How often have I repeated to myself that my joy is only in God, only in His will, only in His presence, only in doing His work? And it is... or should be.
It's funny, so often I feel as though I am constantly re-learning things that I already know. A couple of years ago when I was in Mexico with my family I went through a time in my life when I wanted to be anywhere but where I was. I wasn't content. I felt like I wasn't serving any purpose where I was; what purpose could highschool serve anyway? God took me to task on this, and I came out of it much the better for having gone through it. Perhaps it's the very fact that I have already gone through this once which made me blind to the fact that I was going through it again.
But praise the Lord for friends who love me enough to speak the truth, even when it's not what I want to hear!
There have been many changes in my life in the past year. I look back on the things I did with my family in January and feel that it can't be real. Sometimes as I sit in my room with my eyes closed I almost feel that when I open my eyes I will find out that everything since then has been a dream; that I never really left Mexico. But I open my eyes and I see the carpeted floor and green walls and know that it's real.
I have come back to the place where I grew up. The people I left behind are the same, the scenery is the same, the church is the same... I even feel at times that I must be the same. I'm not. The person I am today is not the person I was 7 years ago... even aside from the fact that I was much younger then. I didn't realize how hard it would be to come back after so much time had passed. Mexico isn't Asia or Africa, but it isn't the US either. And my family isn't here.
Finding my identity without them has been the most difficult thing I have ever faced. What happens when the realization comes that no matter what you do things are never going to be the same? What do I do when I realize that the life that I left behind in Mexico was left behind forever? Regardless of what the future will be, it can never be the past.
I have avoided facing this up till now, but it's time that I stopped dodging the truth and acknowledged it for what it is, Lord give me strength. My heart aches for love and security that I had with my family. I have tried to fill up the gap with prayer, with reading my Bible, with keeping busy, with friends, with plans, with excuses... they didn't work. Everything that I have done here has been good, and I can say with certainty that my prayer life has never been better, but I have been prevented from sharing in the joy of the blessings of God because I have been too focused on the blessings I did not have.
It has been a harsh awakening for me. How is it that I could have missed something so vital, so important. It's true. I have been living without joy. Oh, there have been moments in which I have been joyful, but I haven't lived it, and more often than not my eyes are clouded by tears of sadness, not of thanksgiving.
But the fight is not over! The first step is taken. Time will heal the wound in my heart, and until then I will fight for God's peace and joy in my life!!
In my mind, my future is crowded with plans and hopes and dreams, but I don't live in the future, and I never will. I am HERE and I live NOW! Regardless of what may come, I will cling to the promises of the the Lord knowing that in His joy I can find strength!
O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD,
Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving,
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the LORD is a great God
And a great King above all gods,
In whose hand are the depths of the earth,
The peaks of the mountains are His also.
The sea is His, for it was He who made it,
And His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you would hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts