Thursday, October 16, 2014

Where I'm At: Victoria

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I realize it has been close to two years since I last wrote a “Where I’m At” post. To say that a lot has happened since then would be an understatement! I will share what I’m doing right now, and some major lessons God has taught me, and is still teaching me.

I have since graduated from high school, and I sit here writing this in my dorm at college. I am a freshman at a Christian liberal arts college. I’ve not even been here two months but it feels like home already. I love it here, and am so glad God paved a way for me to come!

It almost didn’t happen, and I really didn’t think I’d get to attend a Christian college. I remember back in March telling people it would take a miracle for me to be able to come to college here. Well, let me just tell you – God does still perform miracles! The ways He provided for me were awesome!

One of the major lessons I’ve learned in the past year is that money is like nothing before God. There is no amount too big. He is, after all, in charge of the universe, so why would I think He wouldn’t provide? Even though I know this, it’s still hard to trust at times. 

I’ve learned this lesson in two big ways this year. One was getting more than enough for my mission trip to Taiwan and Hong Kong. (You can read about that here) The other way was getting scholarships to be able to attend this college.

Another big lesson I’ve learned this year is that success cannot be measured or even seen. Success isn’t based upon the results. It is based upon following God’s will. I learned this while in Hong Kong. You see, when I went on the mission trip, I went expecting results. I wanted to lead a child to God. I wanted to see fruit. So when that didn’t happen, and it didn’t seem like I was making much of a difference, I became discouraged. I remember the night before we flew to Hong Kong, which was our final city. I was crying and telling myself that this trip had been a failure for me. That I was a failure.

One day in Hong Kong, I was looking again at the schedule. There was a lesson on the last day that we would teach entitled “Success/God’s Will.” I’d seen it before on the schedule in other cities, and had even taught a lesson on success. But this time I saw the words with new eyes – I saw the words together, connected. And it became clear to me suddenly. Success was following God’s will! As simple as that! I felt freed of the burden I had been carrying that made me believe I had to change the kids. I quickly began to connect this concept to other areas of my life, too. I saw that I would not be a failure if I went to a local community college. If I tried my best to get in elsewhere, and was led to go there, then it was good. If it was God’s will, then I would, in fact, be successful by going there.

There is a great passage in Isaiah that illustrates clearly what God taught me. Just because I couldn’t see the fruit, doesn’t mean there wasn’t any. God’s Word changes people, even if I cannot see it. God never fails. As Isaiah 55:8-11 says:

““For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

I have been learning recently about following God. I have realized how important it is to do what He says, even if it’s not what I want. I don’t need to know the future, or even necessarily the next step. I just need to follow the Holy Spirit.

At this time in my life I think a lot about what I want to do with my life. About my ideal future. However, I know God could change my plans drastically. Or He could say yes but take me down a different road to get to where I’m going. 

Right now, there are multiple possibilities I am considering concerning my future. I am interested in Music Therapy; songwriting; teaching music in a third world country; teaching music to physically or mentally disabled people (related to Music Therapy); and getting my doctorate and teaching music at a Christian college. I will probably have to narrow that down, or I may get to do all of them! I really don’t know for sure. I feel like the direction God has been leading me in is using music to help others. But only He knows the specifics. I’m realizing that’s okay, though. I need to just follow Him one step at a time. I don’t have to see the bigger picture to know that doing that is true success!

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