Sunday, May 1, 2011

Calamity, Community, and Questions.

"And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person's need was met." -Acts 2:44-45.

My thoughts are all over the place. Since I haven't blogged in a while, and my mind and desires change every day, I figured I may want to write it all down for a later time where I may want to look back.

There is SO much to say!
It's May 1st and college is hardly on my mind like it ought to be for a senior. I am excited, but I've had so many conflicting thoughts on it. I know Harding is where I want to be. There's no question about that. I have a different kind of peace when I think about next year and the newness that it brings. I'm not worried about it at all! Nervous, of course, but a good kind of nervous.
My mind is on so many different things that make me confused, unsure, and even hesitant.
Up to this point my hopes for my major has changed.
Instead of focusing solely on photography I've decided to switch to either teaching or neonatal nursing. No matter what I end up doing I will take pictures. So then you may ask, why switch? I want to be more on the frontlines of God's mission by being hands-on with kids and their parents and even the elderly in a community. Of course I could do that before, but I want to do it while at the same time providing a physical need. Jesus is such a great example of that. Nearly all of His encounters with people involved Him physically healing or providing some kind of tangible need for people. Photography is a beautiful thing that can even be emotional at times, but pictures don't feed the people of Africa. Example: Say I take an orphan's picture...even if somehow that picture goes viral and somehow finds its way all over the news, guess what? Although that child is basically at celebrity status in America, they're still an orphan in Africa fighting for the next day.

My mom has attended many teachers meetings, one of which really made clear a need for international teachers. My heart is still in Africa, but I'm willing to go wherever. I never want to want something so bad that I mistake my passion as something I feel "called" to do. I want to be where I am and know that it's exactly where God wants me to be. So, Africa? Hopefully. Photography? Definitely. Just on the side though, and if people want my pictures, then sure. And that's about the only thing about college I'm unsure about. Do I teach or become a neonatal nurse? And once I figure that out do I major in that, or in religion and minor in the other?
SO many thoughts that could lead me in endless possibilities for my future. And my question is, which one will be most worth it? Which will be most beneficial and please the Lord the MOST? Because that's what I want to be about. Even if no one else understands, having God's peace in my life that I am where He would be if He were living my life, is reward enough.

Besides college, I find even more questions piled on that weigh on my mind. A ton of questions that I have about life and why things are the way that they are. Like wondering who God really and truly is and what He literally is like. Things like why are some things the way they are? And why do different people think the way they do? What causes people to resort to act they way they do and what does God and even Christ think when He sees our world? What exactly am I supposed to do? Or be preparing myself to do at this moment? What is it that will be MOST pleasing to God? No, works don't save me. I know that full well. My hope isn't to be saved. I am that. My hope is to be pleasing.

Like I said! Such a whiplash of emotions and thoughts and wants and QUESTIONS! All of this has been swirling around in my head for weeks on end and THEN, on top of all of this, came April 27th. A day that will literally have made history and even be written about in books.
Five days ago it was a big deal that my car needed cleaning out. It was a big deal that I needed to do SOMETHING about the smell of my cleats and softball bag. It mattered that my sister just assumes she can go in my closet and get whatever she wants when I know that if I did that to her, she would turn on her diva switch. Now, not even a week later I look at myself and I'm so disgusted. Really, Holly? I mean literally, really? Something that small actually mattered? Something that small took up my time and my thoughts? And I don't look at just myself that way, but at the people of Alabama! America for that matter. How self-centered are we anyway? Why does it take catastrophe to open up the eyes of the selfish? To realize that our concerns, if we really and genuinely examine them, and if we pay the slightest attention to the words that come out of our mouths, are all about us! If we're not complaining about it being too hot outside, then we're making it known that we don't really like the restaurant we're going to. And if it's neither of those things it's more than likely gossip about someone. And if it's none of those, then we're either sleeping, asking someone if we can borrow something, or checking Twitter.
Can't even lie, I'm towards the front of the line when it comes to this train! But April 27th was the day God took off the veil from my eyes and allowed me to see how bad it really is in myself and others.

When a state goes through such devistation like Alabama has, there is so much need. Needs physically and needs mentally. Multiple times I've heard it said, "It's just sad that something like this had to happen to bring us together." And I say, I'd beg to differ! I completely understand what you mean, but what a negative approach to the situation! I look at this situation and think, what a BEAUTIFUL thing! That at the most vulnerable time in our state history, people are coming together as a true community! At a time where it would be so easy and even understandable for people to look after the needs of their own family and home, yet every 30 minutes there is a truckload of either water or packing boxes driving by asking if anyone needs anything! When I drive past multiple stations with posters that say "FREE FOOD & SUPPLIES" it makes me literally FULL of joy! The people of Tuscaloosa that weren't a part of the devistation, and even some that are, are not only taking off of work, but buying hundreds of dollars worth of food, water, and gas to get what needs to be done, done! I have never seen anything like this before. The destruction is surreal, but so is the community! I've never been more proud to be a part of this city.

Overall, there have been SO many things I've learned over the past five days, but there's one prevalent lesson that hopefully will stay with me for as long as I live. I've always known "it's not always about me", but through this experience I've learned to take that truth a step further. While it's not about me, especially in times like these, it's actually NEVER about me. There is never a time where what I WANT is important. That realization is really more sobering than you would think!
I am so thankful for it, though.

SUCH an exhausting time. And much of the stress I know I probably put on myself, but I know my God is faithful and He WILL restore this city and bring understanding to my future and what it is exactly He wants from me. Faithfulness of course, but in what area? As soon as I found out, I'll be back! :)