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Putting God in a Box

By Catherine Smith

On the first day of the Capital Fellows Kickoff Retreat in August, Lauren Burns (a fellow Fellow) wore a crocheted dress with chunky heels and clips in her hair that gave her a very distinct California, hippy vibe. The next day she showed up to breakfast wearing an outfit pulled straight from a Ralph Lauren summer catalog sporting Sperry shoes, pearls, and a blue striped shirt. Jokingly I told her I couldn’t figure her out. She replied plainly, “Don’t try to put me in a box.” It struck me because my whole life I have tried to compartmentalize and organize everyone in my mind and she challenged this habit. This past week I was confronted with the realization I also try to put God in a box.

About a year ago I began the process of applying to Fellows programs and once accepted, I started praying for this year. Yet, as this year progresses it seems like my prayers are not answered. My requests of the Lord are not unholy or unrighteous, but in my heart I equated unanswered prayers with indifference and unworthiness in the Lord’s eyes. I put God in a box. He needed to work on my terms and in my ways, anything less was unloving. I became indifferent and even ignorant of the ways the Lord has been working because I was hyper focused on the areas I did not see Him. I needed the Lord to recalibrate my heart to His and show me the danger of limiting Him.

We had a silent retreat recently. As I reflected on my seemingly unanswered prayers, the Lord revealed to me the ways my disappointment had blinded me to His presence. My narrow view of the Lord’s work created a barrier between God and me, but He graciously continues to reveal Himself even as I fail to fully trust and remain faithful to Him. I read a poem on Friday that encapsulates this idea. Paul David Tripp in his poem ‘Not Always’ writes, “Tomorrow I will long to be faithful but will prove to be inconsistent once again.” I long to be faithful in the Lord, but even in well meaning prayers I fall short. Thanks be to God that His love is not dependent on my performance, and that even in the moments and seasons I struggle to trust His goodness, He is still good.


Pictures from the Week

Lizzy and our best friend Grizzly

Seeing friends at the metro!

Anna, Natalie, and Matt being tender for the post D Group picture


Know a Potential Capital Fellow?

We are actively building Season Seventeen! If you know a college senior or recent graduate that would benefit from this program, please let them know about our upcoming informational webinars. About Capital Fellows. Capital Fellows is an advanced leadership and discipleship program for recent college graduates. Through graduate courses, a paid internship, one-on-one mentoring and many leadership and community service opportunities, fellows develop and apply their gifts in real-world situations while learning to integrate a Christian worldview into all areas of life. Capital Fellows is a unique opportunity to live and work in the Washington DC area and to be an active member of a supportive community that seeks to serve the city with the love of Christ. It is also a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience in the workplace while deeply exploring God’s design for us as workers and contributors to human flourishing.


Pray for the Capital Fellows

Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!

This week, the Capital Fellows will be meeting their mentors. Fellows and mentors meet 2X per month to talk about vocation, spiritual questions, relationships...whatever the fellow wants to work on. It is one of the ways that the Capital Fellows program seeks to break down the barriers between generations in the church. Please pray that these relationships would be special, filled with fruit and mutual love.

Want to pray for the Capital Fellows in an ongoing way? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.

Capital Fellows Class Brochure - for Phones
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About The Fellows Initiative

Capital Fellows is part of a network of similar programs across the country. This network is called The Fellows Initiative. There are 34 Fellows programs in TFI, roughly 3,000 alumni living around the world, and more Fellows programs on the way.

If you know a church in the US or Canada that would benefit from joining TFI by launching a new Fellows program. Please contact TFI by visiting their website.


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