It's time for Faithful Friday again!
I started Faithful Fridays so that Christians would have one designated day of the week (although we shouldn't limit it to one) to share something about our Faith--a prayer request, praise report, special Scripture, something God has laid on your heart, etc. If you would like to participate in Faithful Fridays, type up your post and link up to my blog in it somewhere. Also grab the above button for your post! After your post is published, let me know in your comment on my Faithful Fridays post that you participated and leave the link to your blog!
If you saw my post a little farther down titled "What" then you will understand this post. This post explains why I think I changed so much after we came home from China...isn't it funny how two weeks in a foreign country could change me forever, for the better?
Many a time I've tried to put into words the way I feel about China. I can't seem to do it.
So many aspects of my life involve China in some way. The necklace around my neck. The books I read. My computer time. Even my school. My thoughts and words, too. And especially my little brother. :)
You've probably already noticed my love for China. You've probably gotten tired of the numerous posts that involve it.
When I think of China, my heart just feels...full. Overflowing. Bursting. Bubbling over. I feel inspired. I can so see myself working over there in an orphanage or children's home.
And to think I might not have gone..well, that's just awful to me! You see, I'm very, very, very (VERY) afraid of shots. And nose and throat swabs. And doctor visits in general. I'm just sort of afraid of pain. And so, when I found oiut that to go to China, I had to have three shots (like my parents, just different kinds of shots), I seriously considered staying home with my grandparents. Well, I braved it out. And I'm so, so thankful. Thank you God!
China changed me.
When I got home from China, I went through a bit of a rough maturing phase. We've been home with Luke for over a year, and I can still see slight traces of that phase sometimes, although it is nothing, and I mean nothing like the issues I had during the first 6-8 months.
This phase had one big issue--thoughts. I had doubts and just thoughts that I did not want. And couldn't seem to get them out of my head. Worse than that, I felt a pressing need almost 100% of the time to tell my thoughts to my mama. Like almost all of them. It was a conscience thing--I felt super, super bad if I didn't confess my thoughts. Saying them to God just didn't seem to be enough. I know that was just me giving myself a hard time (along with the devil of course). There were very few thoughts I had that I didn't tell my mom.
These doubts and thoughts began with my Christian Faith. That was short lived and taken care of quickly by my awesome, wise parents and my mighty, all-knowing God.
The next hit was really bad, too. Almost worse because it lasted so long.
I was sad all the time. I call it "that deep down feeling." It's sort of like a constant sinking feeling reminding me of my thoughts. I cried a lot. I asked my mama over and over and over and over again--"Is this going to end? When? Why am I going through this?"
My mama was so awesome during this time. She read a books to me, prayed with me, hugged me, talked to me, and encouraged me. She carried so much for me during that time. She has such a beautiful, compassionate, loving soul. I thank God for her! And I thank you, Mama, for doing what you do!
I couldn't escape my thoughts. I guess I was just weak spiritually. I had a ridiculous consicence. And after all this, I still loved China! Mama recently commented that she believes that my desire to work in China is God-given. I believe so, too.
Now, looking back, I can see that God used this time to mold me into what I am now. I'm not trying to brag or anything, but I do think that I've changed. Sometimes I can't believe the things I did before China. They weren't terrible things, just the teen stuff that can sometimes lead to other things--boy craziness, internet addiction, etc. And the words I spoke along with my attitudes and actions. The websites I spent my time on weren't bad in theirselves, but the things that went on on those websites were not pleasing to God, I'm sure and I wish I hadn't had any part of those. Yes, I was a Christian. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was five. But I wasn't acting like a Christian. I was kind of conforming to this world--slowly. I thought--this is the part that really shocks me--that I was being a pretty good Christian girl. But I knew deep (deep) down that some of the things I did were not right.
So, God used that hard phase after China to change me. Actually, God saved me, from the way I was becoming. He set me apart. I understand now why I went through that. And I'm thankful for that time in my life.