Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all my Canadian friends!
Monday is our day off for the holiday, but it feels like another long weekend, since Thanksgiving in the U.S. isn’t until the end of November.
Time seems to go by so fast, it’s already been 7 weeks since I got here! In addition to my classes (Youth Ministry and Cross-Cultural Communication this term) I joined the choir as an extra-curricular activity. Yesterday evening we had a photo shoot outside and it started snowing lightly – even though the sun was out and the skies were blue! I am not ready for winter…maybe after next summer.
I was ready to come to Prairie, ready for an easy year away from life at home and all the things I left behind. I decided to give this entire time at Prairie to God; to ‘see what He could do in one year;’ to see how He would work in my life and guide my future.
I don’t like to admit things, because sometimes it feels like I’m the only one who feels this way, and then I’ll feel dumb. But I’ll say it anyways.
I guess I thought by coming here that I could leave my problems and conflicts behind at home, and not have to deal with them here. I could just move on and start a new year, leaving EVERYTHING behind. I thought (maybe not even consciously) that being in a Christian ‘bubble’ would somehow allow me to start fresh with God, and not have to work through my own sinfulness and faults, but that since my circumstances were new that my heart and attitudes would (somehow?) be new as well.
Obviously, that is not the case.
I thought I was doing ok until this past Wednesday afternoon. And then I quickly came to the realization that I’m not alright. I’m really good at suppressing things, pushing them away and not wanting to deal with them out of fear and because it hurts. Or whatever other lame-o excuse(s) I could come up with to avoid or get around the conflict. It’s hard to honestly and openly talk about struggles when the #1 thing I feel like doing is hiding myself away or shutting people out.
I was talking with a friend yesterday, (we were mainly talking about forgiveness) she said (I’m trying to paraphrase) that God has blessings for those who obey His commands. It’s easier to disobey, but then we cheat ourselves out of His blessings, His goodness, the best He has for us. When we obey Him, we open ourselves up to the possibility of Him doing greater things that we would have missed out on had we been focused on ourselves.
In my Christian Life class, each person was given the assignment of prayerfully choosing one big thing to pray for God to do or accomplish in their life this year – something that only God could do. Part of what I am to working, praying, and struggling through in my life right now has to do with that bigger thing, something I believe only God can bring about.
Life tends to be messy. And hard. And painful. But I know:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
So there’s a brief snippet of what’s going on with me these days. I really hope you don’t get the idea that I’m unhappy here or that life sucks because of what I have to own up to.
I am loving life!
> I am so glad to have the opportunity to take a year of my life and really give it to God.
> I can’t wait to see what God does in my life this year and in the lives of others!
> I have made some amazing friends here – from the States, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Hong Kong, even the Bahamas!
> This month there are Ultimate Frisbee games going on every week! (by the way, I LOVE Ultimate Frisbee!) So exciting.
> Thanks to those who have kept in touch; your encouragement and prayers are always appreciated!