I recently read this amazing book, Kisses From Katie. I was truly and deeply inspired and touched by it. And then I wandered upon a new blog (thanks to instagram). Afterwords, I began thinking about my life, my ministry for God.
I admire these women (some who are even younger than me) who have literally given it all up for the Lord. With the calling in their hearts, they left all that they knew, everything that was comfortable and left for an unknown land where God had so much in store for them. They were to be a vessel for Him to show His love to all they encountered. To make a difference for and through Him.
What an amazing thing, to be doing something so great for the good of the Lord. To know that you are doing exactly what He wants and where He wants.
My best friend has been doing this as well, as well as a few other friends I've had. They gave up their normal and stable lives here in Florida, here in the US, and left to fulfill the Lord's plans for their lives. Most made their way back to the US eventually (or even to Florida), but their faith and love of Christ was strengthened through this walk of theirs.
I always envied this kind of life. To give it all up for the Lord. To not know what I would be doing in this foreign land, but only knowing that it was what God was asking me.
But can I truly have this life when I seem to be struggling with knowing what God is saying to me now. In my everyday life? Like every other Christian, I struggle with knowing how to follow Christ all the time. I struggle with calling onto Him for every need I have. I think that I can do it on my own, and so I forget to ask Him. To praise Him. To thank Him. To love Him.
But then I wonder about my life. About what I am doing to help establish and further the kingdom of God, if anything at all because honestly most days I feel like I am doing nothing for Him and it truly makes my heart ache. He is the only reason I am here. The only reason that I didn't give up hope long ago. The only reason I get out of bed some mornings. And then I realized that even the Bible tells us that not all of us are meant to travel to a foreign land to fulfill His purpose and share His love. Some of us are meant to simply share His love, His peace, and His will with those in our own community.
I've wanted to be a teacher since I was five years old. People always ask me why. What led me to that decision. Was there a teacher that sparked this choice? I've never known how to answer, because I've never even realized what they answer was. But suddenly this past weekend it hit me. Teaching was never my intent for myself really, it was all God's. I never had to make the hard choice of what degree I wanted, what career I wanted, or even what school I wanted, because all along He was making those choices for me. He wanted me here. Now. Doing this work. Now that I look back, it makes sense as to why I didn't feel quite like I was where I should be, or doing what I should be. I was preparing for this journey, for this career, for this life. A life where I could share Christ's love to all the students in my life by loving them as Christ loved me first. How could I not see that before?
Some of my students come from loving homes with two parents. But a lot of my students don't. They haven't been loved in the way that Christ loves us. But they can't understand Him or love Him without first seeing what it is to love (a line I read in Kisses From Katie).
With all of this now swirling in my mind, all I want is to be full of Christ's love. To be so consumed by Him and His love for all that my heart explodes with love for everyone I encounter, for every child I teach or hug. Even the trouble makers that make my job more difficult, I want to love them so much that even they see what it is to love like Him.
And while I already missed my sweet and precious students, I can't wait to go back. I can't wait to shower them with love and teach them not only what they need to know, but also what Christ wants them to know.
Thank you Lord, for reminding me of Your purpose for me all along. Thank you for giving me the love I have for these students and for children. Thank you for showing me that I can learn from them as well. They have the most generous hearts at times and they remind me of how amazing You are. Please Lord Jesus, help me in the coming year to give that love back to them even more than I have before. Help me to not run out, but continue to love as You have loved, never ceasing.
All these things in Your Holy Name I pray,