happy tuesday, homies:) I hope you're reading this having had an enjoyable week thus far -- maybe you're still snuggled up in your jammerz (jealous) or chillin' out max and relaxin' all cool ... shooting some bball outside of the school. If yall are like me, a week ago today marked the beginning of the last semester of my college experience. Not gonna lie -- I hate it. I pretty much freakin' love college. The University of Oklahoma has been pretty dang good to me. Praise be to God! It has been a crazy past three and a half years, but every second of it has taught me SO much.
I'll stop there, but I can imagine you saw where that was headed -- walk down Memory Lane... So I've been a bit sentimental/nostalgic lately... I can't deny it. Maybe you know how it goes... I suppose it tends to be this way at every major "junction" in life. You're finally taking some deep breaths and getting settled in when you realize your current road is coming to an end and you have to pick a new one. It can be a little overwhelming, but as I said, such is life. Good thing we're in it together. Nonetheless, over Christmas Break, I was so lucky to venture to our nation's capitol with a few of my amigas to explore my future home for the next two years come June!
It was so fun and exciting but also a little bit scary. The east coast is just a little different, and let's be real, I am just an Oklahomie through and through. I LOVE this state. I love my family. I love Johnnie's and the North and South Oval and walking around Lake Hefner with my mommy in the summertime, baking with my sissy in the winter, and playing tennis with my daddio in the spring. I love having a church and a CVS on every street corner. I love wide open spaces -- room to make your big mistakes, eh? I love seeing the people who are so near and dear to my heart on a daily basis and sharing life with the best community on planet earth. Oklahoma ROCKS.
All that being said, the Lord taught me some seriously life-changing things while I was in DC over the course of a mere four-ish days. It's funny how you can just be walking along some big city street with tons of people around when the Holy Spirit snaps you back to reality -- ooh there goes gravity -- and everything seems to suddenly shift back into perspective.
Here's how it all went down. So as I said, I'm walking along Pennsylvania Avenue with Claire and LJ when I began thinking to myself, "Man, I wish DC was bigger," and "I wish I was going to be making more money and I could live in a nicer part of town," and "This is going to be so much harder than I thought it was going to be. I'm not going to have any friends. Dangit, I'm never going to be successful."
Yep, it's true. It's laaaame. It's disgusting. But it's real. I really thought those things. Instead of rejoicing over where the Lord placed me and all the ways He was affirming me in how I am supposed to be there, I started thinking, "Nope, this just really isn't what I expected. This isn't really good enough for me."
But about that time, the Holy Spirit stopped me dead in my tracks. Even recalling it this very second, I have chills all over my body.
"Cait," the quiet voice whispered, "Thaaatt isn't what life is about at all."
>>Lemme just say, God is soooooooo gentle with us. Sometimes I deserve a serious shake and firm stare-down directly from the heavens above, but He comes beside me gently and lovingly reminds me of the truth.<<
In that moment as the Holy Spirit and I were having a serious heart-to-heart, I realized that it seems so glamorous to move to some big city and work for a cool, hip corporation or organization joined with a social movement. And know I'm not in any way trying to diminish the need or necessity for such organizations because they are so awesome and doing INCREDIBLE things for the people of our nation and world alike. But when I'm honest with myself, I know some of my motives for wanting to be a part of Teach for America and move to Washington, DC were selfish, in that it's a big city and cool, and as I said, seems somewhat glamorous, I suppose. But here's the reality...
It's something we all know, something we've heard thousands of times, I'm sure, but until you really wrestle with it, until you really REALIZE how much your sinful nature desires the things of this world... whoaaa baby.
It doesn't matter where you live. It doesn't matter what you're doing or how many friends you have or what kind of car you drive. It doesn't matter how much money is in your bank account or what shoes you have on your feet. Heck, when it comes down to it, it doesn't really particularly matter all that much in the long run whether you wear shoes or not at all. It doesn't matter how many nick-knacks you have lying on your shelves or how many miles you can run or how many beers you can down or how many countries you've been to or how many people you've shared Jesus with. It doesn't matter what you look like or who likes you or whether your married or single or listed as "in a relationship" on the good, ole' FB.
Unless you seek to satisfied by Jesus Christ alone...
You'll always be left wanting more.
It's a truth that literally almost brings me to tears. And in this battle between our flesh and the Spirit inside of us, we are often times our own worst enemies. Gosh, I don't know what it is for you. I don't know if it's money or how much you weigh or your level of academic achievement or success or awards or sex or people or accomplishments... The things of this world are so fleeting and so unsatisfactory that none of them will ever fully satisfy us. Maybe they will for a little while. But not forever.
So I guess life's rough and sometimes sucks and you'll never be fully satisfied, so what's the point?
see ya never
have a good night?
no stinkin' way
and PTL for that!
That's not the end of the story... And truly PRAISE the LORD it's not because that would be mayyyybeeee the ickiest story ever. But that isn't the story we've been invited to share in -- that's not why we were created or how we were created or what we were created for. Deep breaths, everyone. Think soothing thoughts.
I don't know where you are in your life. I can't say where your heart is or what you're struggling with. And honestly, some of you might not even know yourselves. Sometimes we don't really fully understand the things we're going through or how they're affecting us emotionally, physically, and spiritually. But I want you to ask yourself these questions...
Did you ever think that attaining a certain goal would make you happier?
Have you ever thought that once you get married, life will be good to go?
You won't desire anything anymore?
Or if you could just make X amount of money, life would be so much easier?
Or if you only had more friends, that's when life would really be great...
Or maybe if you could just overcome these obstacles...
Gosh, if you only looked like her...
Or if you could just forget about the pain of my past...
If you could only move on...
happily ever after would come to life.
Life would be full of peonies, puppies, and pretty/little hearts.
Okay, so I assume most of us know that isn't the reality...
But at one point or another, I have said yes to many of these questions and soooo many more. And to some extent these things are good. It is so great to set goals and dream big dreams and want to move on from hurts and pains of the past. It's okay to collect nick-knacks and get married and make money! But when those things become what our eyes our fixed upon, the things we hope for and desire, they won't ever make the cut. In fact, I'm convinced, the more we get, the more we'll want. It's an ongoing, unending cycle and honestly can be pretty tough to get out of sometimes.
But COOLEST PART... We were created with desires. We were CREATED TO DESIRE. We were created to seek comfort and joy and satisfaction and hope and love and peace. We were CREATED to desire those things. In fact, we were created to NEED these things. We can't fully function in the way we were designed to function without them. But contrary to popular belief, no amount of yoga will ever fulfill my need for peace. I can't wait to be married and have a family one day, but my husband and children will never completely satisfy my need for love and affection and joy and comfort. I won't be able to fully satisfy them either -- and PTL for that -- what a freeing truth and reason #59283410983 why Jesus MUST be the center of all relationships.
We were created to need and desire these things because there is something that can fulfill them.
Jesus knows everything. He knows our hurts. He knows our failures. He knows what we look to and go to, hoping that we find satisfaction or fulfillment. He KNOWS. And He offers us living water anyway. He knows that nothing we look to will satisfy us, but He knows HE CAN and HE WILL. That doesn't mean that there won't be times you still sin or fail or desire the things of this world -- we're human. But with Jesus, we can walk into situations of unrest and have peace. We can live in a world void of love and be loved by our heavenly Father -- our AbbaDaddy, as I like to call Him. In a world where we cannot produce joy or hope on our own, JESUS produces a joy within us and gives us hope that none can surpass.
Wherever you are, whatever you're going through, whatever you've been through, there is HOPE in finding fulfillment. THERE IS HOPE in a broken and decaying world. THERE IS LOVE and GRACE and MERCY and JOY and PEACE and KINDNESS. There is LIGHT in the darkness. But the only light, love, joy, peace, and hope that will last forever... is Jesus.
"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing." -CS Lewis
Glory, glory, glory to God in the highest for accepting us no matter what, for loving us no matter what, for calling us His children and never giving up on us. Glory to God for allowing us to feel desire that we might also experience that desire being fulfilled.
We love you, Lord, and may we look to you for fulfillment and satisfaction, believing you alone will satisfy.