Tuesday, April 10, 2012

life's purposeful components.

a pretty picture with no real correlation to the post...
over the weekend i was thinking about how purposeful and perfect every component of my life is [the good and the bad]. i don't mean that life is "perfect", i mean that every detail is so intentional, and purposeful, alas, perfect. created by God, so perfect. i'm fascinated by how the little things that "define" me define my relationship with God and how i see Him using me and my life.

such things as... [it's extensive, so you get the point. ha! also, i hope this doesn't sound boastful but causes you to reflect on the details of your life and appreciate them more too! we all have something(s) to offer; we all have things apart of our make-up, genealogy, and biology that bless us (and others) and other things that we have to fight against. this was a good little exercise for me.]

having an older dad allows me to feel comfortable talking to older people, asking for their wisdom and advice in my life, and recognizing the value of age and experience being poured into my life. my dad's consistent presence growing up has been the greatest support system... it deserves a blog post all its own.

having a hard-working mom, one who is the primary breadwinner in our family, has allowed me to recognize the many sacrifices of life and how to prioritize them. it has given me the opportunity to watch her manage people despite competitive markets and amongst a group of other manager's who don't care the same way she does. it has demonstrated to me what it means to be hardworking and disciplined, and has taught me to be a relentless go-getter. i see this influence in my passion to faithfully and willingly step out despite my own qualms or discomforts. you gotta do, what you gotta do! and, if it's an act of obedience, God will bless it.

having a Catholic background shows me just how desperately i want a meaningful, fulfilling faith, not established in tradition, but in a deep-rooted need for God and His grace in every aspect of my life. my religious upbringing has been the greatest gift - my parents taught me to value faith and religion and pursued that importance in my and my brother's lives from a young age - but also the greatest obstacle - my wanting to go to the Christian church, i jokingly say, is my teenage rebellion; i butted heads with my family on this subject for many years. but as that has been healed and as we have matured as a family, it has become a great "ministry". they have come to recognize what a blessing the Christian church and community is in my life and what affect it has indirectly had on them as well. i wouldn't be the same if i had been raised any other way.

having a testing, lonely elementary school experience gave way to me having to decide if i was going to be true to myself, which meant that maybe people wouldn't like me, or allow other people to create who i was going to be. as i entered high school, knowing no one, and feeling pretty insecure about the path i had left behind me - having been the "annoying" one, the trouble maker in elementary school - i decided that i wasn't going to become someone i didn't feel i was. i knew i was annoying but at 13 i figured out why, matured my sense of humor, and stepped out that first day of high school. that worked for me. i met a ton of great people who affirmed in me the things i had come in so insecure about. i loved high school. i never want to do it again, but i loved it.

having a bossy, determined personality and the willpower of a boulder permitted me to defiantly bypass the pressures of high school, mainly out of pride i'll admit now looking back (which i will probably have to work on for the rest of my life), but regardless of that, i am so so so so thankful that i was never swept up in all the drama and temptations of the teenage years. that's not to say i didn't think about it, but i knew that if i ever gave in once, i'd lose the battle completely. and i was determined not to be like my peers, coz that was just so mainstream and i wasn't down with that [my actual thought-process haha]!

having spent two years living in a complete "craphole", in the ghetto, awakened in me passions i never thought i had. a heart beating for the impoverished, forgotten communities living right outside my own. this time showed me the depravity of my own neighbours and the incredible importance of loving, kind, supportive families - something, i learned, many people are not blessed with. 

having a really bad relationship taught me not to find my identity or purpose in others but in God alone. before i thought that i was fine and capable on my own, but this relationship taught me that there's not a chance of that being successful. i also had to learn a lot about obedience... about my personal weakness' and the idols in my life, about how i can't will God to move but can have faith in the unseen that He will, and i had to really search out what God wants for and from me. i've talked about this a lot coz it was such a significant "valley" in my life but it made me so so so so thankful that God took me to this vulnerable, wretched place in order to demonstrate how at the end of me, HE is there.

i've also learned much through little things like...

the role the youth pastor gave me my first year at youth as greeter has been with me since that time. it continues to define how i approach others and how i understand the giftings God has given me. i completely credit this small gesture as being the thing that has since motivated me to take on so many responsibilities and opportunities that i may not have ever considered otherwise.

the rejection of church leaders probed me to find my affirmation not in their words but in His. it also taught me the hard way not to depend on the motivations or words of people, because they are sinful, and hurtful, and not God, thus directing me to trust in His words and not theirs. this isn't a cynical observation, however. it has freed me from having to prove myself to people. i don't need their confirmation or compliments to go where God leads or to be who He calls me to be. [this is not to say i don't want it (or that you shouldn't ask for the wisdom and confirmation of leaders), but in those sad moments when i feel i do, i have to learn to trust in His faithfulness and guidance, and obey that instead.]

the welcoming of as "one of their own" by families into their homes and lives: i have been exceedingly blessed to have numerous families who have treated me like their own daughter. this has been such a gift in how i have come to love the idea of family and what it represents, and the power and influence it has in an individual's life. i am so encouraged to know and see so many families living out their roles based on Biblical precepts and the example of Christ, and hope to conduct my future family in very much the same way.

the diversity of opportunities and experiences my family has taken part in, like the seeing of musicals and plays, extracurricular lessons, and traveling the world. these things have all taught me about people and culture, and myself, and how to use these experiences to glorify God. my heart beats for people, for music, for the world, and i am fascinated by media and cultural events, and i truly believe that my life's path will end up encompassing these things that i would be unfamiliar with were it not for my parents interest in exposing us to these things at a young age.

the small group i'm apart of that has opened my eyes to a limitless God, the still relevant and working Holy Spirit, the power of prayer, and the importance of community. they [and the church they stem from] have been such an encouragement of growth by nurturing me as i learn more and more about what it truly, literally means to be a Christ-follower: walking in His footsteps, living a life that emulates who He is and the same purpose He lived for, and recognizing and taking hold of the power that He has left behind with His Spirit.

the incredible network of people who expressively care for and love me has given me the tools to know that i can "take on the world" - whatever that looks like, whatever God's plan is for me - knowing that i am blessed to be surrounded by people who support me and love me and believe in me. i would list names, because i just want to hold you all in a heartfelt embrace thinking about it, but i'd forget someone most likely. if you're reading this and wondering if it's you, it probably is. so i thank you, for being a launching pad, for assuring me [even indirectly] that i can do all things through Him, affirmed by your encouragement and support in my life. thank you!

all this being said, what do YOU recognize in your life as being key things that "define" you that further define your relationship with God and how you see Him using you? what are some of YOUR life's "purposeful components"?

1 comment:

  1. Such a thought provoking and wonderful post Allie! It truly is a wonder how God works all things for our good, even the bad =) Thanks for sharing!


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