photo credit to my sweet friend Amanda. check out her blog here!
I do not believe that our circumstances shape our lives.
This is somewhat of a lie, but bear with me I will get there. I am slowly seeing that I don't totally see this as truth. There is a small bit of truth in it, but I am currently struggling and wrestling with coming to somewhat of a conclusion on this.
So here is what I do believe. I believe in attitudes and intentions.
I have no idea what is going to happen to me in my life. It's slightly terrifying, yet wonderful and exciting at the same time. But, I do know who I am. Well, I'm still discovering it, but I am starting to know more and more. I'm imperfect and broken. But I am redeemed.
Just seeming to have only tasted a bit of this life and world, it is easy to fear the unknown.
Our surroundings, our jobs, our friends, are extremely vital to our stories. They are unique to each of us. They are though constantly changing, fluctuating, failing, succeeding, and growing, and while they are integral parts of our story, they do not ultimately define us.
I think about the story of Hosea and Gomer. When I think of this story, and even as I am reading a book on it now, I think of how Hosea sees Gomer, not as a harlot, whore, or prostitute, but as his beloved, his bride.
It is the story of a prostitute, trapped and believing that is all that she will ever be. She is bound and destined for that life. But in the midst of her personal hell, this strange man will not stop pursuing her, loving her, and caring for her. She can not seem to wrap her mind around just why this man is treating her this way, despite who she is and what she's done. In her filth. In her dirtiness. In her impurity. In her lies. In her rebellion. In her hardheartedness. In her determination to keep her walls up. In her cunningness. In her unthankfulness.
In this broken, scandalous story we see redemption. The thing that gets me the most is that Hosea returned for his wife after she attempted to return to the life she once had.
I learned a long time ago we've control of little in this world... It doesn't belong to us. It's out of our hands... All we can change is the way we think and the way we live.
What a perfect description of life. Of your life. And mine.
I think of it like this. That is why our past, our sins, who we used to be, are so very important. Because each hurt, pain, and situation that seemed out of our control inched us closer and closer to that sweet, loving redemption. Because those things which left so many scars brought us to our new identity.
Identity defines, gives purpose, provides meaning. Identity is WHO we are and what we are, and it is what we will leave behind and what we will bring with us.
Because maybe, there is so much more to life then then popularity, fame, and praise. But, yet still our selfish natures crave all of these things.
So often I quickly fall back into this mentality of making my surroundings, belongings, and reputation seem "perfect" or impressive to others.
Why in the world do we seek to please or impress if it all just dies away anyway?
And when this happens, I quickly fall back into the reality of the situation. My inclination is to bring attention and affection to myself, and I am quickly met by feelings of loneliness and a desire for more.
I am learning to strive for better, bigger dreams, yet learning to be content with where I am, what I have, etc. To love the lost, broken, and hurting wherever I am should be my goal.
I am a sojourner on this earth. Sometimes I feel like I am a child, holding onto my Father's hand, dragging him, yelling at him to hurry up so we can get to the exciting place. This is where I am now, but I recognize and have been in the place before where He is tugging my hand, telling me clearly to continue and press on, even if I want to stay where I am at. So full of patience.
And this rant, or whatever it is, is about Him in the end.
About my Father.
It is about learning more and more just how much of a confused mess I am. It's about how sometimes I sit down to write and feel so discouraged by the not-knowingness. By knowing He is faithful, good, and trustworthy, but not feeling it. Not knowing where things will lead, where I am going, or will I ever really figure it all out?
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it." Revelation 2:17
When I become discouraged, I am reminded that I can always have a fresh, clean start. Every day has new mercies in it. New beginnings. He is the perfecter of my faith. I am on my way to a better understanding of it all, to a relationship with new depths.
Because in the end, all that matters is our inheritance, our new identity. To live. To keep loving.
and sometimes to face the unknown with boldness and confidence.