When I was a kid, I was carefree. Around ten years old or so, I remember my little brother and I laughing and playing with a little girl named Susan. I don’t remember too much about her, but I do remember feeling free, fearless, and hopeful about the future while we all played games together. Fast forwarding to March 2016, I remember feeling that same sense of freedom, fearlessness, and hope while I was sitting on the roof and staring at the beautiful nighttime stars in Gran Canaria, Spain.
No commercials trying to convince me to go back to school so I can earn more money and live the lie of the American dream. No drama about how terrible and lazy the millennials are. No obsessions about the latest T.V. show, the latest iPhone, or the best vacation resort. It was just me, God, and my friends, and my only desire was to share God’s love with the poor.
I heard Pastor Bill Johson say once, “In order to discover your significance in Christ, first you need to discover your insignificance.” When God created the earth, He didn’t just create our world. He created our universe which includes somewhere around 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 other worlds besides ours. And our universe may not be the only one. There could be infinite universes that we may never be able to explore due to the lack of proper technology. It takes more faith to believe that our lives are a result of random things that happened in outer space than to believe that God planned for us to be here.
Knowing all that, sometimes I don’t feel significant. Sometimes I feel purposeless, hopeless, and stuck in a cycle of paralysis I can’t get out of. But God will often remind me, directly or through people, who I am and what my purpose is, and I get back into focus. Your feelings don’t define you. God defines you. When you know who you are and what your purpose is, fear won’t stop you from doing what you need to do to fulfill your life’s purpose.
How you feel doesn’t determine who you are or what your purpose is. Feelings change all the time. Fear often influences how we feel and it can cause us to agree with our feelings and live a pointless and meaningless life. But we don’t have to agree with how we feel. Being fearless doesn’t mean we have no fear. It means our purpose pushes us beyond the boundaries of fear into a lifestyle that actually means something.
Increasing in Boldness
In December of 2013, I was so depressed that I held a knife to my throat and contemplated suicide. I lost all hope. I had no reason for living anymore. I wanted to live for a purpose, but I couldn’t find my purpose, so I gave up.
“Why wake up every day and go to work? Is it so I can just pay my bills and live another day to pay more bills? And then what happens after that; maybe a vacation every now and then and eventually retirement? And one day when I die, what will my entire life have amounted to? To our knowledge, human beings are the most intelligent beings that ever existed. With that being said, is it possible that God created me to just survive, pay bills and taxes, and then die?” For many years I asked myself these questions and never had an answer. If we don’t find our “why” in this life, suicide will always be an option.
Since the time I contemplated suicide, God has given me my “why.” The reason I’m alive is to boldly bring the hope and love of Jesus to the poor, and more specifically the refugees. If I had never contemplated suicide, I would’ve never developed the boldness that I have today to do whatever it takes to bring the love of Jesus to refugees. I am not afraid of death. I’m also not afraid to live for Jesus, no matter what that looks like.
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