Where have the last two weeks gone? It never ceases to amaze me how fast time goes by here in London.
Before I get into some of details of the last two weeks I want to share this story with you. If your sense of humor is similar to mine in anyway, prepare yourself for a moment of laughter...
The joys of living in an international community! In our flat lives seven girls (formerly 8, but my German friend was only here for 7 weeks.) Only two of us are native English speakers. Last night we went for a prayer meeting with another group here in England and we got back late last night at half past 11 p.m. The following basic conversation took place between three of us girls:
Needless to say, I was laughing really hard towards the end of the conversation. I knew exactly where my English speaking friend was going with the movie, "Snow White and the 7 Dwarves" - and eventually she did get to explain that there were some by the name of Happy, Grumpy, Dopey, etc, etc...Sometimes it's pretty much impossible to keep a straight face during moments like this.English Speaker: I'm tired and grumpy.Korean: Grumpy? What does that mean?Me: Grouchy. Unhappy. Or, like when you wake up and haven't had your coffee yet. Grumpy.English Speaker: Have you seen "Snow White and the 7 Dwarves?"Korean: No...What means 'dwarves'?English Speakers: Ummm...Dwarves are like little people.Korean: Oh, like smurfs??!?English Speaker: No...Not exactly...
During the last two weeks I've been keeping busy with many things. Our work of having a book table and distributing free Christian literature to people we meet on the streets, with my communications internship, living with 7-10 people (depending on who is here, who isn't...), taking classes, etc, etc...The list is never ending. While it has been crazy busy I am still learning a lot and soaking everything in to the best of my ability.
Recently as we distributed the free Christian literature, within an hour I had at least 3 or 4 people walk by the table telling me and my friends/coworkers, "You're young! One day when you're my age and you see all the rubbish that goes on in this world, you'll know that there is no God!!"
To be honest, my first reaction (internally) was frustration. It drives me insane when people look down upon others because of their age...Not to mention before getting to know a person and their story. When the first person looked down on us for our age I was okay...but after the third and fourth one, that's when the frustration came. (It also didn't help that it would be said by people who walk by the table without stopping, not giving us a chance to talk with them to learn more about them.) In my mind I couldn't help but think, "Who's to say we haven't seen 'rubbish' in our own personal lives or in the lives of others? Why are they judging our lives because of our age? They don't know us!"
Then I realized, after my frustration calmed down (as I am not perfect by any means!), the sadness that came over my heart for them and their lives. What had these people been through to make them disregard God? What's happened in their lives? What is their story?? What are their struggles and heartaches??
It's really saddening to think about the hopelessness their lives must hold. Sure, I have heart aches. I have struggles. But one thing remains the same through all the different circumstances: I still have hope in God. It's like what I recently posted on my Facebook account. Often I'm reminded that it's not about showing people that I'm stronger than anyone else, but just as broken as they are. The difference between myself and some of the people that I meet? In the midst of my brokenness I still have hope in God...and that makes all the difference. And even though I am still healing from brokenness from my year of 2011, and healing can be a painful process in itself, I also remember that God has a purpose for my life and my unique testimony. What are the people that I meet on a regular base putting their hopes in?? Do they even have hope of any kind??? (And if they do, I cannot imagine how little hope they truly get from something other then God.)
1 Timothy 4:12 also came to my mind:
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
Yes, I might be younger then many of the people that I meet on the street. Yes, it's true that my story might be different then those that I meet, but I still understand what it's like to go through the rubbish of life through illnesses, death, fear, and anger. I may be young, but I'm not living in a bubble protected from the storms that life brings. (As, if you read my blog on a regular basis, I don't need to tell you that!)
Instead of letting my frustration take ahold of my mind, next time I hope and pray that the people who say these kind of statements will slow down and talk with us. I want them to see that we truly care about them and who they are and the struggles that they face. I want a chance to hear their stories and to share my own in return...To share my testimony and what God has done and been doing in my life...To set an example.
We always try and set goals before heading out. Wheither it to be that we pass out a certain amount of literature, to use a certain Bible verse in the day, to get into a good conversation, etc...Sometimes the goals are met, sometimes they are not. But often, God has something incredible to show each of us who go out for the day regardless of if they were met or not. My next goal? To have a chance to get into a good conversation with someone. I really want want to be able to share my testimony and what God has done in my life and what He continues to do....I want my testimony to be used for His glory, to help make a difference in someone's life for God...I want to connect with someone and to show God's love to them.
Soon I'll be sending out my next newsletter. If you didn't get the last one and you would like to be included on this upcoming one, please send me an email and let me know. I've only done one so far, but I do go into a little more detail of the work I am doing here through the newsletter verses on my blog postings and Facebook posts.
Oh yeah! After praying about it and thinking about it for the last few months being away, I've extended my time to work here until June 26th instead of leaving in late May. This adds one month to my time here. I feel as though this is where God has called me to be for this period of my life and that I am meant to be here through the additional month. Please be in prayer for funding to come in quickly and easily. Where God guides, God provides - and I firmly believe this!
The Travelin' Chick,