Sunday, February 14, 2016

Week 21: Personal Reflection

I never realized how much baggage one can carry without even realizing it. It’s super easy to go through life without a blink of an eye of why you’re doing the things you do. I’ve recently been going through some super tough stuff, coming to a realization on some of those things. Unfortunately, I can’t really explain quite what’s going on, but know that God is revealing to me a lot and that only through the Lord am I making small steps closer to the way that He would like for me to live. The only way I came to that initial realization, though, was through the Spirit revealing it to me when I was reflecting and processing.

Lamentations 3:40 says “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!” If we go about our whole life and not reflect on what we’ve done or accomplished, how can we grow? How can we change? It’s so easy to go down the wrong path; what happens if we veer off without even realizing it because we’re too focused on other things? We could go about life and do everything right, say all the right things, and if we do not know what our purpose was for it all, what did we truly even accomplish?

I cannot stress how important it is to be aware of what’s going on with yourself. Only when you are aware can you be convicted, and when you are convicted, then you can make a true change in your life and in the life of others.

Being aware means taking everything in and processing. One day, some friends and I went to the beach to see the stars, and I became amazed and in awe at how powerful and wonderful God is. I watched my one friend look for some glow-in-the-dark algae, my other friend try to make a hat with one of the palm branches, another friend listening to music, one friend looking at the stars, and me, just sitting there being thankful by how we can all be enjoying God’s creation in different ways. It was seriously a taste of Heaven on Earth. And then to continue that, my roommate got baptized in the ocean today as a sign of obedience to the Father. It was such a beautiful moment as well, as friends and family were gathered together to share in her excitement.

She shared the importance of the Gospel with us right before she got baptized and yet once again, I am amazed by the power of the Gospel. I know that I have tried to act perfect and do things right, but I do struggle. And that’s okay. And “as it is written, There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). Ultimately, we cannot get to any type of Heaven by ourselves. Although we are sinners, Christ already paid the price for our sinful actions. Because of that, we have the ability to reunite with God the way it should be and be seen as righteous in His eyes, not because of what we have done, but because He loves us. If we realize that Jesus is God, that He died on the cross and rose again three days later, and are convicted of our sin and want to be reunited with Him again, we can do so through repentance and trust in Him. It’s such beautiful news, yet how often do we share it? If we truly reflect on our personal life, how many of us actually live like the Gospel exists?

Sometimes I think about the kids I see in the DR with a lot less stuff that I have, and yet they are content. It’s not that I’m better than them because I have more, or that they’re better than me because they can be joyful with little, but that we are both the same level because we have the same love for Jesus and love for what He’s done for us. Reflecting on that and on what Christ has done makes all the difference.

-My parents are still here with us in the DR, and it’s been a fantastic time of growth for both them and us
-I now rarely have to think about my medical recovery in the states!

Prayer Requests:
-I have recently been just getting by with my classes, but now want to dig deeper into Spanish a lot more. Pray that God gives me the motivation to do some extra work and enjoy myself in the process.
-Pray for wisdom on where to spend my time and for a discerning heart on how to speak Truth into people’s lives.