Hello all! Happy New Year! This is my first post that I've blogged in a long time; I figured it's a new start, so why not try it again? I'll probably be posting bi-monthly or monthly rather than weekly for the remainder of my stay.
How was your Christmas and New Year? I had a great time spending the holidays with my family. I stayed in the Philippines for sixteen days, and it was lovely. I miss being in the Philippines. A lot. And I want to go back. Now. Returning to Thailand was exhausting because of my flight schedule and the proceeding events didn't help to make my welcome feel any better. Quite honestly, you really shouldn't trust yourself when you've constantly been sleep deprived and your body and mind are re-adjusting to another environment. I spent a good deal of time this afternoon in reflection, prayer, and scripture reading. I needed it. Ever since I've been back I feel like I've been performing, going through the motions. And that sucks. On the one hand, I can perform, or keep an appearance, because certain life-long expectations have led me to build up an image that I can wear whenever it's needed. On the other hand, it sucks because it would be nice to make a decision without thinking about how it will affect other people.
I mean to say all of this because I had recently reached a point to where I didn't like the character I had become. I began to see my selfishness, pride, greed, angst, negativity. And none of that is holy. God was showing signs that He still needed me here, but I was already at a place where I didn't really care anymore. Even still, I didn't dare verbalize my situation because I didn't want to seem like I was complaining all the time (which I probably do anyways). Dear readers, please pray for me. Having faith doesn't always come naturally to me. My mom has said time and time again that I am a doubting Thomas, a Jonah. I'd like to believe that I have enough faith because that's what brought me here, and that's what will keep sustaining me up until the very last moment of my mission in Thailand. So please, pray that God will renew my heart, because I can't keep serving Him if I keep feeding self instead of surrendering everything down at His feet. I'll close with a thought that will hopefully be a source of inspiration for your walk with God as it is for me.
An Invitation to Abundant Life
Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts....
For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall slap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
And it shall be to the Lord for a name,
For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."