missing home but finding Jesus

* this blog post has a lot of random twists and turns. so hang tight (: *
**some portions of this blog post are inspired by the book Radical by David Platt**

currently i'm sitting on my bed
with my fan blowing, worship music playing, bug net hanging overhead.
i'm covered in bug bites, my finger has been sliced open by a fan, and i should be working on my homework.

today i've felt lonely.
i feel tired.
and i want to come home.

i want to see my family and love on my dog in real life, and not on a screen.
i want to meet up with friends for snowcones
& stay up late talking about anything and everything.
i want to soak in the luxury of air conditioning
and go on a drive in an automatic car.
i'd love to eat a reeses peanut butter cup or chicken tenders.
i'd love to wear a cute sundress and go on a date with luke.
i'd love to go hike at the pinnacles before summer veritas.
i'd really enjoy a slush from sonic or a game of ultimate frisbee.
i'd like to watch fixer upper with dana and eat hychi.
i would absolutely love to go to church at the crossing tomorrow and actually take communion and not just watch as everyone else takes it on livestream.
i'd love to be going to camp awesome next week or to be on vacation with my dad and brother.
i'd like to go to the library or take a weekend trip to visit friends.

i am struggling with wanting these things.
i am struggling with knowing that multiple weeks separate me from all of these things and that some will never happen.
some of these wants are petty. but some are very real.

while i sit here struggling with jealousy and silly wants,
i feel guilty.
i feel like i shouldn't have these wants.
if i have God then i shouldn't want anything else right?
well, yes.
but that isn't reality. 

but here's what is:
i haven't changed my flight.
i haven't thrown in the towel.
i haven't turned away from my Maker.
i haven't given up.
i haven't stopped trying.

through the grace of Christ the King,
i keep going.
i keep pursuing His Name
because He does satisfy.
He gives me hope.
He gives me a reason.
He gives me food and water.
He gives me all that I need.
He gives me opportunities to talk with my family
and to participate in my church services 3,000 miles away.
He allowed Luke to come and visit me after his Guatemalan mission trip.
He gives me strength.
He provides healing.
He provides His word for guidance.
He has Oceans play on Spotify when you need a reminder as to why you're doing missions.

"And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine"

sometimes I just need a reminder.
sometimes i just need to sit down and pour out my feelings on this random little blog and that's where Christ meets me.
this is where He comes down and wraps His arms around me and tells me that it's okay. that He loves me and will never leave my side.

*this point in the blog marks where Christ convicted me hard and opened my eyes once again to why I'm living my life for Him.*

missions isn't always easy.
heck, life in Columbia, Missouri isn't always easy.
but it isn't supposed to be.
if it was, where would Christ fit in?
things have gotten muddled in American Christianity.
i've fallen into it and most likely, you have too.
here's our problem:
we crave comfort.
we crave normalcy and luxury and the American dream.
but here's the scary thing:
the Bible calls us to give up our comfort.

we aren't called to follow Christ in comfort.
instead we are all called to give up everything we have to follow our Savior.
to give up our comforts, to leave our families, to sell our worldly possessions. 

Luke 9:23
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

(synopsis by David Platt: pick up a device of torture and follow me. it will not be easy but it will be worth it.)

The Cost of Following Jesus: Luke 9:57-62

57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”60 And Jesus[g] said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

(synopsis according to David Platt: Jesus says, follow me and you might be homeless. follow me and leave your family behind - don't even bury your dead dad. follow me and don't look back. don't even say goodbye.)

Luke 18:22
When Jesus heard his answer, he said, "There is still one thing you haven't done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

treasure in heaven.
it's better than going on a date with luke.
it's better than the company of family.
and it's most definitely better than a slush from sonic.
and yet I sit here craving these other, less fulfilling things instead of Christ.
why is that?
seriously. think about it.

giving up our comforts and living for the Lord
and then being rewarded in heaven with treasure.
the treasure of living each day worshiping our Creator.
the treasure of living each day in community with all those who gave up their comforts before us.
the treasure of BEING WITH CHRIST.
THE Christ.
you know, the Son of God and the Resurrected King and the Good Shepard who came down and died so that we could have more than Reese's peanut butter cups. so that we could have more than air-conditioning. 
and here I am wanting to eat freaking hychi!!!!

guys, i'm not saying wants are bad.
but when we let them consume us as i did earlier,
that's not okay.
we have to check ourselves daily.
Who are we living for?
Are we focusing on following Christ?
Are we going to give up our comforts when He calls us to or are we going to sit tight in our air-conditioned churches thinking that that is enough?

does this make sense guys?
if you got lost reading what's above or if you're just not getting it -
please let me know.
because this is hard stuff. 
i don't have it all worked out.
and i would love to talk through it with you.
i am still learning each and every day
and i am so thankful that Christ shows grace like He does, because I need it. 
i don't deserve it. not one little bit,
but i am so incredibly thankful for it.
i'm thankful that Christ is transforming my thoughts about Him and what it means to be a follower of Jesus.


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