Writing has always been the way for me to get my emotions, thoughts and feelings out of the scrambled, distracted mess that is my mind and into a form that’s understandable to humans other than myself. But to tell the truth, there aren’t many words I can think of to describe the past 10 days of my life- not many that make sense anyways.
So here goes nothing.
Training camp was hands down the most difficult week of my life. As I sit here on the floor of the Atlanta airport waiting to board my flight home, no amount of coffee can hide how mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically exhausted I am. Though it does taste heavenly.
However, despite the fact that I could not possibly be more drained, this has been the best week of my life.
Over the course of the past week and a half, the Lord has wrecked my heart and rocked my world like Hurricane Katrina. He, through the vessels that are the Adventures in Missions staff, took away each and every comfort that I’m used to- from internet to toilets, “normal” food to showers- and used my total discomfort to open my heart and mind to Him.
In these past ten days, I’ve learned how to love like Christ. Not only have I learned how to love OTHERS as He loves them, but I learned to love MYSELF as He loves ME.
And that’s a powerful thing.
I spent those days sweating half to death (this is not an exaggeration), wearing the ugliest khaki shorts known to man (this might be an exaggeration), covered in red- Georgia dirt. I wore no makeup, took bucket showers with creek water and a measuring cup, and slept in a tent (or, more often, outside in the grass).
And I felt beautiful. Confident. Loved.
Now, this isn’t meant to sound conceded by any stretch. It’s meant to prove a point.
If I wanted with my whole heart to give you $100, but I didn’t have $100, could I do it?
Because the reality is, you can’t give someone something you don’t have.
This week, I’ve learned that the same exact concept works with the love, confidence and strength of Christ.
If I myself am not confident in the love of the Father, that I am HIS daughter, that I am loved unconditionally, and that I am fearfully and wonderfully created in the image of the Lord- how can I share that with other people? How can I expect them to believe it?
No, but really. This is just a small glimpse into what the Lord has taught me this week. Now that I understand this, and truly understand it, I can see through the loving, rose-colored glasses of the Father.
Because of this discovery, I can now see myself, my 50 squad mates, and every person I encounter as the beloved sons and daughters of Christ that they are.
I have realized- if the God of the universe looks at my sinful self and does not condemn me, who am I to bring condemnation on myself? If Christ sees the faults and failures of those around me and looks upon them with grace upon grace, who am I to give them anything other than that?
I’m telling you folks- BIG stuff happened this week.
Crickets & scrambled eggs for breakfast. (no seriously.)
Originally posted on August 20, 2016 on my original blog haydenschwarting.theworldrace.org