I haven't approved this by any of my lovely colleagues yet - but I was so excited it was done I had to put it up! I know it's still rough and will need lots of changes that I am already noticing - but for now this is it. :)
Sometimes I wonder the purpose Jesus has created me for. It is terrifying not knowing where we are supposed to go in life, what we are supposed to do and how we are supposed to go about doing it. This can paralyze us and we can become so frozen that we decide not to do anything at all.
In the midst of this worry, we get comfortable. We get stagnant. We get lukewarm. We start enjoying our ipods, our TV shows, our food, our beds, our trashy movies. We love our comfortable things, but we feel a subtle tugging at our hearts that something is very wrong. There is an ache for something different, something new. It’s as if our soul craves adventurous living, even though we do not know it. We feel this yearning for something new because in our uncomfortable state, we crave Jesus more, we rely on him more and we are willing to do anything possible to be closer to his undying love.
I was at this place, wondering what Jesus had in store for me. I have been through my share of sort of scary things, where God asked me to step out of my comfort zone. I helped my parents start a church, I went to college at a young age, I started a company with my mom and some friends. But at this point in my life I realized that I was not a radically different person like I should be. I was not doing all these things for God, but for myself instead.
Upon arriving in Haiti, the sights and smells are so different than what you are used to. Trash sits burning in the street. Makeshift tents are everywhere and you can see little babies poking their heads out from behind the tent tarps. Cattle wander in the rubble of homes that were hit in the earthquake. Horns beep. People yell. You feel a sense of adventure as you ride through the streets – a murmur of unpredictable danger and excitement.
Then you also feel the heartbreaking, horrifying sadness. You visit homes where babies are dying in dark rooms, shut away from the world. You feel hopelessness for them, brokenness for their pain, and the injustice of their situation. You hold them and play with them, hoping that one day they will live to see hope again.
In these orphanages and hospitals, there are more cribs than floor space. There are too few volunteers and so many babies are left sobbing, neglected in their cribs. Many babies will pee, poop and throw up from sickness and it will sit on the floor until someone cleans it up.
Some babies have cuts, sores, runny noses, tuberculosis, terrible sickness and tubes in their noses. The floor is concrete and dusty and most toddlers have no shoes. They giggle so much when you tickle them and call you mama if you spend more than ten minutes with them. Their playground is a pile of rubble - the remnants of a tiny home that collapsed in the earthquake.
On the hopeful side, you visit ministries where mission minded women are working harder than anyone you’ve seen before. They are working to make it so Haitian women do not have to give up their children for adoption, but can instead make a living and see their babies grow up. You see hope and desperation. But more than anything, you find love.
This was the most outstanding aspect of my recent trip to Haiti. The love I encountered. I met so many Christ-followers in Haiti that were TRULY world changers. These people were the very few that gave up all they had and flew to a place that many would shudder to go.
These Christians that I met in Haiti were going without, day and night, to ensure a future for the Haitian people they worked with. The frivolous things we care about meant nothing to them. They do not stress about texting, facebook, tv shows and hot water in their showers like we do. They are not as concerned about their cars or their income - and they pray that God will provide when the time is right. What really concerned them was making a difference in someone’s life. The love of Jesus radiated from these Christian people, who are helping local men and women all over Haiti. And trust me, it is not an easy job.
I met a 20 year old boy who went on a missions trip to Haiti last year. He liked it so much that he came back and started a medical clinic, and now works with Haitian doctors to help others. He is flying out to the Congo within the next few months, and he hasn’t even been to medical school yet!
I also met a group of college kids on a missions trip who did not just go out and serve Haiti during the day, but took communion and worshipped through song when they came back at night.
I met a couple that sold everything they owned and moved all the way across the world from Australia, expecting to live in a tent to serve Jesus.
I met people who came down here on internships and felt so compelled to help that they just decided to stay full time and help wherever they could.
I met women that worked around the clock to deliver babies at a medical clinic for teen moms and that are actively looking to expand their facilities to better help save Haitian women's' lives.
As I adjusted to how different Haiti is from America – cold showers, dust, wearing the same clothes every day, riding in the back of a pick up, traffic, scary drivers, usually no internet, unsafe foods, disease, unclean water, political unrest, no air conditioning, intense heat, orphaned children everywhere, extreme pollution, garbage on every street, extreme poverty, heartbreak and death – I realized that in that place of being out of my element, I experienced the love of Christ more than anywhere else in the world. In that place of uncomfortability, you must rely on Jesus more than ever. The relying on Jesus actually feels really amazing once you actually give in and start trusting! :)
I don’t want this post to come off as harsh or blunt. But coming back to America has disgusted me. We think our lives are so hard here. Come spend a day in Haiti. Hold a baby and see the young mothers who drop them off. Then you will really see heartbreak at it’s worst. How can I sit here and whine about my phone not working or my shower not being hot, when somewhere a teenage mother is being forced to part with her precious baby? How can I complain about a long day at work, when some missionaries are working day and night to save women’s lives? How can I wish I was financially more well off when tonight someone is starving to death? Jesus asks me to give up everything to follow him….can I really do this? Can you do this?
Often times we try to smooth this scary question over with, “Well, God hasn’t called me to do something that radical.” But Jesus asks us to pick up our cross and follow him. Am I doing that? Are you? Where in your life are you living uncomfortably for the sake of someone else? Where in your life are you being radical for Jesus? If you can’t think of an area, than it is time to start rethinking the purpose of your life.
I am going to leave you with a quote that I absolutely love.
Having faith often means doing what others see as crazy. Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers. - Francis Chan
Okay, guys..... so spiritually speaking, you died. Now your new life is hidden with Christ. Christ should now be your WHOLE life. Take up your cross and follow him. Be consumed. Be the light Jesus has created you to be. Do not consider this home, but be looking for your greater purpose… a purpose where you consider others more important than yourself. Bring justice to the injustice. Bring hope to the hopeless. Bring love to the hateful. Bring salvation to the lost.
Drown in the radiant love Jesus has showered upon you and show others how to do the same.
Give up your life and you will gain everything. Go change the world.
2 Corinthians 6
Even in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we're beaten up, jailed, and mobbed; working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we're telling the truth, and when God's showing his power.
Even when we're doing our best setting things right; when we're praised, and when we're blamed; slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching many; having nothing, having it all.
Dear, dear Church, I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!
I absolutely love this. So I had to share it !
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
Hey, friend! I'm Chelsie!
Stay a while and get comfy. <3