I haven't felt like I had enough to write one long blog post this week, so here is a snippet of the various things I've learned through our study so far this week!
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
This verse sustained me through last summer. If God gave us a task that we could accomplish without him, we would be far more likely to take credit ourselves. But when we know that we are to weak, our strength, our knowledge, and our wisdom are too meager to accomplish what we set out to do, God takes the glory. Through constant prayer and doing all things through Christ's strength rather than our own we consistently glorify God! We are a part of the vine, and it is only through the vine (Christ) that we the branches can produce fruit.
Jacob's encounter with God changed him permanently. Likewise, when we meet Jesus, and ask him to be a part of our lives, our lives should be utterly unrecognizable from our former selves, because When we allow Christ to change us, and work in us, when we allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, our life is different, down to the core of who we are. We are no longer required to define ourselves by our possessions, or our abilities, but are instead defined in Him who died on the cross for us; we are defined as the vassel's of God's love, and the messengers of his glory. We are refined daily by the fire of his justice and mercy, and healed through the waters of his love. I have no desire to live the life of the Kira who once walked a wide and easy path alone. I have no desire for the things she desired because I have been changed by the Spirit of God until I was unrecognizable. I celebrate that that Kira has died, and in her stead is me, the daughter of God, creator of the universe who loved so wholly and sacrificially that his own Son died for my sake. Pray daily that God would continue to empty me of everything that isn't Him for it isn't by my own power that I am changed.