I cannot begin to express how much of a blessing Reality LA has been to me since I have begun this crazy adventure and journey of starting completely over in LA. It's like every single week Tim speaks directly to what I am going through and feeling. Reality LA is a refreshing church--it's honest and real and sometimes hard to recieve but in that good 'I'm really being challenged in my faith' way.
After the service yesterday I felt so light. God completely took away my anxiety and nerves and once again, I am in awe of the Creator of the Universe. I am also feeling convicted. How often do we feel as if in this life, we deserve good things when we work hard? How many times since I've been here have bitter thoughts gone through my head, have I looked around and thought, "It's not fair I don't have a car. It's not fair I can't get a proper job--I graduated college for goodness sake! It's just NOT FAIR." These thoughts are SO ugly and so polluted. I was reminded yesterday that my own LIFE is a gift...it's not even my own. The breath I take, the body I have--it's God's creation. So what I don't have a car? I don't deserve one anyway. If we begin to live our life as "gift-based" we will glorify the Lord, rather than living a life that is achievment based. I love this idea. It helps me to remember to never cling to material things. It can all be gone in an instant--that is why it is just a gift. These clothes? They are gifts, they aren't mine and I can't turn them into idols. The meals I ate? So many people in the world would KILL to eat a portion of the food I eat. It is a precious gift I must rejoice for.
This is so hard for me to understand. The world is constantly telling us to get that higher degree, get that better job, get that perfect romantic relationship--GET GET GET. Why is it so hard to open our hearts to receive God's blessings? We preoccupy our minds and set our hearts on earthly gain. We're going through Ecclesiastes in church and oh my GOSH it is so legit. It's interesting. When we die, we literally can take NOTHING with us. When we set our mind on earthly achievment, living this life solely to be remembered, to have a legacy, to get STUFF, we are missing the point so much. That is why I am convinced Jesus is the Son of God. This is why I know. Jesus offers us an eternal gift--actually, He's already given it to us! Yet we so easily turn away from Him. And the beautiful thing about Jesus? He's there for everyone. EVERYONE. Not just white people, not just rich, not just poor--every single person on this earth. And we don't have to work for Him. There is Grace. It still amazes me everyday.
I loved when Tim brought up yesterday that so many people think others use Christianity as merely a crutch. This is a point that has been on my heart recently, but I could never articulate it as well as Tim did yesterday. The thing is, it IS a crutch--it is us acknowledging that, Okay. I can't DO this on my own. This life thing. I NEED God in my life, I NEED Jesus. It is no longer about ME. I am handing everything over to the Lord.
I think why I am going through all of this and processing this on my blog is because this has been one of the hardest months I've ever experienced. I have had so much worry and anxiety that my chest literally hurt for the last two days. A throbbing, angry feeling that made it hard to breathe and bend down. I've been so bogged down with stress and fear that I have overlooked the blessings and gifts in my life right now. My prayer is that God can use me right where I am--no matter my situation. So what if I don't have a car or more "things"--they are pointless. So what if I don't have my dream job. Jesus was a carpenter. Manual labor. The son of God came down to earth and was a carpenter. Talk about humbling.
Right now I feel excitement inside of me. I feel this freedom in everyday waking up and saying, "God, what do you have for me today?" Each day walking with Jesus is truly enough. And it is the best gift of all.