Thursday, December 1, 2011

What are you trying to prove?

So I recently got to experience one of the most precious, desired, sought after, longed for, yearned for, and anticipated experiences in the life of a college student. The one thing that two weeks before every student is counting down the days for and two weeks after students are still wishing they were there. All you collegiate readers out there know exactly what i'm talking about.... Going home for Thanksgiving Break!!! 

Thanksgiving Break is that awesome time where we as students get to return home with our mouths watering in anticipation for Turkey, mashed potatoes, and of course some pie for dessert (even though I'm not a fan of pie). It's a time where we get to see and be reunited with our loving families and enjoy there company once again. 

All in all this seems like such a peachy, amazing time doesn't it?

For me and for others I'm sure this time is not always biscuits and gravy though. For those like me who had a somewhat spotty and rough past going home can often painful reminders of your mistakes. Last year as a freshman this was my biggest struggle about going back home. I didn't want to face my past because I wasn't completely over it. 

However this year it was something totally different I found myself once again feeling stupid about. This year to the glory of God I can say I don't even resemble the young boy dressed in man's clothes who left a little over a year and a half ago. It's so awesome! God has done huge things in my heart and is still transforming me into the Man He wants me to be. So as I went home I should be excited, and joyful right?

Well the thing was I should be! I had every right to be! However, if you read this blog regularly you should know by know that I'm pretty dumb and it's often through my ignorance that God teaches me things. So it should be no surprise that was again my ignorance and pride got in the way of my joy for a time on this break.

When I got home, I was so ready to prove to everyone that as Brandon Heath so eloquently puts "I'm not who I was". I think differently, I talk differently, I carry myself differently and most importantly my relationship with God was closer than it had ever been! I wanted to show everyone that I wasn't the womanizing lying insecure punk that left. So when I was hanging out with my friends I would often say something and immediately question myself if that was "Old Dustin" or "New Dustin". 

It was one night after one of these hangouts in which I was pouring my heart out to God in my bed, that he said something that once again smacked me in the mouth. He said clear as day right in my heart "Dustin, Am I not enough? I know the change that's been going on in your heart, I'm the One authoring it! Is it not enough for you that I know how much change has happened? Why do you feel the need to have others see it? Why do you want to prove yourself to them? Who's opinion matters more to you, Theirs or Mine? 

OUCH!!!! Talk about times when God can cut you deep right at the heart! I immediately repented and asked God for forgiveness! It was in the days afterward as I was reflecting on this story that God placed a verse on my mind.

 1 Samuel 16:7 "  But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart".    

So if there is something that I can pass along to those of you who may be feeling like I was, who may be thinking "I have grown so much, I have changed so much, Why doesn't anyone seem to notice?"; it would be this. You may be pushing and enduring and on your last leg from struggling to change your life and overcome your problems. You may feel like no one notices or cares. But take heart in this! While we as humans are often dumb and may not notice, God Does!! 

He has numbered the hairs on your head, and He knows you better and more intimately than any of us! He is your father and even in this time of struggle and growing pains, He is right behind you cheering you on saying "Keep going, I'm proud of you, and I love you" 

So the next time you are caught in the dumb cycle I was ensnared in of trying to prove yourself to people, to show them you have changed; take time and ask a yourself  "(Insert name here), What are you trying to prove?"

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