Entry written on July 6, 2014. First Sunday back in America.
I left paradise on June 28, 2014.
My parents knew that our family's world had been slowly shifting for awhile now, but it wasn't until we lifted off that dirt runway, did any of us feel the knee-jerk reaction of all its finality.
Between packing, moving three times in a month, Sports Day, Banquet, exams, the passing of responsibilities, graduation and all its anticipation, they also knew that the fambam needed a break.
Spending a week in Hawai'i then, was a God-send. This was a vacation paired with a bucket list success and a perfect first step in the transition from island life to American convenience.
Hawai'i gave me the opportunity to relax after finishing high school and before starting a new chapter at college. These are invaluable memories, and it was the only beginning of a summer jam-packed with family adventures. We saw a million movies, road-tripped to Focus on the Family (a huge bucket list of mine and mom's, btw) and we attended a week-long missionary transitional conference in Colorado.
My family was even there to move me into my dorm room at Messiah College on the day before international student-check in. Guys, it was so much like the movies.
But then they left.
The newness of college soon faded. My Pacific Island tan (okay, so it was a dark sunburn) turned to a bunch of freckles. My excitement for American hamburgers subsided. Competitive athletics became a "used to be" and a whole bunch of "if only"'s. The Freshman 15 packed on and self-doubt made its way into every little space in between.
And none of those talks, conferences or books prepared me for what it felt like to be all by myself in a sea of people who were supposed to be "just like me".
Our Father, His Will Kept Holy
Life will always throw curve balls. It is in the split-second before the ball makes contact with the bat, and your body responds, swinging the bat, without really knowing for sure you'll hit the ball at all -- it is in this split-second in between, we must trust our coach. Stretch that half-second into a day, month, year-long endeavor and we truly begin to understand what it means to trust.
Very few things are more important to young man than a father-figure whose strength and exemplary character are evident through his relationship with his family, faith and work. Very few things are more important to a young woman than a father-figure who values her unconditionally, and teaches her the difference between flattery and pursuit.
When we trust someone, in human terms, they must earn it. We only give our complete trust to a select few.
In reference to our relationship with Christ, especially in crisis, read through any scripture or take one hard look at your life, and count how many times He's proven Himself of your trust. We are called to trust him, yes, but nodding your head to this is significantly different than the daily decision to hand over your life to a God you cannot see.
Trust is paramount in any relationship, and without it in its truest form, the relationship will eventually fail. If we deprive trust from our relationship with Christ, we are not only skipping out on a command, we are checking out on intimacy.
In transition, trust is also paramount. In one as big as the one you're facing, put your life in the best hands, and let God guide you home. Your father may not be the man he needed to be for you-- or maybe he was-- but picture yourself as a small child, standing atop the shoes of a Father who would sacrifice everything for you.
Trust him like that -- He is pure and perfect, and even when life doesn't go as planned, He will never give up on you. Or ever fail you.
His Kingdom, Come Soon
We were created to only live here for a little while. It's crazy to think about, especially when you're in the middle of a transition that's got you feeling like weeks are actually years. But God has created each and everyone of us with another world in mind. He has a design in mind, for a new heaven and earth that will put this one to shame. His glory, goodness, love and justice will prevail so greatly, we will rule on his right side. Our goal then, as Christ-followers, is to make sure that as many people are apart of it as possible.
Now know that difference between evangelism and Bible-bashing. Don't ever look at people like numbers. Don't ever think that they don't have anything good to say, just because they don't believe the same things you do. And don't ever, ever, ever think that they are too far gone. Paul killed Christians (as Saul) before God got a hold of him. Remember that. You are a person, they are a person. Treat them like it. So often, listening is the most important thing you can do. Listen for them. Listen for the relationship. Listen for yourself. Listen for Christ to open a door.
Forgiven & Rescued
The Lord's Prayer is a beautiful reflection of Christ's sacrificial love as purpose statement of its reader. To be forgiven is an second chance. A second chance at life, relationship and at forgiveness itself. To forgive then, is to the same. The Father has given us a model, Christ a means, and the Spirit hs given us the power. Through forgiving others and ourselves, we reflect (however imperfectly) the Christ's redemption for His children.
He doesn't want us to be this far away from Him. He doesn't want to see His family in pain. But He has created each one of us with the intent of love and larger things. He has set apart a space for us to rule by His side in a Kingdom beyond our wildest imaginations. He has pursued us as His bride, and refuses to give up on us, even in our arrogant stupidity. He sent His Son to die for a people who mocked Him then on the cross and mock Him now in the church.
He doesn't make mistakes. So when those "supposed to be" moments show up in your life, trust His judgement, and trust the path He had laid ahead of you. Allow yourself rescue.