Well, I am leaving for the summer the day after tomorrow. HOLY TOLEDO! I am not ready! I have so much stuff to do before I leave on Friday (I'm going to Chattanooga for the weekend and then straight to Knoxville and on to Pigeon Forge on Monday!) I have so much unpacking, packing, organizing, list making, creating, and planning to do, I don't know how I will ever get it done! It amazing to think that this time has come, and I couldn't be happier or more hopeful/excited about what is in store for this summer.
I've been imagining what this summer would look like for so many months, and it seems like God has different plans than what I have been banking on. THAT excites me. Any time I try to plan out what a certain adventure or experience is going to be like, God throws me a fast one and makes it completely different- sometimes easier, sometimes harder, but always incomparably BETTER than I ever could have thought up on my own, and I know that He will do the same for the next two months.
It's comforting for me to know that whatever hardships I face this summer will be part of God's plan. Whatever hilariously fun times will be a part of God's plan. Whatever struggles, tears, laughter, relationships, pain, and joy I experience will all be part of His plan, and I have the choice to lean on Him through all of it, or depend on myself. Right now it's easy for me to say, of course I will choose to lean on Him. If you love me, please pray for me that this summer I will choose to lean on Him, follow Him, take joy in His plans, and love in the way that Christ shows me to love. A big verse I've been thinking about is Philippians 2:3...
"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves."
I am just here to tell you, that is like, THE hardest thing to do! Jean Piaget, one of the major child cognitive development theorists and someone I have spent a lot of time studying in school, says that in the preoperational stage, when children are between the ages of 2-7, they are completely ego-centric. This doesn't mean that they have a huge ego (and don't even get me started on Freud). It means that they can't take others' perspectives. Everything a child experiences during these ages is seen as it relates to him. If something is hard for him, he expects it is hard for everyone else. If it makes him mad, it most assuredly must make everyone else mad, too. Sometimes I am convinced that I am stuck in the preoperational stage. How often do I even try to understand what is going on in other people's lives, minds, or hearts? Not very. It's a joke between my friends that I always say, "I can't relate. I can't relate to them, so I don't understand them."
What a poor outlook on life.
I've prayed a lot for my team this summer, but my prayer for myself is that I will learn how to count others more significant than myself. I want to get out of the preoperational stage and move on! I want to be someone who can listen, understand, encourage, challenge, exhort, and help others to train in righteousness! The Word of the Lord is profitable for all of these things (or so I'm told in 2 Timothy) and I am definitely equipped with that! Prayer is key.