Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Where are You Taking Me?

     One of my favorite memories from when I was in high school, around the ages of 17 and 18 when I was really trying to figure out who I wanted to become in life, is attending two bible studies with my mom. These two events stick out to me because I felt so proud to be welcomed into a group of grown up, Godly women at such a confusing age, and because I was so excited to experience this with my mom, who is the greatest example of a virtuous woman that I know. I learned a lot in these studies, both from the actual material of the studies and from the women who were in the groups. Around the same time, I was becoming more active in youth group and then becoming a part of the mission team, and just feeling confident about where my faith was leading me. This particular time period was one of spiritual growth and strong faith for me, and one I can look back on happily.
     The period of faith that I am in now is not quite as idyllic. For the purpose of telling a story, I start this period on July 7. The day when my plan to go back to Honduras was replaced by my doctors plan to fix what needed to be fixed, because no matter how my young eager mind tried to get around it, having enlarged ventricles in your brain and traveling to a country with very inferior hospitals is not a good combination. This personal disappointment made me question everything I had come to believe about God's plans for me. The things that I had so eagerly prepared for were not going to happen, and instead of reuniting with our wonderful friends in Honduras and having that eye-opening experience I had been awaiting, I found myself in the operating room, and eventually at home recovering. I don't know what comes to your mind when you picture someone recovering from surgery, but I'll tell you how it was for me. Because surgery always has unexpected side effects, I ended up having to take Benadryl, which made me feel like I constantly needed to take a nap. When I was not napping, I was in a tired, grumpy haze that when added to my already present anger over not being in Honduras, was probably quite hard for people to be around. Fortunately, I am recovered now, but although my emotions surrounding the whole situation have become less intense, I still struggle with trusting God when I don't understand where He is taking me. 
     Today on my way back from the grocery store, something made me want to listen to a CD of devotionals that my mom had let me keep in the car after she had finished listening to them, in particular one by Lisa Harper who also wrote one of the Bible studies we went too. She was talking about a husband and wife from the book of Malachi, whose names I can't remember even though that was only a few hours ago. But what I do remember is a verse she quoted near the end of the story, and how it opened my eyes to my own flawed way of thinking. The verse is Malachi 3:6, and it says quite simply, "I the Lord do not change."
     The shunt that was put in my body when I was a baby broke, as they often do, and that caused the ventricles in my brain to enlarge. This meant that I needed to stay home from the mission trip in Honduras and have surgery, which changed the way I felt about my faith. But throughout all of this, God never changed, because he never does. God is exactly the same as he was when everything seemed to make sense and my faith felt strong. The circumstances of my life, which God allows to happen for reasons that only He knows right now, are not a result of some changing mood that He is having. He is not mad at me, or trying to push me away. He is actually teaching me to trust in Him, because although life will constantly change, He has promised that He never will. No matter what season of life I am going through, He is always the same, and I think that is one of the most comforting things I have ever heard.

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