Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Then and Now

It's interesting that I named this blog "Time." Time has always been a big deal in my life. With divorced parents, thinking about time has consumed many holidays and summer breaks and whose time is it and how am I going to split it and so on...
Now that I'm older I have come to value time probably more than anything else. When I have an hour to spend on the phone with a friend, I hang up feeling energized and refreshed because someone cared enough to give me a little piece of their life. It's also one of the things I need to work on the most because I constantly procrastinate. =/ I also stretch myself too thin, not knowing when to say no when someone needs some of my time. I'm working on it.
Needless to say, I think a lot about time. When I first started I posted about Ecclesiastes 3, which talks about God's timing for all things...
What brought that about was looking at relationships around me (some I was involved in and some that I was just a bystander to) and how there is a time to make it work and a time to wish them the best and move on. We are free in Christ, and yet sometimes we let other people become chains that hold us down. It can either be by their own doing or our own choice to be chained (or both). A chain for me growing up was trying to please people. I constantly felt torn or guilty about where I was or who I was spending time with because I couldn't be in two places at once. When I started driving, I could make my own choices, do my own thing. I eventually started spending less and less time at either home just so I could avoid the whole thing. I let myself become so wrapped up in one person that I put chains on myself by letting my life be consumed around them...
That brings me to what I wanted to do in this post. I just want to show what God has done in the past 6 or 7 months of my life. It's just a beginning, but my God is SO big and I'm beyond grateful that He picked me up from where I was and let me be free and completely satisfied in Him. I'm so excited to see what more He has in store for me.

Then: Stingy and scared to give when I had so many "needs" of my own.
Now: Learning that giving TRULY is better than receiving. It is all His anyway, and He can do much more with it than I can!

Then: Always feeling guilty about where I was and who I was spending my time with.
Now: Trusting that no matter where I am, I am carrying Jesus with me and opportunities surround me to share Him with others.

Then: Timid and rarely sharing my faith.
Now: Praying for the chance to daily show Jesus to whoever He puts in my path, even my own family.

Then: Terrified to leave the comforts of home.
Now: Loving being at college, meeting new people, experiencing new things, and embracing the opportunity to leave the country to share Jesus with another part of the world!

Then: Stressed all the time about things that don't matter in the end.
Now: Life happens, but my Jesus sustains and satisfies me through any circumstance. Circumstances can't hold me down.

Then: Settling for something that was far from God's best for me.
Now: Trusting that even when I don't understand, I can trust God to bring the best things along in His time. Knowing that I deserve more than I settled for.

Then: Missing out on so many great things because I thought something else was worth it.
Now: Traded it in for having a ton of fun, meeting a lot of wonderful people, and most of all, opening my hands up to whatever God may have for me!

Then: Conforming into someone that wasn't me, afraid to be honest because of what I might "lose".
Now: Free to be myself, knowing that my Jesus is the only One I really need to please, and also knowing that He fulfills my heart's desires! He knows me better even than I do.

Then: Doing things my way, always wanting control. 
Now: Learning to trust Him and not wanting things in my control (because my way will always fail!) 

Then: Watered down Christianity.
Now: Living for Jesus. Still learning (a LOT) but giving all that I am and all that I have for Him to do what He will with it...

To GOD be the glory, great things He has done! Praise Him for choosing to save us, when we can't even see that we need saving! Praise Him for never giving up on us. Praise Him for choosing to use us. Praise Him for He is SO good.

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