It has been almost one week since I returned from New York. The moment I stepped out of the airport shuttle and walked into my apartment, I felt a paradoxical feeling of both relaxation and unease. Here I am in the same place: the same city, neighborhood, apartment--only seven weeks removed-- but things feel so different. For the first time since toddler-hood, I am not preparing to go back to school. Added to that, all the experiences of this summer and the things God has taught me are weighing on my heart. I am so grateful for all of this of course, but am struggling to apply any of it to daily life.
While on Campaign, we all knew we could not go a single step without lifting the whole day to God. We had no change at doing God's work without Him constantly before and behind us. But real life is not like Campaign. Each day is not scheduled to precision, nor am I going out on the streets asking people, "Who do you think Jesus is?" My every move is not about sharing the Gospel, nor am I called to live in community with 20-30 other people. My day-to-day existence during Campaign was unique, but my daily dependence on the Lord should not be.
Ironically, this summer I was never affirmed in the one area where I feel I best serve both God and people. Instead, God had something new to teach me. The work I was doing was not about me, but about the One I was speaking of each day. Each day I was pushed outside of my comfort zone, yet through this I learned a great lesson: My purpose is greater than the things I can do in my own power. On Campaign, this made so much sense because I was constantly asking God to "rid me of myself" and work through me. Back in Chicago, as I look for work, meet with friends, go grocery shopping, pay the bills, etc. it does not feel the same. How do I live this Truth in the "real world" and fully rely on God--even in the monotony of daily life?
And so I turn to the verse that has become for me a mantra: Psalm 138:8
"The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me. Your love, Oh Lord, endures forever. Do not abandon the work of your hands."
I am learning, ever so slowly that here in Chicago, God has a different (yet no less important or fulfilling) purpose for me. Even though I don't know what His plan for my life may be, I know that I can trust it completely. And I know he will use whatever I have, whatever I am able to bring, for His glory.