I’m not entirely sure why my fingers are slipping across the keyboard, spilling out some of my deepest thoughts, but I hope that maybe—somewhere out there—there’s someone who can benefit from what I feel is pressing against my heart. I can sense God’s presence in my life right now and it’s stronger than it has been for a while; I’m going to take a leap and trust Him to speak through me. Maybe He will and maybe He’ll choose not to, but either way, this seems to be the right choice.
Last semester was one of the loneliest periods of my life. I’ve been lonely before and it’s been extreme loneliness at that, but there’s something about feeling like you’ve stepped out of a previous pit…only to find that you really haven’t. During that time, I lost myself a little. I didn’t know where I was going or who I was and I pushed God away, forgetting who He was as well. The creator of this world just didn’t seem big enough for my problems; what a huge lie! But, even though I was keeping Him just behind me (not willing to serve, but not willing to let go of Him either) He had greater plans for my life than even I could have imagined.
Looking back now (though I still have a LONG way to go) I almost laugh at the perfection of God’s plan; the twists and turns that make up my life somehow fit into His great plan…even when I couldn’t see. I’ve been blessed beyond measure. There are no words to ever describe the love I feel for my three angels; the ones God sent to help me resurface. I’m fortunate…because I had a way out and still do; not everyone has been blessed with such beautiful friends. I hate that I ever took it for granted; that I ever let one day pass without thanking them for their love or telling them I love them in return. But now, I can’t say it enough. Every chance I get, I remind them how special they are; how much they mean to me. God knew that I would need them…He knows me so well!
It’s funny because I had always planned to go to Mizzou. I didn’t want to conform to the “Christian life”. I hated the idea of being trapped by rules and commitments, and even though I loved God…I didn’t want to be surrounded by Him. But that changed quite unexpectedly, and before I realized what was happening, I was pulling up into the CCCB parking lot, unloading my things. I had made plans to become an English professor, gaining my doctorate, and enjoying a quiet, peaceful life. And then, I came to Central hoping to put together a band, while obtaining a counseling degree. But, even some of those plans changed. I told myself that God wanted me at Central (and He did, just not in the way I expected) for four years, when really I wanted to STAY for four years so I didn’t have to feel “uncomfortable” with any changes…switching schools repeatedly, while having to develop new friendships. So it’s interesting to look back and see how MY plans changed, while making way for GOD’s plans. I’m no longer looking to stay here past four years, I’m not trying to put together a band, and I’m possibly heading towards a life of missions. Funny…I never expected my life to swerve in such a different direction, but I’m happy that it did and is; I feel so much peace with where I’m headed.
So, where am I now? Like I said, it’s been a lonely semester and it’s been filled by a lot of pain. But God clung to me, holding me to His heart…protecting me even when I only wanted to give up. My friends have pushed me, loving me unconditionally—teaching me that it’s okay to let myself be loved, and that it’s okay to love in return. How reassuring to know! I’ve been in the stage of feeling like a nobody for a really long time; the place where it feels like God can’t use someone like you. It’s a hard place to be…imagining that you were made without a purpose. Why continue living when there’s nothing to give? That’s how I felt and sometimes still feel. I feel good right now, but that doesn’t mean the lies won’t come back. I’m expecting hard nights…nights filled with pain and empty numbness, leaving me drained and lost, but I’m preparing myself, and this time…I’m going to fight even harder. When I’m really sad I push those who love me the most away….I want them to quit on me so I can quit myself (though they never give up on me! They’re angels…like I said). But I never really give up; I can’t, because there’s a flame inside of me…a flame burning to surrender to the One who holds my heart. Don’t let yourself be comfortable. Being a Christian isn’t “comfortable”. It’s risky and scary and painful; but you’ll always be safe when you rely on the One who knows the ending to the story….the victory over sin.
I was reading my Moses book the other day and I found a very interesting part….a part that I can relate to entirely and it was reassuring and comforting. It spoke about the three stages of Moses: for the first 40 years of his life he felt superior, the middle 40 he felt completely worthless, and the last 40 he came to the conclusion that he was nothing, but was still usable. I’ve been challenged by God to really analyze myself—to really do some “soul-searching”. And He’s teaching me; He’s REALLY teaching me, though the lessons have been painful. I AM nothing without God; I really am, but that’s the thing…I’m not without Him. He’s here—in every breath I breathe…every step I take; He surrounds me and He loves me…unconditionally. I DO have a purpose and He’s slowly revealing it to me…teaching me to walk by faith, teaching me to trust in Him alone, and teaching me to love….to love above all other things.
So, what’s my point? My point is that, even when everything looks dark, you still have reason to hope. You still have a reason to be here—in this moment and in this life. Let yourself feel everything and this means the good and the bad. Experience it all with God, because you can never do it alone. He doesn’t call us to be happy, perfect, or strong. But He does ask us to trust Him with our life…laying everything out on the table, being content, whole, and vulnerable. I met Garrett Shelp for the first time this weekend in Arizona and I felt a few things click inside of me…things I already knew, but had been fighting. He told us that one of the most important things is to just find out where people are; ask them how God is working in their life…what He’s teaching them. It’s about being real with people, building relationships, and going that extra mile to show Christ’s love. It feels like we’re going to be alive forever—it feels like we’ll never really get old—but we will and it will be soon. This is our generation and we have the chance to cause a ruckus. Let’s be REAL; let’s LOVE; let’s trust every piece of our lives to God. And guess what? If you mess up…it’s okay, because God will love you no less. Don’t worry about a late assignment, a slept through class, or a lack of money; instead focus on the lives that you could be feeding into….the ones that are starving to feel again.