#Lessonatthemovies

So I thought of calling this post “Expectations- where’s the fun in that?” then I thought nah…I mean, hashtags are waaaaaaay cooler and the “expectations” title would have been too long anyways.And who likes long, right?

I am learning, daily, that there is so much to learn from each and every moment that I get to live, that each experience, action and even random small occurrences are opportunities to grow. That being said, how many times have you watched Mockingjay yet? I’m at 2 – and counting – and let me say, I’m en route to learning all the words the actors speak.hahaha

I got to watch the Mockingjay for the second time a few weeks back- if you are unaware, the Mockingjay is a movie in the Hunger Games series. While it was still fun, the fact that I had seen it already meant that I knew what was going on. I knew what scene would come next, when to close my eyes, and when to prepare for a laughter or a tear. More the laughter than the tear though, the tears were all gone by the time I got done watching it the first time. Knowing the plot also meant that there were some scenes that I was looking forward to, which meant that in some parts I was bored because I knew already there wasn’t much “drama” in those parts. On the flip side, I may or may not have started singing the song two seconds before Katniss did… You are very welcome movie theater people, you can hate me now…

In those moments, the Holy Spirit laughed at me hard, in the nice way that only the Holy Spirit can. I truly felt like he was like, hey, that’s how your life would be if you had answers to everything or even if God showed you the whole plan from the very beginning. I felt like a couple of things were highlighted for me…

1. Sometimes I want to know what will happen.

This comes in many forms: Relationships, friendships, school-focused decisions, the future – where I will live, will I have kids, those kind of things. I always feel like I need to know exactly what it all looks like before I take a leap. Just like in watching Mockinjay a second time, it downed to me that if I was given the opportunity to know every nitty-gritty detail of my life story then there will be parts that I just won’t embrace as much because I know exactly what they will look like and I am not excited about that. Like, where is the fun in that? I realized that there is so much to be enjoyed from jumping off the cliff and letting the wind take you where you are supposed to go. I realized that, being the person that I am, it wouldn’t be fun to go through the motions knowing exactly what it all entails. It is fun to discover things as you move along, to learn and unlearn things, to walk a certain direction and then figure down the road its better to turn left than to keep going straight on. I have realized and now, I am in the process of embracing that notion.

2. It is important to say yes

One of my friends usually says “don’t over think”. For him, it’s more about going for it, without letting your mind over analyze every situation. Two claps for him, he has the idea right there. In looking at the second play, it is very easy to refuse to say yes to parts of the story. You already have an idea of it, you know what you like and what you don’t like. There are parts to it that you realized you didn’t like the first time and so are not willing to give it a second chance. Imagine living your life like that. Imagine God being like, fine I’ll play out your life for you and then you will get to live it after that. There will be things that you will refuse to entertain because you know already what that would look like, you would miss out on opportunities, and failures, that would grow you and mature you because “they were boring and weren’t worth your while”. That would kill the faith and, more than anything, would limit the number of yeses your give – it’s hard not knowing anyways, why make it harder? So for me, it is appreciating that not knowing allows me to say yes to the adventure, to say yes to pursuing a friendship that has uncertainties and that may die off down the line. It’s taking every moment fresh and allowing everything to be new and living a life that is unpredictable. Now that sounds like fun to me!!

3. Say no to fear!!

In the Mockingjay, Beetee makes a very powerful statement. He says, “Fear is the most difficult emotion to overcome- we’re hardwired to remember fear.”…Imagine watching the movie of your life before you actually live it and then getting so scared that you do not want to relive those moments ever…Or even, imagine living through your life RIGHT NOW and being so scared of what your decisions will entail and what the results will bring that you don’t get to live it to the fullest!! Fear is real, but fear need to be broken…I am deciding to say no to fear in my life and to make decisions, acknowledging that they may not be successful but also knowing that I will get to enjoy the adventure more if I let go. I am DECIDING to live in he moment and allow everything to happen organically, with Jesus in charge of course, and allowing myself to negate fear and embrace opportunity.huuuzaaaah!!!

All this was a reminder to me that, sometimes I feel like I want to know exactly how things will turn out, I want a reason not to be afraid, to keep moving forward. I want something to hold on to. But really, the knowledge that the Lord is on my side should be good enough for me. In fact, IT IS good enough for me, and that’s that!!

“And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him. There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror!” – 1 John 4:16,18 [AMP]

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I’m Going To GUATEMALA!!!!

In T-18 days I’m headed to Guatemala!!!Whoop Whoop!!!!! Words cannot even begin to describe how excited I am for this trip, how expectant I am for all that God is yet to do and how, on the flip side, that adds one more region on my travelling directory. (Everyone has one of those right?)

The Background Story

      Coming into college, I had a lot of reservations. For one, the State, no one seems to know where Oklahoma is and if they do the only reason is they have heard about the tornados down here. Surprise!!! I was anxious about the church: Would I find the ‘right’ church (‘right’ in inverted commas because, truth is, God exists and works regardless of where you go to church because the Holy Spirit lives in you, yah?)? Would I WANT to go to church – and in that (sorry dad) a part of me felt like I had gone to church enough growing up and “maybe I should take a break because the parents won’t know”. All those anxieties were dealt with, Thank goodness.

 

The Right time

      In my anxieties being dealt with, a lot of “me” was changed, grown and matured, especially in this past year (note: my year runs July to June. yay college life).I think, more than any other, it has been a year where God has worked on my heart, mended some things, tore down some walls and awakened some dreams. And man, was that hard!!!I think sometimes when you are made to realize things about yourself that you didn’t think were there, there’s a lot of denial, maybe some anger and finally, when you do accept it all, there is a lot of running away. At the end of the day though, I CONQUERED!! And coming out of this past year, this trip marks an end and a beginning – An end to fear and holding back, an end to hiding behind walls and boulders. It marks the beginning of walking out in faith, believing for the impossible, taking God’s vision and running with it ~ head on!!!

When Jesus Says yes (It’s a song)

      So it might sound like the perfect picture right – it’s all good, you decided to go on a mission trip and then you go. Easy right? Nope!!! (Hopefully) I am not the only one who hears God tell me something and then find a million reasons why He didn’t really say it. For me it was things like, “I’ve never been on a mission trip so it’ll be better to wait”, “I don’t speak any Spanish, what’s the point”, “I’m not at the right place with Jesus (or Spiritually even) to go on a mission trip”. The list is endless. And then there was, of course the big one…DRUMROLL… Money. Hey, I’m a broke college student, I had to take a summer class and those Benjamin’s don’t come by that easily. Rationally, if I was going to ask my parents for that much money, it made sense to go home to Swaziland for the rest of the summer. I couldn’t send support letters either so, in my head, I really just had to raise my mission trip money on my ace one way or the other.
           Fortunately God has already seen it fit for me to go, and when the big guy says something has to happen, it happens. I have been blessed over the last month or so to see money coming in from different places to support my trip. I have seen people give generously, some of them people I haven’t even had conversations with about my trip. It has been so, so humbling to have people reach out like that. It is hard to express in words the emotions that I have felt: the appreciation, the awe, the “I’m overwhelmed by this generosity I might cry”. Each one of the people who have partnered with me has again reminded me of God’s goodness, of his love and just even how he paves all our ways.

All that to say, money has been coming in from places I didn’t expect and it’s awesome!!!!

Countdown Things

           As the day approaches, I get more excited. Excited about the group that I get to go to Guatemala with ~ somebody say AHHHMAZING TEAM!!!! Excited to see the team get fully funded, IT’S GONNA HAPPEN!!!Excited to partner with Jesus, UHHH YES!!!!And reminded, daily, to trust him, listen an obey!!!!

GUATEMALLLLLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAA aaaIIIIIIII!!!!!

“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 [AMP]