Embracing my Struggles and Running Toward Him

Today I found out about an amazing missions opportunity and began the application. For those of you who don’t know, my heart is deeply rooted in serving Christ overseas when I graduate and this opportunity is something I am seriously considering and praying about. (Side Note: If you wouldn’t mind, I would appreciate all of you praying for me as I seek God’s council in this. It could be a life altering experience and I just need to know if it’s what He has planned for me. Thanks!)

Anyway, I started filling out the application because I know I am going to get pretty busy here in the next few months and it would just be a good idea to at least have some of it done just in case He says yes. Now, most applications for mission trips ask you about your relationship with Christ and maybe a little bit about you. They never truly seem to get down to the very specific parts of your life journey though. This application, however; did. And let me tell you, it was brutal and extremely hard to answer those questions. I had to continually stop typing because I literally couldn’t see the screen I was crying so hard. And now you are all proably wondering why I would ever want to fill out an application that made me bawl my eyes out right?! Well here is the beauty in it- As I was literally writing about some of the struggles and painful experiences in  my life, a thought came to my mind. It was another one of those thoughts that came directly from God because no way would I ever think of this myself. He told me “This is why I died for you. Even though you’ve sinned and messed up countless times and experienced things that no one should ever have to go though, I still love you. I LOVE you and I will carry you in my arms all the days of your life. You are mine and no one can take you away from me.” Wow. Powerful words. This is exactly what I needed to hear.

I go through so many days of life pushing those experiences and struggles as deep down as I can because they hurt, I am ashamed of them, and I don’t like having to remember. So many people who “know” me would never know most of what I had to write on that application because I have done a pretty solid job of stuffing it all away. Only a few very close friends and family members know a good deal of it, and even then, if I was completely honest, only God knows all of it.

We all have things in our lives that we keep hidden- out of shame, regret, or maybe simply because we don’t like to share everything with everyone. I have recognized in myself the same characteristics that Adam and Eve dealt with after they ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I am ashamed of a lot of things in my past, whether I actually commited the acts or if they were done against me. And I find myself behaving the same way Adam and Eve did- by hiding from God and believing he can’t see it all. But he can- and he does. I cannot hide my struggles and problems from Him any more than a two year old can hide the fact that he has been in the cookie jar when his face has chocolate smudged all over it. He knows. He knows it all and he cares for me and loves me just the same.

I have got to stop trying to hide all my pain from Him. The only way I will ever fully be able to stand up proud and confident is if I allow Him to take all those burdens away- if I allow Him to carry them for me. God’s going to hold my heart. He’s going to be there when I fall and when I struggle. I only need to trust Him and allow Him to be there. We all have things in our past that we are not proud of, but that is what can give us such a great testimony! God puts us in tough situations for a reason and although we often don’t understand why, it all works into his plan perfectly. All I need to do is give up my hurt and pain to him and let him carry my burdens. He can handle it!

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