This hippo is a funny gift I received from a friend for my graduation from college last year. I have not yet given it a name, but have decided it is a "he" (don't ask me why--I really have no idea). I decided to take him along on a trip to Florida last year and take a picture of him at the beach for my friend who gave it to me. At the time I was, symbolically speaking, just dipping my toes into this place called "The Outside World", full of anticipation as to what might be in store for me as a BA: TESOL graduate.
I had high expectations for 2016. It was supposed to be the year that my dreams came true. And, in a way, one sort of did--but then my hopes of continuing to do that same thing were dashed to the ground and the dream died. I am thankful for the two months I had with my new Ugandan friends, but I can honestly say that so far, this year has not gone "according to plan" (as if anything ever does)!
Today I took an important step in achieving a dream I have had since I was 14 years old: later this year (approx. September or October), my very first novel will be published by a Canadian, Christian publishing company! Eight years of hard work have gone into the manuscript and I am sure more hard work is to come before people will see the finished product. It is definitely a day to celebrate. But with that decision being made, I mentally made decisions about the rest of my year.
To put it plainly, I do not have very much money. I have determined my dreams and goals for many years based on whether or not I have the money to do a certain thing. Ever since I saw Misgana's picture in 2011 I have longed to go to Ethiopia to meet her. Compassion Canada is hosting an Exposure Trip to Ethiopia in January 2017 and I desperately want to go, but when thinking about the decision to make payments toward publishing my book I automatically thought "well that trip won't be happening now."
Why did I assume that? At the church I attend, we just finished a series about how we tend to put God in boxes. We assume "my God can't do that" or "my God won't do that." Which is ridiculous, seeing as He is all-powerful, but we do it all the time! And I know that I have done that a lot lately. My train of thought was "I barely have enough money to get this book published. I will not have enough money to go to Ethiopia" and basically said "God won't do that for me. He can't do that for me. That is a lot of money and that is asking too much of Him." WHAT? Yes, I actually thought those things. Just earlier this evening, even.
Who's to say that between now and January next year, God will not lead me to an amazing job that pays well, that will help me save up money to go to Ethiopia? Or that He won't provide in some other miraculous way that I could never have expected? He may choose not to, but the point is that He can. He has the power to do things far greater than I could ever imagine! By assuming what He can and cannot do, I am not allowing Him to work in my life as fully as He could be.
I may not go to Ethiopia--that may not be in God's plan for me. He may be lining something else up at this very moment that I have no idea about! But the point is that I, and we all, need to trust Him. We need to stop putting limits on what He can do.
So those are my reflections for the time being. What has God been teaching you lately?