“And I think that’s what our world is desperately in need of — lovers, people who are building deep, genuine relationships with fellow strugglers along the way, and who actually know the faces of the people the issues they are concerned about.”
– Shane Claiborne –
Gooood morning! Hello from the palmetto state, South Carolina. It is a beautiful sunshiny Sunday here in Florence, and I just needed to sit down and write a chatty little bit about my past two months.
October 1st marks the official halfway mark for me. I’ve been in Florence, South Carolina for two full months now. Myrtle Beach, Greenville, Charleston, Ashville and Hendersonville (NC), multiple airports and many other adventures have taken place and I am so blessed to be able to experience American culture, alongside many other diverse cultures and being apart of exploring God’s beautiful creation. I think one of the most significant things i’ve learned whilst being away from home and being here is humbling myself so that I can learn and grow. Always, everyday, all the time. Not always having to say something, listening with an open mind and heart and being patient with each other and our many cultural differences. I finished high school this past June, but you never are done learning, are you. I think being the youngest here is so good, I love being able to hear from those older than me, even if its only three or four years older. They’ve experienced life and walked in this life and this world longer than me and I love hearing about their story and their thoughts about/on … everything! Especially the personal, individual, unique story God gave that person as a testimony to His greatness and grace.
I’ve learned that giving grace is not always easy, but is always so sweet because receiving grace is so undeserving, and yet … I’m given it daily. I’ve chosen joy to be my anthem and Jesus my compass because this world is dark and unfulfilling and choosing joy changes everything. Walking ( or if you know me — bouncing and running) in light and hope offers a freedom that doesn’t compare to anything of this world. It is so freeing to be apart of a community that knows how to do love and do life with people who are just as human as you are. In a state of brokenness and imperfection, learning and growing alongside fellow strugglers who want more from this life. Striving to become more like Jesus’ character and love with an action love.
I’ve learned that people are vital. Not just their existence, or ability to reproduce, I mean, people are vital for staying sane. For your heart and soul. In order to learn and grow. To be able to share and invest into another life other than just your own. When the tough times roll in, or when the sunshine filters down — community with people, whether chatty or in silence — community is how we connect and learn both independence and interdependence. No matter how introverted, shy, quiet you may be — we all need at least one person that we can turn too.
I find it really interesting how we all learn lessons at different times. I mean in the sense that, we learn/experience sometimes the most obvious “thing” that’s obvious to someone else at the right time for us. Did that make any sense? I love how once something clicks … once you finally understand it for yourself, that lightbulb moment … it’s mind-blowing. I think so at least. It all starts to make sense. I find myself having more and more lightbulb moments which I used to be ashamed of because shouldn’t I already know? Shouldn’t it be obvious, — but noooo! It’s so exciting when God reveals something to you and you can apply it or realize ‘that’ is what it means. yeah?
All of this to say (and I have much more to say) — God is good. In Nova Scotia, in South Carolina, wherever you may be. Through it all and in my moments of obscurity and doubt, God is still good and has a plan for it all. It’s not a matter of trying to understand or be in control but surrendering your control to Him and allowing Him to show you how perfect His plan for your life is, His way. Flourishing against the odds and among those who want to see you fall — living life so bravely that people see an ordinary human, being led by an extraordinary joy — and want to know why. how.
cheers to the weekend and the coming week ahead! xo – sk