I don't really know how to go about writing this article. I've actually been avoiding it for quite some time, but I don't think I can put it off anymore. Honestly, I'm actually a little afraid of where this is going to go. I'm afraid of revealing more about myself than I want to. I'm afraid of the emotion that it will stir up in me. I just don't want to write this, but it has been on my heart for a few weeks now, and I need to say it. You may all hate it. It may be the most poorly written blog post in history, but I think that I need to say this for me.
So far, this summer has had some major ups and downs. It's been an absolute roller coaster. There have been days of absolute joy. I mean days packed full of laughter, friendship, and Jesus. However, there have also been some pretty tough days. Days filled with confusion, pain, and questions. Now, don't get me wrong, I am happy. The internship has, for the most part, gone very well. It's life outside of the internship that's been tough. You see, there's been a bit of a theme that has developed around me for the last several weeks. Unfortunately, that theme is death.
It's a weird thing isn't it? Death, that is. The fact that someone is alive, breathing, thinking, and existing in one moment. Then the next moment, gone. We don't get to have them in our lives anymore. They vanish. Leaving us with great memories, deep love, and a longing for their return. Since the beginning of this summer there have been a ridiculous amount of people that I know that have died. First, was my long-time childhood friend, Mackenzie Hess. Kenzie was the first person my age that I have ever really known that has died. Then, a student from the youth group I worked with last summer, Luke Logan. An awesome kid that is deeply missed by so many. After that, my next door neighbor, Wayne Wright. On top of all of that, two of our students here at MITS have lost loved ones in our five short weeks in Kamulu. Then, of course, this vile, atrocious, disgusting, horrifying massacre in Orlando. I have no words. My heart hurts.
Up until a couple of years ago, I don't think that I responded to situations like these appropriately. You see, my heart had hardened. I had gone numb. If these things had happened a couple of years ago I would have completely shrugged it off. I would have been thinking, "Well, that's the world we live in. Nothing I can do about it now." It would have no impact on me. I pray that I never return to being such a hardened person. You see, that is not how God made me... And now here comes the hard part for me. The person that God created me to be is actually an extremely emotional person. I hate admitting that, which is just plain stupid, but it's true. I spend way too much time trying to hide from my emotions, but that is who I am. I am constantly trying to make people believe that I am this tough, emotionless guy, but I'm just not. That's not who I am, and, as hard as it is at times, I am so happy with the person that God made me to be. I know that He created me this way for a reason and I hope that I never get in the way of that again.
There have been a few times this summer that I have been completely overcome with emotion, but two in particular have been very comforting to me. Both of these things came around the dinner table. Once as a guest and once as a host. In these moments, I saw what I believe to be the most powerful force on Earth at work. I got to feel the comfort, peace, and love of God's family. As I have been reflecting on these moments, I have found overwhelming peace. I have found peace with the death of so many around me. I have found peace with my struggles and insecurities. I have found peace with the ways of the world. You see, none of those things matter.
My struggles and fears can be beaten. The world will pass away. Death itself loses. It's already been defeated. The Savior of the World beat it single-handedly about 2000 years ago. Now, we don't have to fear it. Is life still hard? Absolutely. Unfair when people die too young? No doubt, but this is where we can find our comfort. Remember that super powerful force that I was talking about a second ago? Well, it's not confined to this world. It transcends all of this. God's family is more powerful than our fears. It's bigger than you and me. And, yes, it's even stronger than death itself.
I've recently been reminded that it is okay to laugh. It is okay to cry, but we need both. I've also been reminded to simply tell people what needs to be said. This is something I struggle with. I am really bad about telling people that I care about them. I think it comes from that whole fake tough guy thing. I'm working on it, but right now, I want you to know something. I want you to know that you don't have to be afraid. You don't have to struggle. You don't have to feel alone. You are welcome and wanted in the family of God. Or maybe you're a part of it, but it doesn't always feel that way. I get that too. But please, read this and believe it. You are so loved. More than you could ever possibly imagine. People who don't even know you love you. The people around you everyday love you and need you. I love you. But most important of all, the Creator of the Universe loves you. Really think about this. Please. A God so big that He created this infinitely big universe thinks that you are worthy of His love and affection. That must mean that you're pretty special.
Through Jesus and His life, we get to be a part of this family that knows no borders. It is everywhere. It knows no boundaries at all actually. Those in this family have a bond greater than any other. On top of all of that, when this life is said and done, when this world is gone, when all other families cease to exist, God's family keeps going. The best part about it all? It's open to everyone and there's always more room around this table. Please come and partake.
A post by Cody Poinsett
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