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The Diary of a Doubting Daughter

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runner

Sinking

I recently just got the amazing opportunity to study abroad in Santiago, Chile. It was AMAZING. No, actually it was magical. I fell in love with the food, the language, and the people. It was crazy seeing how two different people from two different backgrounds could somehow understand each other. I’m not going to lie to y’all though; the first month was actually hell. I was frustrated with the people who couldn’t speak/understand my language and I was closing off everyone who actually could understand. I pushed away anyone that I got close to and I was angry that I was with an all Christian group. I was in such a bad place going to Chile. I stayed in my room and hid instead of trying to fix it. And I blamed God. I blamed Him for my unhappiness. I blamed Him, because He wasn’t helping me. I prayed and He wasn’t listening. No one listened. I was alone (or so I thought). So, my loneliness turned into bitterness and depression. However, I quickly realized I was being a brat. I started going out more. I met new people and befriended the people in my group. I got involved with the people around me. I started talking to Vincent at El Teller (the coffee shop). I asked Lucas about his life. I became best friends with Francisco (my Spanish teacher). I had dance parties with Larissa, Geni, and Dani from Brazil. And I  finally grew. I was able to see God as something more than a scary, all powerful being.

My group and I were very sad to come home (sorry parents). We wanted to stay there forever. It was kind of like our safe place. It didn’t feel real and we were afraid that the United States would be a little too real. And it was/still is. We let that fear eat us and distract us from the truth. That truth is and will always be that God is the same God that He is in Chile and will continue being the same God in the United States.

However, another person was distracted as well. His name was Peter the Disciple. Now Peter has had multiple doubting moments in the Bible (which gives me hope). But this doubting moment intrigued me the most.

Peter and the disciples were all waiting on boat for Jesus to come back from praying. It was around dawn and Jesus appeared in the distance walking on water (casual). The disciples were terrified (naturally). I mean it was a man on water!  They all started freaking out thinking that it was a ghost, but Jesus reassured them and said,

“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” -matthew 14:28

They still didn’t believe that it was Jesus, so, Peter said,

“Lord, if it’s you… tell me to come to you on the water.” and Jesus said,

 “Come,” 

So, Peter, walked out onto the water to meet Jesus. But he felt the harsh winds and the darkness envelop him and our good man Peter

“was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately, Jesus reached out His hand and grabbed Peter. However He said,

“You of little faith…why did you doubt?”

That question gets me every time. “Why did you doubt?” And it makes me ask, why did Peter doubt?

A few days ago I got a call from one of my good friends that had been on the Chilean study abroad trip with me. We talked about our lives and school. I told her that I was conflicted in many ways because I felt like there needed to be something more. I told her that I felt like my life was missing something and I was searching for that thing but couldn’t find it. And before she could say something I said (verbatim),

Karlie, it’s not God that I’m missing. So, please don’t say it.

But guys, it was 100% God that I was missing. In Chile I got close to Him, because I had all my friends to help me. I heard the Word and saw the Word working through everyone. But I quickly changed back to my old habits when I got back to the states. You see; we were not afraid of the United States. We were afraid of losing that magical, safe feeling that we had experienced in the mountains of Patagonia or the sand dunes of the Atacama. It was our fear of the unknown that left us not wanting to leave.

It was the doubt that was sinking Peter and it was the doubt that was and still continues to sink me. I see God. He is there. And like Peter, I really want to walk to Him, but y’all I’m taking my first steps onto that water and I’m sinking. But the beauty of all of this guys is that even through our doubts our Father, our God, our savior STILL continues to pursue us. He STILL continues to love us. And He WILL continue to reach out His hands for us and save us from

SINKING

este es tu lugar (this is your place)

-much love

 

And then her heart changed, or at least she understood it; and the winter passed, and the sun shone upon her.

—  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

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Unintentional

A few days ago someone pointed out that I was “unintentional.” This person pointed out that I usually tend to hide my emotions or brush off the things that actually mean something to me. I say things such as: “I don’t care” or “it doesn’t matter,” when it really does. I’ve always been known to keep my emotions to myself. I usually try to stop thinking about the situation or trick myself into believing that it really truly does not matter. I’m a runner when anything remotely serious happens to me, which is crazy, because I am usually very blunt in everything else. I tend to live a lot in my head which is a good and bad thing. It’s good, because I get to spend a lot of time with myself and have some alone time. It’s bad, because my friends and family don’t know how to help me because they don’t know the problem.

Anyway, that problem of mine has been pointed out a lot by my best friends. one of my best friends said last month, “why do you say that? Why do you pretend like you don’t care? It’s okay to care.” So, when one of my acquintances pointed out me being unintentional I quickly wanted to change it. I realized that I didn’t want to be the girl who ran.

Jonah in the Bible was also very unintentional and sadly he didn’t have any friends to tell him that. He got a special message from God to go to the city of Nineveh and preach against it because there was so much wickedness happening. But Jonah was afraid of this, because he had heard so many terrible things about the people and what they did. So, instead of going to Nineveh where God had commanded him to go and instead of talking to God about his fear, Jonah

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He ran all the way to a ship and boarded it to sail to Tarshish where he thought he would be fleeing from the Lord.  This really set God off, and God sent a great wind and violent storm on the ship that was causing it to break. The crew members were terrified. They had no clue what was causing this storm, so, they started praying to their gods. However, Jonah was taking the whole “you should sleep on it” literally and he was passed out below deck. Out of fear and confusion the sailors asked him,

“How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god!”-Jonah 1:6

They started questioning him about everything.

“Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”-Jonah 1:8

and Jonah said,

“I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”-Jonah 1:9

The sailors started fearing even more, because they knew that this man was running away from the Lord, so they asked him,

“What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”-Jonah 6:11

They ended up taking Jonah and throwing him overboard and the storm calmed down.

A few days from now I will be going to study abroad in Chile for 3 months. I am terrified y’all. Terrified of the different language, tedious hours studying, foreign food, hiking (lol) and so much more, but I know that this is the plan that God has called me to do. I want to run like Jonah. I want to stay in the comforts of my own bed and fall into a deep sleep or board a cruise to Italy or something, but I can’t.

I am a runner, but I don’t want to run this time. This time it will be different. I will be different. Instead of running from God, I will ask,

Lord, what “should [I] do to make the sea calm down?”

-much love

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart”.-Jeremiah 29:11-13

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