2 more days til i board a plane for home. so much to cram into the next 48 hours (errands, outreach event, haircut, potentially buying a new car, laundry, packing, etc.) so excited that ill be going home for the first time since december that i don’t even care how busy & stressful the next few days are going to be. the end is in sight and by thursday evening i will be hanging out with my best friend and all will be well.
life is so strange when you live 20+ hours away from all that is comfortable. friends & family are living their lives without you. my nephews didn’t stop growing just because i stopped getting to watch them do it. my former students in both dayton & st. louis have completed another year of school since ive last seen them. my brother has probably grown a foot since Christmas. (and his voice has definitely lowered a good bit too ;)) ive missed bridal showers, weddings, engagements & births of babies. and don’t even get me started about the many, many, many social events ive missed out on.
it’s definitely not easy sacrificing all of that for this. even though this means having a beautiful beach minutes from my doorstep. my dream “job” that i am blessed to go to everyday. the most incredible staff & volunteers to partner with in ministry. students that allow me to be part of their lives & laugh with me through the insanity of figuring out what it means to lead them in a ministry that not many have done in this capacity before.
all that im missing makes my heart ache & yet all that im experiencing makes it hard for me to even begin to imagine ever do anything else besides what im doing right now.
honestly, if it were left up to me, i would pack my car and drive it right back to st. louis. i would rent a cute house with my best friend and volunteer in a great student ministry and be involved in a young adult ministry where id have plenty of friends my own age to be challened and encouraged by and my family & sweet nephews would be a short 3 hours away so that i could spend at least one weekend a month watching them grow. i wouldnt be missing the last years of my grandma’s life and i would have the security of my daddy being nearby should anything go wrong. if it were up to me, id be missing out on all this that God has called me to & clinging tightly to all that in which He has clearly called me away from for now.
So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life, is with Christ in God. He is your life.
colossians 3:1-3 (the message)
the good news? it’s not up to me. my life is Christ. it is only because of His grace that i am where i am. that does not mean that it is easy, but it does mean that it is worth it. it is so humbling to be part of what He is doing in southwest florida. it is hard to swallow that my old life is “dead”. those people & places are important, but truth be told if Jesus asked me to give them up completely and never look back there would be no choice to be made. i am His and apart from Him my life is meaningless. im not sure i ever understood what it meant for my life to be hidden in Christ. im still not sure i understand completely, but i do believe that He is enlightening my heart to comprehend more and more the truth that my life is not my own. my comfort, my desires, my plans are of no value if not aligned perfectly with His.
so what do we do? when we are living in the midst of the tension between what has been & what will be. when we realize that God has ripped from our hands things that we had clung to so tightly. for me it was the comfort & familiarity of home. the physical presence of my best friends. my Grandpa. how do i live in the tension of desiring those things yet knowing im simply not going to have them right now?
we believe. that He is good. that He is enough. that His plan is perfect.
we recognize most importantly that apart from Him nothing matters anyway.
so we continue drawing near to Him. believing that even if we could have it all back. the comfort of home. my best friends. my precious Grandpa. even if i could have all that back, it would “not compare to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (phil 3:8).