My friends and I were in a taxi to pick up some things we needed for outreach, and the driver did something that we weren’t expecting. He asked what themes were defining this season of our lives. I wasn’t expecting this question, and quite truthfully hadn’t thought about it yet. I’ve been examining this part of my life over the past few days. I’ve identified a few themes that have been prevalent in my journey so far here during lecture phase.
Servanthood: This is something God has been developing in me for a while now. I had a job that helped grow me in this area for a year and a half before I came to Kona, but the servanthood that I am learning about here is different. It is serving even when I don’t get anything in return, serving when I don’t want to, even and especially when my servanthood is not noticed. It is the kind that counts, the kind that “your Father who sees in secret” honors (Matthew 6:4).
Vulnerability: This is something I am unfamiliar with. I am not used to being vulnerable, because I prefer having my life together or at least having the appearance of my life looking as if it is in order. It took me being taken away from everything that was comfortable to me: my family, my friends, my habits, my hobbies, and everything else I loved to realize that there were things I was using to distract myself from the way I was feeling. It took God taking me out of my comfort zone for Him to allow me the opportunity to be vulnerable and allow God to begin shaping me into the woman of God whom He originally intended me to be. Being vulnerable is harder in a community, because there are people who will truly hold you accountable. For example, one of my friends, Rebekka is my friend who holds me accountable to getting at least one hour of time in the secret place with Jesus. She asks me every day if I’ve gotten my time in for the day, and I reciprocate that for her. It is harder to relax and slide on getting my personal time with Jesus when I know there will be someone holding me accountable! Without being vulnerable and admitting to her the struggle I have here if getting enough Jesus time, she wouldn’t be helping me by holding me accountable. Another example is my friendship with my outreach leader. She is straight to the point. When I go to her with an issue and tell her what is going on in my life and my journey and any struggles I have, she is straight to the point. She helps me to see a different perspective, and to realize any lies I’ve been telling myself that are keeping me trapped in a negative way of thinking. Those are realizations that I would never have made on my own if I wouldn’t have been vulnerable with her and let her know the struggles I’m going through.
Humility: This is a struggle for me because I like being right, and I don’t usually like being challenged. I have always had a preconceived notion about humility. I believed humility was equated with weakness, and I can not stand weakness in my life. However, I am learning that humility is a strength, and it allows for an immense amount of growth. I am growing in being able to admit when I’m wrong right away. Apologies are important, not only to settle things with the person who deserves one but also to settle things inside of yourself. I am looking forward to growing in humility more and more.
Gratitude: Gratitude is the greatest. I am learning during this season that every moment should be lived in gratitude towards the God who created the universe. One day a while ago I woke up and every thought I had was about “Thank you that I live in Hawaii. Thank you for placing me in a room of godly women who champion and challenge me every day purely out of love and because they see the potential in me. Thank you for the newfound love of worship and praising you that you have helped me to discover, thank you for the ever increasing hunger I have to seek you, thank you for he newfound passion for your sons and daughters who don’t know you yet, etc.”. When these thoughts, among others, are running through my mind, I find myself smiling more and also being happier. It is truly possible through the power of God to have your mind renewed. “Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:10). How are we to be anything but truly joyous and grateful when we know the true image of God, and from that, the true image of ourselves? The answer is nothing because with that unchangeable knowledge we are perpetually grateful. Recently, there have been more and more days of nonstop gratitude.
Freedom: Thanking God for freedom is something I do every day. I came here with several issues I knew about, and several I didn’t know I had. It has been so rejuvenating to realize that I don’t have to live in bondage. Jesus didn’t die to leave me in bondage, to leave my mind in torment. He died so that I could be free! Free from shame and guilt and doubt and passivity and anger and anxiety. I am learning day by day that his peace, his glorious peace, needs not worldly understanding. I love that promise of my sovereign God: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7). One of the things I love the most about the freedom he offers is that we just have to say “yes”, and then the sacrifice Jesus made meets us exactly where we are. I thank God every day that I don’t have to do any work to receive His freedom, because if I did then I would be a hopeless cause because I would never be worthy enough of freedom on my own. I am only worthy of the freedom he gives because of the price he paid on the cross.
These are the main themes which have been going on in my heart so far. Thank you for taking the time to read about what is happening in my heart, let me know what you think about it, or if God has worked/is working in any similar sort of way in your life!