Lately I've been going on these (what are so creatively titled) God and Corrie Walks. Basically, I pick a time in my schedule where I have no duties or plans for the rest of the day, then with just myself and a bible and journal, I walk. I don't pick out a path to take, and I don't have a set time when I need to be back by.
It's just me and God.
and it's beautiful.
Over the past couple of months I have realized that I've been lacking in some quality me and God time. You'd think that being in an environment like the one I'm in right now would make it really easy to have those special moments... but it's not.
In fact, at times, I find it harder.
Living in a community like I do, it is super hard to find some time alone. There's always something going on, and adventures to be had.
Before I came up to Sweden I had 3 goals for myself:
- Grow a deeper relationship with God.
- Personal Growth: learn more about me, who I am, and who I am in God.
- Don't hold back. Don't seclude myself. Be involved and go on every adventure possible... basically, don't say no.
Let me explain that last one. This past year I have realized that I tend to hide away. I like to be alone, and I like my own space... a little too much. So instead of going on adventures and being in fellowship with other people, and with friends, I put myself in a position where I am alone. I was just always comfortable, and I liked that... and I thought it was for the best.
But then I realized how much I was missing out on. How much life I wasn't living.
So with that, I knew that I had to break out of that comfort zone and experience as much as I could.
And while up here at Sweden, that's what I did. I did everything that I could. If people were hanging out, I was there too. If a group was going somewhere, I was right behind them. I tried to do everything and be everywhere.
Then I realized that I was totally neglecting those first 2 goals. The time I was spending with God was only with the assignments that I had to do for school- it was more forced, and not something I wanted to do for me... and I didn't grow with the whole "who am I really?"
By the time the school year ended, I was burnt out and exhausted. And honestly, I was scared about going home. I knew that I still had 4 months left in Sweden, but I hadn't felt any change in my life, and I felt like I didn't really learn anything substantial. I was upset with myself, and if I'm going to be honest... a little upset with God.
I remember asking Him and praying to Him, "why am I not different? The whole reason why I came up here was to change and grow... and I feel exactly the same as when I left home."
I didn't want to go home as the same person. I didn't want to come home to people asking me about what God had taught me while in Sweden, and me trying to squeeze out what little change I did experience.
But then summer happened. And at the beginning, I was still striving only for goal #3 and neglecting the other 2. Then out of no where it hit me. I realized why I originally wanted to come to Sweden: For growth. For knowledge. For understanding.
After that I struggled for a month or so about finding a good balance. Finding the balance between staying part of the community, and for finding time to myself.
It was a huge struggle at first. I would go a couple of days where I would literally lock myself in my room. When I had time off- that's where I would be. Always. The other interns would go out and do stuff, but I would stay in my room.
Then once I got bored with that, I would hang out with people again- but I would spend all my time doing stuff, and then the end of the day would come and I realized that I hadn't read my bible that day- but I was too tired to read it at night.
It was a vicious cycle. One that I didn't really understand.
Then one day I went on a God and Corrie walk. Just me and my Savior.
Then I went on another one. Then another one.
Every time it was a different path, and every time I came back with joy in my life and a sense of peace that I hadn't felt for a long time.
I went on one of these walks today. I found a path that I've never been on before... which lead me to another path, which lead me to another path. I literally had no clue where I was for most of the walk. And I loved it. I wasn't scared that I wouldn't find my way back. I felt safe. I felt confident. And I just kept on walking. And while walking I was just awestruck at Gods wonders. From the trees and plants, to the beetles and the ants (+1 for rhyming), I thought about how much thought and creativity and love God put into making the landscapes around us... and how he put that same thought, creativity, and love when creating the ants and beetles.
Why can't my walk with God in life be like the walk with God I took today? Why do I forget to look around me and be thankful for the big and small things he puts in my path? Why do I not always trust that God will lead me in the right direction... that when it might look like I'm lost, I never am?
And wow. This was a random post with a lot of different thoughts running through my head... and I feel like I have to some way summarize the whole thing... partly for you, the reader, but mostly for me... so I can try and digest all the thoughts running around in my head right now.
- I came to Holsby to get away from my normal life, and to grow in my relationship with God, and in my relationship with myself.
- I forgot to find that time for myself, and I became brunt out and exhausted.... to the point where instead of feeling growth in my life, I felt like I was taking steps backwards.
- I realized that I needed to rest. That I needed to refocus my time.
- Finding that balance was a challenge, and in a way I'm still trying to figure it out. But instead of feeling like I was moving nowhere in my relationship with God, I can feel the changes in my life.
- My walk with God in life needs to be just like my walks with God here at Holsby. I need to be thankful and accept everything he puts into my life (and what he might take away), and I need to put my full trust in Him.