Check your expectations at the door

A Christian life must be a  reflection of God’s love and mercy and glory; a constant striving to be more and more like Jesus in every aspect.

Earlier today I was thinking about my future. And about God. I’ve been asking God to help me walk in his calling. During worship I got to thinking what that meant, what I was actually asking.

So we can’t all be pastors or teachers or leaders, right? Do you think then that some people are called to clean toilets?

What would you do if God spoke to you, in a perfect clarity, that he wanted you to go and work as a hygienist, regardless of your plans, dreams, your higher education. You could easily get a job far better paid and fitting. Say God is even more specific, telling you where exactly and why – there is someone working there who needs to hear the gospel, and who you will meet and in time, will help them come to salvation. Would the sacrifice be worth it then? Does that change anything?

I was just meditating on the topic of obedience and the Christian life. Are we not called to serve God and be ready to leave all earthly possessions? Serve not money, but God, for you can’t serve both? Collect treasures in heaven. And in the salvation of just one lost soul Heaven celebrates!

So a very poignant question remains – does God want you to be happy?
Well .. do your earthly parents want you to be happy? Of course they do (or they should), any normal parent wants this for their child,, but can the child always see that? I didn’t think of injections as a good thing ever, I saw them inly as painful torture my parents had me go through. But those prevented me from getting ill thus aiding my current happiness.
I’m not saying it’s exactly like that, but God does have the full picture, knows what’s best for us far better than we think we do and let’s face it – we won’t always understand the reason, because God’s logic is far superior to ours, far beyond our grasp and understanding. He takes the silly things in life  and makes them great to stump those who call themselves wise. In the same way we couldn’t expect to always understand why we feel God leading us where it doesn’t make sense for you – which is where you learn to really trust him and even if for no other reason at all, isn’t that worth it?

But it’s still hard to do. If we are born again, transformed children and followers of God, wouldn’t God’s will be unquestionably the right choice, which we’d leap toward to make our Father’s heart proud? So why isn’t it?

Can God ask you to give up your dream and trust him in doing something that doesn’t make sense and that wouldn’t be enjoyable? Can God ask you to give away all your money and follow His lead?  Of course He can, He’s God!
And of course he leaves us the choice of obeying or disobeying. If you refuse he might appoint another person for the job, and He will still love you just the same.
It will be you who’s missing out mostly. You and possibly whoever else God had in mind for you to reach.

I’m just making a point. I don’t think He generally does that.I mean one has to be living so close to God every second of every day, that he wouldn’t hesitate if God says go. But we’re not like that, obviously and we complain, maybe do it, but with a rotten attitude – in which case we risk missing the whole point of the exercise, gaining absolutely nothing from the experience..or we even pretend to not have heard at all.

P.S. (Luke 16:10)

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thought of the day

I get lost. A lot.
For whatever reason I can’t seem to be able to stick to the map route and always end up wandering off and finding myself at a dead end having to go right back. Might be becaue in the back of my mind I’m wishing to find a secret road, like a treasure. The road less traveled.

What they don’t tell you though, is that 9/10 times it will be a dead end or really nothing impressive. But it’s also to a great extent what makes that one time so amazing and special. What I believe is that the struggle to the top plays a crucial role in how awesome the view sitting at the top is. Like you have fought for something, achieved something. You have earned it.

So therefore my advice (to myself as well as to you) is don’t be afraid of the obstacles and adversities which  life will inevitably throw at you. Rather embrace them and make the most of each experience – good or bad. Use them to get stronger

changes

Lying in bed now I can hardly believe what a difference a year has made. I know people who wouldn’t recognize me if we spoke today on the street. Imagine this: short girl, long dark hair, looking down to my feet, body language saying “I’m uncomfortable and just want to go home”. This was me in 10-11th grade. Yes, it was a period when I was most struggling with depression and anxiety, but compare it to this girl: short blonde hair, smiling, generally looking pretty chill and happy, wears a dress and looks comfy in it, enjoys the company of her friends.

I realize why some things were – for example: I used to be more shy, quiet, introverted, patient and now I find I don’t really identify with any of these words. The one I want to focus on for this post is how I became less patient.
In the past years I have experienced more, learned more, learned to think more critically and analytically, met people from around the world, formed opinions and a wider worldview. I think I was patient and quiet because 1) I didn’t care about anything/anyone but me, leading to 2) I didn’t know much of the world, leading to 3) I didn’t really have opinions.

Truth is, in the beginning to my metamorphosis I almost faked opinions – I would copy someone else’s answer, say whatever I knew about the issue. It’s like adulthood in general – you can get away with saying a lot of bullshit, as long as you look confident people won’t usually question it.

I have basically become a more interesting person. I have grown in my faith. I have opinions, things I am passionate about. My knowledge database is expanding. I have learned how to express myself. I walk with more confidence in my step and am much more fearless and curious.

a dip in the pool of online dating

To begin with, my expectations were low from the start. I did not believe I would find someone interesting аnd mostly decided on this experiment to maybe understand this culture better. I also saw a cute romantic comedy recently, so there’s that..
I tried HotorNot, Tinder and OkCupid, in that order.I will not go into detail, but I want to just share my general impression.

Some people search for love – true love, romance and eventually a family. Others are mostly interested in casual sex, these are not necessarily the individuals who send photos of their “junk”.
In HotorNot I matched with maybe 100 guys. Roughly 8% of them messaged me. Fair enough, I’m not exactly a beauty queen, but I’d message me if I were a guy. However plenty of “undesirables” did message me. There was literally nothing about them that attracted me, so no replies were given. Sorry.

At one point I had to remind myself that these are actual people. As I was scrolling through probably over a 100 different guys’ photos at 1am I realized they had all become almost made up to me, I saw them as photos and nothing more. I was judging them solely on their appearance, knowing literally nothing else about their person. How screwed up is that. After that I tried to imagine a date with each one, how they would look, where they would take me, their manners and topics of choosing, etc.  Either way, the longest conversation with I match I had there lasted about 5 days of on-off chatting. Meh.

Then on Tinder I purposely wrote funny descriptions, puns etc. Again, the messages I received were mostly generic and the conversations soon were exhausted and eventually died. Some trends I saw on guys’ profiles: photos with 1) pets, 2)babies, 3)girls, 4) shirtless or 5) ALL of the above.   What I gathered from the experience is that the app has grown into the purpose of finding a hook-up rather than actual “true love”relationship. ANd OH LARD, the awkward moment when I kept seeing a guy I know and didn’t exactly want to swipe right, but I was also super curious if he swiped right, so I kept closing the app whenever his profile showed up and I never did find out what he swiped. heh.

On OkCupid I liked the option to answer questions and find matches based on those. What I enjoyed about this most was that the questions would make me think, what do I think about -, or how would I react if – ..etc. Had some nice coversations, which without fail, would bore me at one point, plus I was already quite tired of “meeting” so many people, telling them the same stuff about myself again and again, and who would never really engage in my creative ways to talk, or just be terribly boring with it; “and then what”..
I got a match of 98%. I met him. 0% chemistry.

In the end I learned that I am no good for that kind of dating. The main reason – the virtual dating world is very fast paced. You have to impress visually, put effort into making your profile creative, funny, just different in some way, and even then there’s no guarantee, as the pool is big and there is plenty of fish in the sea. The line of thought is “he’s fine, but surely there’s someone funnier, more interesting, cuter” etc, so you keep talking to 5 different guys you’re pretty sure aren’t right for you. Largely I’d say it was a waste of time. Me – I’m more like a beard that slowly grows on you  and at first it’s  kinda patchy and annoying, but with time you get used to it and begin to like it – gradually.
The truth is, after the experiment I still don’t feel like I understand the online dating culture, or men any better, so do comment and tell me your experiences or thoughts.

Christmas cheer and the power of prayer

 

I honestly hate family holiday get-togethers. Surely there are better topics to discuss than all that is wrong with every other country,  other people’s beliefs and culture. We are right and those other people are fools and will go to hell. Sure, thanks but I think you might want to take the plank from your own eye first before running your mouth about literally everyone else. Ugh! Sorry, I’m frustrated..

I would normally voice my opinion on these matters, but I’m not at home and in this extended family I’m staying with a woman’s voice isn’t of equal worth. Plus I’m a guest. Plus verbally I can’t argue for shit even if I believe the thing with every fiber of my being, I would just give up –  verbal confrontation is not a battle I win often, if ever.
They have been really nice to me, honestly, but it is exhausting listening and listening to all this negativity, I’d much prefer to pray about that stuff instead. That’s their family, that’s how they are, I’m a guest. I’m not gonna say anything, or judge.
Forgive me Lord but I just had to let it out somewhere.

A more important subject I want to look at is prayer. I recently say the movie War Room and it got me so pumped! It was funny and sad and really moving. It portrayed a strong and a weak prayer life. Christians who thought they were christians but their actions weren’t in accordance and it showed, the main heroine’s family was falling apart until she invited God into the situation and changed her attitude. Until an elderly lady, a real powerhouse of a woman, met her and became her mentor and showed her how an example. I’ve been wanting to be a “prayer warrior”, but I don’t think I fully understood what this meant untill now. Prayer works! And not because I saw it in a movie, I saw it in so many people’s lives, but I didn’t see it. It didn’t stick, I knew it but only in the back of my mind. Such extraordinary examples, and I forgot them as soon as I got distracted by some new show, or something..
No more;
It is on!

relying on others

I just wanna briefly speak about our perception, of people in particular.
One life lesson I have learned is to never rely completely on a person. People let you down, even if they love you, they can do wrong, or they might be different to what we think.
Honestly, you can be se delusional in thinking you know someone.
You may think you know them, but you don’t untill you really know them, and even they you still don’t fully know them. It’s confusing, I know.
Let me give an example.
Before moving to UK, I syncronized everything about uni with my friend. I didn’t know her well, but what I knew was she was in church pretty much all her life, serving on worship team, probably way better spiritually than I was. So  when my mom was afraid I might steer away from my faith I assured her that my friend was a full-on christian who wouldn’t allow this to happen. I thought “she has it all, she’s gonna keep me afloat, it’ll be fine”. All good, except my faith blossomed when I came here, I got involved in lots of stuff, been having a mostly great time, meanwhile I hadn’t spent much time with my friend, but when I did, it turns out she was the one having trouble coping, she was the one needing my help. It turned out her faith can’t save me, and neither can mine save her. But the fact that I was so wrong gave me a bit of a shock, I just didn’t expect this at all. In the end it turned out I didn’t need someone to be “my side wheels”.
So I think my idea here is, it’s good to have role models, mentors, etc but never idolize them,  or think they are perfect because they most definitely are not. We are all only people. We struggle and we make mistakes, not necessarily announcing them to the whole world.
After we started spending more time together, I found that she was the one jealous of me, how I deal with stuff, how everything seems to go right for me, how active I am in student life and in ministry. And what she was missing in her point of view was my struggle to balance between uni and ministry, the thoughts that even though the fruit of my activities showed great progress, I was afraid I had chosen the wrong subject to study, I was even afraid of failing one of the units. But she didn’t see any of that. She saw what I allowed anyone to see. Do you see the problem now?
It’s what keeps it interesting though, never knowing all.

on how the Bible has influenced me

I was recently asked to participate in a short interview, with just this one simple question. I chickened out, because I didn’t have a prepared answer – I have a bit of a nervous speech problem, where I really struggle when I’m asked to speak unprepared, my thoughts go everywhere and I don’t say what I mean to say, often making an idiot of myself..
The question however lingered in my mind, so naturally I thought I’d write and see what comes of it.
The Bible has influenced my life in many ways, it started when  I actually grasped the nature of it, what it is. I need the words God wanted us to hear, because it enables me to get to know Him, as well as to get to know myself, society and so much more. It has expanded my thinking, it contains so many different topics. Consisting of 66 books with different  genres it tells a complete story, from creation, the farthest point in past, to the future, when all who have chosen to follow Jesus will rejoice in Him forever in Heaven, and the unrighteous will be judged.
Some consider it boring, but what helped me change my mind was when I learned to read it in the context is was written, as well as contemplating what it means to us today, how it relates to the rest of the Bible, or does it speak to my current situation personally, all this I think makes it a fascinating read.
2 Timothy 3:16 reads “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”.
I suppose everyone, or at least I, have tried to find out who I am, what I am in my teen years, when I started to become more aware of the world. I started to look for my place in it, where I belong, what is my purpose. I am so grateful to have come to Christ before those confusing times! The Bible helped shape my reality, set my moral boundaries, taught me right from wrong, showed me how “fearfully and wonderfully” I was made indeed and how precious my life is to Him. Showed me where I stand when I walk with God and the confidence I can have as His child, a confidence that does not perish. I don’t have to rely on looks, popularity, skills..
I don’t have anything to boast for myself, but indeed I can and will boast for all God has done in and through me. I will boast that I am weak on my own, but God’s hands mould me, His breath inspires me and His life in me is the source of all my strenght.