5.24.2008

Hi,

So this evening has by far been one of the deepest moments in my entire life. In the span of about 2 hours, I was able to have a huge revelation about what it means to fillet oneself. I feel like within this time period I have been better exposed to one of my favorite things about God. Omnipresence is not going to a far away country to discover a God you thought you would find that is different or better than the God you knew at home. It is an understanding that you come across through experience. I quote Tozer's preface to The Pursuit of God:


"For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience, they are not the better for having heard the truth. The bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into him, that they may delight in his presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God himself in the core and center of their hearts."

That's not to say that due to the situation of fully exposing my life to a group of people I now feel all knowing about the magnificence of how present God truly is. I find that the qualities I desire the most to learn about God I find in the most unexpected ways. It is a beautiful side-swiping motion that knocks the breath out of you but expands your lungs deeper than you've ever felt. God is one to shatter preconceived notions in order to expose the true path of righteousness.

I remember crying in prayer one night here on the island that I don't truly know who I am, but that I just want to know God in the best ways that I can. I have been shaken deeply by many of the transitions faced within the last month or so. I have questioned numerous emotions and learned that justification is just a means to escape reality. All of this might sound confusing.. but due to a heavy conversation tonight with the girls, I feel, for the most part.. rather clear. My overall hunger for coming to Roatan was my attempt as a means to please God, rely on God, and better get to know God through servitude. Maybe missioning in Roatan was not what God originally desired for me, but I feel he made it possible for me to come here so that he could reveal his majesty to me in the most extraordinary way. Tonight I shared my life story with Naseem, Leslie, and Lucia and talked about my struggles brought on not only my environment, but more importantly by my underlying subconscious and constant need to justify my actions in order to hide my insecurities. I talked about how I've felt a huge loss of identity lately and just a number of things that have brought me to the place where I am at now. Through this I think I can taste the realness that Tozer twrites about. So many times in our mind we try and tell ourselves about one sector of God we like the most and dream about or imagine what that piece of God would be like. We turn him into this small creature and justify our actions in our fondness of his qualities. It relates as such: You may live your life hearing stories about the goodness and the healing properties of a person and dwell on the ideal of someday meeting them and delighting in beauty of their personality. But until you do, and until you begin to simply pursue this person at all, you will never start to understand or be able to deem true your imagination. It is impossible. I find it funny that we kid ourselves in divvying God up into so many qualities we have yet to understand instead of thanking him for simply being the God he is. Tozer touches on this as well:

"When religion has said it's last word, there is little than we need other than God Himself. The evil habit of seeking God-and effectively prevents us from finding God in full revelation. In the and lies our great woe. If we omit the and we shall soon find God, and in Him we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing for."

When I first read this, I'll have to admit I was a little turned off by Tozer in that I feel ok with myself in longing to sector God up and call out to each piece as if it were it's own separate entity. But I can say now that God has given me that experience shortly after crumbing to him in prayer. If we hunger for that pureness of a solitary relationship in him and trust that he will expose the rest of himself in ways unknown to us, he will. The two most important commandments, Jesus said, are to:
30 Love (BB) the Lord your God (BC) with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, (BD) and with all your strength. (BE) (BF) [m]

31 "The second is: Love your neighbor (BG) as yourself. (BH) (BI) There is no other commandment (BJ) greater than these." Mark 12:30-31 (HCSB)

They are simple acts of acknowledgment and being relational. And when these are fulfilled at least for one moment in our seemingly vast lives, God delivers a strong and powerful message. This is what I feel happened tonight. I feel like more than anything in the world right now, I crave the two most important things the Lord wants us to crave. I want to know God and the capabilities in the extensive stories told about him. I want to love him on a level that makes every other aspect of my life seem like a grain of sand in comparison to the expanse that he is. I want a relationship with him and with my neighbors so that I can love them as he does and share with them the love he gives to me.

With this said, I am contemplating whether or not I should stay here in Roatan for the complete 3 months I initially set out to stay. I feel I came, like I said, trying to search a section of an omnipresent God that existed where I was in the first place. That's not to say that this trip is completely shot.. but I do feel that I found not what I was looking for, but something far greater that has taken it's place. I have much consideration to do within the next few days and pray to God that I may know him and henceforth know where he wants me to go next. I love you all and whether you can support me or not in whichever decision I make, just know that I am striving to seek God in the best way I know how, and gain comfort in that.

Hil

P.S. I apologize for being fake in some of my other posts.. I wasn't trying to but I've come to the realization that in parts of them I was. My definition of this is wanting to feel something here so much that I jumped two steps ahead and said I felt the things I did. This isn't to say I don't already have a deep love for these children, just that I don't know how much I really believed when I said I felt I would grow deeper with them in time. To state my honesty, I do feel that I have grown tremendously in seeking God, and I do love this island as a whole. Who knows, I might end up staying, but I do have a lot to contemplate. Please accept my apology.. I want to work harder at being real.

4 comments:

shirley said...

Hilary,

Your posting of 5/24 touched me greatly. Your wise words brought me to tears. The Owen family continues to lift you up in prayer. I am confident that the Lord will direct you into the right decision regarding your trip.

Blessings on your day,
Shirley

Aunt Nancy said...

Hilary, I've read your posting and I'd like to share with you the perspective of a 69-year-old who feels that she is an extension of God, i.e., God's helper to make the world a better place. This means that she believes God is her foundation and without Him she is nothing. This is not to say that she's arrogrant enough to believe she's always right, but to believe that feeding the birds, holding the door for whoever is behind her, and trying in every way to make life better for God's other beings is a help to God. "In so much as ye did it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye did it unto me." or something like that is what James quotes Jesus as saying. I believe that by our works we are known; our works are a reflection of our love of God. I also believe that the only way we can know God is to give to others; we cannot be takers and know God. If we are takers, we are self-absorbed. We must be givers to learn the beauty that God can add to our lives.

Your bible quote is very important, but I suggest that the one I mention is the fruit of your quotes. If we do as your quotes suggest, then our lives will reflect that belief. And acts are important.

You're there to help the children. In this, you are God's helper. You have influence over the children. There is no way to know how even one small act of kindness that you do will impact the life of the children. One person can make a difference, and that difference can be large. You may encourage a discouraged child, and that child may learn hope for the future; she may see that she has value to you and therefore gain hope for the future.

I hope as you decide whether to stay or come home that you realize that your decision to come home may communicate to the children that they are not worth your time. Your leaving before the end of your commitment could have a very negative effect on one or more of the children.

Try this experiment: take yourself out of the picture. Look down from above and see all the players in the scene: you, the children, the other adults, the workers at the home (cooks, gardeners, administrators, everyone). Now think about your leaving them before you commitment is up. How does it affect each one? Is the result positive? Negative? Do you want to be responsible for the result? Above all, I believe God wants us to be personally responsible for what we contribute on our surroundings.

Think of Jesus and know that the right way is not always the easy way. Only you can decide, and only you will bear the burden long term of your decision.

I love you, and I am confident that God will give you courage, strength, and all you need for all your life.

Aunt Nancy

Nate said...

reading of your revelation kinda takes the wind out of my lungs too because i've been there too.

your going back will probably be more difficult than you know, but you seem quite sure about the right-ness of it all so i commend you on your conviction and pray blessing on the next few steps of your journey.

here's to your radical pursuit of God...

graciepantss said...

love you and support you all the way. what nate said. see you thursday.