This week was one of those weeks. One that you look back on in amazement of how much actually happened, how much I actually learned. Looking back I’m in shock of how many moments, this short 7 days held, where I stopped, saying to myself “wow THIS is what it’s like to follow Jesus. THIS is what life’s about.” I feel incredibly unworthy yet overwhelmingly blessed to admit, this phrase has been a recurring one throughout my journey so far. Doesn’t mean my life has been perfect (because it surely has not), but it does mean that even in the midst of my worst experiences and darkest seasons, God has somehow confirmed His love through moments like the ones I saw so many of this week. I could go on about this forever, but that’s not all that made up the past 7 days.
For almost the past year I’ve been involved with an international missions organization, YWAM. Doing both a disciple training school and now a school of ministry development, I’ve been amazed how much more there is to “bible school” than reading the Bible and learning about God in lectures. Yes, I’ve gotten some AWESOME teaching supplying me with further knowledge on God, leadership, character development, healing, and so on- but I also get to live in a community is which all this can be directly applied. First I get to learn about God, then I get to see His move. This week I got to learn about “How to finish well,” then I got to turn around and apply the notes I took during class- to my life.
Something that God has been emerging into all my personal growth over past five months- has been a focus on loving people well. This for the most part has been pretty straight forward, as God brings new insight to me through the relationships I hold both here and at home. The past two months it’s been more about loving people I don’t know as well, and treating everyone I come in contact with as a son/daughter of God. Though these are both journeys I’m still on, God has thrown a curveball at me this week.
By the help of my leaders, accompanied by both in class and out of class teaching, I came to the recognition that I myself need to evaluate several different areas of my own life. One of these is how I’m meeting my social base needs (emotional support, economic support, strategic support, and social support). Tied in with Lisa’s teaching Friday on accountability and having people that will hold you accountable; I was quick to realize that I need to spend more time with those who can pour into me. Even though God is the first person I should go to when faced with problems (which I also need to work on), it is healthy, even vital, to have people who do more than sympathize with me- but also work towards a solution along my side. In this I realized that I do have two habits that occasionally get in the way of me finding strategic and emotional support, along with reaching out to people who can keep me accountable. This is something I’m still processing, as it doesn’t match up complete (yet)- but I’ll share anyways.
So, here they are. First, I love having fun, and I value friendship so so so much. I do believe this is a gift from God, but as I evaluate this so call “habit,” I begin to see how it can get in the way of having relationships in which that person can push me, evaluate my growth, and give honest feedback to how I think I’m doing. Secondly, I always find myself trying to take care of people. Again, not a bad thing. Yet again, something that I think gets in the way of my personal growth. It’s hard for me to admit but probably up to 95% I jump to take care of others before taking care of myself. Over and over again I find myself measuring my emotional state by that of those I care about it. For example, if my housemate isn’t doing very good, I feel almost bad if I’m doing great. If a close friend of mine is dealing with something I call them in hope to solve their problem, before dealing with my own.
So in the end of this all, I realize I want these two things. I want to be held accountable, pushed, evaluated, and given honest feedback. I also want to take care of myself, and deal with my problems. The problem isn’t that I’m scared of doing so; it’s just I get too caught up in other stuff that I forget. I forget that at the end of the day it’s about my relationship with Jesus, my mental-physical-emotional-spiritual state. Not how many people I make laugh, or how much time I got to pour into my friends (even though I still love and value doing both these things); because at the end of the day if I’m not happy, I can’t effectively bring joy into the lives of others.
I’m overwhelming thankful for this realization because now I myself am aware, I can begin to work on finding balance. Most amazing thing is, I feel like God has already begun showing me how to do so, he’s already began to place people in my life as I attempt to put in practice 1. Seeking out accountability, and, 2. focusing on my well-being first. Then, I believe, God will entrust me with more. More people, more wellness, more love; that I can continue to love people like Jesus love them.