Monday, July 28, 2008

Post-Mission Trip Blog

As much as I would love to relay every single detail of my week-long trip on this blog, I really don't want to sit here for two hours of writing.
If you would really like to hear about my trip and the things I experienced, then I would be more than happy to talk to you about it. Because, let's face it- it was freaking awesome. :]
So, I'll give you a summary of the important things.
All through the week God had been using small experiences to mold me and whatnot. By the end of the week I felt like a different person, literally. I mean, I acted basically the same [i.e. dry humor, same manner of talking, personality, and other things of that nature] but the way I thought about things, myself, and other people had totally flipped. And in the back of my mind I realized that each of those amazing experiences I had were connected in some way, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
Then Sunday night at 11:15 pm, a full 29 hours after the trip had ended, it hit me-
God had been teaching me to work through the things that hinder me and just live to Him.
I don't know about you but there are several things in my daily life that keep me from living fully and walking with God. Here's a list of the most common of my hindrances and how God used certain times at Navajo to cut them away:
1) Cynicism (not getting attached to people because I would end up having to say goodbye and getting hurt): All through the week I felt God pushing me to take a leap and love everyone without holding back. Normally I would never do that because it always ends in saying goodbye and, being the selfish person I am, I don't want to get hurt. But I decided to take the challenge and I can proudly say that I let myself get attached to the people I met there. It hurt so bad when I had to leave [ask Katie, she was gracious enough to let me bawl my eyes out on her shoulder] but I'm glad I did it. It really is better to have loved and lost.
2) Vanity: Now, I'm not the type of chick who can't go get the mail without putting a pound of makeup on first. I'm also not the type to freak out about not being able to wear Hollister all week [heck, I don't even wear Hollister]. But I do sometimes make vanity a bit of an issue, and staring in the mirror all day typically hinders people from living the life God gave them. Not having a mirror around all week to be checking my hair or clothes or whatever really helped to focus on God and let personality and love shine through more than appearance.
3) Letting go of the past: I do have issues with not being able to let certain aspects of my past go. I dwell on certain things. But being so busy all week and loving on other people didn't exactly give me time to reminisce about stuff, so I got to know what it feels like to let it all go for a little while- which, I must say, is tons better than holding on to something that keeps my focus off of God.
4) Selfishness: God threw tons of little experiences into each day to teach me about honoring others above myself. When I became willing and put others ahead of me it was awesome- totally a God thing. I can't wait to put that into practice here in Loveland.

Anyways those are just the major things that hinder me daily. Moving on.
For the longest time I couldn't figure out why I was having such issues living the way God wanted me to live. Like I said, on Sunday night it dawned on me and I opened my bible to Hebrews 12, which says, "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perserverence the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith." After reading that I thought, "So THAT'S what He was saying!" Don't ask me why it took such a long time for me to figure out such a simple spiritual truth- maybe I was blinding myself. Who knows. Point is, I've rarely ever been so focused on God or so bold in my faith before. It was during that week when God helped me cast away the things that hinder me that I was really living the way He intended me to. It was so relieving and fulfilling, I can't even describe it. So now that I know what can happen when hindrances are cut away, I'm planning on cutting away some of the things in my daily life to continue living the way He wants me to.
Please pray for me, because this isn't going to be an easy task whatsoever. But I'm willing to "run the race," if you will, and any prayers would be much appreciated.
Thanks and God bless.

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