Wow. It seems like it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. Well, it has. :P I was on a missions trip and then my parents were gone for a while, so I haven’t had much “sit down” time. :)
These past couple of weeks have definitely been a blessing though. They have been wonderful and have had some very special moments. Last month I had the privilege of helping chaperone on a missions trip. A very special friend of mine asked me to go with her and her senior high school choir from her school. I loved that she asked me to go!! It gave me more time with her and I was so excited to see what God had planned.
The missions trip was 8 days and with an organization called “Mission Waco.” Waco is one of the poorest cities in Texas… so that specific organization helps a lot with the homeless. Its incredible what they do and how they reach out to these people. We had a lot of special experiences! While we were there the school choir got to sing at homeless shelters, nursing homes, a Methodist school, some parks, the Church Under the Bridge, etc. That gave us the opportunity to talk with the people/kids afterwards. Some of them weren’t interested in talking, but there were also many that were so open and kind. I loved getting the chance to hear about their lives! It really blessed me and I feel like God did something in my heart through each one. Though there was one man that greatly impacted me. His name is Kenneth and he is in his late-forties. I met him while we were at the homeless shelter. He used to work in the army and is one very intelligent man…. and it’s still hard for me to understand how he doesn’t have a job. He isn’t married and has two sons that have rarely seen him and hardly ever keep in contact with him. He, very often, wakes up at 4:30 A.M. and has to walk miles to be able to apply for jobs. In fact; he has to walk everywhere because he doesn’t have a car. Now I don’t know his whole story, but already what I do know doesn’t sound like a life people would be happy with if they had it. I’m sure some people would hear his circumstance and think that he has nothing. Well one of the amazing things about Kenneth is that he would say the opposite. He would say that he has all he needs and more. Not only that, but he is so thankful. It’s crazy to think that he would say that he has all he needs… and MORE…. but also that he is thankful? Now that’s the beauty of the Lord. Kenneth loves the Lord with all his heart and I got the privilege of having such an incredible conversation with him about God and how God always works for the good of those who serve Him… even when times seem hard. Kenneth trusts the Lord and completely submits his life to Him. He sees his life and instead of looking at all the bad things (which he could very easily do), he sees how God has kept him healthy, blessed him, and saved him from even more bad that could have happened. He is such an inspiring man and at the end of our conversation I was blessed to be able to pray with him. The time went by so fast while I was talking with him! In fact, I had to hurry out because everyone had left before me and I didn’t even notice. :P Thankfully, I got to see him again at church on Sunday. We went to The Church Under the Bridge and he walks there every time he can go to church. He came right up to me and offered me some of his food. A man that has no home of his own, no job, and hardly enough money… offered me, someone who definitely doesn’t need anything, his food. My heart broke. God used Kenneth to open my eyes to many things and areas in my life that I need to work on. Kenneth is a hero. The more I thought about what Kenneth said and all that he did… and the more I thought about my life…. the more convicted I became. I am so enormously blessed with all that I have. I have more than enough and yet there are times where I find myself wanting to complain, forgetting to be thankful, having to wrestle with giving things away, worrying about financial things, etc. That is so wrong. There is a lie that some of us can believe that says that the more we have, the happier we are. Obviously that isn’t the truth. Kenneth is filled with freedom and the greatest joy this world could ever know, and basically all he has is the Lord. I want that.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
“Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and everything you put your hand to.” Deuteronomy 15:10
“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:1o
I started being intentional on giving thanks to the Lord in every area of my life. For things that have been given to me, beautiful experiences I have, times that may be difficult… but still knowing that the Lord will get me through it and that it will be used in His plans for my life…., for the people in my life, for the sun, for so many other things that we could easily take for granted. And not only to be thankful… but to be happy with what I have. Not to complain about what I might want or what I would like instead.
I also started thinking more and more about how important it is not to hold on to “things.” Kenneth was an amazing example of that. God has blessed us with so much. it is so selfish to hold onto it and not to give anything away. Especially because all we have is the Lord’s. The more we hold on to in our life, the more we become slaves to our things. Kenneth gave all he had to the Lord and his heart is free. He doesn’t worry about whether or not he will get what he needs. He KNOWS that because he is following the Lord and hoping in Him, that all of his needs will be met. What an incredible man of God. I hope to be, even just a little bit, like him. :)