Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Open Floodgate

“Success in the end erases all the mistakes along the way.”
-Chinese Proverb

It’s funny how you can look back on life and have it seem so surreal. How you see the decisions you made (or didn’t make) in life change and mold you. Good and bad things in good and bad ways.

It’s kind of refreshing to see life from someone else’s perspective. I had the honor of spending some time with an old friend today. I know it’s hard to believe, but I often shy away from spending time one on one with people I’m not super close to. I don’t mean that to seem like I don’t like them, the pressure of that situation just freaks me out. I guess maybe it has something to do with the fear of not bring able to get out of an uncomfortable situation. Who knows, maybe I’m just weird. It most likely has to do with the fact that my sister and I come in a pair. Seriously, she’s like an extension of me. I seriously think we share the same heart. We always had the same friends and as a result, there wasn’t always a lot of time for one on one time in our group of friends.

Lately I have been feeling like God is putting a few friends on my heart. Some are friends I have been thinking of for a while and have wanted to reach out to. Some have reached out to me. I want desperately for God to be able to use this time in my life to help other people, those who are not as fortunate as I am to have such a strong spiritual support system. But it’s hard to be there for others when I am so consumed with what’s on my mind. You see, I am learning that is the biggest indicator of a problem for me. When I start to forget that God has a plan for me right now that’s much bigger than me and my problems. Today was hard for me in that respect. I kinda wanted to do my own thing today instead of look to God to help me continue to work on them. He of course had a different plan.         

The time I spent with my friend was so much more rewarding for me than I expected. I had confided some of my current frustrations with her and she wanted to drop by and talk about it. Be an open ear and possibly shed some light. I knew she thought she could help me, but I have to admit I felt like God was sending her my way so that I could talk about Him, so I could help her. Where that was true, we had a really great talk about salvation and faith and I sincerely hope it made a difference for her. But I feel a little fooish for forgetting that I have things for God to teach me too and He often does it in ways I would not have and could not imagine.

It’s interesting to find out you have so much in common with someone you have known so long and not realize it. Seriously, this girl is so much like me it’s not funny. We have a similar personality and think the same way. We both look for acceptance in the wrong things, we both feel guilt in waves, and we both lean a bit toward the crazy side (haha). Talking to someone who sees life similar to myself was refreshing, but it was also humbling.

As much as she and I share feelings, thoughts, and some behaviors, our hearts are in completely different places. To hear the choices she has made and the result of these choices paint a picture of who I very easily could have become.

I want to stop there and make sure I clarify that I love this person very much and am not trying to be judgmental. She has been on my heart for a long time and I am very proud of how she is forming into a very wise woman as a result of her experiences. I am proud of how she is taking control of her life and doing what is best for her and her family. I think God is pulling at her heart right now. I am so excited for what He can do if she listens. She has encouraged me and I bet she doesn’t even realize it. If you are reading this or come across it, you mean so much to me, friend.

But she has made decisions in her life she regrets. She is paying the price for many of them right now. I mentioned feeling humbled as a result of talking to her. I feel like talking to her gave me a look at who I could have become, the life I could be working like crazy to overcome and better had I not been given the incredible family and friends I have. I am not who I am as a result of my willpower, but of the support, guidance, and loving care of those around me.  

I started out today wanting to just get one day for me. But it doesn’t work that way. I look back at the last decade of my life (well almost decade). I have almost been an adult (at least by society’s view) ten years. I have had an amazing last ten years. But I can’t help feeling like I also spent a lot of that time wasting time. I look at so many of my friends who have been through so much tougher times than I am having now. So many of them are just having a tough time right now. And I just wonder why it seems like I am the only one fighting so hard, literally giving all I’ve got to grow. I think it’s because I am finally tired of wasting time. But, like I mentioned yesterday, if we ask God for change and truly want to experience it, we have to put in the effort.
I think I unconsciously ran from God today. Not trying to say I don’t want Him or need Him, but just looking for a break. The catch is, when you open the floodgate, there’s no closing it, the water just keeps rushing through. Just because I forget to work on my relationship with Christ, doesn’t mean He did. As usual I spent a fair bit of my day worrying and obsessing  (I know, imagine that) about my future. But God spent my day showing me what I mean to Him. I am so thankful for those in my life and the many blessings I have been given. I used to naively look at life and feel like I was cheated out of passion and excitement. I realize now that although I have plenty I regret in life, I also can be so thankful God shielded me from making many other mistakes.

We are who we are as a result of where we have been. My hope for you is that no matter what your past; good, bad, or some combination of the two, you are thankful for what God has done. It has all been preparation for what He has next, and if you let Him use you, it’s going to be huge!

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