I have not written much about how the Lord has been working in my life out here. I tend to make myself too busy to stop and focus on the real reason why I am even in Alaska. It is to teach, learn, grow, be challenged, but ultimately it comes down to me obeying the Lord with Him calling me here.
Recently I have been challenged in all major areas of my life: spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I have come across tasks that have been daunting. As some of you know, the end of the year has finally arrived and the school is being demolished within the next week in order to build a new one next year. This means we all have been finishing school, packing, and working long hours to accomplish every we need to get done. I do not stay nearly as long as some of the other teachers, but I do what I need to get done until the next day. Going through everything in the classroom and packing up boxes for next year has brought me to the point that I am on my own next year. I of course have teachers around to help me and make sure I am on the right track; but it has ultimately come down to me being the head teacher of a classroom. I am excited yet nervous. Despite, the thoughts of fear and doubt for next year, I remind myself that the Lord has brought me here to do this job. I have enjoy looking back over the past year to see how the Lord has prepared me for this coming year and am quite astonished at how everything has been laid out for me. It started when I student taught here for 6 weeks, followed by a 5 month period of working with the same students as I did in student teaching, and now I am taking over that same class to teach them all again next year. I am completely blessed to have taken small steps to get where I am right now. I am exactly where He wants me and I have to trust Him to take me through this next year.
I also have been spiritually challenged with people moving in and out of my life. Through specific people the Lord has allowed in my life, I have learned about myself, how to handle situations, extend grace, and look at situations with a less critical attitude.Even if situations were not ideal, I did not loose my sight of the Lord in my life. I knew that He was/is present in everything and every situation. Even this weekend which has sparked this blog, He has shown Himself faithful to me. He has called me out of my comfort zone and has asked me to trust Him. The first verse the Lord used to speak to me is 2 Peter 3:9- "The Lord is slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance." The Lord is patient with me. The Lord is patient with you. The Lord wants to spend eternity with us. I feel I need to ask, "Have you fully given your life over to Christ so that He is the Lord of all you do?" I know that I struggle with this and the daily taking up my cross, and laying down everything that bogs me down. I try to do this life on my own so many days and I always seem to fail. That is why this is a great verse to memorize, or read every day: Deuteronomy 6:4-5 "Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah: and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." This verse is powerful because my heart, soul, and might is everything within me. It all belongs to God because I belong to God. Do you belong to God?
As for me being physically exhausted, I have been trying to do something challenging, difficult, or adventurous over the past month. It has been good thus far and I am looking forward to what is in store for the rest of the month. Just in this weekend, I have gone camping, flew a plane without any help from the pilot, and walked 7 miles in the middle of the night. First of all, if you know me at all, you know that I am not a camper nor have I ever really gone camping. Well, we flew and then hiked to our destination for our camping trip. We saw amazing views of the water, active volcanoes, and they had the joy of me flying the plane. The camping was not bad at all, and I am glad I went because the trip sparked me to slow down and think. This trip brought me back to the reason of why I am even in Alaska. As for walking 7 miles in the middle of the night, that really tested my limits. My friend and I went boating and the waves ended up being too big for us to get our boat back on the water. We had docked on the shore for a bit. We waited for the waves and wind to calm down but that unfortunately did not happen. We attempted to get the boat out and start the engine, however, it was a no go. My friend tried walking the boat to a calmer spot but it was still to windy. Once midnight hit, we decided to start walking home. We had to walk over rocks, boulders, and walk in the darker hours of the day. We had enough light to walk without lights and enough layers to keep us warm. I had not eaten since 11 am that morning and was really challenged physically and mentally to push through in order to make it back for work the next day. We both felt that trying to take the boat back was a bad idea and walking was safer. Our feelings were correct because the next day the boat's engine died about 50 meters after getting it started. We would have been stranded on the lake if we had got the boat on the water. It took us 3 hours and 45 minutes to walk 7 miles. I learned a lot about my limitations that night both physically and mentally. I was so determined to get home that there was nothing that was going to stop me. We both had to rest every now and then because we were tired and our legs/feet began to hurt. I kept praying and trying to think of things that I could be thankful for during this time. It was quite the adventure and extremely rewarding when I arrived safely at home. Sometimes we have to extend grace, learn from our experiences, and be grateful for the tough times we go through.
Lastly, I have been hit pretty hard with emotions. There have been situations that have tugged on my heart strings. I have seen hurt, pain, and struggles in my life along with other people and their lives. I have been reminded that there is hurt and pain people go through that I will never feel or understand. I was thinking about what it looks like to love selflessly. Love comes in many different forms and feeling loved depends on the individual. It could be in giving them a smile, hug, listening to them, helping them even with the smallest task, and the list continues. God has been calling me to love selflessly lately. I have been dragging my feet in a few situations, but in other ones I am just trying to show love the best way I possibly can. We all have problems/complications in our lives, however, we cannot allow them to control us. What has been controlling you lately?