I am halfway through the first week of my junior year at Anderson, and to be honest with you [and with myself], it’s hard for me to be here right now. There are people and places at home that I miss. There are certain opportunities I would have there that I don’t have here, and I’m worried I may be missing out on something important that could affect my future.
I have tried and tried to invest myself here but my heart is just not in it. I am so thankful for the friendships I’ve made and the experiences I’ve had here but I can’t shake the desire to return to where I feel I’m rooted. Every day I hear people talk about how they know they belong here- how they’re so sure this is the place God has called them to be- and for whatever reason, I have never really felt that way.
Since I’ve come back to school, it has been so easy to let myself feel discouraged and conflicted and anxious and to dwell on the fact that I don’t feel as strong of a sense of belonging here as I wish I did. It’s so easy for me to start wondering what I’m missing out on at home and worrying about whether it’s too late to decide to go back. I’m good at putting up an optimistic front, but truthfully on the inside I am a little bit of a mess at the moment.
I framed this quote to hang on my wall because I knew I would need it-
“Wherever you are, be all there.”
I don’t know if this is where I’m “supposed” to be or not. I don’t know what will happen if I stay here and I don’t know what will happen if I go home. I don’t know if this is me wanting to run back to what is comfortable and familiar or if I really am just following God’s calling.
What I do know, though, is that God can use me anywhere. He will use me anywhere, as long as I let Him. I know that He is with me in Anderson, Indiana just as much as He is with me in Champaign, Illinois. I know that He doesn’t expect me to know everything- He will guide me and lead me as long as I’m willing to follow. I know that if I give Him a chance to prove Himself faithful, He will time and time again.
I don’t know exactly where you’re at in life right now. Maybe you are secure and content and as of now, your plan is unfolding how you’d like it to. Or maybe you’re restless and doubtful and you have no idea what in the world you’re even doing [hello! It’s me].
What I do know is that in the midst of the uncertainty, there is one thing we can absolutely be sure of. And that one thing is the most important thing…the only thing that matters, really.
God doesn’t want me to use my situation as justification to quit loving and quit serving, just because I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be here or because I don’t feel particularly attached to this place. It’s okay for me to love my home, but this is where I am now. These are the people I have the opportunity to impact now. This is the community I can invest in now. Difficult seasons of life are opportunities to grow in our faith, not excuses to become idle.
It’s hard for me to say that I’m here for a reason, because I really honestly don’t know what that reason is. I can’t even say I understand how or why I ended up here in the first place. But I am here for now and for however long, and there are so many ways for me to make the most of it.
Sometimes God tests our faith and it’s not supposed to be easy. He knows we are human- He doesn’t expect us to be without question. But He will also present us with opportunities to love and serve and invest no matter where we are or what we’re struggling with.
The Kingdom of God stretches to every corner of the earth. Wherever I am, I can be confident that I’m in His presence. It doesn’t matter if I’m worried or afraid or uneasy because I belong to Him. And not only that, but God wants us to live fully and abundantly wherever we’re at. We have the freedom to do this but it’s a choice we have to make daily, even when it’s hard and even when we don’t understand.
Choose to be content, choose to be servant-hearted and choose to be present. If you are doing these things, God is right there with you. And next to Him is always the best place you could possibly be.