Sunday, September 4, 2011

Calming the storm...and me

The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us!  We're going to drown!"
He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?"  Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
Matthew 8:25-26

Storms.  We all go through them, right?  Death, loss of love, financial struggles, and every other uncertanity and pain that life can bring.  For the past 3 weeks, I have been struggling.  Why am I here?  Why can't I just live a "normal" life?  Why can't I be with my family?  Where are you God?  These are just a few of the thoughts that have been clouding my mind since my arrival in Honduras.  I will admit, though, that things have gotten easier.  However, even though some things have gotten easier, I still catch myself constantly worrying.  For those of you who know me well, you know that I worry about something to worry about.  Not my finest quality, I'll admit.  When I decided to take this step, my thought was that God would work through me for the betterment of others.  I guess I thought that my purpose in coming here was to be the one who helps, not be the helped.  I know it is only a few weeks in, but God is beginning to show me things that I was not expecting.  Bear with me for a little bit...I will do my best to truthfully share what I've been thinking and feeling.

I have always thought of myself as a strong Christian, not the best Christian, but strong in my faith.  It is easy to go around acting like you believe and trust, and telling yourself that you believe and trust, but the reality is...I don't think I've been very honest with myself.  After participating in mission trips for most of my life, I felt confident in my ability to love and help those in need.  After teaching in an inner-city school for two years and seeing the fruits of my labor, I felt confident in my ability to teach the youth of today.  So of course, I felt it to be God's will that I come here and teach.  I came into this thinking that was my purpose - teach and love these kids.  Honestly, I have not been happy going to work everyday.  I miss my "normal" school and my "normal" kids.  I have been continuously doubting that I have purpose here, until today.  My "storm", like the disciples, is not my circumstance but myself and my trust in God.  At church this morning, Pastor Pete spoke about the above verse from Matthew, and it occurred to me, maybe God's main purpose in bringing me here wasn't to help calm the storms in the lives of other, but to calm the storm in me?  I lay in my bed every evening feeling terrified.  Why?  I don't know.  God is starting to reveal himself to me in a mightier way than ever before.  I have lived my life always being within a good distance of comfort.  I have always had "normal" to fall back on, until now.  I do believe that God has a plan for me that involves me helping and loving the people of Honduras.  Above that, I believe God desires for me to learn to live a life completely secure in His promises.  I apologize if this is the image I have portrayed, one of complete faith in God.  During these past few weeks, God has really opened my eyes to how much I need to grow as a Christian.  This is the first time in my life where I feel like I am really learning what it means to live a life that is completely submitted to Him.  I have never been so scared.  Crazy to think that God had to get me to another country to learn this.  

When people would ask me why I wanted to do this, I would say it was because I was terrified that I would get to the end of my life and know that I had wasted gifts and opportunities.  I have been wasting some of my time here because I have been discounting God's faithfulness.  My "theme" verse has become the verse below.  My prayer is that me and you both would take time to breathe and be still in God's promises.   

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:14

Finding rest in God's promises,

1 comment:

  1. Lauren, what sweet and true words. Thanks for sharing so honestly and openly. God is definitely going to work in you! I agree that we often as Christians forget about our own growth, I'm guilty of that too on a daily basis. Just more evidence of why we need God's grace!
    I love you! And when you go to sleep at night, first read Proverbs 3, especially verses 23-26. And remember that I'm praying for you. I love you!