As I start to experience and live in the "big kid world" I realize how unprepared I am to live in it.
Growing up I experienced success in life without much pain or suffering and I chalked it up to my own strength. My own goodness, intelligence, ability, etc. I could conquer this world on my own and started to feel entitled. I never saw the people or opportunities around me that helped me be who I was. To do what I wanted to do. If I didn't succeed I just gave excuses that pointed the finger at others, never at me, because I am good.
That is the biggest lie I have to overcome again and again now. I can't claim this as a "my generation" thing because I don't read other people's minds. I only know me, and I know that now that I am lost. I love my position at Cru, but I can't see myself extending the internship. But yet I don't know what I will do next, but in the back of my mind I just crave success. I want people to notice me, to admire me.
What a load of crap.
Who am I to demand I be noticed? Who am I to desire to lead when I have no clue where to lead?
I have thought a lot lately about people like Tim Keller, Billy Graham, Bill Bright, astounding leaders who, some might have some problems with their theology, they all have one purpose. To tell people about the love of Jesus. To be able to point people like me, a messy broken crappy person, and point to a God who loves me, who sacrificed His Son to be able to clean away my messy past, and wants to take away my burdens.
Sometimes I wish to be like those great leaders, to have people notice me and think "wow, she is amazing" but then I think "oh no, what is cool now as a Christian is to be super laid back, meet with people one on one and just explore spirituality with them."
Christ did neither, he didn't intentionally gather thousands of people to say "hey, look at me, I am awesome." People flocked because he was humble, he was loving, he served those who were outcast. He talked with people one on one and didn't beat around the bush.
I mourn because I realize I am not losing myself to Jesus. I am trying to wrestle him and do and say the right things in order to get what I feel entitled to. But in reality, I need Jesus more so now than I probably needed him freshman year of high school. The training wheels are off, real people are around me, real problems are around me, and nothing can satisfy my quench like the living water of Jesus.
I have pain, I don't like feelings, messy emotions, if it is negative, I try to run as far away as possible. But that means I am rejecting the deep beautiful part of life. Sadly I think I associate failure with evil. It is like if I ignore and excuse away the evil inside of me, that is when Jesus will love me.
Jesus loves me now, he loves me in spite of the failures in my life. But I have to accept these failures as my own, and to trust God to clean away the mess in my life.
As I look to the future I want to ask, "God, where do you need me to share your love? Where do you need me to experience life with others? Here I am Lord, send me." It may not be in a remote place where I am persecuted, it may not be full time mission work, but I am called to speak up. To speak in love and to tell people about the amazing God I know and love.
I realize I never thought to make goals for myself ever. Not even as a child, I never budgeted money well to pay for something big, or hope to do X thing before X time. I just went through life and if something great happened, fine, if not, well I would be bitter until the next good thing came along.
I want to have goals in my life, little things, big things, but something to run toward. Not just Jesus, he is what is at the very end, he is the ultimate prize I have obtained already by trusting my messy life to him. I want to be able to think of ways to love, to advocate, to allow for the oppressed voices to be heard. Goals allow me to invite God in to do amazing things, to be present in my life instead of me just coasting through Earth hoping to bump into people. No one wants that, it never satisfied because one ever values the things that occur if they are coasting.