My experience at InterVarsity Fall Conference

Last weekend was the Baltimore/Western MD InterVarsity conference, which hosts nine schools including UMBC, Peabody, McDaniel, Goucher, Hood, Loyola, MICA, Towson, and Johns Hopkins.

Every conference is a blast and I always take something special away from it. But this year’s fall conference was especially meaningful for me.

Our speaker was Michael Koh, a native of Malaysia and a current resident of Pasadena, California. His testimony was so special to me because it is very similar to mine. He grew up in the church, and he always felt especially chosen to not be chosen.

And that is how I have always felt. I have always felt like I was just floating along with God, being a “good Christian” but not really making any kind of impact or real close relationship with God.

Michael’s series during the weekend was around 1 Kings 18. He used it as a metaphor that the water is the part of our lives that need God to come close and make a turn in our lives.

On Saturday we could pick a mini seminar from a list, and I picked the one lead by Michael. It was a time of quiet prayer and journaling  which turned out to be an incredible experience.

I started out the session by praying, but after a while, so many thoughts were flying through my head that I began to write every thought out. It turned into quite a list.

Some of my bullets were

  • “I feel distant from God, I feel like he ignores me.”
  • “I want to worship him, but I’m too distracted and I’m too focused on being confused and lost.”
  • “He had given me my desires, but now my desire is to communicate with God CLEARLY.”
  • “I want to see miracles- BIG ONES.”
  • “It pisses me off so many people have awesome gifts, and I feel like I don’t have any useful, powerful, or special gifts.”

The list included lots of me complaining about feeling like my relationship with God is one sided, about feeling ignored, and that he never answers my prayers.

So I told God that I wanted him to show me something from the Bible to help me with my frustration. And we he showed me made me take a step back.

He took me right to the end of Job, a chapter I have never read fully, and I have never read the end. To sum up the last few chapters, it is God yelling at Job for complaining about how he feels like God is picking on him and doesn’t care about him.

“Who has claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me” Job 41:11.

“Why do you complain to him that he answers non of man’s words? For God does speak- now one way, now another- though man may not perceive it” Job 33:13-14.

“The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress. Therefore, men revere  him, for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?” Job 37:23-24

Needless to say, the last few chapters of Job actually made me blush and feel ashamed. I was sitting here complaining about how my trouble with hearing God was somehow his fault. But thankfully, like the good father he is, he showed me where I was very wrong.

That night they had an altar call, and I am usually a pro at ignoring altar calls. But my friend Emily and I both felt like we had to go up there.

It was amazing and for one of the first times in my life, I was able to really hear God speaking to me, and I knew it wasn’t just a random though floating through my head.

So long story short, the fall conference this year showed me where God and I were at in our relationship. I learned that I was living a safe distance from him. I was doing everything I was supposed to do, I just never really listened to God for answers.

Like Michael told us, we all have to get to a zero point in a part of our lives in order for God to start turning us and fixing the broken parts of our lives. And I reached point zero that weekend. I am now practicing praying to God about everything, every day, and to actually leave room for him to give me answers.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Dan McWilliams
    Oct 29, 2012 @ 20:13:02

    Thanks, Kellie, for your reflections of the conference. It makes it more real and meaningful for all of us who were there, and for me, more connected to you!


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