Man, I can't believe I've been home for a week now. I seriously miss Australia... but being home is stretching me in so many different ways. It's hard for me to step back and see how many opportunities I have been given to use what I learned and continue to grow. It's a hard type of growing pain but I can already see that I'll come out stronger afterward.
I can feel the change that happened in my heart. Makes me feel uncomfortable in certain places that used to be so normal. I don't know how I feel about that... I obviously like that God has changed my heart but I'm going to have to make some adjustments to how I used to live. That's exactly what I asked for though, so now begins the journey of dying to myself daily.
I'm back in Cincinnati now and I can't even begin to describe what my life has been like the past 5 months. I feel like this video sums it up. We were told the first week, right before outreach, and the last week to write letters. The last week we wrote letters we basically wrote out every promise God had fulfilled in our lives during this time. So, I'm going to share my letter with you because it basically sums up the whole trip:
To my Father whom I love,
I fly home in 4 days and I can't believe this is over. Reading over those past letters, I'm blown away by the changes you made in my heart. Outreach was definitely a hard time to stay focused. I realized that I'm really going to need to push myself even harder when I get home to continue this relationship with you. I can become so easily distracted. You are so incredibly faithful and I never did anything to deserve it.
Thank you for the convictions and challenges during this whole DTS. I see how you put random people in my life to teach me random lessons. You continuously taught me how to love people that weren't anything like me. You used prostitutes in Thailand to show me that I'm no better than them in your eyes and yet you love us just the same. It was no longer "them" and "me," it became "us" and we are all family.
Through books you taught me to see Jesus through new eyes. I'm now even more confused but you ignited a curiosity in my heart to seek after the truth even more. To no longer go off of what people have told me and to see for myself. You showed me what authority in Christ looks like. What walking through the streets filled with prostitutes, praying that you bring justice and hope to every single person that walks on it. I realized the importance/real-ness of spiritual warfare. That putting on the armor of God isn't just a kids demonstration and there really is a war going on.
You continued to put music back into my life. Dropped a few ideas of what could possibly be next. You also showed me how to love/see the kids of Indonesia like you do. You showed me some of the most beautiful places in the world and some of the most beautiful people. You took me on the biggest adventure of my life and showed me what an adventure life is. You made me appreciate home even more and my family and how important they are. You also showed me that you are also the only one who sustains and provides. Family can only do so much but you are the ultimate provider and healer. You can not only heal the outer wounds, you can heal the wound to the heart.
I have learned how to constantly die to myself and I still struggle with that. I don't think that will ever end on this earth. I'm still trying to grasp the supernatural side to you and waiting on the revelations I know you'll give me in time. I know one day I will understand the Holy Spirit more. Right now I just need to work on living like Jesus and learning to love like he did. If love conquers fear, then when I learn to love I will no longer fear man and will be more open to receiving the Holy Spirit in my life. I already have the Holy Spirit in me, but I want more.
I wont ever be able to be perfect but you are and my life depends on you. Thank you for giving me life so I can try to be more like Jesus everyday and have a second chance. Thank you for these past five months and the opportunity to continue to grow closer to you. You are my lover, Father and provider forever.