It has been a long while since I last wrote and today I woke up feeling like that part of my brain was inspired, awake, willing. Maybe it was the 10 hours of sleep I got, maybe it’s the subtle rain falling outside. Whatever it is I’m feeling a lot like myself today.
I’m watching the Olympics as I write this and I can’t help but think about my TREK team. I like to think of them as my international family. During the parade of the nations last night I felt pride as Germany, Canada, Philippines and Brazil walked out. Not to mention U.S. and Mexico. It was a really neat moment. We began messaging each other sending pictures of where we were. All of us were back in our worlds with friends or family, Juliana was literally at the games! Such an exciting event to witness I’m sure. They (my international family) remain present in my mind and heart. As I’ve slowly re-entered my world I’ve had more opportunities to talk about them, tell stories of what I’ve learned, witness to others and give honor and praise to God. I am truly thankful for a community that listens, cares, and encourages. I pray my international family feels as loved and cared for as I do.
When we first got back from Canada it was difficult to put into words what I had learned. There was even a fear that maybe I hadn’t learned anything, that I didn’t change or didn’t have stories of growth to tell. Thankfully over time (and it’s only been a little over a month) I am finding the words and I am noticing a difference. There’s a difference in my attitude towards people and situations, in my faith, in how I view prayer and how often I participate in it. I feel more mold-able if that makes sense. More aware of the fact that I don’t have control over things that surround me. This used to scare me before and in an attempt to be Christ-like in the midst of the fear I would pray God would take control over situations, mostly having to do with family or feelings, but even my prayers were about me trying to control the situation. The most valuable lesson I learned while on TREK was to not pray for God’s will and then tell him exactly what I think that should look like.
If you know me, you know I hate messy. I hate mess in the kitchen, in my room (although this happens often). I don’t like messy bathroom’s, closets, cars, you name it. I like order and cleanliness. I like to be neat. Well this can also be said for my personal life. Complicated just doesn’t sit right with me and you know why? Because it feels like I’m not in control. I don’t like complicated, I don’t know who does. It’s a terrible feeling I used to run from. In fact it’s a feeling I associated with sin. To me it’s the opposite of peace so if my life was messy, complicated, uncontrolled, I felt out of the will of God. My time on TREK taught me otherwise.
On TREK there were many, many things that were out of our control but in the will of God. I can say they were in the will of God because these things challenged our faith, preferences and attitudes. It was hard but spiritual fruit grew from it. I believe TREK was the perfect place for God to challenge us in these areas. Our community, the TREK program, our leaders they would help us and guide us if we felt too overwhelmed or felt far from grace. At first I was sad to admit that I, especially felt overwhelmed and far from grace. One of my on-liners was “On TREK I lost face everyday…” I didn’t have control and I did not like it. I experienced complicated and in fact it was I who was messy.
I can breath a huge sigh of relief now but while I was living it I fought it. I’m thankful I lost. As I’ve re-entered my world I am walking into a lot of unknowns and new situations, I’m letting myself feel feelings for people that used to scare me and while there are many things in my life that are not “under control” and situations that are unresolved I have peace. It’s a very vulnerable place to be in but also the perfect place for God to be in control. There’s no doubt in my heart that God is doing something and despite the boat being rocked by the waves I am safe and soon He will walk on that water and call me out upon it once more.
My time on TREK taught me that messy is sometimes the best place for God to be glorified, for his power to be known. It’s for sure the best place for me to remain in a constant posture of dependency on Him. I’m finding that the longer I remain in it the stronger my faith becomes and the more inner peace I experience. It’s not a bad place to be, just different. Just like the Philippines.