I will not back down.
I will not quit.
I will not listen to the lies of the World.
I will RISE UP.
I will FACE THE DAY.
I will KEEP THE FAITH.
If God is FOR US, who can be AGAINST US?
Approximately two years ago today, the country of Japan was devastated by an incredible earthquake and tsunami, which killed thousands of people and completely eliminated billions of dollars in infrastructure.
Approximately two years ago today, my then-girlfriend’s grandma passed away after a tragic accident, which left me unable to pray without crying and wish I could have been there for her while she was mourning.
Why do I remember all of this? Because approximately two years ago today was the first day of my first ever mission trip - the InterVarsity Spring Break East Austin Mission Trip. The Japan tragedy occurred Thursday evening before the trip began; the passing away of a dear family friend was the very next evening. I distinctively remember having to start all the mission trip activities and first-day logistics with so much heaviness and burden on my heart. I struggled to find joy and I almost wanted to simply leave.
Today, my grandpa in Taiwan (who is thankfully a believer in Jesus Christ) is laying in a hospital bed somewhere in Taipei and breathing his last breaths. My parents, as well as my extended family in Taiwan, are already making final preparations. Last I heard, he’s in a stable but critical condition and fighting pneumonia. He is dying.
Today, I was rejected. Again.
And why do I bring all of this up? Because today is the first day of another mission trip - the InterVarsity Spring Break East Austin Mission Trip, aka ACT. I’m entering into this extended weekend of service, community, and mission once again with a heavy heart and weary mind.
I praise God that even in seemingly the worst of times during the 2011 trip, He blessed me with one of the most memorable times in all of college. It’s almost surreal to me that the circumstances are almost the same this time around. Nevertheless, God knows everything that’s going on around me right now, and now I await what He has in store for me this time.
The following verses have been texted/messaged/IMed/etc. to me during the past 2 days by brothers that knew how anxious my mind has been concerning my medical school interview happening in about 9 hours:
"13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)
14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
10 "So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
So I want to pass along these verses of encouragement that people gave me to everyone else. I hope they’re as great a blessing to you as they have been to me.
Once in awhile, I’ll start thinking I’m talking about God TOO much in my med school essays, before I remind myself that I am nothing without the work of Christ during the past (almost exactly) 20 years of my life. Then, I realize talking about God “too much” is impossible.