why are you here?

That was one of the questions we were asked in sociology this term.

Why are you here?

You can answer it on the small scale.  Like “Why are you here reading this blog right now?”

Or “Why are you here living in THIS place you live in?”

Or the biggest one . . . “Why are you here alive?”

 

Last night, my friend Tara and I were talking about organ donation.  Since I was in the eleventh grade, I have been a definite organ donation advocate.  To me, it’s clear and it’s simple: if I die in a way that my organs can be donated to save someone’s life, then TAKE THEM.  This discussion lead to Tara telling me that her boyfriend doesn’t share our views on the subject of organ donation.  And I know I can’t change anybody’s mind, and I know that not everybody is going to share my stance on it.  And in most situations, I can understand people’s apprehension behind some of the things I believe and agree with.  And in regard to organ donation, I just can’t.  Some people, I understand, it’s against their religion, and that’s fine, I respect that.  But to just not want someone taking your organs to make them continue to be useful when you can’t use them anymore?  I just think that’s stupid.

A few years ago, a documentary was made in Vancouver called 65_RedRoses [in Canada, click here to watch].  It followed the story of Eva Markvoort, a young woman with Cystic Fibrosis as she awaited a double-lung transplant.

Eva received her transplant.  In following her transplant recovery and complications, the following quote always sticks out to me.

I wasn’t here for six days, and I came back.  Because people needed me.  They wouldn’t be okay if I wasn’t here.

She went on to continue be a huge advocate for transplant and the CF community in Canada which you can read about on her blog.

Unfortunately, Eva’s lungs rejected and she died while waiting for a second transplant.

 

Eva knew why she was here.

She used every moment she had to love people.

 

Some of us have stared death in the face.  But the truth is, we’re all dying.  What are you going to do to make this moment count?

Why are you here?

Feel free to tell me in the comments.

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trust, hope and isaiah 53:5

I’m really realizing that God puts me where I am for a reason.  I’ve been learning lessons in trusting Him lately, which is very cool.

The other day I said to Kim “What’s the point of having a story if you don’t share what’s strengthened you cause of it, right?”

So I hope it helps.  I hope that this will be God using me, speaking through me when I’m telling my story tomorrow afternoon.  Praying it’s used in HEALING for one of the youth girls.  And because God knows the specifics, please just pray.

He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our sins.  He was beaten so we could be whole, and by His wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

plaid, snow and healing hearts

We kicked tonight off with a change.  It started snowing before we started rocking.  Change–change set the theme.  Tonight was our monthly youth event—hundreds of junior and senior high students, four churches.  Lots of plaid—it and “country” was our theme, after all.  Lots of tears, hugs.  Lots and lots and LOTS of Jesus reaching in, healing.

I’m doing one-on-one with a super sweet girl this year for youth.  She’s awesome.  She’s quiet and just likes sitting back and soaking it all in.  She likes hugs and high-fives. 

I like watching how God works in people.  Sometimes, the girl I get to hang out with just totally comes alive from her usually quiet position.  One moment she’ll be standing, just listening, the next she’ll be clapping or dancing.  I’ll be acting like a goofball for Jesus, and she’ll look over and give me a smile when I least expect it.

I like seeing hearts change.  I like looking up to the front of the room and seeing arms wrapped around one another in hugs over what is being thrown at someone in life, and what God is doing to move in them.  I like looking around and seeing boxes of Kleenex at the ready, prepared for whatever God has in store.  I like seeing kids celebrating LIFE, celebrating JESUS, praying for each other in a way that is totally real.  I like seeing relationships build up.  I like surrender—I like seeing inner surrender to God outwardly—the tears, the hugs, the arms around each other’s shoulders . . . The group of students on the floor, in a circle around another student, praying during a song.  I like seeing hearts being healed in big ways that only God is responsible for.

I like leaders I don’t know grabbing me to participate in a high-five clapping-circle in the midst of a high energy song.  I like leaders who aren’t afraid to grab anybody to just go nuts with during a song, but completely transform when it’s time to do one-on-one prayer.  I like striving toward that.  I like groups of people clustering together during a song, unified, hands on each other’s shoulders and praying. 

I like love how real this place I’m finally at is.  This is not about pretending you are the person God wants you to be, it’s about growing and getting to be that person.

I say it time and time again, that thing about reason.  The why of the things happening around me, in me.  The reason Ramona asked “How do you feel about doing one-on-one with a tenth-grade girl who attends the junior high group?”  Inclusion is one of my favourite things, I just didn’t know if I’d be good at doing it.  I remember at the same time as I was saying yes, I was thinking “God, I hope You know what You’re doing”.  And of course He does, right?  Getting to hang out with this girl, though challenging at times, is totally a blessing.  It allows me to participate in worship on a different level.  It’s allowed me to adapt myself to trust that Yes, my God totally knows what He’s doing.  My God knows me, He knows what I am capable of before I know it myself. 

And it makes me hope that she sees Jesus in me in her own special way, as I do in her.  Makes me hope that I’m doing this thing right, in a way that’s tangible to her. 

My God, like her, is quiet but He comes to LIFE time and time again to surprise me . . .  And smile at me when I least expect it.

i’m restless but i will not fight alone again

The last few days have been kinda rough.  I feel like I’m both in a very new place, but also reverting to places of the past, places where I don’t necessarily want to be, places I don’t think I belong.

Right now I don’t feel good.  My spirit and passion for God were really ignited tonight, and I feel like I’m going to grow and learn this year.  But physically, I just don’t feel good.  Wednesday and Thursday were both persistently tough breathing, and I’m breathing a little better right now thanks to a fair bit of medicine.  I can deal, whatever.  Right now the lungs are okay, but I just feel sick and headache-y and have been like that for a few hours.

Emotionally, it’s been a little tougher.  I have really been leaning on God this last week, and that is good, but it’s been a rough week.  Worrying about a friend who’s been going through some really tough times.  That especially.  Coupled with slightly rocky breathing, getting back into the jive of school hardcore, it’s just been tough.

The place where I feel I’m reverting to places of the past is with how things are at home right now.  I’m making stupid mistakes, I’m being called on it, called stupid on it.  Because I try to do all that I can and still fuck up on it, and that’s nobody’s fault but my own.  Because maybe they’re right, maybe I am stupid and useless and not all that they’d dreamed of.  This too is how I used to feel, and still do sometimes.  Like now.

Yeah, I can act like I have my shit together, I totally can.  In reality, I just have a God who’s bigger than all this, a God that’s got my back, and a God that has in some ridiculous way rescued me from who I was five-plus years ago and transformed me into this girl who’s stumbling after Him, but who still swears when she writes, who doesn’t pay nearly enough attention to Him a lot of the time, who sometimes has problems at home, and who still needs to open her eyes wider.  A lot wider.

And for some reason, He’s called this current version of that same girl to be a youth leader.  Because there is a reason that I’ve become engaged, a reason that He lead me to Forward tonight.  A reason that people are praying—a reason that people are praying for me.  A reason that I’m praying.

And all the tough stuff?  There’s a reason for that too.