Wow. Can I really say that God is good? In the past 24 hours, I've seen that God's faithfulness is indescribable. What started as a regular day in my life, somehow slipped into an internal conversation of how to deal with my frustrations in a way that no one would be able to tell, and ended in a most glorious and fruitful night.
What I'm trying to say is that I started 2013 with a goal to be productive, fruitful, and ultimately perfect. For those who know me, big ambitions like this usually manifest themselves in my overwhelming schedule, which, two weeks into the semester, I began to worry if I'd be able to keep up with. As a perfectionist, the idea of not meeting my personal standards is painful, and in a few hours, I began to question God regarding why I'd become someone who couldn't stick to her own plans. God clearly tells us to not lean on our own understanding, but, yet again, I attempted to figure out how I would start to balance an 18-unit semester, a ministry leadership commitment, and steps to living out other passions, within the 24/7 time that humans are allotted and expected to survive in. I realized that I needed to probably share this frustration, along with the other issues I've been struggling with, with the several trusted friends I've been given. Yet again, I told myself no, that I must figure these things out on my own, and simply tell them after I'd won the battle on my own. I then realized that I should probably include God in this plan.
Alright. Me and God. God and me. We could fix my life, together! True, but also, false. What I knew is that I needed love and support from others, which I refused myself to desire. I simply repeated to myself that I needed to learn how to just love and lean on God, and that would be it. Through my struggles in the past year, I'd heard God tell me that He was refining me, moving me forward, and ultimately, like Hagar said in Genesis 16, He is the God that sees me, when I feel like no one else does, and loves me like no one else can.
Words are easier memorized than lived, and I consistently struggle with this issue of wanting to "do" all it takes to be worthy of God's love, human respect and admiration, and even my own approval. That's why when God used the people in my life to show me a glimpse of how much He loves me, and understands me, I was, for one of the first times in my adult life, speechless.
After a day brimming with "Mo, you need to do better" thoughts, I was seated in BCM's weekly Tuesday night bible study/small group and realized that I couldn't hide the fact that I was upset from my friends in the room. I asked another member to pray for me, and made it through the rest of the night oscillating between my internal universe and the Bible study going on in my friend's living room. My plan for the night was to leave bible study, visit another student, and spend time at Starbucks with a white hot chocolate and my journal, pouring everything out to God so He could help me put together a plan for conquering the semester. (Again: just me and God, just me and God). God, however, knew that this day would be trying for me, and so, billions of years ago, orchestrated several of the most precious friendships to come into existence in my life, and prove to me that though He created me for fellowship with Him, He created community so I can know Him more intimately with the people in my life.
Bible study ended, and as I was getting ready to go, my friends began smiling in a way that put me on edge and I knew something was up. "We have an announcement for Mo." Out popped another love in my life with a tall, wrapped box that I knew would contain a longboard--something I was literally deciding to put on hold until a time where I, out of my own strength could buy for myself. I tried to run with the box when they made me open it. I stood there for what seems like forever, hiding back tears, as the loving faces of my kingdom family smiled back at me with camera phones ready to catch my rarely-appearing tears.
When they finally cornered me, I realized all I could say is that I didn't deserve that gift, just like I know I don't deserve God's grace. Knowing that I can't "work" for His goodness merely drives me to work harder, and this has been a fight that I know He's liberating from, as He teaches me about inner beauty and how His love is the only thing that will ever bring the change to the world that I desire to see and try to work for. His love is also the only thing worth fighting for.
So...there I stood, overwhelmed by His love that I don't deserve, with friends who are so amazing and I don't deserve either. I think that is one of the first moments where I realized that when you're happily given something you don't deserve, you don't refuse it and attempt to earn it on your own with energy you honestly don't have. You take it, thank God and the giver(s), and resolve to love them the way that God has loved it. I may not be worthy of His love, but I have decided to live my life in a way that invites others to experience the beauty of it. Honestly, one of the most amazing things about the Crucifixion is knowing that no amount of money, or work, or secular glory could get me the eternal promise of experiencing life with God. (Plus, if there was a worldly price tag, I'm pretty sure that none of us could ever afford it.)
I'd been wondering earlier in the week what it feels like to be proposed to, and I'm pretty sure I just experienced God popping the question "Mo, will you commit to trusting me even when your life doesn't make sense? When it hurts? When I remove things that do not profit you? When I refine you? When I have you sleeping on someone's couch (August-September 2012 reference)? When I ask things of you that you cannot do on your own? Will you trust Me when you feel like you can't come into My presence, and come in anyway, knowing that you are ALWAYS welcome at My throne? Will you trust that I let My son die, so you can live? Mo, will you be My Bride?"
I let myself melt into my friends' arms, and I think this was my subconscious saying "Yes."
Modupeoreoluwa means "I thank God for His gift," and He has clearly shown me just how many I have to be thankful for. I wish I could type that I also got an epiphany of the perfect formula for balancing my life and being able to handle whatever comes my way with glamorous resilience, but I honestly don't. I still don't have the hour-by-hour formula for success that I thought would mean my dreams realized within a matter of months. What I do have, however, is proof that God loves me. Tangible proof that looks like amazing friends, and a four-wheeled weapon of love.
Updates on the longboard's name coming soon. Right now, I'm thinking Armstrong (as in Louis), Ayo (Yoruba for joy), or something related to Adonai, a Hebrew name for God (but I obviously don't want to name my board "God", so it might be something like Donnie) We'll see :)