It has been a good few weeks back home. It's funny how when you seemingly leave everything behind for the next step in your journey you tend to solidify those people and memories how you leave them. Upon returning after several months or even years one wishes to just jump back into who they were before they left, expecting everyone else to be in the same place as well. But after such a significant time away, it is not realistic to think like this. We cannot expect people to stay the same, especially when we reflect on how much we have grown and how much we have changed.
This has been my realization in being home after spending more than four months across the country. My family has the same fights at the dinner table, but we still love each other. Conversations over coffee are always significant, no matter how short the duration. Worshiping at the same churches with the same people shows the power of Christ in His ability to preserve and provide for His people. The friendships where you go several months without talking but upon meeting together are like you never missed a beat are the relationships to develop and hold close.
During my time at home I have spoken to, spent time with, and shared meals with everyone I intended to. Throughout my travel day in mid-December, I often found myself thinking about the experiences and encounters I would have while I was home. I can honestly say I am satisfied with my time back as it was not used wastefully. I was able to read a lot, I reconnected with many people, developed many friendships, and most importantly was able to spend a good amount of time with my family and the body of Christ. I have no regrets and I know everything worked out how it should. When I am flying back to school I can rest assured that my time was used for the best purposes. Every handshake, every hug, every conversation, every cup of coffee. It was all used for what God intended and I can say boldly with confidence I am extremely blessed to have been given the opportunity by Him to be surrounded by such a great community of friends and family.
I serve a God that is so gracious and loving to me and when I really begin to contemplate His love for me, I find myself at a loss for words. I am so undeserving of His grace, His mercy, and His forgiveness. I do not deserve the life He has given to me and the people He has put in my life. The truth that I am even able to be in relationship with so many of you is incredible to me. Why should I have the opportunity to tell you of what Christ is doing both in my heart and my life? Why am I granted the honor of telling you about my Lord and Savior with every post I write?
I have spent a lot of time with older and wiser people throughout my break, people that have lived a lot more life than I have. I know for sure this is one of the greatest things about being home. It is nice to see old friends, spend time with family, and enjoy a much-needed break, but the conversations I have with the many mentor figures in my life are what truly bless me the most. Think back to when you were younger. Your older siblings, your parents, your teachers; their time, approval, and love were some of the most important possessions you could have. I have been so unbelievably blessed by their company and if you do not have any relationships like these I strongly encourage you to reach out and find someone you can look up to.
Every conversation I have had with my mentors has contained many of the same words; my relationship with Christ, school, the future, friends and relationships, and many other topics. But the one aspect of our dialogues that has stood out the most is the importance of living in God's will. Every guy I talked with stressed how vital it is for a follower of Christ to be obedient to where God is calling him and what God is calling him to. When we live life in obedience to the will of God, there is nothing that can shake us. We may find ourselves straying at times, but God is always quick to set us back on the path He has prepared for us. I would joyfully take a life that is chaotic, difficult, and terrifying in God's will over a life separated from His presence. The will of God should and needs to determine our life when we become a follower of Christ. It is not only our duty but out honor to serve the God of the Universe, the Creator of all life.