My name is Ariel Mackey and I am a Frontline Intern at the 405 Center and the South campus this year. I heard about the internship through a couple different people and decided to apply after my half victory lap at OU. I truly started investing in my faith towards the end of college and I wanted a designated program that would help me grow in my theology, discipleship, and leadership—and the internship at Frontline does just that.
In all reality, this internship has brought so much personal growth into my life. Just the nature of Frontline and the internship program alike refuses to let you sit in your sin and stay stagnant. There has been a continual process of asking the Lord to reveal my sin and its roots. Then asking Him to reveal old wounds that have created sin patterns in my life and praying He would step into those and heal me of them.
A couple of months ago we talked about two main sin tendencies for men and women and how sin can also be viewed as disordered love—an idea from St. Augustine’s “Confessions.” For women, we talked about comparison and perfectionism, and for men, passivity and aggression. After stepping back and looking at my life I realized just how much I struggle with comparison in everything that I do—comparing everything from where I buy my clothes, to my walk with God and sharing my faith, and everything in between. But in that there is a hint of perfectionism because I constantly find myself doing things for other people’s approval and recognition. After this conversation, we asked the Lord to engage us in the roots of these issues and help us to put our loves in the right order. If we allow ourselves to love power, influence, people, prestige, pleasure, or money more than we love God, sin is revealed and we will feel the disconnect. Although I have a better understanding of this, I am constantly having to ask the Lord to help me order my loves and to help me love Him more and know Him better.
Over the last 4 months, Tuesdays, alongside any other days at Frontline, have hands down become my favorite days of the week. Class time at Frontline has challenged me to know God more and to study His word and theology more closely. Growing up I knew a lot about God, but I didn’t know God or know what He says is true of me. I have loved learning under the pastors of Frontline and truly digging into the Christian faith for the first time through this internship.
One of the most profound things I learned this semester is my purpose as a person on earth and the weight of creation and God’s original plan for us as humans here…Consider these verses:
Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.
Psalm 8:4-5 says, “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.”
This leaves me completely dumbfounded and in awe of our God. How am I, full of my sin and shame, an image bearer of God? You mean to tell me that the one true God, who the universe cannot contain, and created every single detail and cell and system in our bodies, created me specifically and with glory and love? Awe is actually an understatement. Genesis 1:26 tells us that we are created in the image of God. I, Ariel Marie, was created to show the world characteristics of the living, active, and perfect triune God. Holy Smokes. Now pressing into that, I ask God to make my heart and personality more like His…
Lord help me to be more self-aware and to help me love what you love and to put his desires above my own. I know I will be fully redeemed and brought into my full glory when God makes the world new, but until then I desire to live as an adopted daughter of the Most High God and sacrifice my life for His glory.