Conditioned

If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world. -C.S. Lewis

I’ve never really felt like I fit in. In high school I was well liked, made good grades and was successful in athletics, but I still felt out of place. Something inside my heart told me I wasn’t where I belonged. Even in college, surrounded by some of the greatest friends and community I’ve ever had, I never felt like I found where I truly thrived. Since I started truly chasing after Jesus I’ve learned those feelings were because I’m not created to fit in. I absolutely love the blessed life I’ve been given, but it’s a temporary fix because I’m a temporary resident on earth. I’m an alien (1 Peter 2:11). I’m a sojourner passing through this place for a few years before I meet my Maker. I’m not created for this world (John 15:19). I’m created to be in an intimate, satisfying relationship with the only One who truly knows my deepest desires and how to fulfill them. Until I meet Him face-to-face I will always feel out of place and in the mean time I’m called to use this life to make an impact that’s greater than popularity, making straight As and being on the starting lineup. I’m playing the role of a lighthouse.

The purpose of a lighthouse is to steer mariners, whilst in dense fog or dark nights, away from cliffs, land and shorelines, coral reefs and other potentially hazardous areas.

That’s my role on this earth – to emit a light that steers others away from the disaster of an eternity spent completely separated from their Maker. I’ve been called to shine so that others can sail into the safest harbor – God’s warm embrace.

My whole life has conditioned me to shine. And when I say shine, I’m not in the spotlight. There’s nothing above average about me. I just serve a God that uses ordinary people for His extraordinary glory. It’s not about me, it’s about Him. I am powerless, but He is POWERFUL. The only reason anything is accomplished through me is because the Holy Spirit is in my heart. I can love others and tell them about Jesus, but He is the One who
IMG_8811saves.

The same goes for Mission of Hope in Haiti. They are literally a city on a hill. Their main campus is located on a mountainside and their buildings are lit for people to see for miles in the dark. They are a beacon of hope shining the light of Jesus into the lives of others in their darkest hours. The organization is doing crazy awesome things in Haiti, but it’s all a result of God flexing His muscles and transforming lives. The Mission of Hope staff is simply walking in obedience to God’s will for their lives.

While in Haiti, it was evident that I was conditioned for the bugs, dirt, sweat, cold showers, long days and tight living quarters. I live in Austin now, but I grew up in the country. I may dress nice for work, but there’s a backwoods girl underneath the pleated slacks and mascara. As a child, I spent tons of time at my family’s deer camp, which happens to be six miles from electricity. In a nutshell, dirt becomes an accessory, bugs are IMG_8088everywhere, summers are HOT, and showers are optional. Playing collegiate volleyball also conditioned me to keep going when my body told me there was no gas left in the tank. In Haiti the days are long, the sun is brutal, but God is so good! There were points where I thought I couldn’t possibly keep going, but when my strength was failing, my Savior was strong. There is something beautiful about being at a point where you can no longer rely on your own strength. After years of afternoons in the outdoors, tough off-seasons, and spending tons of time with teammates on charter buses for hours, the Haitian mosquitos, bed bugs, dirt and our living arrangements felt like coming home.

As I’ve settled back into life in the States, I’ve realized I’ve found a home away from home and left a huge piece of my heart about as far away from the American Dream of a white picket fence and six-figure salary as you can get. Over the course of the week I spent in Haiti, God showed me that the fullest life can be lived in flamingo pink, ocean blue and sunshine yellow block homes that IMG_8179house some of the most beautiful and vibrant ivory smiles I’ve ever seen. He showed me that success isn’t measured by a good salary or nice home, but instead is measured best by obedience to His call.

God rocked my world in Haiti and I can’t wait to share more stories of His power and goodness. Stay tuned!

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