[[life begins at the end of your comfort zone]]
"The right spelling of the word love is s-a-c-r-i-f-i-c-e."
What a journey this life is. It's truly nothing bigger than learning how to love, despite the discomfort, sometimes pain, rejection, and persecution. Life and love are meant to go hand-in-hand. Yet, most of us translate the 'love' part of that equation as 'loving... me'. I have. Growing up in an environment so on fire for the Lord, it is soooooo easy to think you truly love, to assume that since others live the Christian life, you do too. Yet I have probably been more of a lightbulb surrounded by other lightbulbs that are *turned on* while my light shines very... well, uh... dimly. But when you see nothing but light it's easy to think you are light, too, right? Well, this summer my views have been changed. Life with Jesus is so much more than going to church, leading a Bible study, and saying the right things. Because at church, and Bible study, you can say the right things and act the right way (which I'm still working on!). Yet this summer I was jerked (well, I chose it unknowingly) away from my comfort zone (you know that place where you are fine and happy and life may only be a little bumpy?) and stuck in a situation that I was so unprepared for. Where I had to rely on Jesus. Thinking you are a light, and then being put in your own little closet of the house with no other lightbulbs, can really mess with you. But shining by yourself, even when it's hard, is part of the journey. It's learning how to love. I was not prepared, to say the least. I thought I knew what victory looked like, what love looked like, until now. Now I had to wake up when I would rather be sleeping, be in an environment I would rather not be in, and shine. And love the people I was supposed to be showing light to. When you go almost three complete weeks living in defeat (aka: tearful phone calls with Momma, being sick every morning because you do not want to go to work, etc) you long for something other than it. Yet that old man inside of me wanted so badly to continue in selfishness. Yes, I've been quite selfish. I tried to love in my strength. Actually, I don't believe I even tried. I just arrived at the race and they stuck me in the 'fail' section. But it's a journey, and I am so thankful for Jesus! Once you turn to to Him and Him alone – not to other people, ideas, or any other distractions – life has a meaning. Before I just tried to get through each day, now I have a purpose. For the time I have left in this situation, I will love. I will not listen to my Flesh. I will be poured out joyfully. He is alive IN me! Because in my strength I failed. I fail. I will fail. Always. But when I let Jesus have this broken mess of a life, He can actually use this lightbulb to shine light. I need not rely on other lightbulbs, but instead on the power source. I am so excited to see where He takes me next, and to experience His strength, and His victory. He is worthy, so why would I try to stand in the way?