Hello! I know it has been a while since I’ve last written; my schedule has been jam-packed with classes, church activities, homework, and taking time to travel and spend time with my loved ones. I hope you all have been able to do the same.
This letter will probably be a short one and not as detailed as the rest considering I have a heap of homework to start after this, but I just wanted to take time to share some of what I’ve been up to and what has been on my heart.
Recently, I’ve realized something:
I’m tired of being alone.
I mean, I know I’m not alone; I have plenty of people in my life who love me and care about me and who I know will stand by my side no matter what. In fact, I believe I’ve been blessed with more amazing people in my life than the average person.
I guess what I mean is:
I’m tired of trying to make it on my own.
I’ve known Jesus since I was a little girl and I’ve had a personal relationship with Him for years now, but for some reason, I’ll still catch myself thinking that I have to fix my problems on my own before going to Him.
I believe most of us do that.
No matter how many times we hear our pastor say it, discuss it in our Bible study groups, or read in the Bible how Jesus is our Helper and where our help comes from, our subconscious continues to tell itself that we have to have all of our affairs in order before He’ll embrace us and that’s just not true.
So many times and for so long I’ve found myself saying things to myself like:
“Let me get through this week without falling apart and then I’ll dedicate time to praying for peace, strength, energy, and renewal.”
“I’ll brew in these emotions for a while and hopefully after that they’ll go away, but if they don’t then I’ll go to God about it.”
And the funniest thing about it all?
It doesn’t make ANY sense!
Why wait? Why wait for comfort and love?
Why delay joy and growth?
Why resist my Father’s arms?
And why turn away the help of the ones that love me?
I finally understand the meaning of the phrase: ‘No man is an island’; now that is true.
Think about it: when God created Adam he said,
“It is not good that man should be alone, therefore I will make him a helper”
and that’s when God put Adam to sleep and created Eve out of one of Adam’s ribs.
What does this encounter tell me?
We were never created for isolation- from each other or from God.
The whole reason God made each and every one of us is so that he could love us.
Isn’t that beautiful?
He also made us to love and be loved by others.
So why would I ever purposely try to go against this simple, most important wish God has for me?
Recently, my boyfriend and I had to the opportunity to visit Nicaragua for a week over the course of spring break and stay with two pastors and their family.
My boyfriend, Lucas, had lived with this family for three months two years ago while doing missionary work and quickly became close to them. So this trip was for Lucas to visit his Nicaraguan family and an opportunity for me to get to know them and witness their ministry.
After just seven days with this family, I left changed.
Suddenly, all of the things that I had been worried or stressed about were no longer important to me and I realized I had been doing it (life) all wrong; constantly overwhelmed because I didn’t have the right perspective and because I was trying to do everything by myself.
Being there…being immediately embraced and welcomed by this family who didn’t know anything about me but who loved me, seeing how they helped each other, each one of them rarely doing anything completely alone, and experiencing their kindness and generosity caused me to fully understand what Jesus meant when He said:
“This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples: when you love each other.” (John 13:35)
All those people know is love.
I was moved to tears by how, before service, members of the congregation would kneel at the altar, pray, repent, and worship so as to offer more of themselves to the Lord.
How they would sing, clap, and dance as they made their way to the front of the church to place their tithe in the offering basket.
How I felt the love of Jesus so strongly just from the smiles and giggles of two little girls who came to sit by me; fascinated by the English that came from my mouth.
And when it was time for Lucas and I to return home, the entire congregation came to tell us goodbye; not just hugging us, but embracing us as tears streamed down their faces and telling us how they loved us and were praying for us.
In that moment I was so overwhelmed by the goodness of God and I still am right now, even as I’m sitting at home writing this.
Because I realize something.
Those people were clinging to us because on the inside they were rejoicing:
“Finally! We’re not alone. There are other people out there in the world who see us, who believe in the same things we do.”
It gave them hope and it gave us hope as well.
So I’m done.
I’m done trying to keep everything together all the time.
I’m done isolating myself from God and others because I refuse to tell my pride to shut up.
I’m done choosing to be alone.
Because I’m not alone.
And to be honest,
it takes a lot more effort to turn my back than to lift my hands.
It takes a lot more effort to fight by myself than to stand behind the One who goes before me.
And I’m strongest when I realize
I’m never alone.
(P.S. Here’s the video I made of our trip to Nicaragua. I hope you watch and enjoy.)
Song: Glory & Wonder by Mosaic MSC