Starting off stateside

I’m stateside now enjoying all the Florida sun, sushi, and friends that I could ever want. My heart feels an overwhelming sense of gratitude for this place, for being born and raised in American Western Culture, the years of gymnastics that I was able to participate in, the high school I went to, the friends that I have made and the church and the family that I have settled into. I found God in this place, in this country, in the very same home and family that I am currently staying in and it’s a bit of a whirlwind. I think of when I walked through the door of this house for the very first time to stay with all sorts of hair colors and a cheeky rebellious attitude. In some ways this girl still exists but a lot has changed and I find myself stopping, pausing for a moment to take it all in.

I am reminded over and over of the redemption that God has extended to me. God has this way of restoring things, people, and situations into the way He originally intended them to be. It’s like he sees all of us the way He wanted us to be and at some point the world, relationships, all of our human brokenness comes along and distorts the image He has in mind. Which tells me one of two things, firstly we all have brokenness in our lives and we are all effected by the brokenness of this world but secondly, that there is a redemptive God and He is in the process of restoring lives into the original shape as they always intended to be. He offers this to each and every one of us in the hope that we will respond and allow Him to change us completely. Its like a recue mission, He rescues us, He saves us, but it doesn’t stop there. Often we think that it does. That we are saved, that we know what Jesus has done for us through the cross but that is the extent of our faith. Somehow if this were my approach I would feel a little short changed. When I read the scriptures all I can see is this God that wants to take the broken things of this world and use them to win the world back to himself. I want that kind of faith. A faith that changes us restructuring the very people that we are becoming, to do great and unstoppable things for His Kingdom and for His glory. With God all things are possible, apart from Him we can nothing. I barely understood this truth when I first walked through the doors of this house  several years ago however with my limited understanding I went with the it anyway and that is the very thing that has literally flipped my world up side down.

Now I’m back at this house six years later on a six-month time out from mission in the UK.  I never would have guessed that my life would look like this when it all started. I came back to America thinking that I would take a rest, take a break and do some searching. I thought I would come back and get a job straight away, throw myself into ministry and bible studies to pass the time. Somehow that is suppose to define what a rest looks like? Clearly not. God has another way planned and He continues to reveal it to me. I came here and very soon hit the wall. I realized that this trip has nothing to do with me doing but rather me just being with God. Somehow we can so wrapped up doing things for God that we neglect the importance of having a heart that looks like His. How can we do the work of God without the heart of God? I am learning that God is far more interested in who I’m becoming rather than what I am doing for Him or where I end up.  I think me accomplishing great things for the Kingdom will come out of place of knowing who I am in Him. This seems like a very basic and obvious truth and I would agree with that however somehow this can slip out our mindsets and  we can lose sight of this so quickly.  Its basic but it’s a very core and essential truth that we should be basing our lives on. I realize that when I lose sight of this truth in my life, I lose sight of everything.

God is bringing me back to this truth. He continues to unpack what it means to be His child, to belong to Him, to be loved by Him, to allow that love to change me, and for that change to impact the people around me. But bringing me back to this truth means a time to shut off from the noise and the distractions. I am constantly processing things and fighting the urge to get involved with some many things that I love. I find it hard to sit in a row at church and not be involved in the ministry time on Sunday mornings. In fact, I barely know anyone attending. When I feel that urge rise up in me to want to get involved and do do do God gently speaks to me and says, “Rest. It’s a time to rest.” And all I do is take a  deep breath and stay put.

This entry was published on March 19, 2011 at 3:57 am and is filed under My Journey. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Starting off stateside

  1. ash elizabeth on said:

    Great words, Shan. Glad you are finding rest 🙂

  2. love reading you blog shannon. so encouraging.

  3. Juicy on said:

    I am always amazed at how each blog of yours contains more and more wisdom. I love the way you portray simple truths but give them the depth that they deserve which is so often missed. Keep it up. x

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