You’ve heard from an intern. You’ve heard from the director. NOW I am pleased to present you the opportunity of hearing from one of our residents! After experiencing hardship, this resident would like to share her struggle with finding biblical balance. Here’s some of her story:
Being at VOH now for several months, I was granted permission to fly back to my hometown. Once you have been at Vision of Hope for awhile if you’re not careful, it’s very easy to get over-confident about your progress and fall into the mind set of “I’ve got this!” At least that was the case for me! As you read my story you will see how God quickly used this opportunity to show me how off the tracks I had gotten and how I still have battles to fight and really can’t do it without Him!
Before I begin to share with you my experience, if there is anything you take away from this please remember Proverbs 3: 5-7: “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways submit to him and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and shun evil.” So to begin, I was going home for my Grandfather’s 85th birthday; to help out with my church’s VBS; and to stay and spend time with two amazing people that have greatly blessed me and have lovingly treated me as one of their own.
My full intention in going home, was to fully serve and sacrificially love the people that have gone above and beyond for me so many times before. So hearing that my 6 day trip had been approved I was stoked; I immediately started planning! I had the whole trip planned from practically the minute my plane touched home soil, to the minute I was to turn around and come back to VOH. It was safe to say I was slightly obsessed!
The first night was great! I was SUPER excited to see my family and friends! After I was picked up from the airport we went and had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. It was really great to just sit and talk about well…ANYTHING! It wasn’t until later that night I was faced with my first challenge….BALANCING MY TIME! Unfortunately, I gave in to the calling of social media. Before I knew it my clock read 3 A.M.!
The next morning I had breakfast out on the deck and then afterwards went walking with my family. When we got back, it all sort of hit me! I had the whole entire trip so built up in my head that I was like ”Ok, I’m finally home and I have all of these plans and I’m excited, but just what do I do and who do I talk to first? That should have been a red flag in my mind but instead I began a downward spiral into the old selfishness and unloving desires of my sinful heart. That leads not only myself, but also the people whom I love the most, into the depths of despair.
I selfishly allowed being overwhelmed to rule how I thought, acted and treated other people; which led to my making irresponsible choices. Just a few examples: My Grandfather’s birthday dinner was a surprise party and I waited until 30 minutes before the actual party to get a cake; something that should have been ordered the night I got into town! I had made plans to meet with my best friend for lunch and to get our nails done, but I arrived an hour late. Being overwhelmed also led to allowing my thoughts to entertain notions of taking part in some of my old, sinful behaviors; which led to shutting myself in my room for awhile. I knew (and please understand) this mindset of living by your feelings doesn’t solve anything and is unbiblical, but I figured as long as I was in my room I didn’t have to deal with those temptations! Which is definitely not truth! Yes I didn’t give in to any of those temptations, but I didn’t turn to God during that period of time either. I was using my room as a way to escape which is really the same thing. That selfish act led to nothing but others getting hurt due to my complete lack of communication and my inconsideration of their feelings. I didn’t take the time to see things from their perspective. It’s safe to say many people were anticipating my visit and I disappointed them greatly with my self-focused way of handling things. I realize I chose to build walls instead of breaking them down and living out the scripture Phillppians 2: 3-4. This verse says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit but in lowliness of mind let each of you esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.” Here in a second you will see just how lost in my own conceited thinking I had allowed myself to become.
Let’s fast forward a bit shall we? The time soon came for me to fly back to VOH. I was at VBS that morning standing in my church’s sanctuary (which is one of my favorite places to be) and looking around at all of the precious little kids that were joyfully singing their hearts out to God, knowing that, among many other things on my mind, in just a few short weeks my best friend would be going off to college and be ”moving on” with her life, and in a few short hours I would be flying back to my new life at VOH. I allowed myself to become bogged down by my desires instead of what God wants for me. I made it to Chicago and while boarding my plane from there to head to Indianapolis I panicked and made the decision to switch my flight and go back to home. These insane disgustingly self-righteous actions hurt a lot of people who have poured a lot of time and effort, sacrificially I might add, into my well-being.
If you are a future resident of VOH and are reading this blog, I seriously want to stress to you the fault of my thinking and choices. I handled the situation in an unbiblical manner instead of using the tools I had been taught, which are: submitting to God and not living by my feelings, and putting others way before myself. The chances are even though it still would have been really hard I would have gotten on the plane and taken the steps required to glorify God; but through this I am having to sift through the murkiness of my heart and decide who am I going to really live for? And for that I am thankful! I would also like to take this time as well to really encourage you that when you come to Vision Of Hope your life does not stop there. God has brought us to this point of our lives for a reason. As Romans 8:28 says “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” I challenge you my friend to persevere and let’s do this adventure with God together!