My life is crazy. Of course, when I say this, I mean it in the best way.
In March, I officially found out I would be traveling to Africa for nearly three months. For all of March, April, and May, I gave most of my time to preparing this great adventure. Oh, and somewhere in there I had a photo shoot with my sweet friend Emily Joy Lewin. At the end of May, I was attacked in the face by a dog. Three days later I journeyed to Africa with a face full of stitches. For nearly three months I sat with Jesus in the dirt, and lived my life as He directed. In the middle of August I returned home. Within two weeks I was back to work at my old job, and I also started a new job. Four weeks later I left for California where I was so blessed to be reunited with many of my fellow African classmates. If you ask me, the past seven months of my life have been nothing less than crazy.
I like crazy.
You see, for me, a crazy life is rarely too much to endure. At this point, I just keep reminding myself that. The level of crazy I am now entering into is one I have never experienced. Huge pages are turning in my life. These aren’t your typical pages. They are massive and I am now catching a glimpse of the significance of these pages. Turning these massive pages requires a greater effort than turning your ordinary 8×10. If you really think about it, in order to turn such huge pages, God must have really huge arms. And if He has the arms capable of turning such huge pages, He must have the hands capable of preparing me for what is on the next page.
I want to believe that.
The past two weeks have been a continuous battle in my mind. Upon my return from California I was informed of pretty significant alterations in my life. This alone would be stressful, but I already had a deep well of emotions that emerged during my time in California. While I was there, I realized that I had not taken the time to process the previous three months of my life. I was emotional for a couple of days when i got back from Africa, but past that I basically ignored the feelings I had concerning Africa. It was simply too painful to deal with that separation. I realized when I was in California that I could no longer avoid that process. It simply had to be done.
Realizing it had to be done did not mean that I knew how to deal with it. I don’t think anyone truly knows how to deal with such a major transition. It’s like a divorce. You live your life in relationship, wholeheartedly committed, with no restraints, and then it suddenly ends. Everything that you knew your life to be is no longer existent. It feels as if someone has ripped your heart out. How do you deal with that?
You surrender. Surrender does not mean to ignore your problems. It never means that. It doesn’t mean to choose to be okay. What good does that do? It doesn’t mean to step above your circumstances and just “be okay.” No. Surrender means accepting the place you are in. It means being willing to receive what God has for you, even in a place of so-called funk. It means asking God what His purpose is in the place you are in. Yes, we choose how we respond to our circumstances, we choose to be grateful, and we choose to always praise, but sometimes, you can’t just choose to step out of a difficult place.
I believe God gave us emotions for a purpose, and His desire is for us to experience emotion in a real and raw way. If we choose to not feel these emotions, allow ourselves to process, and allow God to respond to our process, then we just might miss out a beautiful gift that God wants to give us in that place.
So I am not saying that you should choose to be in a funk, I am simply saying that you should allow God to meet you in that place instead of trying to be in a different place. Eventually you will have to return to that place to deal with those feelings.
Thanks, Ashley Warren, for your Truth Mobile.