Saturday, November 12, 2011

Living Means...

Today I'd like to share a verse with you that has been brought to my heart the last week and a half or so.  Ahem, please open your Bibles to Philippians 1:21... or keep reading right here.
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
I enjoy reading multiple translations and paraphrases, so here is the same verse in the New Living Translation.  I love this translation of the verse.
"For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better."
This last week has been one of the hardest weeks I've had in a quite a while.  Nearly every day I've woken up and become immersed in my own worries and hurt.  It's so easy for me to lose track of what life is all about.

To live is Christ.

I've felt alone, broken, stressed, and hurt.  I walk to class, study, go to sleep, struggle to maintain new relationships and continue to build my friendships here... and occasionally, I'll spend an entire day focusing on my concerns more than I focus on Him... or on anything, for that matter.

This reminds me of my favorite Shane and Shane song called "I Miss You."
I had a fleeting thought this morning and I mentioned You today.  It breaks my heart just to know You in part and not to be with You where You are.
Living means living for Christ.  I want every part of my life to be for Him.
My life isn't easy right now.

But it's not about me.  It's about Him.  Lately, I've been trying to change my perspective around... and that's hard to do sometimes.  But here's how I'm re-molding my mind with His help.
  • On bad days, I purposely wear Christian t-shirts and cross necklaces so I'll be constantly reminded to act like a city on a hill, even when I don't feel like it. 
  • I've tried putting encouraging Bible verses around me so I'll think of His promises rather than my own doubts. 
  • I make it a little game to mention Him in every conversation I have. 
  • And Stephanie and I have been meeting every Thursday as accountability partners.  We share Scripture with each other, pray together, and talk through any of the doubts or struggles we've been facing throughout the week.  That's been a huge blessing in my life. 
And you know, I think this is working more and more each day.  The Lord is restoring my heart piece by piece.  And even during the hardest weeks like this one, I am constantly reminded that He is there.  He is holding me.  He loves me despite everything I've ever done.

It's funny because many days living here, I feel so pumped up in my faith.  Living in a place where I'm the minority is invigorating.  It's one of the biggest mission fields I've ever seen.  And then a week like this will happen and I'll start to lose focus.  Again.  I can never forget all that He has given me.

Living means living for Christ.

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