God's Presence Fills My Void

Written By: Katrina Hembruff

Starting my internship at TCM I was so excited but a little discouraged. I was at a place in my life where I felt that God couldn’t use someone like me. I knew that God was in control and that with Him all things were possible but I really didn’t see how God could use my life to do good things to glorify Him. As I reflected on my flaws,  like being selfish, impatient and many other things, all I could see were imperfections that stood in the way of God being able to use me.

In the moment of feeling inadequate to do what God has called me to do, I was reminded to trust in the Lord. I was reminded of God's promises to His people through His word where He transformed people who you'd least expect like orphans, prostitutes and murderers. I knew I was hungry to know God more, so I kept feeding that hunger by praying constantly and left the rest up to God.

Through a number of activities during training weeks, God also taught me a lot about myself. He showed me that there are skills that I definitely don’t have and need to work on. He also showed me that these flaws and lack of certain traits don’t make up all of who I am. However, my worth and satisfaction is only found in God. 

As I spent time reading His word on my long exhausting commutes and during work hours, God was constantly on my mind. The more time I spent in His word, the more I felt His presence and peace in my life daily. I started to be ridden of my attitude that God could never use me and spent more time thinking about what God has done in my life and His truth. 

I remember one particular day, I spent a few minutes in prayer then used the remaining time to read the Bible. In that moment, I reflected on how awesome God is and how greatly He has blessed and lavished us with His love and mercy. I was filled with hope and joy after spending that entire hour with Him and felt His presence more than ever.

That day, I noticed that I had an unending patience with all the kids. I was so calm, I didn't worry and I didn't take things too seriously. As soon as I realized the patience I had this day, I knew it was from God. I was reminded that we don't need to worry about what we don't have because God knows us. If we have our heart and mind set in the right place with God, He will truly satisfy and equip us to be used to further His Kingdom. 

I was so excited to be the small group leader for the older girls (grades 4-6). I had met a few of them while volunteering at program and loved their energy and vibrant personalities. By the second week of camp, I realized at this age, girls are more chatty. It was often draining and frustrating trying to keep them on topic. I immediately began to think that this wasn't the group God wanted me to teach this summer.

I didn't realize until  the last week of camp that this was just another situation where God was testing my patience and trying to make Himself present. God knew I didn't have the patience to teach these girls, but He also knew that I loved the girls and God, so I would try my hardest.

My lack of patience is just one of the many ways that God showed His presence this summer by filling voids. I learned that if we go to God with a surrendering heart and spend quality time in prayer and reading His Word. God will truly satisfy us, and equip us to do His will. 

I learned that you don't have to have everything figured out to be used by God. Instead, God will always be there to teach us and give us the love to serve His people. 

”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NIV) 

This is Katrina's first summer interning at Toronto City Mission and she is currently serving in the Willowtree community. She has greatly enjoyed her interning experience despite having to hear "Let It Go" from Frozen a few too many times.