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"The action of salt is silent, pervasive, hidden, unseen; the action of light is open and manifest- the most openly expressed thing imaginable. The influence of Christian character is to be two-fold, a silent, hidden, and pervasive thing reaching into the very fiber of men’s thought and outlook; and it is to be open, lighting the outer life of men and their affairs. But it is to be inward and pervasive before it is to be outward- we are to be SALT before we can be LIGHT. No man can shine in obviousness unless he is willing to permeate in obscurity. Many of us would like to be light, but we are unwilling to work like salt, unseen, unnoticed, unapplauded… The Christianity of the present day is hurt by a desire to be light coupled with an unwillingness to be salt."-E. Stanley Jones, The Christ of the Mount
Nothing Ever (Could Separate Us) - Citizen Way11 plays
I know C.S. Lewis was right when he said that “There are far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.” I truly believe that the Lord has always prepared something greater for us, if we’d only let go and make ourselves vulnerable to Him rather than vulnerable to our flesh.
I have been struggling for a while with my understanding of one’s calling and how God would take away something I thought was so good and pleasing to Him. But then, I step back and all the sudden I finally realize that who am I to measure the goodness of God compared to what He has for me. In that way, I take on the character of someone who is not humble, someone who is ruled by self and not someone who is ruled by her precious Jesus. And somewhere in all that, I found and keep finding that I am so vulnerable to things that I know I need not be. I open my heart to anyone who is willing, rather than letting God guard my flesh and my heart against all those things.
Last night was a particularly hard night for me. I’ve been through two breakups this year. The same girl who told my second-to-last ex on the first date that I hoped he was my last first kiss or first anything. I did what they say as “writing checks I couldn’t cash.” I compromised my values and my heart to feel desired and to feel anything at all. I compromised my character and eventually my heart became restless and bitter about all the wrong things. All in the hopes of not being lonely anymore.
I remember the years between my 11th and 12th grades in high school, happily single and soaking up the life I knew God was calling me to. I knew even then that God was calling me to teaching and I’ve never looked back. I have always been 150% sure that I wanted to teach music and always found that the road there was challenging, yet hopeful and easy at times because I knew without a doubt that I was cut out for the life of an educator. And here I am, teaching elementary music as a 22 year old, the youngest teacher at my school, feeling so lifted up and encouraged by all the Christian women I work with and surrounded by students of all different faiths. And yet, God creeps up in conversation. Of course I cannot divulge my faith with any amount of intensity, but I can love and serve my 837 students with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind because it is in that moment that I realize I am serving my heavenly Father.
In that part of my life, I feel very fulfilled and satisfied, yet still uncomfortable and able to grow in my relationship with the Lord. But every single romantic relationship I’ve had starts too soon, off like a rocket, and all the sudden, we’re on the fast track to being engaged… yet… I still feel empty. I feel like I’m riding on a wave of emotions and passion and when that goes away, there’s nothing left. Not even anythings in common. Nothing.
And for the first time in my whole life, I hear a distinct voice from God calling me to be single. I do not know for how long. But I almost don’t even care how long! Because I’m ready for Jesus to be the center of my life and my world and my calling and my job and my relationships and my friendships. I cannot live any longer without Jesus being the reason for my life.
This time is scary for me. But I read something by Gary Thomas from his book called “Sacred Search.” He mentioned that if you’re scared to do something, it might means that you REALLY need to do it. And when I think about all the times I was scared out of my mind, it leads me to where I am now and leads me to the cross. I was scared when I moved from Sugar Land to Victoria to live with my dad, to make new friends, to start over. I was scared when I quit ballet after dancing for 13 years and yet… if I hadn’t, I’m very sure that I wouldn’t be so immersed in music and teaching now. If I hadn’t auditioned for the school of music at my university as a freshman, 2 days before classes started that fall, I wouldn’t have gotten in and I wouldn’t have majored in music. If I hadn’t chosen to move back home, if I hadn’t been bold in that decision, I would not be at the school I work at.
Yes, I’m scared to death. Yet E. Stanley Jones says that Jesus saw that the beginning of life WAS indeed death. He did that on THIS day over 2,000 years ago. He died for my fears, for my soul, for my heart, for me. He proved that you cannot break something that is already broken… broken to self.
So C.S. Lewis was right that “There ARE far better things ahead.” I’m ready to jump and give it all.