So I realize that I probably have not posted on tumblr for about a year…since the last time I did an update. However I am packing and studying for finals, or attempting to study for finals, and I am becoming completely reflective of the way the Lord has worked in my life this past year. I am leaving this year living a life that I did not even fathom at the beginning of the school year. So here is a synopsis of the way that the Lord has mightily changed my life.
A picture of what I entered this year expecting to happen at the end of my senior year: graduating from Biola, living my normal life, single, interning, enjoying a summer of preparing for student teaching.
A picture of what my life looks like now at the end of my senior year: coming back to Biola as an undergrad, living a life forever changed by Haiti, dating a great man of God, jobless for the summer and enjoying a summer of people from home that I treasure.
The journey of how the picture changed:
God has brought me through so much this past school year, He has taught me that through every experience in life I need to stay humbled at His feet. Throughout my life I have always been reminded that I need to lay my plans at the Lords feet and I always tried to however I never truly could. Yet this year He broke me and I laid my feet at His feet and He brought the most beautiful picture of a life I could imagine. My first semester I was burned with school, I felt the weight of graduation and the pressure from the world to meet what I thought were normal expectations. I desired to simply follow my plan and not sway from it. So much so that when I heard the Lord calling me to a mission trip, I ignored Him and basically denied God. This went against everything I have ever believed and said, however when it became a reality action I had to follow then I wasnt up for the task. My faith was then exposed to be weaker then I had thought. I didnt pass the test the Lord had before me.
However, the next moment I recall forever changed my life. I can remember every moment and feeling of this disciple training meeting I had with my two best friends and my pastor. I was completely and totally convicted when they laid the question if God called you to leave everything you know and love and follow His plans would you do it….I knew the answer however I felt sick to my stomach because I knew my actions would say no. I could not believe that I would say no. The Lord broke me. I felt His love and I felt Him open His arms to me welcoming me to abandon my plans and take on the abundant life He had for me. This meant graduating a semester late, living in a different country by myself and entering a time of unknown to rely on Him. My life was changed.
My Christmas break was the biggest blessing where I felt the reward of abandoning my plans and taking on the Lords. I not only began dating a great guy but he is also someone who totally encourages me through the life that Lord has blessed me with. Then I finally got to go on the trip of a lifetime where I lived in an orphanage in Haiti. I traveled by myself, challenged by the language, consumed by the culture, and in love with every child that reached their hand to me, smiled at me and simply made me laugh with their humor. I have tried my best to describe to people about my experience in Haiti, however no explanation I have given has done it justice. There was something about feeling totally abandoned by everything that I hold onto for safety yet so consumed by the Lord. The children were like my children. I lived life with these children: I taught them how to wear underwear, I held their bloody forehead when they bumped their head, I put them down for naps, I cuddled them in my lap as we watched a movie at night, I spent hours walking with them standing on my feet, I stepped over them as they threw tantrums, I laughed as they bumped into walls because they were watching their shoelaces, I wiped their tears when their toy got stolen, I picked them up as they sat begging at my feet for attention, I watched them grow, I saw them become rejoiced as they got a gift of new wheelchairs, I watched them become frustrated because they didnt know how to work the new wheelchairs. As visitors came to the orphanage I got to experience being a familiar person to the kids that they would seek me before meeting the new Americans. I got to be a source of comfort for them, for a couple weeks I got to be their family and they got to be mine. This is what forever changed me. It went beyond anything I have ever learned in missions. I didnt go and hold a program, I didnt go and witness on the streets, I didnt go and build. I WENT AND LIVED.
Even after returning to the states I had no idea what more the Lord had in store for me, I honestly felt overwhelmed by the plans that He laid before me but He wasnt done. He filled my semester with weekends of memories. I got to travel alot, I went home, I went to Connecticut, I went to Mexico, I went back home, I went to San Diego, I went to Santa Barbara. I created a ton of memories with the people that I love. I had the opportunity to truly debrief and process what the Lord had done in Haiti and I gained the knowledge that I need to enter a time of seeking the Holy Spirit. I doubted my faith and gained my faith in one of the best classes in my college career. I watched alot of baseball and celebrated life. I was challenged and blessed all in one semester.
Words can not describe how thankful I am to the Lord for taking a hold of my life and giving me a plan that I could never imagine. Even though this is nothing of what I was expecting it is the biggest gift that I could feel. I am leaving this school year feeling like I have grown and none of it was my doing but simply one simple step of total surrender to the Lord. Now get me to summer and let me see the great adventures the Lord has for me.