one I heard fast and I believed in fully.
a hurricane coming our way. Typhoon is what they call it in Japan. Category 5 typhoon-
which is pretty darn bad. High winds, lots of rain, potential flooding. Bad…
it quick and not in an assertive way… But I heard it and it stuck with me. She
said, ‘pray that the typhoon goes away.’ And instantly I thought, ‘what if it’s
not supposed to go away.’
the typhoon isn’t supposed to go away… What if it’s here to serve a purpose. It’s
scary, I know. Super dangerous and not pleasant whatsoever, but what if there’s
a reason it’s supposed to come.
What if in
my life the bad parts were supposed to come. What if instead of praying the
pain away, I prayed for strength in the middle of the storm. What if there’s a
reason. What if God had purpose for all the pain, hurt, doubt, frustration, and
confusion. What if the storms in my life served a lot more good than bad.
At around 8
PM the rain stopped. After hours and hours of downpour- to the point that the
park had no become a swimming pool- it all came to a halt. The wind ceased and
the trees that were once blowing wildly in the wind were now still. We were in
the eye of the storm. In other parts of the country the typhoon still roared
violently, but where we were it was peaceful and calm.
what it’s like when you hold onto God in the midst of a stormy season. When you
trust fully in His goodness… When you put your whole hope into His promise…
Then no matter how much everything around you gets crazy, you can be still.
I don’t think I was listening today. Not very
well anyways. I was so occupied with the things around me, the people around
me, that for the first time in a long time I didn’t feel under pressure.
You see, Mel called it an instant pot. Me, I was
the instant pot. All summer I was set to pressure cook mode and the pressure
kept getting tighter and tighter. It was a building up of tenseness and pain
and doubt. Always building up but never releasing.
Yet today (and this whole trip really) was different.
Breathing… I could breathe.
We went to Shibuya first. Saw the Hachi statue
and crossed the busiest crosswalk. Aimlessly walked around until we stumbled on
all the right things. I went to the Disney store and bought things that maybe I
didn’t need but still bring me joy anyways.
Then we went to Harajuku. It was unlike the
rest of Japan that I’ve experienced so far. It was pink and colorful and wild
and crazy. What a contrast from anything else I’ve seen. We ate at Bills for
lunch and man was that fun. Yummy and yuppy, fun and fancy, delicious and
I loved today. I loved getting to breathe again.
I’m on the right track. Almost to the point of
completely releasing steam. Slowly and surely, it’s getting easier. Getting
more comfortable. Slowly but surely, I’m believing in God’s goodness again.
Removing the lies. Speaking the truth. Resting assured in His love, grace and
peace until finally, I can breathe again.
know the thoughts that I think toward you,” saith the Lord, “thoughts of peace,
and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 KJV
I had no words. It was like I lifted my head
for the first time and opened my eyes to the thing that was always right in
front of me.
Jeremiah 29:11 is my life verse. It’s the verse
I clung onto when I first started seeking out God for myself. It’s the verse
that reminds me that God has a plan. I thought I knew everything about it… I
had it memorized and probably at some point checked all the translations. But
this was the first time I heard it like this.
“For I know the thoughts I think toward you.”
The past few months have been a struggle for me
to believe in what God says about me. I convinced myself that He wasn’t with
me, that He didn’t care about me, that ultimately God wasn’t here for my good.
They were all lies. None of it was truth. I had made it all up in my head. It
wasn’t what God thought towards me.
“thoughts of peace and not of evil”
All of these things I let myself believe
brought so much brokenness into my life. I was constantly crying. I was always
hurt. For so many weeks the smile on my face was just a façade to hide all the
pain that I was feeling. They were thoughts of evil and not of peace.
“to give you an expected end.”
I thought I knew my expected end, and when that
expected end didn’t seem like it was coming I was hurt. And the pain grew more
and more as that expected end seemed to get farther and farther away from my
current reality. That’s what allowed the evil to seep in and drown out the
peace. That’s where lies started forming and the thoughts God had towards me
were forgotten. All because I was running towards my expected end and not God’s.
He knows what’s going to happen. He has known
all along. Even when I was full of doubt. He’s bringing me closer to the
expected end He has planned for me.
I told Pastor Yoshi that I hadn’t spoken to my
mom in a few weeks. He asked if we were in a fight, and I said, ‘no she’s just
in California so I normally have to call her.’ He asked if she was on a
business trip, and I said no that’s where she lives.
California. Hawaii. Japan.
I used to live in California. Now I live in Hawaii.
And currently I’m in Japan. Won’t God do it. Won’t He take you across the world
to spread His glory.
I’ve gone from place to place. Trotted from
here to there. And everywhere God has spoken something different to me… In Barcelona
it was that He goes with me wherever I go. In Hawaii it was that I am called to
so much more than spectating. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo it was
that love knows no bounds.
In Japan, He’s been telling me everything. He’s
right here. He is good. He has always loved me. He isn’t upset with me for straying
away. He wants me to come close to Him. He has known and still knows what is
going to happen in my life.
He’s answering every prayer. He’s cancelling
out any lies. He’s speaking truth.
I’m not sure today. Not sure if I heard
anything or if I’m making things up in my head in order to say I heard
something. Today wasn’t as clear as it has been…
Still, it continued to be wonderful.
We did six school programs. In each we started
with a tunnel where we yelled and screamed until we could yell and scream no
more. Then we danced hula, we played games, and we split into small groups. In
each group we asked the Japanese students a bit about themselves and even
though it was difficult for them to understand English, we powered through. We
did this six times.
Six times of being sweaty, uncomfortable, and
awkward. I was so annoyed with how many layers I had to wear to be “appropriately”
dressed. I was so tired of dancing around. I was so over yelling and even
smiling. But when that last song hit… One Direction…
“Let’s get crazy, crazy, crazy ‘til we see the
sun. I know we only met but let’s pretend it’s love. And never, never stop for
anyone. Tonight let’s get some, and live while we’re young.”
(I know it’s not the most appropriate or relevant song lyrics, but it’s
a hype song nonetheless.)
When that last song hit it was if my
frustrations that were weighing me down never even existed. Somehow, I had the
energy and the spirit to just keep going.
And maybe that’s what God is telling me. That
even in the midst of the scary, unknown, unpredictable that causes me to worry,
I can call upon Him for that boost of energy to make it through one more time.
Ultimately, He’ll get me through it.