Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Tapestry, Part 1

I enjoy reading other people’s stories. It helps me understand where they came from and a little bit about why they are where they are today. More importantly, stories of God’s faithfulness in other people’s lives helps increase my faith. Matthew 6 talks about how important we are to God, and how he will take care of us. Often times when circumstances are overwhelming I forget that it’s God who is going to provide and start to rely on myself or P/T Lt. Wonderful a little too much. When I read other stories of how God’s provided for others in their time of need, it encourages to me be long-suffering and steadfast in faith. He’ll take care of us, too.

For those reasons I started writing down my story. I feel like God has been weaving this beautiful tapestry, and my focus has been so small, so I’ve only seen the colors up close. Lately God is allowing me to step back and see a little bit of the bigger work, and I’m amazed at how the seemingly insignificant things that happened fit together so well with the larger more life changing events. The colors and patterns are coming together and I hope and pray that when I get to heaven to see the masterpiece finished I will hear, “well done, good and faithful servant.”

I want to write down the details for myself mostly, so that when I start to doubt I have something to look back on and remember how good God has been to me. Hopefully this can be an encouragement to you as well.

The Tapestry, Part 1

Though a lot happened before I was 14 (mostly great things. I accepted Christ at 12, I have a wonderful family, etc) my life was forever changed when I was 14. I went on a trip to Ensenada, Mexico with the youth group of my church. I spoke very little Spanish, but it didn’t matter. My heart was broken for the poverty that was right across the border from the extravagant life that I was used to. I couldn’t imagine going back and living the same life that I had been. I was heading into eighth grade, and this was a huge moment for me. I vowed to not return home and fall back into the same habits of consumerism, greed and complacency. I would be lying if I said that the trip was the end of those things-I struggled with them more than ever before! But my heart was changed, and I looked for practical ways to implement this heart change into everyday life. Looking back, I really believe that this mission trip was the beginning of God preparing my heart for what he has in store for my life.

Before going into 9th grade I went back to Mexico. It was just different than the first time-I already knew what we were coming into, the shock factor was gone. That didn’t stop the trip from affecting me, though. I was even more touched by the Mexican people and their love for family, tradition and God. It felt like home when I was there. I wasn’t homesick for anything and didn’t mind not showering for a day or two…or three (gross, I know). Even though I didn’t know the language, I wasn’t bothered. I didn’t have any problems connecting. I loved the people. I loved the importance they placed on family. I thought Spanish was the most beautiful language I had ever heard. I felt a deep pull for these people who had so little material possessions, yet they were full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

After the second trip to Mexico, I started taking Spanish. I was thrilled that it came fairly easily to me. Unfortunately, since it was easy for me I didn’t study as much as I should have. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the Spanish, quite the contrary, actually. It was just that I felt like I needed to spend more time in the sciences and on math in order to keep my grades decent. I wanted a career in the sciences, but wanted to combine my interest in science with my passion and love for Spanish people.

The Friday before I started 10th grade, my life again changed forever, instantly and dramatically.


Kara said...

Oh, you're leaving me hanging! So very unfair.

I still love you, though.