Because let’s face it, this whole life thing is a lot deeper- and complicated- than we ever could have expected
*Ref: the Book of Jonah
I’m finally back.
From where, you might ask?
Oh, from a detour to Joppa, where I planned on living my own life in Tarshish (to be honest, it felt like more of a pit-stop in Sodom and Gomorrah), to a violent storm of life, to a few days in a great fish, where God had me reflect on the path I had chosen, and back here, on the path that I was originally called onto.
The first two months of college were as expected: overwhelming, exciting, adventurous, and eye-opening. It also came with exposure and a lot of revelation. I was given the chance to live however I wanted to- and I did. But I learned more than just a “good time” in the blur of the bright lights in the big city.
I figured I would take it by storm- and so I went out and, to put it mildly- Did the most. And throughout it all, I tried to hustle my way out of church, home cell, and meetings with my home cell leader. Time and time again, I ignored God’s prompting to come back to Him and fulfill His purpose for me. I kept taking the wheel and speeding down the fast lane- until I crashed, and found myself humbled, fearful and ashamed, crawling back to God.
I couldn’t create a life that was better than the life God had in store for me. I could create memories, experiences and fleeting fun, but I couldn’t find peace, fulfillment, and sincere joy. Something was still missing. I was still empty, and I was reminded time and time again that I’m not really in control of my life. As I found myself in smoky rooms of blaring music, dark streets and dingy rooms, I couldn’t push away that silent voice that said “This life isn’t for me, Bee. I can’t seem to fit in. Why am I even here? Why aren’t I as comfortable and happy as the others around me?” It was through God’s grace that I made it through that season in one piece, and still had the chance to return to Him. And my God, ever so gracious, accepted me with open arms, cleaned my wounds, and reminded me of who I am, and what I’m here to do. Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom so that the only way forward is up.
What I realized after a few days in the belly of the fish, is that there’s no better life set out for me- or anyone, for that matter- than the life that is in alignment with God’s purpose. Yes, it can be difficult, it does require us to leave our comfort zone, and it means leaving certain habits, scenes, and relationships behind (John 8:11). But it is so fulfilling, and brings so much peace, that it’s all worth it. And now, having experienced pretty much all that the world has to offer, I have my fire for God rekindled, and am certain that the life I have left behind really isn’t something to fret over. God has greater in store for me.
We’re all living life as best we can, and we’re all at different places in our walk of faith. Maybe you’re still just living your life. Maybe you’ve heard God calling you to Nineveh. Perhaps you’re stubborn, like me, and are in Joppa, on your way out to live your own life and ignore God’s calling over your life. You might be sleeping in your comfort zone, or going through the storm, or being tossed in the rough oceans, or sitting in the depths of the belly of a fish, contemplating your life, or have recently gotten back on track. But once you’ve really had a life-changing encounter with God, there’s no turning back. And I won’t lie, I can’t wait until the day you realize that God has more in store for you than where you are right now, or where you think you’re headed.