I am in Santa Cruz right now. It is February 4th, two years to the date from when I started this incredible journey. My flight leaves tomorrow to go to the states and all I can feel is an overwhelming numbness. Crazy considering I have imagined this time from when I began. Even imagining how I would feel. I guess part of it is that I am leaving brothers and sisters of incredible faith with whom I went through the fire and at the same time I am headed back to my family and my wonderful girlfriend, Susan, of whom I have not seen in two years. Maybe with such contradicting strong emotions I am left to feel numb. It´s not that I am not struggling leaving my family here or finally seeing my family in the states. I guess I am just still processing such a transition.

Being at the end of my term I have been thinking much about these past two years, processing what just happened. To be honest in many ways I am not so sure. I confess I came with this idea that I was going to put a dent into the lostness of the world. Even a small sense of ¨saving the world.¨ How foolish I was. I found that I did not put a dent into the lostness and in all reality I could not and will not. In trying so very hard to save people I found that the obvious truth that I cannot even save myself let alone another. This is a feat for God alone.

A part of this wanting to put this dent in lostness was a hidden evil of pride. If I planted a church I would be able to say, ¨I did my part for the Kingdom.¨ It is amazing how an evil so subtle can exist below what appears to be good intentions.

Looking back I remember how much I struggled with the down times when I was doing no work, I had no partner, I had no people group to engage. It tore me up for many reasons and in previous blogs you can see the progress of this struggle. Many times I was in tears crying out to God thinking all these people were dying and going to hell and there I was unable to do anything about it.

People tried to comfort me and tell me if God only changes me then it is all worth it. I arrogantly thought and even voiced, ¨I know God and so many don´t. So why would He send me here to only change me?¨ Later in the year I came to this same struggle and I voiced this to Efrain, my partner. I will never forget what he told me. He said, ¨Graham, what do you mean by you know God? Sometimes I feel like I still don´t know Him.¨ Gracious, I felt like a prophet of God had called me out and I just then realized how foolish my line of thought had been this whole time.

I repented from this and found my way back to truly searching God. Seeking Him. Wanting Him and wanting to know Him better. Here I was thinking I truly knew God when God is this Endless Ocean, unfathomable to man, and I was basing all my knowledge from my view point on the beach. I am amazed the things I learned from that and through that. I am still trying to know Him more and more.

Where does this leave me? Broken? More humble? I pray and hope so, but I am not so sure. I want to think what I did was something special when in all reality anyone obedient to His call could have done this. Anyone. At the beginning of all of this I just wanted God to be pleased. This got lost in my vain attempts to earn that through the work. The most beautiful thing I have found is when He shattered all of that idea and just absolutely broke me. What He revealed to me so clearly in those mountains is that God is pleased in me not because of me but because of the Cross. I feel His smile because of the Cross. It is the Cross that empowers me.

I know this is a long post and if you have made it this far I am thankful. This season of reflection has created more ramblings. Thank you for being a part of this journey with me, though I hope to keep journeying. I had put in my blog ¨Sweet Sorrow¨ that I had hoped ¨that when my time is up I will be found faithful among the faithful.¨ I pray and hope I have been faithful. I believe so though I know I had many valleys along the way. I can claim with more certainty the faithfulness of God.

I leave tomorrow to go back to the States. I may not have saved the world nor even dented the lostness, but I can claim the Cross of Christ which is worth more than anything else, more than anything I could ever do. I rejoice in saying I can feel His smile.

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One Response to Reflections

  1. Mom says:

    Oh, to “feel his smile.”

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