Monday, July 13, 2009

"Perfect Preparation"

Truth is, I'm a bit nervous now. There. I said it. I'm nervous. I leave for California in two days and then it won't be long before I'm off to Russia. As I often do, I was reading through some of my journals tonight and read an entry written four years ago. I find comfort in the fact that my time in Russia is not an isolated event. God has used the things in my past to prepare me for it, and I believe he will use Russia to prepare me for whatever is next.

December 17, 2005

"There is something about safety that traps you. It draws you in and doesn't want to let you go. Perhaps it is the comfort or stability that we feel that keeps us from moving on. Or maybe it is the fear of what we will face if we step out-out of our houses, out of our bank accounts, out of our schools, out of our country...out of our control. Ironically, there is much danger in safety. I went to a womens event at church tonight. Around me were several dozen women, all cute and cheerful. Sometimes I think about how easy it is to appear like you have everything together. As I watched these women eat their homemade cookies and talk to their friends, I couldn't help but feel a little bit of dread. I could easily see myself in their shoes in ten or fifteen years and I wonder, what type of life is a safe life? Go to work, take care of the kids, cook dinner, kiss your husband, go to bed and start over. This isn't to say that great good can't come from this lifestyle. I don't doubt that some people are called to such a life. But what if I'm not?

My own self-doubt and insecurities bind me to a certain level of safety without my even knowing it. Look at my life now. My family, my church, my friends, my school, the people around me, the decisions I make-for the most part they are safe. People would think my life a success if I graduated college, became a kindergarten teacher, got married, had kids, and lived a "good" life. But I can't help wonder what God has to say about that. I wonder if that would be how he would define success for my life. The way I see it is there are plenty of people who would love to live a life like that and will search for nothing more. What could God do with me if I was willing? If I laid my dreams before him. If I gave him my dreams of a husband, a teaching job, children, and ultimately my safety and security- and laid them before his feet? How would things be different? In what ways would the direction of my life change? Maybe nothing would change...or maybe nothing could stay the same. We sang a song tonight that declared whatever we go through in this life, that it will all be worth it. I want to go beyond my own plans. How do I expect to follow an unsafe God when I am wallowing in safety? How do I expect to feel his touch when I am wrapped in my own security?"


anng said...

I know I've said this before, but your wisdom and insight astounds me. I am so blessed to call you my friend. I know that God is going to do amazing things in your life through this trip and while the future is unknown it's in His hands. You're an amazing person Elizabeth! Just keep on being you and you'll end up right where you need to be!

Elizabeth Joy said...

Thanks, Ann. I could say the same about you.

...maybe that's why we're friends...