I’m a Sinner Too

these past few months have passed by so quickly. my time in taiwan is almost at an end. isn’t that crazy? i’ve been here for almost a year. in one way, it does feel like a year and even longer than that. in another way, it feels like i just got here.

if i’ve ever been absolutely certain of the fact that i’m changing, it would be now. i’ve been learning and growing a lot. more than i ever thought possible. what’s even more surprising to me is that i find that i have a desire to keep learning and growing.

i don’t want to stop going down this path. i want to keep walking/running down this road. i want to keep changing. i want to keep growing in my relationship with Christ. i want to know and understand more of who God is. at least, that’s how i’m thinking right now. but to be honest, i don’t always think this way.

sometimes i just want to give it all up. it’s too hard and overwhelming. i’m tired. all i see is my faults, my sins. i see how unworthy i am of God’s love. i don’t deserve a single ounce of it. i am a sinful human being. i’ve committed so many wrongs. over and over again i sin. sometimes, i just feel like a constant failure. i don’t think that i’ll ever be any better than i am right now.

let’s be honest here. life is not just what you see in those encouraging blog posts. it’s not the short, but uplifting, tweets you see on twitter. it’s not all those aesthetic pleasing photos with the perfect inspirational caption on instagram.

no. real life, sure, it can be like that sometimes. but all the time? no. real life is hard. there’s pain. there’s suffering. there are problems, issues. usually, i don’t see the reason why things are the way that they are. i don’t understand why i have to go through ______ or ______. to me, it seems pointless.

what can i do? i’m incapable of getting myself out of this rut. i’m stuck. does any of this really matter? does anything i do really make a difference? and this is what happens. sometimes, i can just see growth growth growth. other times, i’m all i can see is my ever-growing pile of wrongdoings. i go back and forth, from one extreme to another.

but that’s not how it should be. yes, i am a sinner. yes, i can not get out of this situation on my own. but this is where Jesus comes in. he paid the price for our sin. he took the consequence of our sin. that separation from God? that broken relationship we have with God? Jesus fixes that. he died to fix it. now, we have direct access to God.

we are broken, but he is whole. we are unable, but he is able. what’s even more important, he is willing. God is able and willing to save us. he wants a relationship with us. he loves us. though we fall over and over again, God continues to save us over and over again. he wants to deliver us, because he cares about us.

and that’s true grace. it is this that i can be encouraged by. i can find comfort in God because despite what i do, God wants to have a relationship with me. he will continue to pursue me no matter how often i fail.

isn’t that amazing? i can’t begin to comprehend why God would do this. i can’t understand why he would suffer so much for us. why does he love us? why does he even care about us?

but he does. he really does.

when i look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”

-psalm 8:3-4

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi

So This is the New Normal

time just flies by and now it is april. time is like sand. i try to hold on it, but it keeps slipping between my fingers.

things have changed a lot in the last few months. i know. it’s on everyone’s minds lately. the virus. the coronavirus. or COVID-19. whatever name you put to it, you can’t go a day without hearing about it (much less a few hours).

an unknown virus has changed life as we know it. everyone has been effected, whether in big or small ways. we can hope that things will go back to “normal” soon, but for now this is the new normal.

unfortunately, so many people are struggling in this time. we have people working in the medical field or working for the government or working in the food industry. there are more, like all the first responders out there. i could go on.

these people are essentially risking their lives day in and day out, some more than others. either way, there is always a possibility, always a chance that they could come into contact with the virus. they still work though, because they are needed and necessary.

then there are all the people without jobs. people who are trying to figure out how long they can survive like this. how will they take care of their families? their relatives? themselves? no one knows when things will get better. everything is up in the air.

but while many struggles are visible, there are some struggles that go unseen. those who have mental health problems. for many people, they now have to practice social distancing. they have to stay at home. if they go out, it’s only for necessities or the occasional walk…by themselves. for those who struggle mentally, i can’t even begin to understand what they are going through.

(thankfully, here in taiwan we have yet to practice social distancing. we are just trying not to travel a lot or associate with too many different people. and we’re always wearing masks and washing our hands.)

and lets not forget all the plans that were cancelled. weddings, graduations, birthday parties, and more. some of these were monumental events that people only experience once, but the virus changed that.

people are stressed. worried. anxious. the list goes on. and what is God’s purpose in all of this? i’ve been asking myself that a lot lately. and honestly, i’m not sure that i’ll ever know, not until i see God. that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t use this time for good.

there’s a lot of fear in the world right now. people are scared. while they have no hope, we, as Christians, do. we have hope. we may be scared, but we can act despite the fear. we know there is someone who is greater than this virus and he is in control. even if we can’t see him, he is with us. we may not know his plan, but we know that he is good.

“i pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

-romans 15:13

in this dark time, let’s be that light to others. send a text to that friend that you haven’t heard from in awhile. call up that person you’ve been meaning to talk to. it can be something as simple as that. you don’t know fully what people are struggling with. you never know when something as simple as a message saying “i care. i see you.” may make all the difference in his/her life.

Christ poured out his love for us. we can definitely take the time to show that love to others. small acts of kindness really do make all the difference.

and i hope that when things do go back to “normal,” that we, as a people, won’t. we will be changed. i hope that we learn something from this time. that we appreciate the small things. that we don’t take for granted the time we have with our families and friends.

hoping to lighten your burden,

gabi

what have you been doing during this hectic time? what have you learned or taken away from this time?