Sunday, March 27, 2011

March 27, 2011

The picture is of my first day of spring break, with my grandparents at the Tucson Airport, where they flew me in to spend the holidays with family.

In retrospect, a very hard year still yields evidence of God's goodness, for which I have to be thankful. Last March, I was sick, frightened, and hospitalized in just the beginning of a rollercoaster of horror. A year later, the world looks different.

Last spring break, my mom and my baby brother Kendon flew from Ukraine to be with me in the hosptial. A year later... they're back again, and we're hanging out in the endless space of The SouthWest with nothing more pressing than fitting in all the laughter.

Although life isn't perfect, there is a sharp contrast between this spring break and last. And I just wanted to say that it's pretty incredible to me right now.

Friday, March 4, 2011

March 4th, 2011

New! At school! And very unhappy....


Because I hate unjustified expectations! And it seems that life is abounding with them right now. What do I mean?

-You're too quiet
-You're not sociable enough
-You smile too much
-You talk too much
-You don't talk enough
-You should be more fun
-You should calm it down


Well, although these come at me from every angle in life, I wasn't expecting so much criticism when I came to school. It is impossible to please everyone! And I know that all that matters at the end of the day is that I am pleasing God and myself.

While contiplating what to make my next post on, I came to the realization looking over my NewsFeed on Facebook that I'm not the only one who feels this way. Don't we all feel pressured in life? Categorized? Evaluated? Criticized? I know I'm not alone in having this situation in life. People see you, meet you, hear about you, whatever - and they expect certain things from you. How you should act. How you should sound. What you should care about or be interested in. But we can't perform to everyone's expectations, and often, especially when it is someone we love or someone we look up to, I think we might find ourselves frustrated with trying to change ourselves to please them all.

That end is anger, frustration, bitterness, sadness, etc.

What to do?!?!

"Why are you sitting by yourself?"
"Because I would like some quiet and to focus on the sermon tonight."
The offended look, the judging glance. I expected you to have a different response...

You can shrug it off.
Or try to change to please them.


Well. That has been somewhat of my puzzlement for many years. How DO I make others happy with who I am, when I feel I have to change in order to do that?

God gave me the answer in a really amazing sermon. Pastor Jason Gaddis is the young new pastor of Southwest Baptist Church, where I now attend at school. He stepped up into position, following in the legacy of a very great and renowned pastor, Sam Davidson. How intimidating!!

He preached a message the God used to speak RIGHT into my soul. "How can I fill Sam Davidson's shoes?!" was the question he struggled with. He knew that so many thousands of church members, college students, and other churches would be looking at him with expectations, judgments, evaluations, criticisms (whether well meant or not). I love the answer that God gave him, because it was the answer I need.

"Jason, what size shoe do you wear?"
"Um... size 10, Lord."
"Jason, what size shoe does Sam Davidson wear?"
"Well, he wears size 13 cowboy boots, Lord."
"Jason, you can never fit into those shoes."
"What am I to do, Lord??!"
"Jason, don't you realize that when I created you, before you were born, I determined what size feet you were going to have? And I knew the life that I was going to put before you. Jason, you will never fit into Sam's shoes because I did not create you to! I created you with your own unique shoe size, and that is where I will be the happiest with you. You can't try and try to fill in someone else's shoes. To try to live up to other people's expectations or desires. You have to be who *I* created you to be, and look to *ME* and then you will be in my will, and I can use you!!"

Wow. This little dialogue as related by Pastor Gaddis touched my heart!!!!

Do I need change? Of course! I will never come to a place where I will stop needing to grow. I am growing and praying that God will change my life to be better for HIM! And God gave me great peace through that sermon. That he created me exactly how he wanted. And he knew that he wasn't going to make me sociable. And he knew that he wasn't going to make me slow-and-steady. And that's okay!! No matter what anyone else thinks or wants! =D
And once I accept this, there is peace. No frustration, anger, hurt, discouragement. PEACE! And God can grow me now. Will he change those things in my life? Possibly. But then it will be HIM changing ME for HIS glory, and not me conforming to other people.

Let me tell you, I am so encouraged right now. Because I know I'm not perfect.... but God didn't create me perfect! He created me as ME and He wants the pleasure of changing me Himself, in His own will, to His own glory and purposes, at His own timing!!

I hope this was a blessing to someone.
I'm not mad at any person as I write this, so I assuredly hope that none of my readers who personally know me will find any reason to take offense. But this was what God put on my heart to share, because I know that I'm not alone.

And let GOD change you for His own purposes!!!

I hope everyone is doing well. Let me know how you're doing! Spring is almost here! =)

The verse I leave is from Revelation 4:11.

"Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for THOU has created all things, and for THY PLEASURE they are and were created."

I hope this was a blessing. =)