choose to live

A friend and I sat on my bed yesterday afternoon talking about how a single event, like a weekend Christian retreat or a missions trip, should not and cannot dictate a person’s passion for life and joy in Christ.

Maybe you can relate to this:

You have a mountain top experience in which you feel this surge of the Holy Spirit flooding your heart with new life and purpose, challenging and growing you significantly over a short period of time.  It sets a fire to your soul.  It becomes your drive, your motivation.  Returning home you’re passionate for Jesus and His calling.  You simply can’t believe this incredible sense of fulfillment and peace you have.  The time of soul-searching and seeking Christ, ah! they’re just amazing!  He’s alive to you like never before!

However months pass and the enthusiasm slowly dies down as you return to the normalcy of day-to-day life.  It’s different from what it was when you were away.  Whenever you want to feel that spark of life rekindled you retreat to your magical world of memories from that one experience, expecting it to lift back up to that peak.  It works sometimes, but not always.  Sometimes you even sink lower, down to a rough valley when you recognize that you simply can’t return to those heights.  The experience is too far gone.  Your memories start to blur.  It’s not just an emotional battle.  It attacks you spiritually.  You gradually forget what the purpose of that time away was even for and who you became, who you committed to be, who changed you.

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Good news!  It doesn’t have to be that way!  This is what my friend and I came to realize together, having both been through this before:

The same Spirit of Christ that filled your heart in that mountain top moment is still alive and working in you every single day.

You must choose to be in the present.

Choose move on with life.

Choose to meet Jesus daily.

Choose to be joyful.

Choose to embrace new lessons, new experiences, and let new people in.

Choose to live.

 

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There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ve been dancing in the shadow of my personal mountain top experience from this past summer in Uganda.  The excitement from those 2 months hasn’t worn off yet.  So much of what I do and say traces back to something I went through or learned from God during that time.  They are good lessons which shaped me for eternity and it’s a wonderful thing that I still regularly pull from that season of growth.

But like I said, life goes on and I need to move on.  I know I’ll be in Uganda again in less than 3 months, yet I’m making a conscious choice to live and learn right here, too.

For me to live is Christ…

Philippians 1:21a

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5 thoughts on “choose to live

  1. So true Hannah!
    A single event cannot and should not dictate our passion in Christ. I found the real test of my passion is how I am living now. I have had many amazing experiences from camps, tours, outreaches and so on but it’s what I am doing now that counts. Am I faithful now! I like what you said.
    It’s a choice. I must choose to follow God. I choose to pursue Him everyday no matter what that “everyday” is……
    Thanks for sharing.
    Bless you

    Rolain

  2. This is a great post! I hope that one day the Lord will want me to go on a mission trip!
    When I see pictures of you with little African children, I think, “That is all I’ve ever wanted to do.” (Love on Africans, GO to Africa, etc.) , but I am trying to keep my heart open, I mean I am only 12! 🙂 I guess I have always had big dreams though.
    I am praying for you!
    Your Sister in Jesus,
    Paige

    1. It’s just good to keep your heart open to the possibility that God may use you anywhere in the world, especially where you are RIGHT NOW, Paige …He has you there for a very important reason!

      DREAM BIG, girl!! Others may think you’re crazy, but don’t let it phase you! There’s no harm in hoping for great things! Back when I was your age I dreamed of Africa and all the cute little kiddos, too! I half imagined myself in in a place similar to where I am now, but God’s plans were WAY bigger! I praise Him for being a faithful, loving Father who had my best in mind for His glory.

      Just recently I was considering this dream, in awe of the privilege to actually GO to Africa as a missionary, and I realized that it didn’t become a reality only by dreaming. It involved a great deal of DOING in the mean time, while I was waiting on God to direct my path! Since I was unable to physically go to Africa initially I knew that I could help the people over there first through devoted time in prayer and second, by giving financial gifts to ministries already in Africa (like you plan on doing through your crochet business!). For example, one opportunity God laid before me was the chance to sponsor a 9-year-old girl from Tanzania.. I couldn’t physically be a part of this girl’s life, but God showed me that I could still change the world for one child by funding her education and simple household needs, and love on her through a friendship developed by letter writing. It’s one of the best decisions I ever made! She calls me her big sister, and it’s been so special to see her grow up! I still sponsor Haleluya, and she’s going to be 17 this year! God has done amazing things through this kind of ministry! Explore the possibilities….there are so many!

      I promise to pray for you, Paige! Your desire springs from a heart of love and care for people. God knows of your dream and astound you with a future far greater than you could ever imagine! Trust Him and choose to live now!

  3. True and good thoughts, Hannah. Also a very, true description of marriage. I must choose every day to be ‘married’ to Skip…acting married, being married and all it entails. Love you and praying for you! Cathy

  4. You are so right, Hannah. It takes a daily renewal…this is why Jesus said if any man would come after Him, he must deny himself, take up his cross DAILY, and follow Him. We can keep our walk with Jesus fresh all the time if we intentionally spend that precious time at His feet, every single day. It will require us laying other things aside, but its worth cannot be measured. God bless you and keep you always in His care and presence.

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