Per usual- I don't even know where to begin. My life is chaos but its a preordained, beautiful, and majestic chaos. It just so happens that last week I was driving in the car, windows down, two sweet baby girls in the back seat singing The Little Mermaid and it hit me: I love where I am right now. It is so far from where I ever imagined that I would be at the ripe age of 25 but God knew this whole time exactly where I was to be in that moment. I wonder why we (believers) bother planning our lives? Is it because that's what society requires of us? Because our parents tell us to be ready for anything? Or does anyone out there really just enjoy planning your day hour by hour like me? (No, I'm not at all Type A.)
If my planned life would have come true I would have been a nurse at 21, married by 22 at the latest, living someplace exotic with a kid on the way. Instead I have a tangled web of jobs that include nannying, babysitting, dog sitting, and in a few weeks back in the saddle as a nurse. I'm single and live with two amazing friends and roommates whom I can't imagine my life without. My room is extremely eclectic with any cheap furniture I can get my hands on and paint black. I fill my time with friends who overflow radiant love and truth into my life. I've learned how to fight for myself, how to ask for help, how to be humble- especially today around 4:50 PM. I've learned to sit back and watch God spin His story of My life. He knows what I need. He knows how different I am today from the woman I was on January 1, 2012. I think about a ring my mother once gave me that her parents bought in Spain many years ago. It says, "Más que ayer, menos que mañana." “More than yesterday, less than tomorrow.” They said it represents their growing love for her, but today I see it as how I view the forest in place of the trees. My friend reminded me the importance of the forest tonight. During a tribulation in his life, he was able to see the Lord at work, tugging at his heart, which so obviously made him the man of God he is today. Day by day I see just a glimpse more of what really matters. I see trusting in the Lord my Savior as the foundation of this forest we call life. I praise him for giving me my needs and not my greeds. I praise him for being a just and envious God. I see him molding me into who he wants me to be.
"Something Beautiful" is a song by NEEDTOBREATHE that I listened to for an entire 20 minute car ride home tonight and if you happened to drive by and hear my voice over theirs I apologize but there was no way to stop me.
Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, 'cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I'm in reach
'Cause I am down on my knees.
I'm waiting for something beautiful.
When I was fighting to save my name in January and February, I heard a message about the refining fire God uses to sanctify us. I didn't particularly remember asking to be sanctified but I guess it was never really my choice to begin with. Regardless of whose call it was, I did change and I still am changing. This song reminds me that our lives are filled with struggles so that we may grow in Him so that we may further His kingdom, not ours. I found myself smiling because I sang along asking for the fire because I truly desire to be more beautiful. Maybe there will be scorch marks but maybe I'll have a glossy finish that you could never have see without the fire.
I see his actions begin to align with my words or maybe it’s the other way around. I had every intention of writing a good faith check before this trip to Burundi. I just assumed I would be paying off the rest of the trip when I returned home this summer. I've learned not to let money get the best of me and have seen God provide, so I guess I figured he would lend me some money in July to pay off the trip. I cried last week. I called my roommate into my room and cried because God has gone above and beyond and exceeded all expectations I could have ever had. My trip is paid for. I have all the funding. I don't know who did what and I won't find out until after the trip, but I tell you what I do know: I have friends and family members who fear the Lord, who love him and listen to his voice and are still faithful to bring him glory. That is something beautiful. I pray for the rest of my team that their lives are filled with these same kinds of friends: friends who sacrifice and give back to God and to God's people. It's all his anyways.