Dear Younger me, be still and wait

Dear younger me,

There may come a time when you want to rush things. You will believe that your motivation is admirable and perhaps it is.

You want so badly to get to your dream career, you want so badly to meet that dream man, that awesome friend. You want so badly to be independent, so you rush towards it.

If you do that my dear, you will hurt so many others along the way. Rather than your motivations being admirable, they are selfish, because you are rushing God’s timing. Just trust His timing.

He can easily bring about your desire or He will replace it with something even better.

Don’t make the same mistake I did. Please trust, wait, and spend that energy loving and protecting others, rather than using them to get somewhere quicker.

Be a George Bailey

It’s a Wonderful Life, has there ever been a more well crafted executed film than this classic treasure?

I watch it at least once a year during Christmas time and yet it always amazes me with it’s beautiful story, characters, and acting.

George Bailey is an example to us all. Time and time again, he finds himself giving up on his dreams to help others. Really, his life is spent serving others, when he had truly wanted to be traveling the world, having an adventure.

Isn’t life funny? Isn’t God funny? I don’t mean haha funny, though our Creator clearly has a sense of humor, considering walruses and narwhals. I mean, what He chooses for us can seem funny.

Just like George, we may have dreams of traveling the world, or perhaps becoming famous, maybe even just getting away from our hometown, but God has other plans. For George, each time was about to go his own way, God prevented him. George was leaving for college, his dad had a stroke. George was leaving for an exotic honeymoon, his father’s bank was going to be closed. George was going to travel the world , his brother got married and couldn’t take his place.

God can work that way with us. If we’re listening to Him at the time, we’ll make the same decisions George did. Should I be selfish and follow MY dreams or unselfish and help others?

Then there’s Mary, and really the pair of George and her. Instead of complaining when things go awry, they embrace it, especially Mary. There they were on the brink of their honeymoon and Mary gives all their traveling money away. Instead of moping about it, she makes the most of the situation. So George and Mary find themselves in a dilapidated, leaky, old house for their honeymoon, yet they couldn’t be happier.

We could do that more in our lives, couldn’t we? Give freely to others, generously to others. Make the most of every situation, find that silver lining, especially if we are believers.

Of course, George isn’t perfect and a life time of putting off his dreams, sacrificing, being optimistic, serving others, has worn him down. But it’s really the devil that pushes him to the edge.

That scene with Mr. Potter reminds me of how Stan likes to tempt us. Mr. Potter tells George, essentially, the truth, that George feels trapped, that he’s given so much. Satan likes to use facts to make us feel a lie, he has foundations, like you failed your exam, you lost that money, you do not have a spouse. Then, Mr. Potter offers George his heart’s desires: money, joy, respect, his wife’s happiness. Satan tricks us in that way too. But just like George did with Mr. Potter, we need to see right through his schemes and get to that Auld Lang Syne ending.

It is true that every man touches so many lives, that you’re priceless and worth so much. Unfortunately, we will not always get our Auld Lang Syne ending, moments where we see the rewards and treasures of our hard work. But God promises us we will see that in heaven. So if that scene at the end of this film moves your heart just a little, imagine that feeling, but times a million and that’s what you have to look forward to in heaven!

Choose to see everything like George does after Clarence brings him back to reality. Kiss, even the broken piece of the banister that comes off every time you touch it!

 

Dear Younger Me, the Path Lesser Traveled

Dear younger me,

Everybody’s path is so different. You may find yourself looking at another girl, wondering why she’s so popular, why she is so well liked by boys, why she is so beautiful, stylish, smart, athletic, rich… and you’ll wonder why you aren’t?

Well, guess what? Her being beautiful or popular has nothing to do with you. It doesn’t change how God made you, who He made you to be. Especially with your Christian friends, God chooses different stories for us all, stories that weaved together reveal a beautiful masterpiece that glorifies Him.

Besides, just because she’s ┬ápopular, doesn’t mean you aren’t, or just because she’s beautiful, I promise you it doesn’t take away from your beauty.

When you look at animals at the zoo, seeing how unique each of them are, it amazes you, right? You never wonder why the giraffe doesn’t run as fast as the cheetah, or why a fish doesn’t fly like a bird. They just are who they are, because God made them so, and they are fascinating, and beautiful to us.

Same goes for you my dear. If you choose to be happy and become who God wants you to be, that will be fascinating and beautiful, not only to Your Savior (whose opinion is the only one that matters!), but to people around you too.

So, don’t compare or covet. Embrace all the Lord has made you to be and honor Him with contentment.

 

There I Found You in the Mystery

A little over a year ago, we all chose a phrase, a word, that God put upon our hearts to define our 2016.

Oceans, by Hillsong United, was an incredibly popular and moving song at the time. All the lyrics were so powerful and convicting (Still are, of course).

I was in the midst of raising financial support for the international student ministry I was part time with. I only had that job. I was living with my parents and I was more than confused about life.

I felt I had cried out to God so many times for guidance. So many voices were around me, telling me to quit, telling me to get another job, get married, work on my spiritual life, etc. But God wasn’t showing me a clear path. He was silent, so silent it hurt, but His silence was loud!

So, onto my phrase. I chose the lyric from Oceans that says, “And there I find you in the mystery.” Looking back, I do not know how I cam to choose that, when I was so frustrated with the unknown. I wanted so desperately a clear vision from the Lord.

Now, a year later, I can say confidently, I’ve found Him in the mystery, and I’m comfortable with that. His silence taught me more than any clear calling would have. Because He was silent, I was earnestly seeking Him and grew so much closer to Him. Because He was silent, I learned to walk by Faith, not by sight. I had to step forward, not knowing if I would succeed, just trusting He would be there and work in it, no matter what. Because He was silent, I had to discern His truth from the hundreds of other voices in my life, learning how God shaped me in a deeper way.

Now, today, I worry less about the next 5 years of my life. I worry less about timing. I worry less about expectations and decisions.

I love the mystery even, because I find Him in the mystery.

Not knowing what to do, not knowing how things work out, not knowing where life will lead is terrifying and yet it’s comfortable for me, because I’ve learned it means fully surrendering to Him and resting in His control.