Blooming Within the Pruning – Keeler Update April 2024

A poem about His sovereignty 

It’s your power, it’s your plan.
Above all my thoughts, above all of man.
There I will rest, because your hand is great
There I will be blessed, because you carry the weight.
It’s not up to me, when I’m lost at sea.
But you have the power to redirect me.
Though life goes up and life goes down.
I’m focused on ONE imperishable crown.
So when I wonder, when I worry.
Bring me back to that assurance of eternity.
Thank you for how you lead, and how you guide.
I am so in love with being your bride. 

Guys. God is so good! Have you ever been in a season where all you are is in AWE of what God is doing? That has been me recently. Even within hard times, when I feel the pruning… I get to choose to be focused on the flowers and fruit that bloom after the pruning, and when I do.. I can’t help but sing! I have watched God reveal Himself in crazy ways recently, and I’m excited to share all this fruit with you! 

Dependency. That has been what I have been learning. What does true dependency on the Lord look like? Well,  honestly I didn’t realize how much I depended on others until they weren’t there anymore. And I praise God that I was put in a season where it felt like nobody was there, because then all I could do was run to Him. Ever been in a season like that? The more I ran to the Lord and depended on Him FIRST, the more I learned about Him. The poem in the beginning really is the lesson I have been learning in this season of dependency. His plan is better than my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). In Him I find rest because I know He takes care of everything (Matthew 11:28-30). Even if I take a wrong turn He is faithful to redirect (Jonah). Trials don’t compare to the glory which is eternity!(Romans 8:18) And I have learned to find that peace which surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). That is what you gain from dependency. Peace. Because when I was reminded of the realization, I can’t do it, I NEED God,  I got filled with the PEACE of God which truly passes understanding. There is no other place I can find peace. I can confidently say that when I have Christ I am complete, because I know that those who seek him shall not lack any good thing.(Psalm 34:10)

As I learn more about who God is, I get the privilege to become more like Him! That’s what happens when we seek him. With that, I have had some awesome opportunities to display that love of Christ. The first one being at our Women’s Voice of the Refugee’s event. Where we gave refugee women the love of Christ through a spa day! There I volunteered to do henna which is similar to a temporary tattoo where you use this paste in a tube to draw a design on someone’s skin and as it dries it dyes the skin to be a hopefully, beautiful pattern. This was an awesome open door to love on refugee women around me. I had a good conversation with a young girl from Syria which ended with me giving her my number so that we can share our different cultures with each other through food! She mentioned that she loves tacos! So I jumped at the opportunity to make her tacos sometime and she agreed and said she would make one of her favorite dishes from her home as well. It was a sweet interaction and I’m looking forward to growing that relationship.

Speaking of tacos…Spanish ministry! I have had the privilege to spend time with our Spanish ministry more and more. And it has been a huge blessing! I have been able to be a part of a few gatherings within the ministry and have helped with worship both in English and Spanish. I definitely have a heart for Spanish speaking areas, and so what better way to begin equipping myself/learn Spanish than jumping at any opportunities I can to join our Spanish Ministry. Within the ministry I have been able to grow closer with people in it, but especially my new friend Katia. I met her through some other students and we were able to invite her to church and she kept coming because all she wanted to do was study the Bible! That is literally what she would tell us! She has now given her life to Christ and has been growing like crazy! God is so good! Watching her grow in Christ and be transformed has been such a huge highlight this past month! And has encouraged me to reflect on the faithful hand of God in my life personally. And I hope that encourages you to do the same!

Recently I have also grown a desire to help teach those around me and around my age everything the Lord has taught me through His Word. This started when I went to the nearby college campus with some of the students with Pastor Nick who runs our Evangelism opportunities and was blessed to have a ton of conversations with believers who were needing encouragement. My heart started to ache realizing that not everyone gets fed as much as I do in the Word, and may not know these same truths. And the Lord really put it on my heart to be the one to step up, rather than praying for someone else to meet the clear need. And as I was praying what to do I had it on my heart to start a Bible study for young adult girls. After 2 weeks of praying for that, I started to get cold feet and doubts, worry, and the anxiety was overwhelming. But during one of our Tuesday School of Discipleship and School of Ministry class, the Lord confirmed it. The topic was stepping out in faith. And the example of stepping out in faith to maybe start a bible study was said as well as other things that confirmed all I was praying about. That night I knew I heard correctly, as I was so excited….as well as absolutely terrified but that’s beside the point. I then spoke with our other Young Adult girl leaders about what they thought and they mentioned they had been wanting to do something like that for awhile and just didn’t have the time. That was another way I saw it confirmed, so I stepped out and now it goes every other Saturday morning starting May 4th. I was further reminded while praying for the study of the verses 2 Corinthians 12:9-11, alongside Galatians 2:20. And I remembered it had nothing to do with my ability, but my AVAILABILITY.  So, when the doubts and worry came, it didn’t matter because it’s Christ through me. All I have to do is be a willing vessel.

Wow, God has taught me a ton this past month. And honestly, I haven’t even scratched the surface on who He is, so I’m excited to keep learning and sharing with you all! Above anything else you think I may need, always begin and stay praying. I know these next steps are only possible with God and so I will be praying continually for His wisdom in every step I take. And I want to invite you to come alongside me in this work. We have an enemy. He is real. But, our God is greater. And life gets busy, but just as you have taken the time to read this newsletter, I ask you take time to pray for:

  • The finances needed to attend the Calvary School of Missions.
  • The Lord to continue to break my heart for His people around the world.
  • The salvation of my family and that I may be a bold ambassador for Jesus.
  • Guidance as I teach the YA Girls Bible Study.
  • Boldness for all my past/future evangelism opportunities.

Like I mentioned in my prayer requests, there are the financial needs too. If you feel led to financially support my CSOM tuition, the cost of the program is $2,700 and so any kind of contribution would be a huge blessing! You can find the financial support button at the bottom of this page. If you’d like to hear more about what God’s been speaking or see more poems like the one at the beginning of the newsletter, please check out my blog page where I share a ton on all the awesome things God is doing every day!

Thank you so much!

With all joy, 

Serena Keeler