Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Inside the 53

53...that's how many days I have left in Honduras.  I've been experiencing a sense of deja vu lately because I am being asked the same questions I was getting before I moved.  "Are you excited?  Are you nervous?  How do you feel?  Are you ready?"  Funny thing is, I don't really know how I feel.  I have days where I'm so ready to go home and live a "normal" life again.  Yesterday was one of those days.  All I wanted was to get in my car and drive wherever I wanted.  I feel like I'm yearning for freedom, but what I've realized is that this "freedom" I am so longing for is usually centered around something of material worth.  Can't really call that freedom.  Other days, it terrifies me to think about leaving.  This has been my home for 8 months and there are so many people that are now a part of my life.  Not to mention, there are some decisions I will have to face and make when I get home.  I'm not so sure that I'm ready for some of it.

Want to know something crazy?  Part of me worries that my friends won't like me as much anymore.  I'm not the same person.  Now, yes, I am still "me" in a lot of ways, but a lot about me has changed.  Interests that I had before do not seem like such a big deal anymore.  While I was home over Christmas, there were times when I found myself having a hard time connecting to certain conversations because I felt distant or like I couldn't relate anymore.  This goes back to the whole "ruined" thing...the mission field ruins you forever.

For those of you who didn't know, my family came to visit me last week.  It was the most incredible time and a tremendous blessing!  Be on the lookout in the next few days...they are going to guest blog.  Anyway...having my family here really brought to reality the fact that I'm moving home in 53 days.  Now, us missionaries don't really make a lot of money, so looks like I'll be moving in with the parents.  This is another aspect that terrifies me.  I love my family, but I haven't lived at home since I was 18 years old.  Honestly, I feel kind of lame...25 years old and moving in with mom and dad.  I've been independent for so long.  I am not doubting my decision to come home; I feel 110% confident.  However, I am still human and selfishly want so many things.  I want a job in a middle school, I want to coach cheerleading, I want my own place, I want to volunteer, I want to go to grad school...basically, I want everything I can possibly fit on my plate . I think God tends to laugh at me on a regular basis.  I will make plans, worry, make plans and worry some more until I'm blue in the face.  For example, I have e-mailed principals, updated applications/resumes, reserached organizations and grad school and everything in between.  Do you think I've heard anything?  Why no!  I think there is this thing called trust, but I'm still working on that one.

Basically, I'm kind of all over the place.  Not really sure what I'm thinking about anything.  All I know is that I'm itching to do something great!  But for now, I'm doing my Honduras-thing and trying to really live inside the 53.


If you feel led to support this mission in Honduras or my upcoming mission to Africa, please send donations to:

Canton First Baptist Church
Attn: Lauren Wood
74 Academy St.
Canton, NC 28716
*please specify "Honduras" or "Africa" on the memo line

Thank you for your continuous support through prayer, encouragement and financial donation(s).  It is because of your generous hearts that so many lives have been and will continue to be helped and provided for!  I am forever grateful!

Monday, April 9, 2012

To live is what?

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain
Philippians 1:21

I keep reading and pondering over this verse.  I think we spend our whole lives searching for the meaning of life when the whole time it was simply written, thousands of years ago, in four words – “to live is Christ.”  Without spilling the beans on my recent journal entries, I have been battling some decisions in my life lately.  Life, love, right, wrong, go, stay.  The overwhelming occurrence of some and the lack of others has really placed a bad taste in my mouth the last few weeks. 

To be honest, I get really irritated when I’m living my life, quite happily may I add, and then something unexpected comes and puts a twist in everything.  Now, that isn’t to say you don’t like that certain thing, but sometimes it isn’t the best thing.  I have this zany desire to want to be “perfect.”  I know that is unattainable, as it should be because there was ever only one perfect individual, but I tend to place a lot of pressure on myself.  Selfishly, one of my highest goals when I moved to Honduras was that it would cause me to become a better person and Christian.  Now, I will say that so much of my walk and my ideals as a person have become strengthened and have improved.  However, over the last few weeks, there are certain “parts” of my life that have really blinded and distracted me from who I am and want to be.  I am not going to give all the details, but I have come to the realization that I am the hardest person to forgive.  I get so angry with myself because I talk the talk but I don’t always walk the walk.  I know, I know…we are human…we mess up…blah, blah, blah.  I don’t want to make excuses.  The worst part is knowing that your decisions not only affect you, but they affect those who believe in you and love you. 

I have always been a people pleaser.  I need to work on being a God pleaser.  I have been so focused on wanting to please others – saying the right things, liking the right people, etc. – that I’ve forsaken a lot of what I am hoping for and a lot of what God may be trying to do.  I don’t want to live a life feeling like I have to give reason or justification to my decisions.  Sometimes you just want people to trust you and believe in your efforts. 

To live is Christ.  To live like Him, to love like Him, to trust like Him and to forgive like Him.  I’m trying, but sometimes it gets really hard and I slip.  There is this one “part” of my life that resurfaced a couple of months ago and I have tried so hard to handle it in the right way, but somewhere in it I lost sight of the right way.  It was when I recognized this that the above verse really resonated with me.  I was not living this part of my life like Christ, and to be honest, I’m still figuring it out.  I guess my hope is that my efforts will be recognized and there will be reward in the end…not for me but for this “part” of my life.

So, this is where I am and this is what I am learning but still trying to fully grasp:

We are not living until we are living in Christ.  Until our every being is about Him, we are dead inside.  Until our attitudes, our decisions, our words, our money, our relationships, our everything is about Him, we are empty.  But, when we are living in Him, we no longer have to fear death but can rejoice in life.  To live for Christ in this world is only a small piece of the fulfillment that we will completely receive in the next world.  Our goal should not be to simply live life getting by and occasionally trying to do what is right, but to live in Christ all the time because our lives are just beginning at the end of this life.  I don’t know about you, but I’d like to start off with a good track record!