Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Call to Trust

Sometimes, our purpose in life and the method of how and why we do the things we do just makes sense. Other times, they don't make sense. Today was one of those days for me. I feel as though today was a whirlwind. It just kind of came and went, and it was hard for me to grasp anything in it. But now that it has past, I can feel its effects. Right now, I am a junior in college. If all goes as it should, I am set to graduate in May 2012. As of this moment, I don't know what God has in store for me or what I will do when they hand me my diploma. I have a ton of options, but my desire is to pursue the right one, the one God has for me. One option I have is, of course, to pursue what I have been building up to these past two and three quarter years: teaching. It just kind of makes sense to apply at high schools and begin my teaching career. This is definitely an appealing option. I could settle down, get involved with teaching and whatever local church I find, and just begin to live life as an independent adult. Another option I have, which would probably come after a few years of teaching, is to pursue my passion for writing. If you do not know, I have written a full-length novel and have been told that it is publishable material by a very reputable company. The only drawback to that at this point in time is that this company wanted me to put down the funds to publish the book. With my monthly salary being as slight as it is, this just wasn't going to happen, especially for the sum they wanted. But just knowing that my work is worth publishing gives me hope that maybe someday it could happen. The final option I have considered for quite some while not actually telling many people is to go overseas and serve for two years. The International Mission Board has a program called Journeyman. I won't go to into every detail here, but this program sends out college graduates up to the age of twenty-six who the company feels is well-equipped to serve overseas in a cooperating country for two years. I have been to South Asia twice, and on my first trip, our team worked with two Journeymen who were working under the leadership of long-term missionaries there on the field. So seeing them in action with us on the field really sparked an interest in me. I haven't been able to let that go since then, and it's almost been a year since my first trip. This past trip I took just reinforced all those reasons of why I should pursue Journeyman. Many pros and cons exist with this option, as they do for all the other options. But this has been the option, the "what-if," that has been the most difficult to get out of my head. I know God allowed me to go to South Asia for a reason. I don't want to pass up an opportunity to go and share the love of God with people who need it all over the world. But I also know I can do that here as well. So tonight, all of this kind of came crashing down on me at once. I felt myself tensing up and getting stressed out about it. I ended up working out for about an hour and a half tonight, and after I was done, I had a different look at the whole thing, a look I should've had from the beginning (thank you, endorphins). These options I'm mulling over, this so-called "plan" I think I have for my life is nothing compared to what God has for me. God doesn't call me to know right now. His word doesn't say I have to know what I'll be doing in two years. His word says I need to trust. When I think about that, about trusting and knowing God is in control, it takes such a burden off me. I'm no longer pressured to figure all this out. God will do that for me. If Journeyman is something God has purposed for my life, then He'll equip me and move my heart toward that. If I'm supposed to get a job and teach and impact students here, then He will move my heart to that as well. When we quiet our busy minds and remember the great reaches of God's control and power, we receive that nice dose of humility, knowing that nothing we do is good enough and that we can do nothing on our own. So maybe whirlwind days aren't so bad after all. God can take a day that didn't seem to make sense in the midst of it, but then show us how every minute of that day was for His glory. Well, enjoy the rest of your week. Until next time, God Bless.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Contentedly Single

*This is a really long post.

It's been awhile. I know. There's really no excuse for why I haven't blogged recently. I think part of it stems from having to write two to three articles per week for the school paper and being in five classes that require writing. Once I begin to write all the time, I wouldn't say I become burn-out, but I just need a break.

But, today is the last day of school before spring break starts. I will leave school at three o'clock and head for home. I also enrolled for my first semester of my senior year yesterday. That is so weird to think about. But my schedule is great. It's the same times of classes that I had last fall, and I loved that schedule. No, not the same classes, but the same times of classes.

I'm so ready to go home. My schedule this semester is absolutely crazy, and I feel like I haven't had time to breathe lately. I had a kidney infection two weeks ago, which I didn't have to miss any classes for, so that was good. Although, it did set me a little behind with studying for some tests that I had that week. But I got my tests back this week, and I got A's on both tests. All I can say is, "Thank you, God." It was all him.

Right now I'm praying through a few different things that God has put on my heart. I'm looking forward to going home for break, so I can have more time to spend with God and get away from being so busy.

One thing that God has really pressed on my heart in the past few weeks is how blessed I am to be single. For who knows how long, (you do know if you've read my blog), I've been praying about the man God has for me and what that looks like and how much longer I'll have to wait. For awhile, I put up a front saying that I didn't want a boyfriend and that Christ was my only desire, but I think I was only just saying that to disguise my want for a boyfriend.

But I'm in a different living arrangement this semester, and God has shown me so much though it. He's shown me what marriage, a young marriage, looks like on a daily in-and-out schedule. He's also shown me what having kids looks like and how that impacts one's marriage. For a long time, I thought marriage was just a romantic idea for two people who have fallen in love to be together. But God kind of wiped that idea from my mind. Marriage can be messy. It can be hard. And there's no getting out of it. None of those things are bad, but marriage is not something and should not be something one enters into on a whim. Not when marriage is something that requires so much commitment. I had never thought of marriage in that way before. I knew it involved all those things, but I had never seen people so close to my age who were married live that out on a daily basis.

All that to say: I'm not ready to be married. And not only that, I don't want to be married right now. I look at all the responsibilities that come with being married, and I don't want them at 21 years of age. I still have one more year of school ahead of me. I still have to graduate and figure out where God wants me to teach. And I love being free. I love the independence that comes with being single. If I were in a relationship or married, I would constantly have to be aware of that other person, which isn't bad, if you're ready for it. This is just one of those areas that is going to take some time to mature. And that's okay. I would much rather be single for the next however many years and be ready for marriage, or as ready as I can be, when that comes along, than get married now and hate being married.

For a long time now, I've had this vision of myself after college living in an apartment by myself with a dog or maybe a cat. I don't know. But I have this dream, if you will, of being independent. I think as young women, especially in this culture and especially in the Bible belt, we think that to be complete and have a prosperous life, we need to get married. Everyone expects it. Parents, friends, family, church members; everyone. But why? Because that's what everyone has done for the past however many years?

And don't hear me saying that I'm against the institution of marriage. I'M NOT. I'm very for a man and a woman getting married if that is God's will and if they are both ready--financially, spiritually, physically, emotionally, etc. Believe me, if God blesses me with a husband some day, I'm not going to turn that down. But I'm not ready right now. I enjoy being able to come and go as I please. And not that I have any potential suitors, but this also means I don't want to be in a relationship because at this age in one's life, a serious relationship usually leads to marriage. I also don't want this to sound like I am selfish and can think only about myself. But right now, in the hustle and craziness of college, I do okay to make sure I have everything in line where it should be. I can't imagine having to take care of someone else at the same time. And I know that if I get married when I am teaching, my schedule will still be busy and crazy. But I'll be more mature, and by then, I will have had those years to enjoy being single.

I heard a young lady say a few weeks ago that she felt God brought her a husband to have someone to enjoy God with. I liked that. To her, getting married wasn't about the ooey, gooey romantic feelings and "falling in love." Marriage was about a union set out by God to glorify God. And if I'm not going to glorify God in my marriage by not being mature enough or prepared, then I don't want to be married.

Isaiah 54:5 says that your maker is your husband. When I look at Jesus as my husband and begin to focus on my relationship with him, everything else falls away. He is what matters. Not what might happen someday or what might not happen. Only Jesus.

So, this is what God has been pouring into my life. And let me just tell you, it is so freeing. I don't worry about what guys think of me as much as I used to. I'm not constantly looking for a guy. I'm so content. And I owe all of this revelation and understanding to God. Without him, I wouldn't be where I am today.

Well, enjoy the spring weather.
Until next time,
God Bless