Quite Honestly: When Things Go Wrong

{Disclaimer: I sincerely apologize if this comes across as a way for me to vent, that is definitely not my intention. I have began writing these “Quite Honestly” posts to share where I am at spiritually. I’m learning to be quite honest about the things I am working through and the emotions I’m feeling in an attempt to inspire others.}

I have been having several days in a row where things seem to be working against me. It’s as though every thing that could go wrong, does.

Yesterday, among many other frustrations, I had an allergic reaction to an ant bite. I have been bit plenty of times (every day) on my feet by these ants while being here, yet for some reason my body reacted differently. Almost instantly my foot become extremely swollen and painful. Before long it was mostly numb and difficult to walk on.

Today, I’m dealing with the swelling and pain from that, and also beginning to get a sore throat and migraine. I just fought off a sinus cold over the weekend, and I’m dreading having to do this all over again. As some of you may know, I have an extremely weak immune system. I take several vitamins every day to keep from constantly being sick. When I do get sick, I double up on vitamins and drink a ton of fluids, but regardless it takes a toll on my body. All of my energy goes into fighting off whatever illness has found me, therefore I become extremely tired. I hate being sick and having bodily issues all the time. I hate that I have low pain tolerance and when talking about these things come across as though I’m complaining.

I’ve been working on school stuff, trying to get a graduation plan finished. As I’m working on this, I get an e-mail from my admissions advisor, reminding me that I can’t take any more education courses until my background check is finished. I ordered said background check in March, and followed all the required steps, but my payment was never processed. I emailed my advisor, and her attempt to help fell flat and I have gotten nowhere. It is now August, and I have had to do the detailed, mundane process again, in hopes that things have changed and my payment will be processed. Right now, it’s okay that I can’t take education courses, because I have other courses I can take. Yet, it’s extremely frustrating, because that leaves me to having several semesters in a row of only education courses.

These are just a few of the bigger things affecting my life right now; the tip of the iceberg, as some would say.

I haven’t been able to sleep well, I’ve been having a lot of headaches and migraines, my stomach hasn’t been accepting very many foods lately, my neighbor enjoys playing music with really loud bass at night which gives me a headache, my knee that I injured last month has been aching, and the list goes on.

Needless to say, life has been a little frustrating lately. I feel like I’ve been running in circles. Like I’m working hard to accomplish things, yet nothing is actually being accomplished.

God has blessed me with a very patient spirit. I have always been patient when things aren’t working as I hoped they might, or as they should. I have always been patient with people who aren’t able to or willing to get things done when or how they should be done. Things that many people get frustrated or irritated about, tend to go right over my head.

And yet, my patience is beginning to wear thin. I’m beginning to get frustrated about a few things. I also had become a little discouraged by it all. Almost feeling abandoned, in a way. So I began to evaluate the situation and how I was feeling and realized that all of the above things mentioned, are completely out of my control.

I can’t change that my body had an allergic reaction, or that that one ant bit me. I can’t fix my immune system and stop getting sick. I can’t change my pain tolerance. I can’t make this payment become processed and for all those details to work out.

It’s not even about being in control for me, it’s that I can’t fix it. I’m a fixer. I like to fix problems, give advice to those whom ask for it, and work to improve anything that can be improved. And yet, i can’t fix any of it. There is nothing I can do to change what is happening.

The two things I can do about all of this are to pray, and to cling to Christ. In all my frustrations, stress and disappointment, God remains. He knows all that is on my heart and mind. I’m learning to go to Him and just to talk. Let out my frustrations and triumphs of the day.

It’s certainly not easy. I forget to do so more often than I remember. But, I’m finding that each time I walk towards Him, and hand him my thoughts and emotions, He returns them back with peace and strength. Those two things do not make the problems go away, or lessen the affect they have on my life, but they do help me to feel more prepared to handle them and anything else that may come.

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

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Quite Honestly: Relearning

I’m relearning everything.

In high school, I had a great fire inside of my heart for God. It was one of very few constants in my life, and I loved it.

In the past couple of weeks, I have begun to realize that this fire has died down…a lot…and that scared me.

Over the past year, Honduras had become my passion, which wasn’t a bad thing, but in this case it wasn’t the best. My passion for Honduras became to overtake my passion for Christ. I spent more time fueling that fire and putting energy into Honduras than I did into my relationship with God.

That relationship was always there, but it was changing. My heart was slowly pulling away from Christ and the tight relationship that had once existed.

I’m not exactly sure when my God-fire started fading, or when I stopped fueling it. It was one of those things that happened so slowly that I didn’t even notice (which is something else that scares me).

This trip has most definitely been the most challenging thing I have done in my life. As a 20-year-old, who still lives with her parents, there were so many new things for me to experience. Some of them have been great, and others not so great (I love mac n’ cheese, but sometimes that low-budget meal just doesn’t cut it). I have had to depend on God in ways I never did before. I’ve needed to depend on Him for comfort, strength, courage and most often, grace. Fortunately, we serve a God who is ever-ready to provide for our needs The problem is when we stop depending on Him first, and still expect Him to provide in everything.

This has been such a humbling experience for me, relearning the basics of my faith. I am learning the many places in which I need growth in my life, and have been taking steps in that. I feel like I have been truly growing up, truly maturing in ways I wouldn’t be able to without this experience. I still have so far to go.

This week, the biggest thing I have learned is God’s desire for us to be with him. I can feel it so often. Him just calling me to be with Him. Just to sit in his presence, soak in His truth. So many times I ignore it, thinking I have better things to do or whatever excuse I have at the time. Those times I do listen, God does huge things. I don’t know why it is so difficult for me to listen. I’m sure you’ve done the same thing. Sometimes, you just know God is calling to you, and yet, it’s so easy to pretend you can’t hear it. I’m learning how to tune my heart to His when He is calling me.

In the midst of all this growing and learning, I’m reliving my life again. I’m shedding all the lies that I began to buy into, and soaking up all the truths God has for me. It’s a process and not always successful, but it’s happening. I’m finding the joy and peace in which my life used to exist inside of and learning to live it out again.

I want a complete stranger to look at me, and see Christ.

Not just think that I have something different, or that my smile is full of joy, but that Christ is actually inside of me and leaking out.

I want Him to be undeniable.

The only way this is possible, is by soaking Him in.

It is such a challenge, it’s such a battle between the heart and mind. I am constantly having to choose Christ over worldly things, and I can’t say that is easy. It is incredibly difficult. Yet, the more often I choose Christ, the easier that choice gets. I believe that someday, it will not be a choice, but rather a habit. It will not be a chore (as it feels sometimes), but a delight. It will sincerely feel like something is missing if I haven’t had my time with Him. Why? Because that is how my life used to be. I used to dread having extremely full days, because I wouldn’t have time to just sit and be present with Him.

I could keep writing. I could talk about the challenges and triumphs I am walking through, but that isn’t my goal tonight.

My goal tonight is to be completely honest about where God has me, because I realized something today.

Here I am, at 20, living in a foreign country (supposedly the most dangerous country in the world) by myself, teaching English as a second language, and I am a missionary.

And yet, my priorities in life are completely off-balance.

In my heart, I am not a missionary, that is just a word. I don’t want that to be the case. I want missionary to be a heart-thing for me. I want to say I’m a missionary and feel that ring in my heart, in a way that makes God proud.

This is part of my testimony. No, I didn’t do stupid stuff in high school. I didn’t get into drugs or partying. I didn’t rebel against everything my parents raised me to be.

I don’t really have a past to run away from, and yet, I do.

Mistakes are mistakes, sin is sin. Turning from God looks the same to Him, even if it looks different to us. Planning life around what you want and what you think is best, is dishonoring to God if you aren’t first seeking Him. Dishonoring is something I never want to be, and yet it was something I was slowly becoming.

I lost sight of who I was, and was beginning to lost sight of who God is.

This blog, from the very beginning has been about two things: to keep my friends and family updated on life and to share what God is teaching me (in hopes of inspiring others). Those are the two things I always want it to be about. I can’t see the ways God has used this blog, I don’t know the people it has reached or not reached. All I know, is that God has put this passion and love of writing in my heart, and I am going to follow that endlessly.

This is where it starts. Honesty, relearning, grace, rebuilding and faith all start here. I don’t know where they will end, but I do know that God will be walking along-side me in all of this. At times, I’m sure he will be carrying me, but He will be present regardless.

Opening my heart in this way has always been scary for me, but it is part of the process.

So that is where I am, and I humbly ask you to be praying for me. God is so much bigger than my little brain can wrap around, and that excites me. I’m so glad to know that following Him is endless, that there is not a stopping point in my relationship with Him! He isn’t going to suddenly decide He is finished, and stop working in me.

So I’m going to keep walking towards Him and continue to relearn the basics of my faith.

A special thanks to everyone who has been supporting me on this journey. I cannot tell you how incredibly blessed I feel to have all of you around me, lifting me up in prayer and encouraging words.

Have a very blessed day,

-Sadie