July 16, 2012

Can't stop won't stop

Oh man . . . I'm telling you, after abandoning this blog for 5 months, it's going to blow up. So many thoughts are constantly running through my mind and I just can't stop . . .

Before going on the trip, I was hoping that it would impact me, I asked God to open my eyes, to change me and to turn my world upside-down. I hoped that I would never forget what He was about to show me.

Well, He certainly delivered! Now I can't stop thinking about Nicaragua. Last week, which was the first week of being back, was very difficult. I was emotional about it nearly every day . . . I hoped that being busy at work would get my mind off of it, but that failed.

Anyway, I do have a point. I think.

One of the hardest things for me to process has been the question - "now what?"

Now that my eyes have been opened, now that I have had a perspective change, how will my life change?

I see how much God has given me, and it's overwhelming. This trip strengthened my faith, we saw amazing demonstrations of God's power and transformed lives. More than ever, I see the sovereignty of God and I believe that He placed me here for a reason and that He has blessed me so that I may be a blessing to others. But what does that mean?

I believe that I have a responsibility . . . but what exactly does that look like? When I look at the map of third world countries and think about the extreme poverty, underdevelopment and social injustice, I am knocked off of my feet. I feel paralyzed and overwhelmed. I can no longer walk in ignorance, I cannot turn a blind eye to these situations that I am now aware of.

As much as I wish I could, I cannot change the world. I cannot end pain and suffering and injustice. There are so many things that I will never be able to comprehend on this side of eternity.

In the midst of the chaos and ocean of overwhelming-ness, I see things that God is bringing to light. How can I leverage my life, time, resources, etc. to bless others? For one, the trip helped me overcome several fears - one of which was how awkward I feel around kids! I now have more of a heart for them, which is awesome. I also want to learn spanish, and actually get serious about managing my budget. If God showed me all of the changes and how my entire life was going to pan out right now, it's too much to take in. Maybe He is showing me one piece at a time, and giving me opportunities and new passions gradually . . . because, after all, I'm only human.

Another thing that I am passionate about is the perspective change. I see so many things that we chase after that are cheap, momentary and empty. I actually went almost 2 weeks without the gym and you know what? I not only survived, but I still fit into my pants. Who would've thought?!

But seriously . . . I am preaching this to myself and anyone who stumbles upon this blog - please ask yourself: What am I pursuing in life?

What are you spending your time, your energy, your resources on? Is there something that you feel if you don't obtain it, life will be empty?

Do you feel that if you don't get married, life will be unfulfilled? What about having a respectful career? Having the acceptance and approval of others? Security? Comfort? Material things? Fun and partying? A hot body? Boys? (now I feel like I'm making a list of how to take down Regina George)

These things are not bad in and of themselves, but when we give them ultimate weight and authority in our lives, we become enslaved to them. Nothing in this world can satisfy or fulfill us the way that they promise . . . if you don't obtain these things, you are filled with despair, and if you do obtain them, there will come a time when they disappoint and you find that the satisfaction it promised you is null and void.

Don't get me wrong . . . marriage, family, finances, a good job, material possessions - all of these things are gifts from God and they are beautiful. I desire these things too. It's only when we make those things the primary pursuit of our lives and feel as though we cannot live without them is when it becomes dangerous.

I'm writing this to remind you and myself - all we truly need is God. He is the only one who can give us true life and true joy - and He does not disappoint. God has a life for you and I so much richer and deeper than anything the world promises!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
- Hebrews 12:1-2

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
-John 10:10

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’"
-Acts 17:24-28  

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