July 2021


A hike I took on my little trip to Hot Springs AK with Darby

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.     - Hebrews 4:14-16

I have really taken comfort in how Jesus is one who can empathize with our weaknesses recently. We don't serve a distant or cold God who is unconcerned with our lives. Jesus came down to earth and experienced humanness. He draws close to us in our joy and despair. He draws close to me as I navigate all the transitions of leaving FOCUS, becoming a social worker, and three of my closest friends becoming married. It's been a mixture of excitement, uncertainty, stress, and joy. Part of me wants the changes to slow down and part of me wants the changed to have already happened. A song that keeps being laid on my heart as I move towards this new chapter in life is I don't wanna go by Chris Renzema. This has been the song of my heart the past few years. The chorus states: I don't wanna go if you're not going before me. This is my prayer that no matter where I go I want to go where God is going. I never want to step out without him. I want to join him in what he is doing. I am excited to see where that goes in this next chapter as a social worker.

I will forever be grateful for the past seven years with focus. (Four as a student and three on staff!) What a special and beautiful time where I got to participate in what God is doing on the college campus. Not only has my life be transformed I have gotten to witness and be a part of others lives being changed. And Jesus isn't done moving. Thank you for being on my ministry team the past couple of years. You have been a part of Jesus's kingdom work at UTA as well. You made this time possible for me. 

To wrap up here are some photos from the past month.

Sophie and Juli! I love these girls. Sophie with be an apprentice at UTA this fall. Juli will be starting the nursing program!

Bachelorette for Stephanie. We met through FOCUS in my undergrad. She is a dear friend of mine and I am so excited for her. 

Bridal party for Kaylee's wedding!

Kaylee my sweet friend and roommate of the past three years on her wedding day.

From Emily M's wedding day with the roomies. I love this girl endlessly.

Don't forget to check out the student testimony below! 

Many Blessings,
Emily Umstead


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