I relied so much on people and things back in America and since being here I have had to rely so much more on God. I've realized in the brief time we have been here that things can change in an instant, people will leave you and let you down, and the only constant is God. I still depend very much on my loved ones to live each day in fullness and happiness but I have come to realize that no one in my life can save me or bring me the completeness I know in God. Jesus Christ is truly all I need. Everything else is just bonus or unnecessary.
In 6 short months I have lost three of my loved ones. Facing this kind of loss reminds me just how much I need God and as crazy as it may sound, I am less fearful of the future. I know that no matter what happens I am taken care of, God will never abandon me, never give up on me and each day He calls me closer to Him.
I resisted Him so much all of my life and I've finally realized that. For the first time in my life I am pursuing HIM after years of Him pursuing me. I can't seem to get close enough to Him. I know it's been an inward change that reflects outwardly because my own husband has commented on how he can "see God in me in so many ways." That is the greatest compliment anyone can ever receive....to look at you and see God through your faith. My prayer is that I stay out of the way and let God shine through me. I don't want people to see me...I want them to see Him. I want others to enjoy His closeness. There is nothing in the world like it.
I'm not special. He wants to be close to all of us. Not just me. And it's so simple. It took me nearly 30 years to figure out just how simple it is to find this peace through His love. All I had to do was humbly seek Him. That's it. He loves me regardless of whether or not I put in any effort but how rewarding the relationship with Him is when we enter it with a desire to honour and love Him completely. I could never put into words the clarity and peace it brings to know Him...not just know of Him...but to KNOW Him with my heart. To wake up wanting to learn more about Him and never seeming to get enough of Him.
I still struggle each day to keep my eyes on Him though. In fact, just last night I felt like Peter when He took His eyes off Jesus during the storm and began to sink. I took my eyes off Jesus and started to fear losing more loved ones, not being able to be there with them and just focusing on all the "what ifs". I began sinking in fear and sadness. But God's hope lifts us up. I was reminded of His promises and once I put my eyes back on Him, my peace was restored.
I am still a work in progress. I don't recognize the girl I was 10 years ago or even 6 months ago. She was so bitter and selfish. But I don't look like a pure representation of Jesus either. There is still a lot of work do be done on my heart but I have felt the Lord reshaping my heart over the years. It has been a slow process and one that will be neverending I'm sure. But if I can be in the midst of some of the most challenging times of my life and have this peace...I want to continue in God's direction because it is obvious He is my source of peace.
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me. Your love and prayers are felt!