As I sit here in Missions class, listening to Cecie’s lullaby by Steffany Gretzinger for the fifth time today, I realize that I still feel the huge void and relentless emptiness that I’ve felt since the day I got back from L.A.. It doesn’t seem to go away, no matter how much time passes. I’ve been home for almost two weeks now, but it feels like it’s been months– it’s been too long since I’ve been in a place that really feels like home, where I feel God completely active in my life.
The things that God did in my life in L.A. were life-changing, but I’m afraid that they won’t actually change my life. Now that I’m back home will I really be able to put into practice everything that I’ve learned and make the difference that I thought I would be able to? Will I actually practice what I preach? In L.A. it felt so easy to listen to God and do what He was calling me to, but now that I’m back home it has gotten a lot harder. Why is that? Is our society just that different and superficial or is it just that I’ve been so focused on the materialistic things my whole life that I haven’t actually opened my eyes to the things that are really important in this world? I’m wrestling with so many emotions right now and it’s so so hard to keep trying to change and do God’s will when I feel myself getting pulled so hard back into my old habits and my old life– especially the business of it.
In L.A. some pretty amazing things happened to me. I got to see God in a completely different light and for the first time in my life I felt like I was willing to give up everything in my life to follow God and I had never experienced that before. God has never been number one in my life, although I’ve never admitted that– there have always been things that I love more. When I was in L.A. though, I truly saw God for who He was, in a clearer light than I’ve ever pictured Him in, and it was… breathtaking. I don’t know how else to describe it. It was awe-some. I really had a desire for God and that was so so cool. By the end of it I really didn’t want to leave and I was ready to devote my entire life to God.
My only problem is that now that I’m home, I feel myself losing sight of that vision and that hope and that desire and all of these doubts come whirling back into my head. What if God can’t actually use me? What if I’m not where He wants me to be? Am I actually listening to God’s voice? Why do I always seem to mess up the plans He has for me?
Through this whole experience though, God has taught me so much. From teaching me to trust Him, to showing me the gifts He’s given me, to revealing all of the amazing (though seemingly small) ways that He has been working in my life so far, God has spoken into my life and has impacted me in ways I will never forget. The struggle is trying to put these life-changing events and lessons into action and using them in order to further God’s kingdom here at home– that has been really hard for me. All of the people that I got to meet in L.A.– from Bryan, to John, to Daniel (so incredible)– have had an everlasting impact on me and God has definitely used them to speak into my life and I am so grateful for that. The relationships that I’ve built with my team members as well have been so incredible and God’s hand has been in that also.
While in L.A. at the Dream Center I got to meet two guys from Alabama and God really used them to speak into my life in a powerful way– through them He showed me that He can use me no matter how invaluable and unusable I may feel. They gave me a bracelet that says “pray first” and I have worn it every single day since I got back. It has a lot of meaning and importance to me but I think what it says is the most remarkable thing: “Pray first”. Wow! Those two words have a lot of meaning and power. It is just such a great reminder to me that I need to come to God for everything– it reminds me that He will always be there for me and that I can trust Him through all things and I find that super cool.
God sometimes works in ways that I don’t understand, but He knows me and He knows best. He is trying to teach me that, but I’m stubborn. I resist His plans for my life a lot. Bit by bit though He’s teaching me to trust Him– I just need to accept His love and His plans for my life rather than my own.
L.A. will always be in my heart and I’ll always think of it as home. The people there and the experiences I’ve had will stay with me for (hopefully) the rest of my life and I hope that one day I will be able to go back. For now I just have to keep living one day at a time and try my best to do what God is calling me to here, even if I’m not in the place where I now call home and where I feel closest to God. This is where I am right now and this is where God will use me for the time being. I just need to trust Him.