Monday, June 20, 2011

grad reunions and moving on

This weekend was my 10 year grad reunion. When I first got the invite I could hardly believe it had been that long already. I was not sure I wanted to go. It just seemed strange to want to go back to something that seems like another lifetime. And I had no idea if anyone I would want to see would be there.

In so many ways, it felt like we were back in high school for that night. Brief conversations with lots of people and really catching up with just a few - those people you actually hung out with most of the time in high school. I found it interesting who came and who did not. Some of the people I really wanted to see were not there and some of the people I never expected to show up were there. It was a good night no matter who was there.

Since Saturday night, I have been thinking about what I saw in different people that night. Some, it seems, were still stuck in the groups of "popular" and "not popular" from high school. And, others did not seem to care about those lines anymore. It was a good night. I ended up glad that I went.

At the time I was in high school it seemed crazy that the way things were then is not how it would be for the rest of life. The world as it was then seemed to be just fine. And yet, looking back now, the world of high school is so small and does not really reflect what the rest of the world is like.

High school was not my favourite place and so I surprised myself when I decided to go . . . by myself. I purchased that ticket without even checking to see who else would be there. And the afternoon before the reunion, I found myself facing those same insecurities that I had every day in high school.
  • Would anyone talk to me?
  • Would I have people to sit with?
  • Would I spend the entire evening alone?
I really did think I had moved on from those thoughts, but there they were right in my face again. And I almost did not go even though I had already paid for it.

As I was driving to the dinner, I realized that those insecurities may have been trying to get me, but I handled them differently this time. Instead of allowing them to push me into hiding and keep me home, I went anyways - determined to have a good time at a nice dinner, even if I decided to leave early.

And that is when I realized that sometimes our growth as a follower of Christ comes, but it does not look the way we wish it would. I thought those insecurities being gone would mean that I would never face them again, but I have realized that overcoming those insecurities makes a difference in how I respond when they surface again - not that they never surface again.

I think that is what growth looks like in much of our life as follower of Christ. Growth means we handle things differently when they surface, not that they never surface again.

What about in your life? What are those things that you really wish would never surface again - the insecurities or doubts? How have you responded in the past? Would you respond differently today? Or do you need to allow God to bring some healing and growth in that area so you can respond differently?

Monday, June 6, 2011

when God interrupts

Well, after a couple of crazy months where I did not feel like I had time to think something through enough to write a blog on it, I am back. Hopefully, back to more consistent posting on here - although I make no promises as to how much (or little) I will post.

I was reading in the book of James recently and was struck by how God can interrupt and change our plans. James 4:13-15 says:
Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this that." (NIV)
It is an interesting few verses to read. In light of some recent occurrences in my life, some challenging verses to read as well.

At first glance, it could appear that James is telling his readers not to really make any plans for the future, because you cannot know what will happen. What James is actually saying is the plans we make should be held onto loosely so God can come in and rearrange them at any time. We do need to make plans. That is the way we live life on this earth. But, our plans should not be so set in stone that we miss God coming in and trying to change them.

This definitely rang true for me in the last few weeks. At the end of May I moved out of the apartment I had shared with friends for the last three and a half years. I thought I had a place arranged to move into and found out at the last minute that I did not, so I moved back in with my parents. When that became my option, it was not my plan. But, now that I have been here for a week and a half, I can see that it was God's. As much as I never thought I would want to move back to my parents' there is something comforting and relaxing about being "home" for a time. And that is something that I need right now, after a very busy May.

I can also see where I allowed God to interrupt my plans in the past too and rearrange them to be His. One of those other times came towards the end of my second year of college, when God had in mind to send me to the prairies for two years at Bible college. In many ways it would have been easier to just stay where I was, but God had things in store for me at Bible college and I needed to go there for that.

Of course, there are also times in my life (more than I wish to count) where I have been stubbornly committed to doing something my way, no matter what God wanted.

What about you? What plans in your life have you held onto so tightly God could not come in and rearrange them? Where have you allowed God to come in and rearrange your plans? Are you currently holding onto plans tightly? Or are you holding onto them loosely - knowing where you think you should be going, but open to allowing God to change them?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

God calling

God, that's too big; God, that's too hard;
God, I'm not qualified to do that!
God, are You sure You got the right person?
Over and over, those words - my response
To the things God tells me to do.

But, He keeps on calling - He just won't give up -
Calling me to do what seems too big and too hard;
What I feel unqualified to do.
Why does He want me for that job?
Why does He think I can do it?

Just trust Me, He says, I'll help you to do it.
I made you, remember? I know you can do it!
With Me by your side - you won't be alone.
You can do big things cuz I made you that way;
You just have to follow and trust and obey.

OK, God, I'll follow and trust and obey.
I know I can't do this all on my own.
I need You beside me each step of the way.
Where You lead I will follow and trust and obey.