My name is Gabe Littlefield and I serve the downtown congregation as an intern for community ministry. I am 25, a recent grad of Oklahoma State, and new to the OKC area. Applying for the internship at Frontline was a last-minute decision for me.
If you told me 3 years ago I would be where I am today, I would’ve laughed in your face and said you’ve lost your mind. You see, growing up, I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. My life was all about sports and making good grades. As you can probably guess, performing well and receiving affirmation became idols I inadvertently worshipped.
Throughout my childhood, I was made fun of all the time for being an overachiever and super nice to people. So much so, that once I got to high school I told myself “enough is enough”. I started to care less about my future and more about just being accepted by the cool crowd. My grades dropped, I did not strive to be great at athletics any longer, and I treated people horribly.
During my senior year, my dad passed away. I blamed God, becoming angry and very depressed. I knew there was a God but I did not believe He was good. My anger and depression led me into the darkest years of my life during college. In response to all the darkness, I told God I hated Him because of the hand I was dealt. I joined a fraternity in college, because I was sure it would provide fulfillment for my desire of significance and help me cope with the emotional pain. But God used it to continue His pursuit of my heart. It took four years, but His timing was perfect. God used a fraternity brother to reach out to me and it did not take long before the Holy Spirit had captured my soul. On February 4, 2015, I was given a new name and a new passion in life— seeing people turn their lives over to Jesus. It is the greatest joy I have ever felt.
After graduating from college in December of 2016, I knew I wanted to do full-time ministry but I did not know where it would be. That summer I served at a college ministry in Florida called Kaleo. While there, I led a group of guys to grow in their faith, and in the process, I heard about the internship at Frontline. All the other doors leading to full-time ministry had shut but the invitation to Frontline was wide open.
The quick transition from Florida to OKC was no doubt a divine answer and proof God wanted me here. I am extremely grateful and thankful to be in this program and to play a role in God’s will for this church.
Imagine for a moment what the most insane roller coaster ever created would be like, that is what my life has felt like the past 5 months. Yet, still someone designed the roller coaster, someone operates it, and someone rides it with you. That someone is God.
During this season, the Lord has sent me through trials of all kinds. He has challenged me in my “absolutely not” areas. He has blessed me beyond comprehension. He has humbled my pride. He has exposed my sins. He has rebuked my wrongs. He has disciplined my flaws. He has blasted through walls of lies I have built up about myself. The list goes on. I have failed many times to rejoice with pure joy in these trials as James 1:2 says, but because of His faithfulness to me, rejoicing becomes easier each day.
Another area the internship has helped me step into is how to let God father me. This has been extremely hard because it aims at my nastiest wound. As I read scripture that displays the love of God for us, I envision myself in the stories. My favorite passages to do this with are the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15 and Romans 8:17 which says that we are co-heirs with Christ. This verse reminds me that God the Father now sees me just as He sees His beloved son Jesus. Exercises like this are helping me to believe God’s love for me more and more.
Lastly, as a class of interns we have been reading The Gift of Being Yourself by David Benner. This book has taken me through the greatest soul-searching experience I’ve ever been through. The main goal of the book is to help the reader understand that a person cannot deeply know God without simultaneously deeply discovering themselves. In this day and age, our identity is so easily misinterpreted by what we do rather than who we are. I see this in my own life with my struggle against letting my performance and acceptance rate be where I find my identity. The book uses an example of when we introduce ourselves to people, we tell them what we’ve done or where we’re headed, creating an illusion for people to believe and for our true identity to hide behind. Just as Adam and Eve wore fig leaves to hide their sinful nature from God, we do the same. But if we could be honest with ourselves and accept that we are sinners, only then can we know God for who He truly is and most importantly, how He knows us.
This journey through the internship with the Lord has been one heck of a ride but I would not have it any other way. Looking back everything makes sense as to why I am here and what areas of my life God is sculpting. I’m so thankful He has me at Frontline and excited for what He has in store as we move forward. Let’s do this God, my life is in Your hands...