I know when God says “no,” it’s a blessing in disguise, but what if He says “no” 5 times, 20 times, 100 times? That’s the way it has felt with my summer plans. As if I wasn’t dreading being home enough, everything that I thought would make it tolerable fell through almost instantly. Last summer, I had the most amazing trip of my life studying in Spain for two months. The summer before that I spent 10 weeks working with precious kids in Dallas. So, a summer stuck in my hometown of Louisville seemed terrible. My heart had been set on interning with a Christian organization in Latin America, but that wasn’t going to happen, so I decided to work on saving money for that trip next summer. Long story short, God said “no” again. So, as of now, my summer plans include taking a class online and taking care of my mom after knee surgery (No, Mom, you’re far from a burden. Just keep reading).
Lately, I’ve been trying to dodge the question “What are you doing this summer?” because to be honest, it has been hard to accept my mundane summer plans, especially in comparison to my past summers.
After weeks of wallowing in self-pity over my lame summer plans, I had a wake up call. We always want more, more, more. Bigger summer plans. Better memories. Cooler pictures. However, when we want more, we are indicating that everything else in the past is worth less- even in terms of spirituality.
I was underestimating what God could do with me in my hometown. I wanted to serve Him in Honduras, and I pray that there will still be a time for that, but for now, I have to love and serve where I am. And that should never be a burden.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 says “…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”
A quiet life for the Lord is still a life for the Lord. A summer at home is still a summer I can serve the Lord.
So, instead of saying “I have to stay at home. I have to take care of my mom. I have to take a summer class.” I’m learning to say, “I get to have time at home. I get to take care of my mom. I get to earn some extra college credits this summer.”
And with this newer, more positive attitude, I’ve added more exciting possibilities. “I get to join a college-age bible study through my new church. I get to take a family vacation. I get to volunteer with Spanish-speakers in my hometown.”
May my summer and your summer glorify the Lord wherever we are.