I’ve been asking myself a lot, “what am I doing here?” (hence the title). I wished for the first couple of weeks when I got back into the states from Thailand that I could have jumped right back into my life here. I wished that I could just forget that I’d been changed, because it reminded me that here was not where I wanted to be anymore. It would be easier, less painful. I don’t wish that anymore though. God has been teaching me so much through this short season of my life and He’s been doing some major attitude and heart changing stuff. It’s almost hard to believe that I was ever not this way actually because those 10 days in Thailand changed my heart and life so completely.
Something that I’ve been learning is that regardless of where I want to be, God is the one in charge in this life of mine. I kind of had to learn the hard way that no matter how much I’d rather be in Thailand or at home or anyplace really, God has big plans for me to serve the Kingdom here in Lynchburg at this moment. That was a hard realization. I wish that God’s timing and plan for our lives always made sense but truthfully I don’t think that will ever happen. But something that a speaker at my school said the other day is that knowing God’s purpose for our lives is more important than understanding the plan for our lives. The purpose for our pain, for our joy, for wherever we are placed or are working or going to school is all the same; to grow into deeper relationship with Christ and for others to hear the gospel message. And we really don’t need to understand the details of it all. Our fragile hearts probably couldn’t bear that kind of knowledge.
When I thought of the purpose for my life just weeks ago, I don’t think I would have known the answer. I always said the thing to people “God has a purpose for [insert what they’re going through].” But in saying that I wasn’t clear on what that purpose was exactly. But the beauty of that, is that God’s purpose didn’t change even once when I didn’t understand the purpose.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
God is using me here. Like He’s really using me right here. I struggled big time to come to grips with that at first. Because my ministry, the people who I lead on this campus didn’t seem to need me as much as the so many desperate-for-the-gospel people that I got to meet in Thailand. The ways that I serve back home didn’t seem as important as the ways I could serve in Thailand. But the first mistake I made was comparing the severity of peoples’ need for Christ. Regardless of where I am, my mindset should remain the same. And that is to live with missions in mind, with seeing people come to Jesus regardless of where that is. The second mistake was thinking that God can’t use me here like he can anywhere else. Regardless of me, God is still good, still sovereign, still capable of far beyond what I could imagine.
And all those mistakes left me in this place of understanding. Understanding that God’s purpose isn’t area-specific, it’s not circumstance-specific. God’s purpose is to further His Kingdom here on earth. And I think that regardless of how much or how often I fail at that, Jesus keeps coming back and redeeming, just like He did on the cross. Whatever this weird place is, I’m needed here to build the Kingdom.
All this to say, here is where I’m supposed to be today and I have to learn to be okay with that and be present where the Lord has me.