has called me to this work, is very gracious and very faithful, and I am sure that what good work He has started in me He will bring to completion.
Brittany Kent (BK)
BCM Intern // @bamabrit14