Sunday, December 11, 2011

Big God

Glory to God.  He is so big.  My God is awesome.  And if you saw what I saw in the past two days, you would be crazy not to agree with me.  Let me back up just a little bit.  But first.  Song of the post is Beautiful Things by Gungor.  So great.  And so true.  Please listen.

But anywho.  On Wednesday afternoon, we (my team and our coordinator) piled into a little van thingy with a friend and his daughter.  So.  8 of us, in a little van made for 5.  2 seats in the front, a mattress in the middle, and a seat for 3 in the back.  And we were all going to a marriage conference that E (our coordinator) was going to speak at.  The conference was 8 hours away.  So as you can imagine, the ride was very interesting.  :]  It’s a time we won’t be forgetting very soon, that’s for sure.  I basically jammed to my Ipod for most of the ride.

We finally got to Concepcion (the town where the conference was) at around 1 in the morning.  Then we of course had bread and coffee with our hosts.  I probably crawled into bed at 210.  Then we had to be up and ready to go by 730.  Not much sleep :]  But, esta bien. 

Then we got to the church, and I expected to see a lot of married couples.  Nope.  Hardly any couples were there actually.  Mostly just young single people.  I was confused at this and so we asked why this was.  Most people who get married here are really young, and the church just wanted to help prepare those interested in getting married before the time came, which I think is very cool.  The only thing is, I couldn’t really understand anything.  Haha.  But, like I said.  I know E, and he is a very wise man.  And a lot of affirmations were coming from the people who did understand.  So whatever the message was, I’m sure it was good. 

Although I didn’t get much from the actual message part of the conference, I had a pretty big God encounter afterwards.  Everyone took away the chairs, and we all stood and prayed.  Some people were going around praying for others, and the pastor was praying the entire time up front.  At this point, I was kind of like, “Ok, God.  What are you trying to say to me?  I don’t know why I am at this marriage conference (especially with how ironic it is, seeing as to how no dating is firmly stressed while in REACH :]), but I know I can learn something from it.”  So as we all started praying, I just felt overwhelmed with God’s love for me.  I mean, I am in Chile.  I am safe.  I have a great family who loves me.  I have support all around.  I am so BLESSED!  And my whole life I have always known that I don’t need anyone else’s love other than God’s.  I mean duh.  But it wasn’t until that afternoon, praying amongst 20 other people who didn’t speak my language that I finally BELIEVED it.  You know?  Like, I finally understand and can buy that.  And its so true!  I don’t know why it has taken me this long. 

Basically, I have finally realized that it’s not about me being with someone who loves me.  It’s about me being someone who loves others.   It’s not about me finding someone who looks out for me and cares for me.  It’s about me finding others who need looked out for and cared for and doing that for them.  I don’t have to look for love any other place!  I have it all.  One of my favorite lyrics of all time is from the song Love is Here by Tenth Avenue North.  It says….Come to the Lover you who want, and you’ll want no more…  So very true!  I don’t know.  It just hit me so hard, and I finally just gave over my plans and desires to Him.  He is in control.

Also, the thing that had been holding me back from coming to REACH in the beginning was my future plans.  I have a little bit of scholarship money that only lasts for 2 years.  But the fact that it carries over is what actually spurred me on to do REACH first.  Otherwise, I highly doubt I would have applied for REACH.  In my head, that wouldn’t have made too much sense.  But with everything I have learned through REACH, I now realize how God doesn’t always make sense to me, but he ALWAYS know better than I do.  ALWAYS.  I am gonna go wherever and to whatever He calls me.  I declared that while praying in that same situation on that Thursday afternoon.  I’m ready to face the future with Jesus, in whatever He calls me to pursue. 

Now, with the fear of a crazy, weird future out of me, a new struggle has occurred.  It was really hard saying goodbye to my family for these 9 months.  And it hasn’t been the easiest on them either.  I don’t like having to miss their lives and not being able to experience things with them.  But I also know that this is where I am supposed to be, and God has been doing amazing things in me during this time.  And I had been thinking that it would only be for 9 months.  Then I would go to college.  That only made sense right?  Wrong.  What if God calls me to leave again next year?  What if He calls me to a place that takes me away from home again?  Yes, I am very willing to face that adventure and challenge with the One who will never leave me.  But now the struggle of missing family looms ahead.  At this point, I have absolutely no idea what the future holds for me.  I’ve been praying about it a LOT, but I think this is where God wants me right now.  Trusting Him to provide me with what I need, when I need it. 

I also don’t want to be praying selfishly.  I want the will of God to be done with my life.  I really do.  I just don’t know how to pray that when I really don’t wanna miss my sister’s senior year or anymore of Scamp’s bball games.  At the same time, there is no way I wanna do anything that God does not have planned.  I KNOW that the rewards are way greater when you follow God’s call.  I BELIEVE that with all my heart.  Honestly.  I guess I just really want to know what God’s plan is for me so I can prepare myself for whatever is coming my way.  But.  That isn’t happening. 

So yeah.  These are some of the thoughts I have been dealing with.  And now, how do I find satisfaction in all of this?  I mean, how can I be content in this?  I know God has my back.  I know He only wants what is best for me.  And I want what He wants.  I guess this is where TRUST comes into play.  FAITH that He will guide me and show me the path when He sees fit. 

Sorry.  This is kind of an all over the place post.  And a lot has just been moved from my brain onto this page.  Scary thought I know.  Just kinda spitting out my thoughts.  I’ve really appreciated the feedback so far, and if anyone has any thoughts on any of this, feel free to share :]  Also, continued prayer for courage, team unity, and the hearts of the people we are building relationships would be GREAT!  Very much appreciated. 

ANYWHO.  After the conference, we went back to our host’s house for a barbeque.  SO MUCH GOOD FOOD.  The meat was AMAZING.  Mmmmmm.  So delicious.  While we ate, we watched the Universidad de Chile and Ecuador’s Liga Team soccer game.  E is a very big fan of Universidad de Chile.  And me, being the stubborn, stupid kid I am who has been to Ecuador once, decided to cheer for Liga in this game, just to get on E’s nerves.  Brilliant, I know.  Well then, E decided to make it a bit more interesting and asked if I wanted to bet on the game.  If my team won, he would jump into the ocean with all of his clothes on, but if his team won, I would jump.  And guess what.  I accepted this pointless bet.  And guess what else.  Liga lost.  Sigh.  So, in the next week, I will be jumping into the ocean.  I’m sure pictures will be following as well. 

On Friday morning, we left to return to Alerce.  Unfortunately, my stomach decided to act up, and I felt pretty crummy.  But fortunately, we stopped to do something at the bank which took close to 2 hours.  I stayed in the van with Beth, and the others explored the city.  There was a free bathroom (rare here) in the parking garage, and it was very close to our parked tiny van thingy.  And God worked out the timing for me to get through the locked doors with other bathroom goers at just the right times.  It turns out that I threw up finally, which made me feel a lot better.  At that time, I really really missed my mom.  All I wanted was my bed and her, and I got a crammed vehicle and a public bathroom.  But.  I did definitely see ways in which God was providing for me during that time, and I am so thankful.  He has the best timing. 

Also, on this trip we stopped at two very awesome locations.  First, we went to the beach on Thursday night.  It was…GORGEOUS.  Really.  Unfortunately I didn’t have my hat or my camera (at either of the locations), but my teammates had the camera part covered.  There were mountains all around the coast of the ocean.  So beautiful.  We climbed up part of a rock formation, and the view was just incredible.  Honestly.  It’s hard for me to understand how you can’t believe in God when you see stuff like that.  Just totally incredible. 

Then, on the way back on Friday, we stopped at a waterfall.  It was incredible, too.  So powerful and captivating at the same time.  Beauty in a very intense form.  Pictures will also be coming from that I believe. 

When we finally got home after another 8 hours in the van, we ate dinner and then slept for a very long time.  It was wonderful.  :] 

OH!  And how could I forget.  Like I had mentioned before, us girls have our own apartment.  This means that we must build our own fire in our house which has proven to be very difficult because our house is kinda of damp and our wood is also.  AND we only have matches to work with right now.  Basically, we fight to get a fire started for about an hour and a half every time before it starts running good.  And then, we go to bed or leave and by the time we get back, its out again.  Sigh.  Endless struggle at this point.  By the time I come home, I will be a PRO at fires.  This I will make sure of.  Which reminds me.  Dad, we need to get a firepit :]  Anywho.  I helped in starting our very first fire in the house!  I was pretty dang excited.  My first fire ever actually.  How exciting I now. 

Again, this is pretty long.  And I’m sorry.  But the more I do this, the more I realize that I am just long winded and process better after throwing my thoughts out in front of me.  So this is probably how it’s going to be for the most part.  Just thought I should warn you.  Thanks so much for your feedback and prayers though.  Fuels me to keep posting and updating and really to just keep striving to learn.  I love you all.  And just so you know, I am mourning here in Chile over the loss that our Buckeyes took yesterday.  You are not alone!  :]  But I am.  My team does not share the same views on teams as me unfortunately.  Just thought I would throw that in here.  ANYWHO.  Thanks for supporting!  Much love.  Always.  God bless.

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