Mundane: lacking interest or excitement; dull. A word that I do not want to use when describing my life.
I decided to write this post after long prayers and conversations with God about my life. The past two years God has used every single opportunity to teach me something. If I could write a book about it, I would, but I’ll stick with blogging for now.
Since I was about 13 years old I wished to fly away somewhere. The thought of experiencing a different culture was my dream. When I was 16 years old, I left the country (other than Canada) for the first time since I came to the United States. It was my trip to Russia as many of you have probably read about. That was my first super long flight across the country and the ocean and let me tell you, I had a blast. Although I didn’t like heights back then and I hate small spaces, flying made me feel infinite. How blessed are we to live in a time when we can just say “I wanna go here” and just go. God changed me during that trip and is still constantly chiseling away at my imperfections and making me look more like Jesus.
I came back from Russia just in time for my baptism. I was literally on cloud nine. Everything in my life seemed to be perfect and I loved living and serving my church here. But the memories of what I saw and did in Russia always kept replaying in my mind.
Travel was where my heart was back then.
In the next year I got a job as a gymnastics coach and met a lot of wonderful friends who will forever be in my heart. One of those girls was a sweet american girl named Raina who was 2 years older than me. Her sister worked with me and she often came to substitute or just help out when she could. Her contagious laugh and positive attitude intrigued me from the day I met her. We became friends after I saw her Russian tattoo on her arm and she made me translate it to see if I was actually Russian (do I not look like it? haha). Her tattoo said (in Russian), “today’s dreams will be tomorrow’s reality“. How beautiful is that?
Raina was crazy. She did things very spontaneously but always reminded me to live my life to the fullest. One summer, she left to Lake Chelan and slept in her car for 2 weeks because she wanted to earn some extra money serving at a golf course. Crazy. Constantly, she shocked me with her decisions but she seemed to always be happy with them.
So we (my dad, brother, and I), booked a flight to Europe that winter. I’ve always wanted to go there because I mean, who wouldn’t want to got there? Plus, Raina kept reminding me to live my life out to it’s full potential.
The day before we were leaving, I went to work and other than my boss, I was the only coach there. This is not a good thing when you have 8 kids to coach plus the kids of the coaches that are gone. My boss waited to tell me why the two sisters were not at work until after I had finished all my classes.
At this point, it’s not really important to explain how she passed away.
At that moment I thought that the world had stopped. There’s really no way to write in words about how I felt at that moment. For any of you that had lost anyone, it’s a devastating feeling. You start wondering if there was anything you could have done and why this happened. But most of all, I started questioning God. Why now and why her?
I want Raina’s legacy to live on. I will never forget the things she taught me and I only pray that my life was a reflection of Jesus, so that I can meet her in heaven soon.
I left on my trip to Europe with only thoughts of Raina. She inspired me to travel and I always have to remind myself that life is too short to do just one thing and the world is too big to just stay in one place.
God knew what I wanted. In Psalm 37:4 it says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”. My desires are to travel. To meet new people. To experience new cultures. To see Jesus in places and situations that I never even imagined.
Four months later, my grandma died.
After that, I booked another trip to Europe, this time by myself.
I experienced so many new things.
I went paragliding.
I fed monkeys.
I went on a motorcycle for the first time in my life (on a no speed limit highway).
I rode a horse for the first time.
And I experienced many other things that I would never had been able to do if I didn’t let go of my fears and let God take control.
When you travel, especially without family, you learn a lot of things about yourself. It’s very paradoxical actually.You learn how smart you are, and also how much more you need to learn. You learn how strong you are but how much you need someone to lean on sometimes. You learn how to be independent but how often and how much you need God.
Now if that wasn’t a year of trials, I don’t know what is. God taught me so much about numbering my days. About living my life for him. To always choose love. To ALWAYS keep seeking Him where I doubt He is. He taught me that the best things in life are really not things. They’re people. They’re experiences. They’re the grace of God in flesh and in everyday things.
So forget the mundane. We were not created to go to school or work, sings some songs on Sunday, and sleep. We were created for far better things. If you just forget your fears, the life that God created for you is just around the corner. Trust is the key. So dream, believe, trust, and know that if you are not obsessed with the beautiful life that God has given you, change it.
“You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth“. -Evan Esar