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,