It isn’t about the big moments, the grand adventures, the sight seeing and world traveling.
It is about the simple yet profound moments when you realize why you exist. The moment when your heart begins to soar and you can finally breathe for the first time in so long.
It can be easy to live life moment to moment, trying to capture the fleeting sunsets as they cast their orange and red hues, bringing color and vibrancy into a life that can seem monotone and dull. Or perhaps chasing the waves as they crash into the shore, never ceasing as they bring the promise that life gets better and there is hope on the horizon. It can be easy to miss out, because in this vast and beautiful world we forget for a moment that life is so much more then creating memories and building a life that looks good on social media.
In the last seven weeks, God took all the boxes I had shoved him into and shattered them into pieces. He completely refreshed my heart, and brought new perspective and meaning to this beautiful journey.
I was reminded that it does not matter where I am, because in life nothing is ever consistent and time has a way of bringing new seasons, even if you aren’t ready to let go of the one in front of you. The only thing that truly matters and gives us hope amidst life struggles is His love and people. Life isn’t meant to be lived on the surface where it is comfortable and easy; God has so much more for us if we are only willing to ask the tough questions and to dig deep.
From day one on my trip, when our dear friend Sasha offered to give us, two strangers thrown into a new culture, her food, I knew God was going to teach me a lot. In a matter of weeks, I found myself being challenged to let down my walls as He reminded me of the simplicity of His love.
He taught me to pursue people, calling out the beauty and life in them. Growing roots is scary, but I also learned that there is so much beauty in investing in people and letting them see you. God didn’t create us for isolation, but He has given us unique voices and passions that can only truly find a purpose when they are being used to equip and build up others.
I found that Gods heart is for us to build relationships and every person you meet brings a different beauty and light to this wonderful life. I got to walk alongside a living representation of Gods love, somebody who constantly amazes me with her heart to love people. I have known Grace for almost three years and seeing her truly come alive as she pursued Gods heart is something I will never forget. I didn’t realize how much one person could impact you, until you never leave their side for seven weeks and get to watch the process of a small seeds blooming into a field of beautiful wildflowers.
I still remember one afternoon, sitting outside of the base, a place that had quickly become home. I remember trying to take deep breaths as the sun slowly sunk behind the houses, casting shadows all around me. My heart was heavy, and the frustration didn’t take long to find its way into tears.
Just a few hours before, I had taken the time to sit with somebody who knows what it is to be poor and to live from meal to meal. My friends and I sat with her as she poured out her life story and the hardships she faced just to take care of her precious kids. It was evident that the sun beating down on her every day was trying to chisel down the last remaining thread of hope and if it wasn’t for the little hand grasped tightly to hers, she might have given up earlier. I sat and watched as her little son played with the flower I had picked earlier. I didn’t know joy could come in the form of a flower flying from His small yet powerful hands and it was in that moment my heart began soften.
How is it possible for so much suffering to exist? For kids to live in a mere shack with violence being a normal occurrence as they tiptoe around the glass shards reflecting all the sorrow and pain that is the reason for their stunted growth and hurting hearts. How is it that we can walk past those living on the street, and not even give them time to tell their story or offer to buy them coffee.
That’s when I feel the gentle love of Sasha as she sits down by me and holds my hand, allowing me to cry and to process all the emotions that are boiling up inside of me. As she sat by me, that was the moment God brought clarity to my trip. As Sasha sat with me, the sun slowly moved behind a cloud, but yet it refused to be fully hidden. It cast a beautiful light all around the edges, a silver lining. She looked at me, and reminded me that the reason I was crying was because God has given me His heart for people and that its okay to be frustrated at times.
Life isn’t perfect, it isn’t fair and sometimes you just want to cry. Yet amidst our struggles and our hearts searching for meaning in a world that is quick to tear down hope and remind you of the brokenness, there is always hope. Hope that reminds us God is love and in Him, darkness will never win. The question is are we willing to play our part? God isn’t expecting us to be perfect, He simply wants us to not become complacent and comfortable, settling for just existing. He wants us to challenge Him, to call Him out on who he is as we learn to be transparent and vulnerable.
He is calling us to be a voice, a spark of hope, the joy amidst sorrow and hearts that are all too familiar with heartbreak.
It doesn’t matter where you are, it doesn’t matter how insignificant you might feel. One small act of kindness is all it takes to change a life. One small act of believing in someone can start a chain reaction. Every day you have the chance to bring a little love and life into a world that is craving fresh air and purpose.
Don’t for one second believe the lie that this world doesn’t need you or that you cant make a difference. Because let me tell you, one heart