I Have Decided

“At some point you’re going to have to decide what you want your life to be about.” –To Save A Life
I have decided.
I want my life to be about courage and faith.  I never want to find myself in a place where I am not demonstrating or relying upon these two qualities.  The longer I live, the more I have come to understand that both courage and faith are not things certain people naturally possess; they must be chosen and life does not lack for opportunities to choose for or against them.
I want my life to be about encouraging people to become everything that they were created to be.  Almost everyone that I have met has a dream deep inside of them, but for most people, they do not believe they could ever do what they dream of doing.  It is true, at least for myself, that the passion God has placed in our hearts involves facing some of our most dreaded enemies.  However, like gold being refined in the fire, the result is incredible.  Every day in my office several people come in and out, stuck in a cycle of despair and dependency.  What if they really understood who they are in Christ?  There’s a song by Mandisa called, “The Truth About Me”.  Here are the lyrics:
If only I could see me as you see me
And understand the way that I am loved
Would it give a whole new meaning to my purpose
Change the way I see the world

Would I sparkle like a star in the night sky
Would I give a little more instead of take
If I understood I’m precious like the diamond
Of a worth no one could estimate
I’m a worth no one could estimate

You say lovely, I say broken
I say guilty, You say forgiven
I feel lonely, You say you’re with me
We both know it would change everything
If only I believed the truth about me

I wish I could hold on to the moments
When my life is spinning but I’m peaceful still
Like a wind you whisper in the silence
And tell me things this world never will
You tell me things this world never will

You say lovely, I say broken
I say guilty, You say forgiven
I feel lonely, You say you’re with me
We both know it would change everything
If only I believed the truth about me

I would sleep better at night
Wake up with hope for another day
I would love even if it cost me
Take a chance and know I’m gonna be ok
I would dare to give my life away…

Oh, I feel lonely, You say you’re with me
We both know it would change everything
If only I believed the truth about me
If only I believed the truth about me

This song inspired me so much to continue to pursue all that God has for me.  I doubted that God could ever use me the way that He showed me that He wants to use me.  However, when I look in the Bible and read chapters like Psalm 139…wow, how could I ever doubt my value in His eyes?  How could I ever doubt His potential to use me?  Listen to these words from Psalm 139:

1 You have searched me, LORD,
   and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
   you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
   you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
   you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
   and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
   too lofty for me to attain.
 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
   Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
   if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
   if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
   your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
   and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
   the night will shine like the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.
 13 For you created my inmost being;
   you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
   your works are wonderful,
   I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
   when I was made in the secret place,
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book
   before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
   How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
   they would outnumber the grains of sand—
   when I awake, I am still with you…

I think often about this dream that God has given me about running an orphanage.  A lot of people have asked me what I envision it to be like.  I usually tell them the basics:  a family orphanage, where everyone grows up in community but in family groups.  Each group has 8-10 children or so, and kids grow up knowing what it is like to have a mom and a dad.  We all live together receiving education and health care, and in many cases play therapy of some sort for the trauma they have gone through. 
However beyond this part I have not shared much, but it is at the center of my dream:  To me, it is a pure tragedy for a child to grow up not knowing the love of a mom and dad.  It is tragedy for him or her to grow up on the streets, searching for meaning and finding it in a gang, or being forced into the military or the sex trade.  If I believe Psalm 139 and what it says about every single person being knit together carefully in the very hands of God, or that the thoughts of God for every single person on the earth outnumber the grains of the sand…then at some point that has to revolutionize my life and the way I see the world and those around me.  It should revolutionize all our lives.  My calling happens to be specifically to orphans.  What is your calling?
I have decided to live my life never again seeing anyone I come into contact with as insignificant.  If I am driving through McDonalds or on the mission field, each person I see is loved extravagantly by God.  She has a family, dreams, and a name.  He has failed hopes, doubts, and fears.  Sometimes I look at the lady who checks me out at Walmart and wonder, “What is she going through today?”  This is the first step in beginning to see the world through God’s eyes.  Think about all the details of your life and how sometimes it becomes overwhelming to you.  Then, think about how God knows all the details of your life, as well as everyone else’s, and still has time and ability to care about it.  Sure, we have no problem believing that God cares about the big things in our lives.  However, do we sometimes doubt if it matters to Him what we eat for lunch?  Just like a lover is with his beloved, so is God with us, and so much more.  I like how the author of The Shack puts it:  each person that Mack comes into contact with in his journey with God, he hears God say, “Ah yes, so and so.  I am especially fond of him.”  It seemed to Mack like God said that about every person, and it was true.  That’s what God says about you.  That’s what God says about everyone.
I choose to live my life believing that anything is possible with God.  I want to live my life in such a way that it invites God’s miracles and provision.  It not only invites them, but depends on them.  I’m not exactly sure what that looks like, but I’m fairly positive that as long as I stay close to God, it’s just gonna happen that way.
This is what I’ve decided to live my life about.

About the author chelseamaxine

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