Tensions between the fear of becoming desensitized to the suffering of others and yet the call to love as Christ does led me to question the proper response..
Our third week of SAUP focused greatly on emotional maturity & self-awareness/self-reflection. When told the theme I was extremely excited as I love any chance for deep self-reflection and awareness, but I was completely unprepared for what God convicted me of this week.
Through a spiritual formation test, I was able to face the realization that my recurring sin crippling my life was fear and anxiousness. And while this sin would manifest itself in everyday decisions that would bring me out of my comfort zone, it also affected my relationship with God by preventing me from being able to fully hope and have faith in Him. I can think many situations in my life where I had the option to take a huge leap of faith and follow God, but I chose to remain fearful of what would happen and deny Him and his calling instead. Even since I was a child, worrying has been the core of my being and I’ve always wished I could just have more faith in Christ. I’ve always wondered, “Why can’t I just trust in Him? Why is it so hard to believe?”
Through bible studies in Mark and intentionally seeking Jesus this project, I feel like I’ve finally been able to discover what was missing. Hope. Faith without hope is useless; as you cannot have faith in something you truly do not believe in. Who Jesus is really came alive for me and the Gospel became something I could fully find comfort and hope in. Growing up in church, I definitely knew about Jesus, but it was only through SAUP I was able to discover Jesus and what he has done for me through the cross. With this hope I want to begin to re-build my life upon God having realized he really is the only firm foundation out there. Instead of relying on my own strength and ultimately failing when my fears make me sink, I have faith that God will lead me.
We spent last week learning about the deep injustices and systemic sin in this world, and I really had no idea how to respond to everything God revealed to me. But even though I still don’t have a worldly answer to my ever-present question “But what can I do,” I can confidently say, “I can release my fears and trust God.” This may seem like such a cliché statement in writing, but actually believing this has given me true peace and solace in God that I have never experienced before.
We didn't go to these places and learn about injustices so we could be anyone's savior. There's nothing we could do in an afternoon, or even a lifetime, to fix the problem of sin in the world. Eduardo and I crossed paths for only a short time, and there was little I could do besides commend him to the care of our God, who knows and loves Eduardo better than anyone in the world.
Our first week's theme was focused on spiritual formation and community. As our own SAUP family was beginning to open up and entering into this family together, we learned about what an others-centered/serving/encouraging community looked like with God at the center of it all. We also explored how God made us into vessels meant to carry out His purposes for the Kingdom through spiritual formation. This transformation is a lifelong journey that begins with spiritual disciplines and is most effective within a community through encouragement and prayer. Although we may be broken as individuals, God repurposes us through His transformative spirit and empowers us through the support from our community. With that theme, our SAUP group has now become family, all unique and adopted by Christ, and together we are continuing our spiritual journey, supporting and praying for each other.