'Twas the Night Before Belize
I can hardly believe it to be true. Is it possible that I'm actually leaving tomorrow (well actually today considering I have managed to procrastinate this article until midnight)? A mere night sleep, and I'm off to experience God in the place that he's called me to. I know that this week will just come and go like the wind. And tomorrow (today) morning I'll load my bag into the car, blast "Leaving on a Jet Plane" by Peter, Paul, and Mary through the car speakers all the way to the airport, fight back tears as I say goodbye to my family and closest friends, and the rest is a mystery waiting to happen. Excitement and fear are such at odds within me, constantly fighting for the upper hand in my heart, that I'm not sure I can tell the difference anymore.
It has been nearly two months since I have posted anything to my blog. I have been neglecting it on purpose. I needed that time to not focus on writing, not focus on anything new or anything to be done, but to just focus on Jesus. These past couple of months, Jesus took my heart and shook it like earthquakes rattling through my entire world. And all of a sudden, my world became his world. Jesus has been in my heart for quite some time, but it hasn't been until a few months ago that he ruled my heart. But his timing is perfect, because he came when he knew I needed his guidance most, and continued to bless me through all of the struggles, always reminding me of his goodness. If you would've asked me two weeks ago how I felt about this semester, I would've told you that it was the absolute worst semester of my life and I wished to erase it entirely from my memory. But a few days ago I was out with my dad and he said something to me that really got me thinking. He said, "when you're in a season of struggling, moment to moment seems unbearable and repulsive. But when you're out of that season and look back, you realize it was the greatest time of your life because you were aware of every moment." And you know what? I think he's right. Sure, this past semester produced some of my absolute worst struggles and experiences. But now that I'm looking back on it, I realize how thankful I am because of how much I've grown. This semester God slapped me out of my sleeping after some family friends died suddenly and tragically in a plane crash; he allowed me to see the beauty of those in my life who truly loved and cared about me, and the ugliness of those who merely wanted a piece of my heart to devour for their gain; he gave me friendships I never saw coming, which became the greatest gifts I have ever received; he renewed my relationship with my parents and built it up stronger than it had ever been before; he blessed me with a enormous amount of time for solitude, which I never would have asked for, but which taught me lessons of wisdom, reflection, and prayer; and most importantly, he cared for me...so simply yet so profoundly. God's care is full of unexplainable grace, mercy, love, hope, and peace. It is splendorous. I have grown more in this semester, after giving my full heart to God, than I have in my entire life so far, when I attempted to allow God only a small input.
“[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.”
And it is because I have seen that faint gleam that in a week, I am off to Belize... to know God, and to make him known, despite the fear and anxiety clogging my throat as I lay my head on my mom's shoulder for the last time during these next several months.
For Christmas, one of my best friend's gave me a poem she had written. And I think this poem explains this time in my life so wonderfully, that I wanted to share her talents.
The Rest of Yesterday
No longer entangled in shackles and chains
The reminisce comes pouring in, the joy and the pain.
My heart grows warm, and my feelings and thawing.
Awaiting liberation, my smile is dawning.
A drape pulls aside the shadows and night.
Oncoming love spills in with the light.
The rest of yesterday is on the tip of my tongue,
The dance has been danced, the song has been sung.
Purpose has followed me for years, trying to catch up.
Only now it finally caught me, when time had enough.
Patience tackled my feet and trust dove for my heart.
The rest of yesterday is bound to tear me apart.
Yet grace stepped in and caressed my broken soul.
Mercy embraced me and made my spirit whole.
The rest of yesterday avalanched as soon as I let go.
The peace gathered all my shambles and began to gently sew...
If God is working in Belize, if God is working anywhere, you can count me in. I might be up all night battling between thoughts of fear and excitement, but nothing is better than knowing you're heading to a place to be changed by the glory of God for the glory of God. Thank you all for you prayers.