Let go and embrace His plan.

Hey guys, sorry its been a it.  I promise I am working on several posts; most notably the results from my survey.  But right now, I’m feeling really happy, and I don’t want to work on those posts.

Some of the major details I’d like to keep secret for awhile longer.  I’m feeling incredible happy, and my soul is singing, and I don’t want to do anything that could potentially ruin this.  But I am learning some really important things, and like all things, I wanted to share it with you.

I am learning, that in order to fully embrace what God is going to do in your life, you have to let go of certain expectations and plans you may place on Him. 

Let me explain.  I’ve been single for three-wish years. (I did date someone at the beginning of the year for two-ish months.  And because of that short duration, I consider it simply a tiny blimp on my “single” timeline.). And I’m getting to the point in my life where I’m beginning to think about my future and getting married.  So it would seem natural that I would be looking for a relationship, right?

Last year, when I applied for a summer position at a Christian camp, I thought for sure that I would meet the man of my dreams at the camp, and the rest would be history.  I began to place that desire on God, and I expected Him to follow through with it.  However, when I wasn’t offered a position, I thought God wasn’t keeping His promise.  I think I was more hurt by the fact that I wasn’t going to meet Godly men, and the future I had built before me involving a Godly man from camp wasn’t going to happen, than I was with the actual rejection.

When this past fall semester started, I had the same mentality; The man I am supposed to meet will be in one of my classes.  He wasn’t.  Then spring semester started.  Same thing.  Then I started a new job.  Still, I had the same mentality.  And as of right now, the same result.  I was beginning to think this illusive man would be at this college I’m transferring to in the fall.

But, well, all I’ll say, is sometimes, maybe, God has a different plan.

What I’m learning, is if I continue to place that expectation of meeting my Prince Charming at a certain place at a certain time on God, I may be missing out on His true plan for me.  I need to stop trying to confine God to what I think He should do, and when I think He should do it.  “I am not skilled to understand, what God has willed, what God has planned”, so why should I try to think I do?

I am also learning that nothing I do could ever screw up God’s plan for me.  Ever.  I am not that powerful.

I used to be so worried that the right guy would come along while I was in a relationship.  That while I was with one guy, the “right” guy would catch my eye.  I used to be so worried I would get stuck in between my timing and God’s timing.  I used think I had the ability to royally screw up God’s plan for me.  And I used to think anything I did in one relationship could directly affect my chances of meeting Mr. Right.

But I’m learning I am not a god, and therefore, I do not have the power, nor ability, to screw anything up.  I do not have the power to override God’s plan for me.  Nothing I do could ever cause God to change His mind about what He’s planned for me.  Everything I have ever done, and every relationship I have ever been in, or will be in, fits perfectly into God’s design for my life.  There is something so freeing in realizing that.

I am truly very happy.  I woke upon this morning in a wonderful mood, and have pretty much been smiling ever since.  And, I feel closer to God than I have in a long time.

Let go of any and all expectations you have of God, regarding your future, and embrace His plan.  I promise you, it is beautiful and better than anything you could ever imagine.

Ciao for now,

Julia

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Passengers, I condemn you.

Before I say what I believe needs to be said, I want you to know that this is coming from a place of truthful compassion and understanding, with self-reflective sadness, and not a place of aggression or judgment.

But.

Passengers of the United Airlines Flight that were witnesses to the horrific removal of Dr. Dao from his seat: I condemn you.  I condemn you just as much as the airline itself is being condemned.  I condemn you, because instead of standing up for, and fighting for Dr. Dao, you simply stayed in your seats, recorded the scene, and made comments.  I condemn you because you could have done so much more.  I condemn you because you were bystanders who had the power to save, and you chose not to.

In all the articles I have read about this situation, from Dr. Dao’s troubled past, to the incident, and even the aftermath, no where are any names of any saviors mentioned.  There are names of those who uploaded the videos.  There are names of those who made comments.  There are the three names of the other passengers forced to relinquish their seats.  But no where are there written names, or provided evidence, of any person on that flight, trying to save Dr. Dao.  And if there is no evidence, then I believe it is not a far stretch to assume there was no saving.  And if that is the case, then truly, passengers, you are to be condemned.

In school, we are taught that there are bullies, victims, and bystanders.  And we are taught that the bystanders are just as bad as the bully if they do not try to stop the abuse.  In this situation, it seems the bystanders, the passengers, were just as bad as the bullies.  In fact, I would even wager that they are worse than the bully, because they recorded it.  They pulled out their phones, and recorded this man’s suffering, without trying to save him.  And if, passengers, your excuse is that you were told to remain in your seats by the airline staff, than I would say this situation is a textbook example of Stanley Milgram’s shock experiment.

Please understand me, I believe you when you say you are good people.  I believe you.  Many of you may go to church, are parents, help the community, etc.  But this “good” should be evident in all situations, not just in “good” ones.  If you are truly good, staying in your seat must have upset your conscious.  Of course, if I was in that situation, staying in my seat would have really upset me.  But, I would have found it very hard to stand up as well.  Passengers, true soul-deep “goodness” would inspire a person to leap out of their seat, and fight with a flaming sword to protect a man being abused.

I condemn United Airlines for overbooking the flight.  (I know firsthand the effects of that.). I condemn them for giving priority to employees of a partner line.  I condemn them for picking people at random, and forcing them to give up their seats.  I condemn them for then forcibly removing Dr. Dao from his seat.  And I condemn you, passengers of this United Airlines flight, because you did nothing,

What happened to respect?  What happened to caring for every life?  What happened to the responsibility of taking care of other people, especially in a situation where they can’t take care of themselves?  What happened to standing up for other people, and addressing abuse in a horrible situation?  What happened to the responsibility of a bystander to stand up for the victim?  Has this responsibility truly changed to spectatorship, when the accepted behavior is to record a situation, instead of trying to fix it?  And would Dr. Dao be in the hospital if someone had stood up for him?  What would have happened if the entire plane stood up for him?  This situation feels eerily similar to Kitty Genovese.

It seems this responsibility of bystanders has become completely ignored.  People who were witness to a horrible interaction between people, are asked for any videos, instead of being asked if they did anything to stop it.  As a psychology major, a young woman, and a gentle heart, this change terrifies, upsets, and disgusts me.

If I was in a similar situation, yes, I would find it very hard to stand between a bully and their victim.  I would feel as if I was standing before a giant with only a small stone in my hand.  I would wrestle hard inside myself to find the courage and strength to get out of my seat, and stand between the United Airlines men and Dr. Dao.  But, I would be utterly disgusted with myself if I choose to record the situation instead.  I would know that no amount of recording could save a man’s life.

Passengers, I condemn you.  I am pointing an accusatory finger at you.  You could have done so much, but instead, did so little.  However, while pointing at you, four fingers are pointing back at me.  Your lack of action has made me self-reflect, which I thank you for.  Let’s see that as the silver lining; this horrible situation is causing self-reflection.

Passengers, I condemn you just as much as Untied Airlines.  Every life deserves a savior, and you, you who watched and recorded and complained, you did nothing.

‘What one eye-opening expereince should every person have?’

One of my favorite Christmas presents this past year is a little book called Chew on Life’s Big Questions by a little company called SoulPancake. This company was co-created by a little actor, Rainn Wilson, otherwise known as Dwight Schrute from the American version of ‘The Office’. I love the fact that someone who played such an annoying character on TV has such a philosophical mind and pursues the genuine parts of humanity.

I am big into asking, and talking about big questions. I think this is something that is really important. I feel conversation nowadays has become very shallow, and not very thought-provoking. And so I love this book because it makes me think.

I have a journal where I process through each question in the book. It’s a challenge, but I love it. I’m going through the book in no particular order, and I think that’s the exciting part; just opening the book to a random page, and mulling over the question on that page. But since I got the book, there has been a question that I keep thinking about. I think it’s one of my favorite questions because all of the responses it conjures up in my mind.

What one eye-opening experience should every person have?

Initially, I only thought of one experience. But as the months have gone by, I keep thinking of more. I don’t think there is one singular eye- opening experience everyone should have. There are many.

Like ……

  • Traveling to another country (or countries)
  • Learning how other people see you
  • Having your pride and ego checked
  • Being independent for the first time
  • Being alone for a period of time
  • Being challenged by opposing viewpoints and perspectives
  • Learning that ignorance can’t be used as an excuse after a certain point
  • Persevering when all you want to do is quit
  • Re-reading your favorite book more than once
  • Reading religious texts that aren’t part of your religion
  • Recognizing and being able to name your flaws
  • Doing something wild and beautifully impulsive (within reason, of course)
  • Being made aware of the horrors of history and around the world
  • Finding something you’re passionate about
  • Discovering your ancestry, and the stories that go along with it
  • Being truly loved after heartbreak and heartache
  • Moving forward from a bad mistake
  • Being challenged past what you thought you could handle
  • Experiencing life (and worship) in a third-world country
  • Reading good, powerful books like The Color Purple and Fahrenheit 451
  • Traveling in general, be it to another country or just another county (getting out and exploring places that are outside your small corner of the world is so important)
  • Struggling to meet and/or not meeting expectations

These are some of the things I think everyone should experience, wondrous eye-opening things. I have dealt with a good portion of them, and they have truly been eye-opening experiences.

What do you think are some eye-opening experiences every person should experience in their life?

Ciao for now,

Julia