This post already feels like it’s going to be immensely long, so….that was your warning. And I promise this post isn’t all about me complaining. So there’s that to look forward to. I think I will have to make this a two or three parter. It really is a lot of stuff, and I need to make sure I say it all.
I hope this blog is serving as a genuine and transparent testimony to all the grace He gives me, all the struggles I have, and how He is always pulling me back into Himself. I just wanted to say that, too…
This week is my “Spring Break 2012.” Even after college, I get one of those. And while most of my coworkers jetted off to exotic places like Singapore or Australia or America, I chose to spend my first break in my own city. I wanted to get to know it, and I wanted to be used by God. For me, that meant spending lots of time in Shichigahama, an area that is being rebuilt after the March 2011 tsunami. Now, this trip was EXTREMELY important to me. I don’t think I can emphasize enough how much I wanted to work in this area. I wanted to work for four days, and spend one day at Matsushima Bay, which is famous and near Shichigahama. I had this semi-elaborate plan in my head, and I even got others in on it because I thought it was the perfect thing to do over break. I knew God would finally give me some blue skies if I would just be giving enough and selfless enough. And I knew God would speak to me while I was working and while I was seeing His creation at Matsushima. I knew and practically told God what He would do. Surely you already see some problems, right? … but I’m not to that part of the story yet.
My plan was to go out Saturday, work all day; use the free day, Sunday, to visit Matsushima Bay-a famous Japanese site near Shichgahama; work Monday through Wednesday spending the night in SP’s places. We’d be uncomfortable and I was even excited about that. I thought it’d help me focus on important things and make me forget some unhappy things. I knew God would talk to me while I was working hard in the homes. I knew God would talk to me while I was in nature at Matsushima. Surely I’d get some deep revelations!
Thursday we found out that Saturday was a no go, and that spending the night there was out of the question period. Too many volunteers already there. I envied those people for a second…and then I realized how ridiculous it is to envy people who are just having good hearts. Good grief, what’s wrong with me? Anyway, needless to say I was devastated. Why on earth would God take my perfectly holy plan and let it fall apart, get stepped on, and then burned up?
On Sunday, I went along with my original dream plan under different circumstances and got myself to Matsushima. I couldn’t take a picture to do it justice, and the day consisted of me just being quiet, looking at things, and contemplating. I didn’t get insanely promising revelations from God that day, and thankfully the initial disappointments related to the Shichigahama trip trimmed down my expectations of a day at Matsushima anyway. I wasn’t upset about it. I think I finally understood that it was silly for me to show God where and when He would speak to me and expecting it to happen that way. Thankfully He is so far above my own plans.
Monday, we got to go volunteer. And what an incredible blessing it was. I promise to write about that, too. At the end of Monday, though, we got the email saying that the rest of the week was now out for us. So my four days of volunteering turned into one day. And again, I wasn’t as upset as I initially was. I understood that sometimes God doesn’t need us to do what we think we ought to do. He has something better, something perfect for us, even if we can’t see it. Even if I still don’t see it. But He has me in mind and He is taking care of me.
From now on, I’m making plans timidly, understanding that they may change, that my idea for what’s best may or may not be best, and that God may just let me be disappointed just so He can grow me more… I won’t “boast about tomorrow,” to steal something from the Bible.