There’s Freedom in being myself! <3

1Getting_practical

I have always been a very logical and practical person, because well… I had to be. It’s human nature to survive and be self sufficient. Some people are thinkers while others are feelers, and I have been a thinker. Dreaming wasn’t something I had time for; I needed to figure out how I was going to support myself financially and ensure that I wouldn’t let people down if I didn’t become successful, because ultimately, I have so much potential, right? I have always taken pride in being a very organized and disciplined person and in always knowing where my next steps in life were- whether that be school or doing a year of service. As my year of service is coming to a close in June, I have found myself in a bit of a tizzy trying to figure out what my next steps are, after all, our society tells us that if we don’t have a plan then we are lazy, have no sense of direction, etc. I have applied to Azusa Pacific University’s Marriage and Family Therapy Graduate program (that is a mouth full, luckily you’re reading it!) because one of my passions is mental health… yet another passion of mine is to lead worship and to travel… while another is eating healthy and working out and just leading an all around healthy life style. So, I was faced with the decision of “which one do I choose?” Should I go to grad school and put worship on hold? Or should I try and find a full time worship position somewhere and hopefully I’d make enough money to support myself… but that’s not likely. Or maybe I could just teach Zumba classes and hopefully that would sustain me..

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Leading worship with my best friends, Troi’elle Green, Ashley Smith and new friend, Abraham Arce!

 

But then, a light bulb came on and the Lord revealed to me that He is the God of impossibilities. Why does it have to be just one? Why can’t I do all of them? Why does it have to be one or the other? The Lord has given me a peace about pursuing my dreams and ensuring me that He has great plans for my future and that He has indeed placed those passions in my heart. I don’t see myself sitting in an office everyday from 9-5, I see myself traveling, speaking at seminars, leading worship and teaching at seminars on mental health. So, why limit myself (or limit God rather) to just one? If I can dream it, He can make it a reality if I allow Him to. I believe that this generation has amazing opportunities and has the potential to change the world! We are a generation that WILL go after our dreams, we are a creative generation that is continually coming up with new ways to bring in income and better yet new ways to exalt our Lord.

After realizing all of this, I felt a sense of peace knowing that I don’t have to conform to the world’s standards and choose one profession, that my life isn’t summed up based on what I “do”. I am free to be me and to go after what I am passionate about, and now I know that the dreams I have are only impossible if I don’t try.

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My face after realizing that I serve an AMAZING God who is capable of all things!

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Meet Gabrielle!

 

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Hi there! My name is Gabrielle Burton and I am one of the St. Joseph Workers! I am originally from Las Vegas, NV but went to high school and college in St. Paul, MN. I majored in Communication Studies, meaning… I love to talk! I also love to sing! I am serving at the Alexandria House In LA, which is a transitional shelter for women and children who were victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, or are just facing homelessness. I work in the childcare, and it’s been an eventful three months so far!

Working with kids can be exhausting, especially with ones that have faced some really harsh realities like our little ones . Everyday I find myself being stretched more and more past my comfort zone and giving more and more of myself. Each day I am realizing the importance of making sure that I am filled up with the Holy Spirit so that I am not giving of myself, but that it is the Holy Spirit flowing in and through me. I have to get rid of my personal preferences and hang ups because at the end of the day, it’s not about me- it’s about the people I am serving. While I may be serving the people at my site, some directly and others indirectly, they are probably teaching me more about life than I am helping them! I have really found the importance of just being with the people and building relationships with them. For the first month, I would get in at 9 a.m. and leave exactly at 5 p.m. I was concerned with getting home and going back to my life, but more recently, I have slowed down my pace and taken the time to chat with some of the residents and see how people are doing, and it is at those moments that I find myself having the most meaningful conversations.

Relationships are the most important thing we can build on earth, and I am who I am today because of the relationships in my life. I know I will be a better person because of the relationships I am forming and conversations I am having at my site and I am eager to see what these next few months have in store for me!