To read my previous blog An MK Thing, click here. This is an easy way to get to know who I am and where I am coming from when I was a wee little thing studying at an international high school in Papua New Guinea.
I have battled with the beginning of this blog for weeks.
Every article that's been written in this green little box has been the product of a burned-out college student whose Mojo Juice has run dangerously low.As a Communications major, academic writing comes by the bucketload; but as a creative writer, essays and reflections are other beasts entirely. Stories, novels and blogs are raw, unadultered pieces of the writer's mind, only understood to be made known to its readers. I haven't written for myself, or for you, in a really long time.
So, here goes nothing.
As many of you know, my parents have been missionary supporters for the past four years. In January of 2011, my mother and father made, what I believe, to be the single most important decision since their union: Papua New Guinea. By July, we had packed up our home, said our goodbyes and began our trapse around the world. At the time, they believed we were only staying overseas for a year, but by the time we stepped foot on Papua New Guinean soil, I knew we'd be in this for the long-haul.
After graduating from the international school on the missions' center, we left Ukarumpa and began our travels back to the States. We flew back a different way than we did three years earlier, in hopes that we would avoid the brutal time change and culture shock that overwhelmed us the first time. Before reaching Washington, we had Hard Rock Cafe's famous burgers in Fiji and stayed a week in the beautiful Hawai'i. It was an incredible family vacation and it was an excellent passage into "the real world".
Anyone who has moved, and especially anyone who has moved countries, will understand what's missing here.
Friends. What the heck happened to them.
Graduation day was tough. As a class with rare chemistry with eachother and the rest of the school, this was the last day to see everyone together. It began with the Wailing Wall.
The Wailing Fricking Wall. It was just as painful as it sounds. I won't give you details, but trust me, you don't realize who you've impacted and who you'll really miss, until you're saying goodbye. The entire secondary campus lined up to say goodbye to the class of 2014, and it was heartbreaking. I'm a strong chick, mind you, and I couldn't make it through. I peaced before the crying really began. It went for so long that a few of us were late for our graduation rehersal.
I was not in the mood to be cheery and jolly good.
After rehearsal, we primmed and prepped and I continued to cry. Aha, right. I am one tough cookie. The actual ceremony was a blur of bright lights and deep breaths. I remember something about almost tripping on my way to my diploma? (That stuff actually happens, kids, don't be fooled.) And I remember running up the aisle of the Meeting House with my class, for the last time, jumping and screaming. We're done.
For the year leading up to this moment, I had been encouraging myself to finish strong with the words so and close. I was convinced that after exams were finished and I received that coveted diploma, my whole life would somehow fall into place. I would get on a plane and college would be worth it. To be completely honest, graduating and saying goodbye was all I was thinking about. Past that, I couldn't care less; graduating alone was enough. But finishing high school wasn't the end-all, be-all I had expected it to be. I had planned it out this far, sure, but I never thought I'd actually make it. And if by some miracle, I actually walked across that stage, I knew where I was going to college, I knew my major and I knew my flight itinerary to a T. But the details? The Who I'll Become part? Pfft. Nah.
The days after graduation were structured by which friends were leaving when. I felt like I lived on that tiny dirt airstrip the week before I left.
All of this to say, Hawai'i was the perfect family vacation and textbook transition, but nothing but time could mend my torn-apart heart.
Now, I'm here. While my family is halfway across the world, an hour's plane ride from the place I will always call home, I'm here. And I'm okay. Not at all the person I was in Papua New Guinea, but I'm okay. And the change America has brought isn't bad. Not all of it, anyways.
Thing is, I hadn't planned out this far. Now that my family is overseas, adulthood is everything but optional. I am no longer dependent - I make my all own decisions. God creates my passion while I create my own motivation.
I have spent the past week cooped up in my room, unsure of what I am supposed to do next. My parents aren't here to get my sorry butt out of bed, they aren't here to tell me what's right and wrong and they aren't here to remind me why I am here. It's up to me. I can always ask them their opinion because we have set up multiple ways to keep in touch (praise Jesus), but truthfully?
It is my choice to wallow, it is my choice to change, and it is my choice to make a difference.
Bound in the shoulds of life, I felt stuck, unable to decide what's next. It wasn't until a God-send coffee date with my host-mom when I was reminded that Jesus died for my freedom. He died to give us a choice. We are no longer kept in place with a list of shoulds. By God's grace, we can have a positive impact on the world. We can take hold of our life-changing purpose because we want to. Think about it, if you want to do something, it is almost guaranteed you will work at it harder and complete it better than if you were obligated.
But it is also important to note that there is a flip-side. It is by God's grace, we can do nothing at all.
To many people, this as an excuse to jump into bed with sin, expecting a free pass at the end of the day. This is not what I am saying. God is a god of perfect judgement as well as grace. He gives us a truth-based strategy as to approach what is right and wrong. But despite common belief, my God is a god that smiles. He laughs when I laugh and He is proud when I finally get something right.
It is my choice, yeah, I can do whatever the heck I want. Technically. But it is not my life to build or destroy. I was given my life to glorify God. Nowhere does God say we have full possession over our bodies. We have free will, you're right, but God has given us a gift. A gift that will one day stay right where it is as we rise above, and see the God who breathed us life. How wicked cool is that?! Our bodies are temporary. Why waste them. Our spirit has been given the opportunity to last for eternity. Why not make it count.
We were created to impact the world around us - to be in the world, but not of it - and with our God-given talents, we are to inspire those who are searching for hope. Provide a safe haven for those in need of a saving grace. Catch fire to lives as the world needs changing. This is our gift.
What are you going to do with it?
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.