I've spent a few days holing myself up and taking some much needed time to relax, heal, and reflect. In the hustle and bustle of life, my inner introvert is constantly on the brink of breakdown. I'm truly blessed to have this opportunity to travel everywhere, but like my previous post says: I'm often lonely. However, loneliness really isn't the same as being alone. It has been really hitting me hard these days, especially as social media posts about everyone and their new lives with significant others, families, and friends. To be honest, as happy as I am for everyone, I can't help but feel a little bitter and lonely. I feel like for the past few years, I've been spreading myself thin because I've been chasing after everyone. I've been chasing after friendship, relationships, and ultimately: love. I've been trying to feel loved, and I keep giving without remembering how to ask for anything in return. Of course, love isn't about asking for anything back, but a relationship has to be a two-way street. As I am giving and just praying for something in return, I've forgotten and neglected a much more important relationship: the relationship between God and myself. As He gives to me, I've been giving to others. As I ask for love, He responds, yet I ask for the love of others'. And the sad part is that it's not that I'm not receiving love; I just have a hard time accepting and acknowledging the love I am being given. I guess that's kind of a reflection too, of my relationship with God.
*Disclaimer: Photo not of the Jordan River. This is a picture of the Hudson River taken at the Waterfront.
I was doing my QT on Deuteronomy, and I was reminded of the story of Moses stepping down, and his speech before everyone else crosses the Jordan. He reminds everyone: "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6, ESV)
I think that is such a powerful statement: this is a man who will be alone, as everyone crosses the Jordan, leaving him behind. Again: He reminds everyone else that they are not alone, when he is to be left alone. Physically, of course. I don't think for a moment Moses felt like he was alone, because he knew God was right by his side. I think this was a wake up call I really needed.
I recently won an Instagram giveaway from @bradleymountain, and as much as I love their products, I already have their backpack. I don't really need anything else. Especially with my current lifestyle, I don't have any space to afford anything else. I was going through such a bad day from being overworked, and at the moment, finding out that I had won felt like such a blessing from God. But in my reflection, I realized that this wasn't a blessing, but a reminder. God was trying to get my attention, and remind me that He has been right there all along. I didn't need the gift card, so I passed it on. The gift card was nice, but what do I need it for? What I needed was a stronger relationship with God. The love that I need is from Him; the love that I want will only come if He sees fit. He is my greatest encouragement: my rock in the hard times and the warm embrace I need when I'm on the verge of collapse. He should be my satisfaction: He should be enough.
Instead of chasing after love from friends and family, I need to simply return the love that God has been pouring out onto me, and acknowledge that He is right here with me. Everything else will fall into place.
Side note: Please check out Bradley Mountain (IG: @bradleymountain) I'm not just saying this because I won their giveaway, it's because I truly believe they sell quality things, and they're made from SoCal, so I have to plug this in to a post that is at least semi-related :) And no, I am not being sponsored.
I guess my prayer for this week really is about just strengthening my relationship with God and being mindful and intentional in everything. I want to really acknowledge His presence in everything, rather than in just the moments where I think of Him; I should constantly have Him in mind; I should constantly be in prayer, not just during desperate times, not just during a designated QT time and not just while saying grace for meals. God has always, always provided for me in my moments of greatest need. He was there when I had a nickel in my account and needed to pay rent. He was there when I was on a downward spiral and alone in Taiwan. And He is here with me now, as I am alone in the dark, typing this. He is here. And He is there with you, as well.
If you ever feel alone, upset, frustrated, helpless... I want you to know that you are never alone. I know it sometimes gets hard to believe that God is there. I know it gets hard to remember that Jesus Christ died for YOU so that YOU can be with God the Father. I know some of you may not even believe in Christ. But if you are reading this, I hope you know that I am always open to chatting with you, regardless of whether or not you are a believer, I a willing to be your friend :) I am easy to contact, and I always respond ASAP. If I am on a flight or asleep, you bet that I will answer you right when I get WiFi or wake up. If you don't believe you're important to anyone else, know that you're important to me. <3