Transitions, Changes, and a Look Back

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”

                                                                                                      Francis Chan, Crazy Love

I was out this weekend with a bunch of friends, some of whom I haven’t seen since being back home. While out, the topic of transitions came up. He is facing transition from university back home, and I am facing transition from one home to another. Transitions are not always easy or clean cut, but life has slowly been getting back on track. I have found a job, I have started volunteering at the youth centre in town, and there’s talk of a car coming into my life! Things are starting to get exciting around here! And for once, I am able to look at transition in a beautiful light. Instead of a disconnect, a tearing apart, I see new opportunities, room for growth, freedom to shine the light.

This quote, by Francis Chan, it’s highlighted and underlined in my book. I read “Crazy Love” about 6 months before going to Australia, and never thought the line would make such an impact on me. But how true is it? I underlined it as a nice thought, something empowering, something to remember. But no matter how eloquently it’s put, the message is still the same. What you are doing today will be graded on a scale of some sort. What you do with your life has a certain amount of importance. And, while being in this beautifully frustrating time of transition, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I’m at a point where any door is open, my options are limitless. I could work, I could go to school, I could go start something new in a new country, I could jump back into YWAM. So many options, all of which are good things to do. But, as always, I’m not content with just doing “good” things, I want to do exactly what good thing God wants me to do.

So, I searched, and still am searching. Constantly, God’s told me “just be”, be where you are, live where you live, get out of your comfort zone. And yesterday I went for a walk. My spiritual walk with God has turned into a literal walk, a time where I can just talk to Him, bring everything to Him, and just listen. Isaiah 41v1 really resonates with my soul, “Listen in silence before me, you lands beyond the sea.” I’ve felt the conviction before of asking for an answer, but not really listening for it, and don’t wish to experience it again. So I asked for the next step, I told Him I was ready to handle it, and He threw me a curve ball.

So, I’m not really at the spot where I’m ready to disclose what’s next, because I need to sort out a few details. I also have learned that as quickly as God can set you in one direction, He can spin you around and make you head straight for something else. And that’s where the quote from Francis Chan comes in. I want my life to be about doing something that matters, making a difference, even if it’s tiny, and I know God has big plans for me. It’s up to me to make sure that at the end of it all, I can look back and see that I made a difference, whether that’s here in Canada, or out somewhere else. But looking back on what He brought me through on YWAM, I know there’s still so much for me to learn. As a beautiful friend of mine said to me “Its like the journey isn’t finished yet, and this is the time in between.”  So, transition or not, this is the in between time. And I want to thank you all for making this in between time so meaningful. I appreciate hearing what’s on each and every heart, and it definitely makes me feel so loved and blessed to be here in this time.

Shine!

With Strength that is not my own, Sam

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If the Earth were a Golf ball….

So when I was in DTS, we watched a Youtube video set from Louie Giglio titled “How Great is Our God.” If you haven’t heard of it, check it out, it’ll just make you even more in awe of our God and His awesome power. One thing Louie talks repeatedly about is the earth in relation to a golf ball. To quote him, “If the earth were the size of a golf ball, it could fit inside the sun over a million times!” I’ll admit, his referrals to the earth being a golf ball gets a bit repetitive, but his intentions are honourable. Our God is amazing. When I think of how huge the earth is, and the fact that it can fit inside the sun over a million times, it makes me feel tiny in comparison.

The reason I’m writing about this today is because some days, I feel very blessed that God sees me. And when I think about how small I am in comparison to the earth, the sun, the entire universe, I feel so blessed. My presence here on this earth is so weak, so fleeting. And sometimes I become quite arrogant about it all, my expectations are completely unrealistic. Again, basic human rights get blown out of proportion. This week I was sadly confronted with a very common expectation about life: I deserve to die when I’m old. We get quite arrogant, don’t we? Always expecting to wake up in the morning, expecting to see our loved ones “later”, expecting to get another chance to say what we need to say. I, along with many of my friends, lost a great friend this week. 23 years young, no one saw it coming. It wasn’t a car accident, it wasn’t an illness, it came out of no where.  And in the days that have followed, I can’t stop thinking about the urgency of life.

So often, I put off saying what God needs me to, with the selfish though that I’ll get another chance. I put my wildest dreams aside, because I’m so set on doing them “later”. And then I get a rude awakening, another shout out, to remind me that I may not get another tomorrow. Tears rush when I think about how fragile our lives really are, and yet we treat them like we’re invincible. And I don’t want to live that way. I want to live everyday recognizing that old age isn’t a right, it’s a gift.

If there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that God can be just as glorified in death as He can be in life. And I believe, I know, that He makes everything work. No, this may not have been in HIS plan, but He can turn this into something beautiful. I cling to His promise in Romans 8v28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them.” I just scribbled in my journal last week that nothing makes sense until you look back. When I’m in a situation that hurts or is confusing, I can trust that God will make it work out. So no, I don’t understand why he was taken so young. But I do trust God to make it work out.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could ever imagine.”  Isaiah 55v8

Josh. This one’s for you.

With Strength that is not my own, Sam